I was in Newmarket, New Hampshire this past Saturday participating as a vendor during the town’s Olde Home Day celebration. The weather was perfect for an outdoor market, and the people were great. But as the day wore on, I was repeatedly asked two questions, both of which make me cringe every time I hear them.
“What kind of camera do you have?”
Possibly number one on my list of annoying questions. Until I put a little thought into it though, I didn’t realize why this question bothered me so much. Then it hit me, at its core this one questions my ability as a photographer. The idea that you can buy your way into creating great images is quite prevalent among the general public. To me this says they think it’s the gear that made the photograph, not my skill, vision, and creativity as an artist. Not to mention my effort to be at the right place at the right time. I’ll bet no one ever asked Picasso what kind of brushes he used, or Stephen King what kind of typewriter he created The Stand on. I’ve decided I’m going to start telling people who ask, that I use a Kodak Easy Share, the look on their face will be priceless.
“Is that photoshopped?”
I went into this in more depth in an earlier post, so I won’t go too deeply into it again. I consider that what I’m creating is art, and not photo journalism, so I make no secret of the fact that I use Lightroom3 and several plug-ins to achieve the result I envision for an image. The fact of the matter is, do you like it or not? If so, does it really matter what I did to the image during the editing process to get to the result you see? Buy it, or not. Like it, or not. The process shouldn’t matter.
Another question I get asked a lot has to do with the perception that, as someone serious about their photography who uses a “real” camera, I know everything about the features and operation of every camera ever produced since the dawn of time. The question can take many forms, but usually goes something like, “what does this mean?” or “how do I get my camera to do this?” Usually asked by the owner of their new point-and-shoot. My standard reply is almost always, RTFM,* and I think most of you know what it stands for. However after this smart-ass reply, I do try to help when I can because, one, I’m not a total ass, and two, it is usually asked by a family member or close friend at a family gathering or some other social occasion.
Well that’s it for now, I’m sure there are more that I’m forgetting at the moment, so in the mean time why don’t you tell me, what photography related questions most annoy you.
*For those who can’t guess it’s, Read The F—-n Manual!