People will ask what camera you use to take great photos. Get over it

May 1, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

People will ask what camera you use to take great photos. Get over it

May 1, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

If you’re a photographer, I’m sure someone asked you the dreaded “What camera do you use?” question at least ten times. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all complained about it. But a recent video made me realize that it’s time we got over it. In this article, I’ll explain my point of view and why we shouldn’t feel so offended and bitter when someone assumes it’s our camera that takes great photos.

Photographer Bohdan Lee recently shared a TikTok video referring to what all of us have been through. Someone says how beautiful your photos are and then asks, “What camera do you use?”

@bohdanlee

The worst question to ask a photographer #photography #photographer #aesthetic #cinematicphotography

♬ billie eilish hotline bling cover – user56781804903

Just like you and Bohdan, I’ve also been through people seeing my photos, saying they were beautiful, and then asking about my camera. I’m not trying to take the high ground; it used to really annoy me, too. But this video made me realize something – it doesn’t annoy me anymore! I was surprised by this new sentiment I have, and I thought about what changed. And this is what I’d like to share, hoping that it will help you be more tolerant and forgiving, which will ultimately make you happier.

Not everyone knows what you know

As photographers, we know that it’s not the camera that takes good photos. It’s just a tool, and what makes photos good is our talent, knowledge, and skill. You can take crappy photos with the most expensive gear, and you can take stunning photos with a smartphone or your dad’s old film camera. You know it – and you subconsciously think that it’s implied.

However, that’s not the case. Non-photographers have no idea of the time and skill that stand behind your great photos. I’m 100% sure they don’t have bad intentions when they ask you the question about your camera, nor do they want to offend you. As a matter of fact, they’re trying to learn more about you and your craft.

What about other photographers asking about your camera?

Just like you, other photographers know that it’s not about the gear. So, when they ask you this question, it’s most likely just out of curiosity. Or perhaps you use the same camera brand and you can have a gear talk if that’s your cup of tea. But the bottom line is – no one is trying to offend you.

What can you reply?

The next time someone asks you about what camera you use, you have several options. It all depends on the situation and the person asking. Are they generally not into photography but they want to give you a compliment and learn more about you? Are they just making small talk? Are they newbie photographers or thinking about starting photography? Whatever the situation is, giving a salty response is not an option in either of them.

For example, I’d say what camera and phone I use and change the topic if I estimate someone’s just making small talk. Why waste my energy? If they’re genuinely interested in either photography in general or just my work, I’d give the gear information again, but note that it’s important to learn about light, composition, settings, etc. If they’re newbies or trying to get into photography – there’s nothing I’d rather do than help them step into this wonderful world. I’d be open to their questions, tell them all I know, and point them to useful resources. Once a teacher, always a teacher, I guess.

My point is that no one is trying to offend you or annoy you when they ask what camera you use to take your beautiful photos. It comes from curiosity or desire to learn more, and it’s meant as a compliment. A little clumsy, but still a compliment.

So, when someone asks you this the next time, try to remember that it’s all in good faith. Give them a smile and information, and don’t poison yourself by being angry about it. After all, you know what t takes to take great photos – and that’s what really counts!

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 responses to “People will ask what camera you use to take great photos. Get over it”

  1. Libby Sutherland Avatar
    Libby Sutherland

    The camera can help things along a tiny bit. Shoot the same scene with a phone and even a ten yr old DSLR and there will be a difference. But the real magic is in the light and in the feel of the moment. Joe McNally says it best about when all things come together — it’s “The Moment It Clicks.”

  2. Camera operator Hong Kong Avatar
    Camera operator Hong Kong

    The best camera is the one you have in your hands.

  3. 64Glens Avatar
    64Glens

    I reply “A fully manual DSLR and a pair of manually focused Zeiss lenses”.
    Ends the conversation in a heartbeat

  4. John Beatty Avatar
    John Beatty

    Yep, a bazillion time. I tell them the body and lens, no issue. However, in 2003 I was at an art festival and there was some contention with “artist” that there were “photographers” there. One such artist said to me “what camera did you take that picture with” in a very snide way. Without missing a beat, I said, “A metal and plastic mechanism I controlled the amount of light going through a series of lenses. What brushes do you use on that watercolor?”

  5. CraigI Avatar
    CraigI

    When people ask me, my wife tells a story:
    A socialite held dinner parties to show off her home and cooking skills. On one occasion, she invited a photographer. When they entered the socialite’s home, she asked: “I love your photos! You must have a great camera.”
    At the end of the evening, while leaving the photographer said: “That was a wonderful dinner! You must have a great oven.”