‘I love your camera’
One of the worst things you can say to a photographer are those four words. ‘’I love your camera’’ or ‘’I need your camera’’. I have this said to me almost every.single.day and it grinds on me each time. It’s nothing against those that say it, because perhaps they don’t understand. But it’s like saying to Picasso ‘’I love your paintbrushes”. No. No. No! It’s not about the equipment – yes the equipment helps but it’s having a creative eye that plays the main contribution. Not every single person with a DSLR is a photographer. Not every single person with a paintbrush is Picasso.
A lot goes into taking a good photo. The subject, the lighting, the style, the location, the angle, the shutter speed, the ISO, the aperture setting, the format you shoot in, getting the exact right moment, the post processing, using photoshop and so on. Anyone can take a photo but it does not make them a professional photographer. Anyone can dance, but that doesn’t make them a professional dancer. I’m pretty sure you get where I’m going with this.
Since almost every person who owns a phone nowadays has access to a camera, we’ve seen a rise in the “Girls with a camera” stereotype. Someone gets a DSLR for christmas then suddenly they have their own website and Facebook page proclaiming they’re a photographer. That’s why people like me, that have trained to be a photographer at university, have to put up with providing photos at such a low rate. That’s why people like me are stuck in a dead-end job cleaning up after elderly people instead of making an income from the profession they studied. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe you have to go to university to become a photographer (probably one of the worst mistakes I made!) and I know everyone has to start somewhere.
Just never think that by saying “I love your camera” to a photographer is a compliment. It is the complete opposite. It’s the biggest insult you can give. Instead maybe say “You’re a great photographer” or “I love your work”. Saying “Oh you’re camera is amazing” is like saying “You’re only a good photographer because your camera is so good” No. No. no! I’m sure every single photographer that has had this said to them can see exactly where I’m coming from. If not, then maybe you’re not a photographer. Drop the DSLR.