Everyone wants to be a photographer either professionally, casually or just a hobby. Thanks to fast technological advancement, DSLR now are very affordable to everyone and the introduction of high-end Mirroless cameras made it more accessible – this shook the photography industry and rise eyebrows among pros and the purist, some say that Photographers (or even Videographers) now are “A dime a dozen” (hopping this claim ain’t true). Now-a-days you can see a lot of people almost everywhere with DSLR or a MILC hanging around their necks but the funny thing is that they don’t even know what’s a DSLR, PASM or even ISO stands for (Do they really have to?). I’m not being mean, it’s just a straight forward and honest observation. I’m not totally against any of that ’cause it’s everyone’s right to do what they want, whenever, wherever they want as long as they’re happy and not hurting anyone. Just for FUN’s sake let’s try to classify 12 different types of photographers.
1) The Professional Photographer – This could be a seasoned photographer, freelancer or an aspiring photographer starting his/her own business and makes his earnings primarily by taking photos (or videos) of weddings, corporate, fashion, food, landscape, architectural, interior, products, etc. They’re also very serious on the business aspect of Photography, always punctual on location shots and meets (or sometimes exceeds) the clients expectations – very professional. To explain things in a simpler way, photography/video is their bread and butter. Like Chase Jarvis said – It’s either your in or out, there’s no in-between in being a Professional Photographer (Not the exact words but you get the point).
2) The Part-time Pro Photographer – These guys have their day jobs and still manage to do some commissioned photo shoots on the side. Yes, they get paid either by x-deals or by cash. They’re very professional on their work like the full-time pros, they apply professionalism on their projects, and the good part is that they have the luxury of choosing the projects they want to shoot, this is of course if the day job is not on the way of things or vise-versa. The downside of this is less exposure and you have to turn down assignments because of your demanding day job, and in different countries they have laws regarding moonlighting, so be very careful not to break the law.
3) The Competition/Artsy Photographer – Is this the one who always competes, argues and debates with everyone about photography? Nope! This is the photographer that joins proper photography competitions and gets awards. Published his works on magazines or their works shown on a photo exhibition. Same like painters – they treat their photos as an art piece.
4) The Composite/Surreal Photographer – Mainly photographers that manipulates or post process their photos into an abstract or fantasy work of art. They’re both photographer and graphic designer/artist. A professional graphic artist is a person that works with graphics, could be mixed media or purely digital. People these days thinks when we say graphics it only involves digital imagery, please do your research first before assuming anything. Like Alexander Rodchenko both a photographer and a graphic designer, shoots his own photos and convert it to awesome communist propaganda posters. Imagine working with non-digital imagery on those days. Whew!
5) The Photo Hobbyist – They collect photography equipment, they shoot almost anything and their happy on what they’re doing. No hang-ups… well maybe on few debates about photos with or without post processing, by the way that’s a very old argument – Get over it! They also hang out with other hobbyist and tell each other how pretty and awesome their photos were.
6) The Photography Enthusiast – People that are more hardcore than the Pros, let’s just say “hobbyist in steroids”. They’ll shoot events even without getting paid. They hire models for their portfolio, hoping to make it someday on the fashion scene. They know every single detail about every previous and latest camera out there specially the brand their using. Thanks to them the big camera companies e.g. Nikon, Canon and Sony will never die as long as their around. These people have the tendency to make their own group and blend themselves with the Pros. Caution – do not confuse them with professionals. If you meet someone talking too much about photography (even when asleep), you just spotted one.
7) The Photography Troll – These are enthusiasts that turned bitter and sour. They hate everyone with DSLR and just praise his own work. Sitting on one corner of a room and keep saying to himself “I’m the best photographer in the whole wide world!” – Sad but true. These people have the tendency to start their own photo organization or club when their former group kicked them out, or outdone by newer members. They can also be active on forums, trolling on other people’s work like “Smeagol/Gollum” of the photography community – “My Precious!”
“One Camera to rule them all, One Camera to find them,
One Camera to bring them all and in the darkness bind them”
– The Photography Troll
8) The Photography Professor – Not an actual college professor but one that teaches (or forces) any one he meets about photography settings, lighting or post processing techniques even though you don’t really need their senseless yapping. So for the sake of being polite you’ll listen to the first few topics they’re babbling about then try to make an excuse to avoid the rest of the lecture regarding… you’ve guessed it – Photography!
“Those who can’t do, teach. And those who can’t teach, teach gym.“
– Woody Allen
9) The Nosy Buggers – You think these people are newbies… NO! these are nosy people who barges in on other people’s business and ask about obvious stuff like – Is Manual Mode better than Auto Mode? Duh! If Auto is better why even bother? OK let’s move on – They ask about things not because they don’t know it, they ask because they just have to. It’s part of their nature to ask. Like a dog’s urge to pee on a fire-hydrant, you just can’t stop it.
10) The Photo Blogger – There are people who just need to have their own thing to satisfy their narcissistic urges. They’ll create a website or blog not just to promote their photos and selfies but to show the world how crazy they are. They will buy a DSLR to shoot they’re brand new branded boxer shorts, or a pair of socks, a Japanese anime toy their girlfriend/boyfriend gave them (Yes! I’m lookin’ at you Danbordu), whatever food they’re about to eat and most specially they’re brand new photography gear – on a dry box that is. News flash! No one gives a crap’s @$$. It’s funny, people buying a big dry box for an entry-level DSLR and a kit lens and guess what, it’ll stays there for most of the time and they call themselves photographers (more like snap-shooters) and sometimes put a big-@$$ (Kim Kardashian approved) watermark on every photo they post.
11) The Show-Off a.k.a. The Wanker – these are people who only goes to photo shoots and photo gatherings when they have new stuff to show-off like a strapping new lens or the latest camera body, new pair of AJs or a new girlfriend/ boyfriend, and oh boy they love to seek attention. They don’t care about the quality of their photos they’re just there because it’s “IN”. Same guys who likes girls with skimpy dresses and uses photography as an excuse to fulfill their fetish fantasies. Most of them have their profile photo on Facebook with a DSLR/Camera pressed against their face or doing some photography action pose to look like a Pro. Oh and they also love selfies.
12) The Schizo – There are people who can’t make up their minds if they’re doing it to progress or just to have fun. One day they’ll brag about photography for being fun – do-what-you-want crap, then the next day hates slackers who have too much fun in photography. Also these are people who thinks they’re the bomb ’cause their photo had a hundred likes on Facebook which 99% of it were family and some random weird strangers, and most probably ending up (by desperation) clicking their own”like” button. You don’t need more “likes” on Facebook, you need more practice, period! If you think a two-hour photography and Photoshop workshop is better compared to years of experience in Photography or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography, you’re one crazy monkey or just plain dumb! Maybe a cold bath and a pill will help you relax, same thing they give to people in the loony bin.
13) The One Hit Wonder (bonus) – These are people who did one great project or photo that’s been popular overnight on social media, or among the photography community then suddenly (out of the blue) going out of the grid, and selling all their photography gears (for another hobby or some mysterious reason) and just decided that photography is not for them. Wait… What? Life indeed is full of mysteries. Oh and by the way they hover around sometimes (on gatherings and forums) thinking that their opinion still matter.
14) The Noob (bonus) – You can’t say “newbie photographer” – it’s just ain’t right, ’cause the word “photographer” is not self-appointed, you must earn it. These guys are new to the world of photography and don’t know crap about what’s happening inside a camera (well I also don’t know but for argument’s sake let’s continue). They always put the mode dial on the GREEN/Auto mode and starts shooting regardless of what the subject is. Nothing’s wrong with that but please at least do some research and don’t ask about obvious stuff, use your common sense, Google it!!! And calling yourself a “Noob” for more than 2 years is just sad. There’s a lot of resources out there on the internet and all you have to do is type on the “SEARCH” field and click the magnifying glass icon. Don’t be ashamed of not knowing everything, there’s always a “first” to everyone and there are no exceptions unless you’re born with a camera stuck on your butt, then good for you (Ouch!). Do not give any chance to “Master Wannabees” to cloud your thoughts and brainwash you that a particular brand is better than the other, or group A is better than group B – Politics is a biyatch! Do not associate yourself with these people, go through the proper channels, learn and do your own thing.
15) The Tourist (bonus) – This category is not considered as a classification ’cause anyone can be a tourist. Well basically these are people traveling or on tour that needs a good all-in-one walk-around camera for storing they’re snapshots. You’ll see most of them with their DSLRs or a point-and-shoot camera hanging around their necks. Ridiculous it may sound but there are people who walks around with a Nikon D4 or Canon D1X on their neck, you can see on the strap the printed model name shouting out loud, all of this excessive nonsense just to shoot a half-empty cup of Starbucks coffee or a mundane looking lamppost. You can tell that the camera is mint ’cause the model badge is still very shiny and the rubberized body still has matte texture to it, and when you sniff it, it will smell like a freshly opened pair of Air Jordans. Even if you’re doing some street photography, there’s a thing we now call Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (MILC), performance wise is comparable to a full pledged DSRL, you don’t have to lodge a huge-@$$ camera on your neck. Now that I’ve got it out-of-the-way, let’s move on. When they walk around, it seems like they’re searching for birds… what birds? They’re simply just confused on which landmark or statue to shoot first as background for their picture. Looking round, high and low for a spot to do their so-called photography that they’re excited to show-off on Facebook, Istagram and Twitter. Don’t forget the mandatory selfie.
There you go! 12 (plus three) unofficial classification of a photographers. I’m thinking of including “Selfie Addicts” but I guessed it’s hard to take selfies with a bigger camera other than your iPhone and it definitely deserves its own article. The big question is, which one are you? Do you really want to know? Okay first, go to the bathroom mirror and look at your reflection then ask yourself – Am I really up to this photography stuff or is it just a phase in my life where I need to buy overpriced gears to satisfy my egotistical needs? Nah! Just pulling your leg. It’s just a satirical article, don’t take it seriously. Everyone has the right to own a camera, may it be a DSLR or MILC. Life is to short for negativity, just have some fun and shoot all you want.