You Know You're A Photographer When, __________.

You Know You're A Photographer When, __________.

Reality is sometimes funnier than fiction when it relates to something we all do. In this situation, I asked my network of colleagues to fill in the blank, “You know you're a photographer when, ____.” The responses were better than I was expecting! Here are some of the best answers given by other photographers in the industry. Be sure to post your own answers in the comments as well! 

“Strangers approach you to snap a camera pic and you instruct them to move into the best light direction.” - Rita Granberry-El

“When you want to retouch/photoshop everyone's faces.” - Bryant Phethmanh

“Everything in life is set up to look good in print.” - Courtney Dailey

“You've got to park your car outside because the garage is turned into your photo studio.” - Kanoa Ulter

“ You can't seem to look at someone's face without wondering how good it would look retouched.” - Kanoa Ulter

“Your carry-on is way too heavy to be on the plane.” - Romi Burianova

“When you look at someone and can't concentrate on what they're saying because there's a freaking highlight on their nose.” - Hannah Rhymes

“You can't sit through a movie without questioning the damn hair-light which magically moves room to room.” - Phen Mas

“Seeing unique light makes you jump like a school girl.” - Phocus C. Jr.

“You start to frame everything you see.” - Butch

“You take more pictures on your iPhone than your actual camera.” - Kanoa Ulter

“When you spend more money on equipment in a year than you do on rent.” - Sky Cheshure

“When you are driving somewhere and you see the location as an editorial spread in a magazine.” - Sage Bell


All the quotes above were posted with their permission.

To see the full list of replies, go to the full Facebook thread here: (link)

We'd like to hear your best answers in the comment section below!

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Tam Nguyen's picture

You can’t seem to look at someone’s face without wondering how good it would look retouched. <~~~ I do this all the time hahaha

Kanoa Utler's picture

LOL! Yea my idea of beauty is completely skewed thanks to Photoshop! 

Stephen R Melling's picture

I'm not keen on this answer. Photography is about using light in my opinion. Not using photoshop. 

Find a well paid pro photographer who doesn't use Photoshop.

When you are looking a sexy/nude photo of a woman with your  friends (I'm a dude) and while everybody is checking the boobs, you are looking at the nice light fall, commenting how nice that soft light is, and checking the catchlights in the eyes trying to figure out the light modifiers.

This happens to me on everything. Pictures on the streets, magazines, tv, movies. Im always checking the catchlights and the shadows. Movies are the worst. I keep checking them for shadows, try to figure out how many lights there are, etc, instead of following the plot.

Lighting has ruined movies for me.

"Honey I promise, I was just looking at the light!"... and actually meaning it. 

Or the flip side to this: When you are looking at porn and thinking "COME ON this lighting is AWFUL! "

Ralph Hightower's picture

A few days ago, I was driving east towards the sunrise and saw gorgeous clouds with the sun hadn't yet cleared the horizon; I said to my wife, "Darn it! I don't have my camera with me."  Photography isn't my day job. So I took the picture with my Android cell phone.

But my Canon A-1 at the time was loaded with B&W film.

Elroy Aguiar's picture

When you tell your friends at a party to stop doing cheesy smiles and "pretend i am not here". 

 haha, so true ;)

You get pissed at the stay at home that's always at the kid's ball games taking pictures and offering up her self printed business cards with a her name DOT SmugMug DOT com account and she beats you out on a local wedding because she charges $150 instead of $3,000.

You don't want the customer who's only willing to pay $150...for a lifetime of memories accentuated by spot coloring, out of focus images, and bad lighting...

Did a job before new years at a crappy high school gym and the lady was complaining about the gym crap in the back ground. 150 is def not worth it anymore to me. Unless I have dry spell, who am I kidding. This equipment is not going to buy itself. 

When you can't afford to buy a vacation home.

...yet you take photos of someone elses

“Your carry-on is way too heavy to be on the plane.” – Romi Burianova

Mark Dub's picture

When you look at a glamour photo for the lighting and not the girl.

I dont know at what point this happened to me, but photos of the glamour variety are no longer about the girl first.

...You cant look anywhere in your home without seeing anything Photography related (an CF card, some Nikon boxes, batteries, an SD card, a lens here, a camera there....)
....You transform your complete livingroom into a studio
.....You watch a film with your girlfriend and while she has tears in her eyes during the most romantic scene, you stare hat the movie going "Damn what a beautiful lighting!"


when you get stressed out trying to decide which lenses cant go on vacation with the family

LandonWisePhoto's picture

When the equipment in your bag is worth more than the car you're driving

...or when you start thinking of a lens as a good deal because it is "only" $1,400.

Maarten de Boer's picture

So true haha :')

When you randomly start to move someone's face during a conversation to check what their best angle is.

When you tell your wife to dim the lights in the living room by 1 stop.

"When you explain to everyone on family birthday photo a Peter Hurley's neck thing!" :)

I do this! haha

BWAHAHAHA YES!!! I do this allllllllllllll (with that many L's) the time.

David Asch's picture

When you see anything black with red piping and immediately think 'L glass'.

when you even sees what no one else sees