You Know You’re a Photographer When…

Being a photographer is more than just a hobby or a career choice—it’s life. Something you feel you literally could not live without. Every instant of your waking moment, you feel the dire need to pull your camera out and take a picture of the beauty of your surroundings. Sound familiar? I have compiled a list of eight ways you know when you’re a photographer.


“Happy Photographer” captured by Kicki

1. You get upset when you don’t have your camera on you.

I feel as though every photographer knows this feeling. For instance, maybe you decide to go for a walk down to the beach and accidentally leave your camera sitting on the kitchen bench. When you go to take a picture, your heart drops. And the only reason you don’t know you’re missing your camera until you get to the beach is because you’re so used to it being in your hands; it’s almost second nature. Your body has adapted to your photography addiction, and it doesn’t recognize when something is drastically wrong. Am I right?

2. Lighting > Equipment

At some stage in a photographer’s life, there comes a point when having the best equipment just doesn’t cut it. You begin to realize that there’s more to a good photo than the equipment (although it’s still one of my many pleasures) You realize that the the lighting of the photograph is the important part. Unfortunately, there is (arguably) no tool that can give you perfect lighting other than taking a photo at the right time, at the right angle, and using the lighting of the situation to your advantage.

photography lighting

“Sunset Photographer” captured by Marco Monetti

3. You can make crap look good.

Okay, so this one might be stretching it, if we’re taking the point literally. I mean, maybe you can turn a piece of dog poo into art, but that’s not entirely the point I’m trying to make. Basically, as a photographer, you see potential photographs that most people couldn’t imagine being a photograph. Maybe it’s a picture of a trash can or a brick wall—whatever it is, you begin to think outside the box; you begin to take pictures, and you develop a sense of what makes good photographs, regardless of what other people may think.

4. Your camera battery runs out before any other gadget.

Photographers are known best for having their cameras with them at all times. Regardless of the event, the camera will be glued to the photographer’s hand for that perfect moment to take a quick photo. However, this comes with negative repercussions. The camera batteries do not last a lifetime. Unfortunately, photographers must face the constant annoyance of having their camera battery die before their phone battery. For most “normal” people, this is simply unfathomable. For photographers, this is the harsh reality of being addicted to using a camera.

5. You think the sound of a camera shutter is pleasurable.

There is nothing I love more than the sound of a camera shutter. It’s like music to my ears, and I know many people who can relate. For some, the sound of birds is pleasurable; for others, it’s math equations (is that even a thing?). But for photographers, it’s the sound of the camera shutter—knowing that a high quality photograph will be a result of the shutter. Surely there are more of us out there?!

camera shutter

“Topcon Unirex Open” captured by Christer

6. You get annoyed at people who buy top-of-the-line cameras only to take selfies.

When you take photography seriously, just like any other form of art, nothing is worse than people who purchase the latest and the greatest cameras only to take photos of themselves. Okay, in some cases, it can be a justified purchase. Maybe you’re a model? But if you’re uploading it to Facebook for only your friends and family to see, then maybe you can understand why photographers get irritated. You see, photographers (in most cases) very rarely take photos of themselves. Instead, they’re exploring the beauty of the world around them too much to worry about themselves.

7. You are offended when someone makes a harsh comment about your camera.

“Your camera looks too big,” for example, is just unnecessary criticism. What do you want me to do about the size of my camera? Do you think I didn’t notice? People don’t seem to understand that if you insult the camera, then you might as well insult the camera owner. At least we then have a reason to get offended, right? I mean, how would you feel if someone came up to you and said you had a big nose? Is that more of a justified reason to act offended? If you’re a photographer, then the answer is no.

8. Traveling is more about photography than it is relaxing.

Finally, we have come to my favorite point of all: traveling. For most people, traveling is more about relaxing—building strong memories to last a lifetime. Photographers want much more than that. We want to be reminded of our traveling experiences with physical memories—photographs of our experiences. Why have a slice of cake when you can have the whole thing? That’s not to say that photographers don’t know how to relax, but we would rather capture the surroundings of the location than waste our time sleeping on the beach.

travel photographer

“The Photographer” captured by Mendhak

If you can relate to these, then maybe you’re more of a photographer than you thought! Hats off to you—let’s hope there are more of us out there.

About the Author:
Cole is a writer/photographer at considerphotography with information about photography.

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22 responses to “You Know You’re a Photographer When…”

  1. Lois Bryan says:

    Number 5 and number 8 … OH yeah.

  2. Kismet says:

    I’m getting there!!

  3. Jack says:

    Teach the silly girl in the top photo how to properly hold a camera. She is like so many we see who don’t know the basics for holding a camera steady and comfortably when not using a tripod.

  4. Lorri A says:

    #7 and #8 for sure, but the rest resonate with me too. Oh, and I have taken photos which make “crap” look good, it’s fun confusing my friends . . . . .

  5. PhotoDude says:

    This article is superficial, un-insightful click-bait drivel.

  6. Rick says:

    If #2 is true (lighting > equipment) then #6 and #7 are nonsense.

  7. kurtphillip says:

    1- a photographer always has access to camera.
    2 – a photographer has extra batteries available.
    ( like in the old days, extra film, and a lot of backup equipment too).
    3 – holding a camera comfortably is useful, if you take more than one shot.
    ( not as illustrated )
    4 – Re: # 7…. Who asked Hemingway what type/brand of typewriter he used?
    5 – ” ” Any camera that pays your bills, is a “professional” camera.
    (see # 4).
    6 – Professional bodies are generally more durable and maybe more weather resistant.
    —- but are NOT needed to take ” professional” pictures.

  8. Catherine Tuckwell says:

    Ha! The noise of my camera shutter is the only noise that doesn’t grate on my nerves! I find it reassuring.

  9. Alicia says:

    The way the girl in picture 1 is holding the camera peeves me alot too.

  10. Gayle Vuletic says:

    I think that being a photographer makes you appreciate the beauty that others miss.

  11. Nino Xerri says:

    Without doubt #8.

  12. SS says:

    You know you’re a photographer when posts like these have no redeeming value or useful information for you…

  13. Wendy says:

    You don’t want to go to an event because either you can’t take your camera/don’t have your camera along, or the people with you will expect you to pay attention to them and not the scenery.

    Alternatively, you only want to go to an event because you get to shoot subjects/use techniques outside your “same old, same old.”

  14. Paul says:

    All of the above and all of my working day is spent inside four walls looking out on the world while I assess engineers – wishing to be outdoors clicking away…

  15. MrsB says:

    You know you are a photographer:
    1. It’s your chill pill.
    2. You fall over a boulder at a waterfall and all you can think is save the camera. Camera saved. You? not so much. People look at you in disbelief that you saved the camera and didn’t try to try and break your fall. My brother said, “I would have chunked that camera.” :)

  16. charles stephrens says:

    cant find cole dunn’s website

  17. Oh yes, I can relate to being out and wondering why I don’t have a camera with me.

    And travelling with the camera is what it’s all about.

    How about when you take the camera for a walk and forget the dog?


  18. Tiberman Sajiwan Ramyead says:

    A refreshing article! Because we need to be constantly reminded of basics. I am 75.
    About No. 8, TRAVELLING, PHOTOGRAPHY AND RELAXING: For me the very act of taking photos during travelling is relaxing; especially when I come across a subject I love, and I stop and work on it on tripod.
    Warm regards from Mauritius.

  19. I will take it one step further. You know you are a street photographer when you go to a zoo and photograph people and not the animals.

  20. JR says:

    Stumbled on this 5 year old article. Enjoyed reading it, especially #8.

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