8 Things You’ll Never Hear A Great Photographer Say


No matter if they shoot portraits, landscapes, products or something else, there are some things all photographers have in common. And while every photographer has a different style and approach, very few would be caught saying these phrases. If you get a good chuckle out of these phrases photographers would never say, we’re right there with you!

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“There’s nothing better than clear blue skies.”

"This photo would be so much better if there weren't any clouds." This and X things no landscape photographer would ever say.

For me, and for most photographers, clouds can make or break an outdoor photograph. The weather forecast, specifically cloud cover, is a huge factor for photographers: Too much cloud cover, and you might not get any color in the sky. Too little — or worse yet, none — and you may very well roll over and go back to sleep. Just the right amount to reflect the light from the rising or setting sun and it can look like the sky is on fire. That’s the kind of sky photographers want, not a plain blue one. Once you’re out there, getting the settings right for landscape is another story.

“I don’t want/need to buy any more gear.”

Canon 5D MkIII with a Canon TS-E 17mm tilt-shift lens.

Let’s face it: we all like new gear whether we need it or not, and there are likely very few photographers out there who don’t lust over some new piece of photography gear at least a little bit. You’ll never hear a photographer say this, ever!

“Of course you can use my photos for free.”

Photographers often get requests for the use of their photos with the offer of “photo credit” as the sole form of payment. This is laughableand and I refuse every time (and you should, too). All of the serious photographers I know rely on the income from their photos for at least part of their livelihood. (Building your photography business isn’t as hard as you might think.) We put a lot of time and effort into our photography and the images we create, and we expect to be compensated for their use.

“My camera takes the best pictures.”

Early morning on Wildlife Pond in New Hampshire's White Mountains

And Shakespeare’s quill pen wrote the best plays, too.

The idea among many (most?) non-photographers seems to be that it’s the gear that makes good photos. The better the camera, the better the photos, right? The idea that we have put a lot of effort into practicing our craft never occurs to them.  When people look at my photos and tell me, “You must have a really good camera,” I used to reply with the above Shakespeare comment.

Now I just tell them all of my photos are taken with my iPhone. 

“I think I’ll sleep in today; the light will be just as good at noon.”

Above The Clouds In The Morning Light

Early morning light is some of the best light there is if you’re shooting outdoors or using natural light. Sleep in and you’re going to miss it! Sure, you can make good pictures during midday, but working with the harsh, high-contrast light of the middle of the day is much more difficult than the warm, low-angle light of the mornings. 

Photographers who say they’re not a morning person just aren’t getting up early enough. 

“I don’t need a tripod.”

Monument Cove 182

A lot of photography involves the use of long exposures — sometimes really long exposures — especially when shooting in low light, photographing moving water, or both. If you want the non-moving elements in your photos to be sharp you’re going to need a very steady camera. Whether or not you have image stabilization, there’s nothing that’s going to hold your camera more steady than a good, sturdy tripod.

The photo above was captured in Monument Cove in Acadia National Park, the exposure time was 182 seconds — that’s more than three minutes! No matter how steady you think your hands are, I assure you that you won’t be able to hold your camera perfectly still for anything close to this amount of time. 

“I love it when people take photos from my fan page, crop out the watermark and claim them as their own.”

This happens more than you think. Many photographers encourage the sharing of their photos and don’t mind in the least if someone wants to use one as the banner image on their personal Facebook page. As long as the image (including the watermark) is unaltered and proper credit is given that is. Of course, this doesn’t apply to business pages — for that, the photographer can expect to be paid. 

“I never use Photoshop. All of my photos are straight out of the camera.”

Swift River Autumn Color.

All digital images require some degree of post-processing to realize the vision of the photographer. While you can learn tons of creative Photoshop techniques, most photographers do simple, minor exposure or white balance adjustments. Even many of the people who swear they would never “Photoshop” their images are doing just that — they just don’t realize it. If you’re shooting JPEG files, the camera is “Photoshopping” your photos for you.

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