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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Previous comments

I believe that your a photography when... You controle your Camera / Your camera doesn't controle / dictate to you. Your camera should just be a panting brush to create art. Your controle, decisions and movement create the image :-)

When you look at a photo and try to deconstruct it to figure out where the lights are coming from and if it was gridded or not.
Seeing a sweeping vista and thinking to yourself. (I can place models, here here and here. Then all i will need is a main light for fill and use the sun for the hair light).

I had a fire in my house last year.  The first thing a lot of people asked me was "is your camera ok?".  I'm not a professional photographer but my camera pretty much stays in my car.  Its nothing to see me pull over and take a shot of something thats caught my attention.  What does it matter if you run late for work or an appointment so long as you don't miss that great shot......

when ypu realize that your camera is your TOOL in which you capture a moment or image that will NEVER be there again.

When you notice how bad the lighting in some movies is. Example: a daytime scene, and it's sunny outside and you know this because the characters just walked in. They sit down, the window is to the left and there's supposed to be a solid wall to the right, but all the light is coming from the right, so you can't pay attention to whatever is being said because you're wondering how did the DP figured out that something like that would make sense? How in da h-e-double hockey sticks is the light supposed to come from a solid wall that they just showed a few seconds ago does not have a light source? That's the rabbit hole that you go down until the end of the movie. 

can't go for a car ride without scoping out new places to use for a photo shoot

Sam Green's picture

Your camera gear cost more then your car

Garrows5's picture

When you are portaging more camera gear than camping gear

It seems that a lot of people equals being a photographer to having lots of gear and/or retouching skills.  I believe that photography is art.  I'd liked to have read answers like "you know you're a photographer when you can take a nice pic using a shoebox with a hole."

And since I'm opening my mouth with such an opinion, here's my stuff:

When a stranger passes you a camera in a bar/club for a group shot of their friends and you start moving chairs/glasses out the way before taking the shot.

The iPhone quote needs to go :p

Tiffany Montano's picture

You get up at 2:00 AM, drive hundreds of miles to be at the right spot at the right time only to find it's snowed in and you still take pictures.

Ajith's picture

...When you see more than what others see.

..Wait hours for the right time to click.
My youtube  -
My Flickr -

When you look at long exposures of cityscapes and count the apature blades in the lens flare, before actually enjoying the photograph.

“Your carry-on is way too heavy to be on the plane.” - Sad truth about this comment... I spent 5 months in Rome, Italy. I got very restricted access into the Holy See and was able to photograph the Pope's apartment, the Noble Laureate Gardens, etc. My carry-on was too heavy to get through security in Chicago (after making it from Rome to Milan and Milan to Chicago) on my way home to St. Louis. They took it. It had my camera, my computer, my film, my lenses, etc.... I never saw it again. So yeah. Take the bus if they tell you your carry-on is too heavy.

When you started to click that shutter-release button.

When you have so good prepared your scene before the shooting, so after you don't have too much to do in PS.