There are no bad photos. That’s just how your face looks sometimes. Abraham Lincoln
We felt it fitting to name this blog after the funny quotes we found from Surveillance Capitalism. Unfortunately, they didn’t find much. Whether this is because serious photographers have no sense of humor, or because our crack staff was on crack at the time, I’m not sure. My attention deficit is too high to be able to conduct my own research so I am forced to work with what they throw at me. We think you will still have a few laughs, maybe 3 in some cases. And, most importantly, we will have reached our monthly blog glob quota. It’s a win-win.You can do it!
One of the most prominent themes in photographer irreverence is defensive offensives directed against those who, out of ignorance or purposely, insult them. Them being us. Two basic forms of the main insults are:
- Camera as Artist
- Photography is a useless hack
The first ‘Camera as Artist’ salvo was penned in San Francisco a century ago by the world renowned, Anonymous. It reads something like this.
Jack London, a well-known San Francisco photographer, went to Arnold Genthe to have his portrait done. London and Genthe were good friends. London opened the session by praising Genthe’s photography skills and lauding him.
You must have a wonderful camera…It must be the best camera in the world… You must show me your camera.
Genthe held his mouth open and snapped, using his standard studio camera, what is now a classic photograph of Jack London. Genthe let go of his tongue after the session was over.
Jack, I have read your books and they are excellent works of art. You must possess the finest typewriter in the entire world. You have to show it to us.
This Anonymous Jack London credit the camera bit has been “borrowed” many times and “updated”. Here’s one example plus a couple of riffs:
Now, while novices and intermediate photographers may not yet understand the fact that getting great images doesn’t depend on having great equipment, advanced shooters and pros certainly do. Is that to say they shouldn’t spend a lot on the latest equipment every chance they get? NO! People love their toys, at least while they’re still new.
Pro tip: Choose experience over equipment.
Here’s several irreverent push-backs that fall into the ‘Photographer as Worthless Hack’ category:
A noted brain surgeon approached my friend who teaches film-making at an acclaimed school. He wanted him to give him a crash course in filmmaking for the production of a film he was interested in. “Okay,” my friend said, but I won’t charge you for the course if you’ll swap me a two-week course in brain surgery. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do.” (Excerpted from the Professional Photographer’s Survival Guide, by Charles E. Rotkin)
If an old man asks a young girl for a date… That’s his business. If the young girl accepts… That’s her business. If the old man and the girl decide to marry… That’s their business. However, if they want great wedding photographs… THAT’S MY BUSINESS!!! Sign on the studio wall with anonymous
What’s the difference between a large pepperoni pizza and a photographer? A large pepperoni pie can feed four people. -Anonymous
Photography is a fast way to make a living. – Anonymous
It is rare to find a woman who is content with a picture of her self. – Elizabeth Metcalf