The worst thing you can say to a photographer

‘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 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.



  • Cyptor says:

    If it makes you feel any better, the worst compliment I (a photographer myself) have got by another photographer is “What editing software do you use”. wait a sec, this is actually second worst!! The real worst is, do you use an “editor” meaning hire someone to edit your pictures :-X

  • […] a good photo takes more than just simply pointing and shooting. It’s about considering the placement of your subject, the surroundings, the settings, the […]

  • A Cornish Mum says:

    Ooh I love your camera! 😉 Sorry couldn’t resist, but definitely unintentionally rude. I have a great DSLR that I rarely use as I need to learn how to use it without using auto, a great camera definitely isn’t what makes you a great photographer. Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

  • says:

    I would definitely compliment the picture, not the camera! I am no photographer, and don’t have a camera – wouldn’t even pretend to know what I was talking about referring to the camera!

    Thanks so much for joining us for #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time.

  • Claire - Life, Love and Dirty Dishes says:

    Very true. I’m a good girl, I always compliment the picture taker rather than the equipment 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

  • chocolateandwineandillbefine says:

    Now so glad I have never asked this question! I have never thought about it like that. I am so sorry you are struggling to make a business out of photography – you are right, these days everybody does seem to be able to get decent photos, iphones are remarkably good. Again, I never thought of it as being so detrimental to photographers. I like to think I can tell a professional when I see one, and would always go to a professional if I needed anything proper doing. #picknmix

  • Kidscoffeeandchaos says:

    I respect any photographers that can make me look better in pictures, because that takes skill!!! Lol. #fridayfrolics

  • says:

    Ahhh I always get asked what camera I use because of my photos. People don’t believe me when I say that it is a camera phone! #FridayFrolics

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