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5 Rude Things to Say to Photographers

Updated on June 3, 2020
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Denise has been studying and teaching art and painting for 40+ years. She has won numerous prestigious awards for her art and design.

My photo composite of my granddaughter on a dinosaur.
My photo composite of my granddaughter on a dinosaur. | Source

5 Rude Things

I did an article a few years back about things you should never say to a photographer. It was well received and I had fun writing it so I decided to add 5 more things you should never say. Here they are.

Photo from the Fun Run Event
Photo from the Fun Run Event | Source

Expensive Camera

1. Wow, you have a really NICE camera. You must take great photos.

The amount of time I have been working to hone my skills makes no difference apparently. It’s all about the camera? Listen, folks. The camera doesn’t take the pictures, I do. Anyone can buy a NICE camera. It doesn’t make them a photographer.

In the early years, I had a simple little Brownie. I learned on it. Then I got a little Pocket Instamatic when I got married and was even using it with my first babies. I took tons of photos with those. I was nearly 50 before I got my first “nice” camera. I had already made the typical mistakes and learned from them with the other cameras. Still, I had to learn the ins and outs of the new Panasonic camera.

I’ve seen some very good photos taken by a knowledgeable person and an iPhone. The camera wouldn’t do so well in the hands of an orangutan and I could take some nice pictures with a very old, very small point-and-shoot if I had to.

Sad looking cheap photoshop trick
Sad looking cheap photoshop trick | Source

Cheap Photo Tricks

2. Can you make the photo black and white with just this one flower in color?

Really? Of course, I CAN do that. The question is will I do that. Everyone who first starts out in photography does that little trick and it’s okay at first. It’s all right now and then. But it can be overdone very easily. As a matter of fact, they have been overdone. I’m so grateful that “technique” has finally lost favor and most people don’t want it. But every now and then I run across someone who wants me to do that for them. If you look through your pictures and they all look black and white with one little colored object, seek professional help. Please.

Shot on the bias.
Shot on the bias. | Source

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Photos On The Bias

3. Shoot this photo on the bias.

Sometimes a crooked photo angle works but usually, it looks like you took it just after “Happy Hour”. It is positively dizzying. If you want your audience to fall over, okay. Usually, you don’t want to have the slanted photos of your friends and family. It is typically used as a photographic method to give the feeling of something off, or twisted, or haunted. Save the technique for that.

The old 1960’s TV show Batman had many instances where the video work was shot on the bias purposefully to indicate the bad guys or evil at work. They were supposed to look twisted, dizzying, and off. That is all that technique should be saved for in my opinion.

Senior Dancers
Senior Dancers | Source

Social Media Posting

4. I want to edit these and put them on Facebook.

It is really messing with someone’s copyrighted material to do that. It isn’t far from rewriting Shakespeare and posting it as if it was your own. Don’t do it. Even if you think it is “advertising” for us, don’t do it. It’s just not right. Besides, no matter what you do to the photo after you have added light or color or anything else to a photo from a professional, we don’t want to claim it anymore. Don’t bother to mention where you got the photo. We would rather no one thought we gave the photos to you looking like that!

A few years ago I saw a photo posted exactly like that. It was a professional’s photography but it looked awful. The color was off, too orange, and it was all pixelated. I later discovered that the customer decided to “add” some filters to the photographer’s finished work and then post it as if that’s the way the photographer had delivered it. When the photographer told me he would rather not be connected to that customer or their bastardized creation, I totally understood. It was hideous.

Family Gathering
Family Gathering | Source

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.

— Pablo Picasso

I Was There

5. Where are the pictures of you at this event?

Sure, I never get into the pictures because I’m TAKING them. Usually, it’s okay with me because I prefer to be behind the camera. But as the years go by and my grandkids are beginning to go through photos of special events, it comes up that I’m in very few of them. It’s the photographer’s curse. What can I say? I was there, okay. The photos prove it.

I love photos and as the years go by they have become very precious to me. A few years back I had a computer crash without any backup. I didn’t distress on losing a computer or any of the things I had written on it. I could always rewrite what I lost. The art that I created digitally was a huge loss either because I can always recreate art. It was the photos that were most precious and I most grieved over because those moments have past and I cannot get them back. I take great precautions now in backing up photos in particular.

Fine Art Photography

Photo compositing and photo manipulation have been a thing for many years but with the access of Photoshop by the general public, fine art photography is much more common. Anyone can “swap heads” in a photo or stretch reality with these new programs, but to make if fine art there is a trick to it. I have been creating art with photos for 10 years now and have made myself available to create super-real looking photo composites. I have created fairies and pixies from my grandchildren as well as water sprites. I’ve had them riding dinosaurs soring through the skies. One lady paid me to “swap heads” in a photo because her four children were never all looking the right way in any one photo at the same time. I put the best heads together and created one perfect photo for her.

Take the adventure of a good book.
Take the adventure of a good book. | Source

Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.

— Andy Warhol

Final Thoughts

Photos are precious taken by anyone because they are moments in time captured for posterity. A few years ago I came across a photo of my grandfather’s sister. She died of the pandemic Spanish Influenza in 1918 and this photo was the only existing photo of her. She was only 18 when she died and the photo must have been taken somewhere near that time because the immortalized face looks about 18. It was like finding gold or a buried treasure. Someday people will look back on your photos in just that way. Keep snapping that camera and paying those photographers. You are investing in the future.

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