Photo-people irritations


My light hearted take on some of the photographers that I have encountered online and in real life.

The ‘Meh’ commentator

They will never encourage you, they will never tell you that your work is promising, let alone that it’s verging on ‘passable’ or, heaven forbid, ‘good’. There could be some resentment here - they could be jealous - but chances are if every one of your shots elicits this response, then it’s them not you. The chances of you taking 100% awful shots are pretty small. I can normally find positives in a shot. And if they don’t like the style or substance of what you shoot, just remember it’s a lot of effort on their part to be so negative, so take it as a life lesson not to behave that way :)

> Irritation score: 9 (can be reset to a 0 score if you ignore them)

The theorist photographer

The know all of the technical aspects of light but have never shot with the myriad of variables that studios, studio lighting and setups present. They will nonetheless inform you that you have done it wrong and try to show the world how clever they are (and generally they can be pretty clever). They know all of the theoretical aspects of light, but don’t seem to grasp that when you throw a variable into the mix like deeper/shallow modifiers or makeup, things change. They will relentlessly stick to their guns or just not reply when you present them with examples of why their arguments fall over and are pretty much insufferable on most subjects.

> Irritation score: 9

The enthusiast, aka the ‘5%er’

The enthusiast knows very little and may be new, yet proceeds to give you resolutions that just don’t work because they haven’t read the rest of the book yet. We have all been a 5%er at some point but whereas most of us get past this stage, some people never become more than a 10 or 15%er. They then become exponentially more annoying than the increase in their percentage points would suggest, but not much more educated on photography.

> Irritation score: 4 - 10

The Shadow

This person knows a lot. They can be really, really helpful and will always try and steer you in the right direction. Their availability ebbs and flows, however, and they reply sporadically because the advice they offer flies in the face of the 5%ers and the theorist photographers. They disappear for periods of time to refill their wellness reserves because they are sick of bashing their head against walls when such situations occur.

> Irritation score: 0 (they will always reply to a DM)

The Shadeist

This person is essentially what would be termed a ‘muppet’ either in real life or online. They seem to be in every forum or group that you are in and they know their stuff but they are just in no way pleasant to be around but you suffer them because they know a lot. Then you realise why they are always about online; it’s because no one else want to be around them.

> Irritation score: 9

The Armchair photographer

The name says it all. They don't really do much, but they are nevertheless quick to criticise, and have read just enough for you to wonder how much they actually know. Their work and achievements are thin on the ground and they will back off when you ask to see their portfolio, which is why they have a low irritation score.

> Irritation score: 4

The Pherv (photographer perv)

Basically, these people want to produce home made porn and justify it by citing, for example, Helmut Newton's fabulous work with nudes. However, they are in fact just a bit lecherous. Now, these people come in all ages and sizes and generally produce really badly shot, poorly lit photos of scantily clad males and females. These aren't to be confused with the great photographers that shoot nudes and boudoir photography and are great at what they do. The are also quarter backed by the Pherv apologists.

> Irritation score: 9

The natural light evangelist

God only knows why, but these photographers seem to have a pathological hatred of strobes. Maybe they hate strobes because they don't like studio lighting and find it complicated, or maybe they've only ever seen Terry Richards’ use of strobes. I've seen some mind blowing natural light shooters and they are absolutely confident with their own work and processes. They don't feel the need to tell everyone that they don't need strobes to do what they do.

Most natural light evangelists can't work out strobes or don't understand that feathering light can simulate a more realistic light so that you don’t have to shoot at iso 2000. And that there is in fact detail in images, rather than smudgy tones.

> Irritation score: 6

The F.I.I.P.S (fix in in photoshop)

We’ve all been through stages of our growth as photographers when we think our photoshop is so good that we can correct any problems that our bad lighting, (strobes - natural light), bad posing and/or bad makeup and unseemly backgrounds can create. Continual FFIPS are in a state of arrested development, and if they are happy with that, that’s fabulous. There will be no shortage of photoshop work to do on every single photo you shoot! For the rest of us, we put the time in to learn our lighting, makeup skills, etc. so that we don’t have to spend hours and hours in photoshop.

> Irritation score: 7

The superstar

The shooter who is continually telling the world that they are jet setting out and around, and being paid for the shots they are putting up, etc. Except you know the photos have been shot in your mate’s studio, on a studio day, and they are being a wee bit disingenuous. They mostly lurk on Instagram.

> Irritation score: 6

You aren’t a photographer unless you shoot film

People that tell you that real photographers shoot film (yawn). As Kris Karl once said when confronted with that same statement, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Then you’d need to get a wet plate by that logic”. I genuinely understand what a rush it must be to see if you are getting exactly what you shoot post film development, but honestly, I don’t care if that is what you do. The fact you are telling me this means you are the kind of person who will tell everyone you brew your own beer or are a frutarian, when all they have said to you is “Hello”.

> Irritation score: 9