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5 Rude Things to Say to Photographers

Updated on June 3, 2020
PAINTDRIPS profile image

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

Do you take good pictures?

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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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    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      11 months ago from Fresno CA

      Lawrence Hebb,

      Yes, there are a lot of free photo sites that allow you to use the photos, but they usually want accreditation. However, if you change them with filters they may not want to be associated with that image anymore. I'm glad you found this entertaining. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      11 months ago from Fresno CA

      Jason Nicolosi,

      Thank you for following me on YouTube. It hasn't grown subscribers much but I still keep uploading my work. I guess even small growth is growth. Anyway, I'm doing what I love so how can I go wrong? Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      11 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Denise

      Really enjoyed this article. Though I'll have to be careful with some of my covers.

      I normally use those with a free licence, and yes I do use filters to get the effect I want.

      Great article.

    • Nicoartz profile image

      Jason Nicolosi 

      11 months ago from AZ

      Great article Denise. I thought it was funny and fun. I absolutely loved the painting of your granddaughter on the dinosaur. Very cool. Beautifully done.

      Also i've really enjoyed your you tube channel. Great job on that so far.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      Peggy Woods,

      That one was fun to make. I took a photo of an open book. Then used a photo of the children playing in the dirt at a church groundbreaking ceremony. The dog came from a stock image and the background starfield as well. I had to remember lighting and "cast" shadows behind the kids and dog onto the book using a soft paintbrush in photoshop. It took me about 2 hours to put all the elements together. But then I love doing that kind of thing. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      12 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Like you, I started out with a box Brownie camera. I love taking photos and have learned a few things through the years as an amateur photographer. I love that image of the kids and dog on a book in outerspace.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      Ann Carr,

      So true. It was a disaster. That was a cache of digital photos of that little guy at 6 months or so when I went down to Southern California to see him for the first time. There were pics of him on my lap, him in the pool, him playing with toys I brought. I can't ever get that back. It's all in my memory but you know what an unreliable thing memory is. I hate that I didn't back those up. Thanks for the condolences.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      12 months ago from SW England

      Oh no! That's such bad luck. That's the sort of thing I have nightmares about, losing any photos of the little ones which of course are irreplaceable.

      I probably take far too many but they help me remember the moment and also remind me of that particular day with the family.

      Ann

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      Ann Carr,

      I'm pretty obsessive about my digial photos and files too. Back in 2012, my computer crashed. The tech wasn't much help. He said you should have planned ahead for the crash. It isn't "if" your computer will crash, it's "when". He said that the photos and file could be retrieved but it would cost hundreds of dollars and I just didn't have it at that time. So I got a new computer and an external backup. Then I got an external back up for the backup. Most of the art files I lost I could recreate but the photos of a 9-month-old baby in the family I had are gone forever. I can't retake those. I still cringe over that loss. Makes me crazy. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      12 months ago from SW England

      I have a terrible fear of losing my photos from my computer. I back them up regularly which makes me feel a little better but I still dread a 'wipe-out' or something similar! They're all on my separate hard-drive. Thousands of them!

      I too started on a Box Brownie and what fun I had! My Dad taught me how to use it and I went everywhere with him, both of us clicking away and in our element. I have some wonderful historic family photos thanks to his talent, many of relatives I knew nothing about until I went through all his photos when he died - wish I'd seen them before as I had so many questions. I know now who most of them are though.

      Yes, photography is an art, no matter how snazzy the camera.

      I have a granddaughter who is a great photographer so between us we're providing all sorts of entertainment for future family. The younger ones are interested too. So the enthusiasm gets passed down!

      You have some great thoughts here, Denise. It was a great read.

      Ann

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      Devika Primić,

      I'm happy you think this is quality and interesting. I do want to be entertaining and interesting. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      12 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Denise this is another one of your interesting and creative hubs. I admire your true talent and you make sure to share your best hubs.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      Dora Weithers,

      I'm glad I make you smile. Your hubs do the same for me. You are a very up and positive person. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      William Kovacic,

      Yes, common sense is not so common anymore. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for bringing these issues to our attention. Your tone makes me smile. Good job.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      12 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      It seems to me that most of what you bring up is common sense. Could it be we don't use common sense much anymore? Nice article, Denise.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      Linda Crampton,

      Oh, I'm so happy you like the last one. I love trying to add some magic to the fantasy images I create. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      Linda Lum,

      What a good comment about composition and background. I remember some of my first photos when I was 11 and 12, I would focus on the main subject and only when the film was developed would I "see" the stuff detracting in the background. We have the ability to "block out" extraneous stuff but the camera sees all. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      12 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Old photos are precious. I have some old photographs of my relatives that I value very much. They show my family's history and are a link to the past. Thanks for sharing this interesting article, Denise. I like your photos, especially the last one. It's magical.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Denise, the camera is nothing if the person holding it doesn't understand lighting, framing, and composition. Thank you for another great discussion on this topic.

      The biggest complaint I have with people who post their recipes on Hub Pages is that they pay no attention to the background. I don't want to see your vacuum cleaning looming behind that chocolate cake; the casserole looks divine but the pile of dirty dishes on the counter detracts from its appeal.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      Liz Westwood,

      I guess it was easier back then but so much more expensive! Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      RoadMonkey,

      Thank you. I'm glad you think so. I did hope to be amusing. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      Lorna Lamon,

      I dearly love old photos. They are a moment in time captured of people who are no longer with us. How cool would it be to know what was happening just before that photo and just after? Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      Eric Dierker,

      I'm glad I've enlightened you, if only a little. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      Verlie Burroughs,

      What a wonderful career and opportunity to expand your photography. Good for you. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      A lot of what you say resonates with me. I enjoy photography, but my place of choice is behind the camera, not in front of it. I have a collection of prints from way back. The problem now is selecting photos out of 1000s of digital images to print. It was so much easier when I sent off my reels of film to be developed!

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      12 months ago

      Great article, so true and so funny. You have really caught the mindset of those who say these things to photographers!

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      12 months ago

      I agree Denise photos are an investment for the future. My Gran left me her box of photos, most of them were black and white. I have a favourite

      of my Great Great Aunt Ann siting on a garden swing which is covered with roses. A great article with lots of advice and tips (much needed as far as my skills are concerned). Thank you for sharing. Take care.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Never thought about this. I think I just grew up in awe of good photographers. "The person who captures but had a chance to save." Tough stuff actually with the camera of a person in Mn.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      12 months ago from Canada

      Love this, love your talent. I worked as a reporter photographer over a stretch of eight years earlier on in my speckled career long before the digital age. I learned to take photos on the job, and was mentored by some really amazing photographers, it was exciting to get the front page! Right now I'm learning 'tablet' photography. It's a whole new ball game. Instant is good, but I really miss my old Pentax slr and all that playing with light and aperture. Thanks, enjoyed this look at your extraordinary work.

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