The 21 New Signs that you are a Real Photographer!

Peter Phun wrote the orig­i­nal 21 signs that you’ve crossed the thresh­old from pre­tender to con­tender in 2009. I read it yes­ter­day and found it quite out­dated. So i decided to re-write it and update it to what i feel the cur­rent con­di­tion is.

The 21 New Signs that you are a Real Photographer

In a day and age when any­one with any sort of cam­era and a social net­work account can call them­selves a pho­tog­ra­pher, it can be a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to fig­ure out when you’ve sep­a­rated your­self from the pack to become a real photographer.

There­fore,  here are the New 21 clues that you’ve crossed the thresh­old from pre­tender to contender:

1. Your friends have begun to ask you which cam­era to buy so that they can take bet­ter pic­tures at social gatherings.

2. You don’t run out of bat­tery power because you have a solar charger.

3. You upgrade your cam­era to shoot bet­ter pic­tures of your kids.

4. The sales­man at your favorite cam­era store asks you whats new in the market.

5. You cor­rect peo­ple when they can­not get the word ‘bokeh’ to describe what they are talk­ing about.

6. A gor­geous woman with a dig­i­tal SLR brushes by you — and you take only a frac­tion of a sec­ond to notice her cam­era and what kind of lens she has. After that your eyes focus on her bum.

7. You con­cen­trate on the light­ing instead of the subjects.

8. You abuse folks in the back row at the con­cert shoot­ing with an iPhone or a point-and-shoot when they ask you to get out of their lens’s field of view..

9. You don’t go to a photo lab anymore.

10. Your in-law who’s a pro asks you for new tips each time you meet.

11. Other pho­tog­ra­phers fol­low you to see where you’re shoot­ing from. Shoot from the same spot, review the pic­ture on the LCD, shake their heads in dis­ap­proval, but do not delete the picture.

12. Other pho­tog­ra­phers treat you as though you are a snob when they see you at cam­era stores.

13. Your pho­tog­ra­phy work­flow is not com­plete unless the pic­ture ends up on some social net­work­ing site.

14. More and more women want to be your friend either because you have a big cam­era or they want to buy a big camera.

15. You stop ask­ing what aper­ture and shut­ter speed was used to take a pic­ture. Instead, you look for lens dis­tor­tions in a picture.

16. You crit­i­cally analyse other peo­ples photo vest – mak­ing a men­tal note of what equip­ment you can put in which pocket.

17. You have stopped tak­ing group por­traits and now focus only on indi­vid­ual side-lit portraits.

18. You are ashamed to carry/use a point-and-shoot even on fam­ily outings.

19. You can dis­tin­guish a 500mm f/4 from a 400mm f/2.8 and a 600mm f/4 from a mile away.

20. Your spouse stops ask­ing you to teach her/him photography.

21. Right now you are think­ing which cam­era or lens to buy next.

Are there any other clues that you might want to add? The list can always be extended to include your inputs. Tell me, use the com­ments sys­tem below.


  1. kurt phillip says:

    Regard­less of the cam­era you’re using at the moment, you are a pro­fes­sional because the pic­tures you take, pay your bills.
    SLR, DSLR, RF, TLR, P&S, etc.

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