Surprise! Not All Photographers Think Alike


Photographers have been stereotyped for quite a long time. Usually carrying more than one camera, sort of chubby and always wearing a vest or a quirky hat. Even though there are some photographers that do look like that and have a profile picture with a camera in their face, not all of us think alike.

It is important that you are aware of this situation mainly because of two reasons. First, if you are a client looking for a photographer you should know that there are various types of photographers and each and every one of us will deliver different work. Second, and this is for all the photographers reading this, it is important that you see other photographers as peers and not competition.

Without further ado, let's talk about why not all photographers are alike! 

Not All Photographers Are Gear-Heads

Photo by Alex Iby

Or at least that is what I would like to think. Gear has become a huge concern among photographers, and even though there are many gear-head photographers, this mindset shouldn't be attributed to everybody. Many photographers have understood that cameras are only tools and as long as they understand light, the tool is secondary. It is almost like driving, as long as you know the basic act of driving, you can use a car to move yourself from A to B. The same thing applies to photography – as long as you know how to expose and compose, it doesn't really matter which camera or which format you shoot with.

Not All Photographers Rely Solely On Post-production

Photo by Windows

It would surprise you to know how many new photographers are deeply concerned with achieving great photographs inside the camera. Of course, as they start learning how much is done in digital development and digital retouching they start relying more and more on post-production. However, it is interesting to note that a considerable number of photographers are still not that concerned about post-production.

I'm sharing this with you because keeping a “child's mind” is important for creative purposes. The ability to be surprised with anything should be preserved! This enables photographers to spend more time shooting and less time dealing with editing. This has a direct impact on the increase of meaningful shots since it empowers photographers to shoot more and process less.

Not All Photographers Are Selfish

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

In 10 years of my photographic experience, I've found way more photographers willing to share everything they know than those that are selfish and act as if you asked them to share military secrets or nuke codes. This really makes me happy and I hope it will remain at least like that, if not better. Sharing experiences and learning from peers is one of the most pleasing experiences you can get as a photographer. 

We all came to this world as newbies and it is our turn today to embrace all the newbies that want to hop in! If we don't share our philosophy or our mindset with them, how can we improve the world of photography? It is just nonsense to be a selfish photographer. I kind of feel sorry for them, they have no idea how rewarding it is to see people falling in love with photography!

Not All Photographers Like Taking Photos of Everything

Photo by Charley Pangus

Just because we love taking photographs, it doesn't mean that we enjoy taking photos of anything or everything. Some of us have very specific subjects we like to record with our cameras. If this doesn't make sense to you, maybe thinking about “photography genres” might ring a bell. That is the main reason why genres exist – we all have themes that thrill us!

This is a piece of advice for people that need professional photography services – always hire photographers that already have their niche!

Not All Photographers Will Ask You To Get Naked

Photo by Brandon Morgan

Alright, it is true. Unfortunately, this is a common practice among certain “professional” or “artistic” photographers. Not all photographers act like that, especially those with serious background in photography. I've seen various cases in which somebody with little experience just buys a camera and starts shooting nudes. Of course, such people make their “models” really uncomfortable.

Paraphrasing Annie Leibovitz, the main difference between photographers and those who simply snap photos is that we take this action very seriously. History has given us plenty of photographers to admire, and the crowd gets bigger and bigger as technology delivers more advanced tools. We hope that you found this brief piece of text both informative and entertaining. Stereotypes can harm a discipline, and in the name of all passionate photographers out there I dare to tell you that not all photographers think alike.

Further Reading:

  1. Opinion: Have We Lost Something by Having More Megapixels?
  2. Opinion: The Importance Of Fostering A Better Photography Community
  3. 7 Links That Will Make You A Better Photographer
  4. 10 Pieces Of Free Software Every Photographer Needs
  5. How Should A Photographer Define Personal Style?

About Author

Federico has a decade of experience in documentary photography, and is a University Professor in photography and research methodology. He's a scientist studying the social uses of photography in contemporary culture who writes about photography and develops documentary projects. Other activities Federico is involved in photography are curation, critique, education, mentoring, outreach and reviews. Get to know him better here.

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