11 Common (and Stupid) Questions I Hear on a Photo Shoot

We hear it all the time. The questions and comments from strangers that make us wonder about the collective intelligence of our society. Are people really that stupid? Yes, they are, but we should keep it in perspective and remember that each of us has no doubt asked questions just as dumb of people we encounter in other fields. (Well, maybe not as dumb as #1 and #2. I mean, come on, you kidding me?)

Oh, I don’t always wish to respond to people as I’m indicating here. Just trying to have a little fun. (Well, except maybe for my desired responses to #1 and #2. I mean, come on, you kidding me?)

I’m sure most of you have heard all of these. Please share any additional ones.

Fishing boats at twilight

So the tourist asks, "What are you shootin'?" To which I reply, "Why, the NASCAR race, of course!"


12 (Yeah, I know. But I couldn’t decide which one to leave out. So just consider this one a bonus.) 
Q: What kind of camera is that?
My usual response: It’s a Nikon.
My desired response: Who gives a flying flip? It’s the photographer that makes the photos, not the camera.

Q: A nice day for photos, isn’t it?
It’s the middle of a clear day and I’m hiking back from a morning shoot at a waterfall. I’m in the forest and contrast is horrible. No way am I going to be taking pictures in this situation. But all the tourist knows is that the sun is shining so it MUST be a good time for photos.
My usual response: Sure is.
My desired response: Sure, if you’re photographing dooky. Then it won’t matter if you’re photos look like dooky.

Q: A horrible day for photos, isn’t it?
I’m at a waterfall and a light misty foggy rain fills the air. The light is positively gorgeous. But all the tourist knows is that the sun isn’t shining, so it MUST be a bad time for photos.
My usual response: It’s not so bad. Sometimes weather like this can make good photos.
My desired response: Leave me alone and let me work in this great light.

Q: Wow, that sure is a nice camera. I bet it takes great pictures, right?
My usual response: The camera is just a tool. It’s the photographer that makes the photos.
My desired response: Wow, that sure is a nice tablet. I bet you can write great novels on it.

Q: Get any good shots?
My usual response: Sure hope so.
My desired response: And just why do you care? What effect will it have on your vacation whether or not a photographer you’ve never met gets good or bad photos? 

Q: Will you take our picture?
My usual response: Sure, I’d be happy to.
My desired response: Are you sure you want a permanent record of how you look?

Q: Are you a professional?
My usual response: I guess you could say that.
My desired response: Yes, would you like my autograph?

Q: What are you shootin’?
There’s a tree dead ahead. My camera is pointed right at it.
My usual response: That tree.
My desired response: Are you blind or just an idiot?

Q: You work for the National Geographic?
My usual response: No, I wish.
My desired response: There are 785 million photographers in the world. National Geographic has 20 of them. What is it about this encounter that makes you think I’m one of them?

Q: My [insert some kind of point & shoot camera or smart phone here] takes really good pictures.
Okay, this is not a question, but it’s a comment I hear all the time.
My usual response: I’m sure it does.
My desired response: My underwear is really comfortable.

Q: You a photographer?
My usual response: Yes.
My desired response: No, I’m actually an undercover agent for the Department of Non-Intelligent Citizens. We’re on a campaign drive for new recruits. Sir, I need you to come with me.

Q: Takin’ pictures?
My usual response: Yes.
My desired response: No, I’m working for the National Science Foundation. This “camera” is actually a monitoring device to determine citizens who have a high degree of intelligence. Oh, look, it hasn’t found anyone yet.

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