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10 Photography Phrases That Need to Go

By SLR Lounge Official on February 28th 2017

We’ve all cringed at the sound of another photographer saying a cliche phrase in order to get their subject to emote or comments we hear while shooting. Maybe it’s the age old “say cheese!” that peeves you or the ever so annoying “I can do that with my iPhone” that gets you riled up.

We’ve all been there and heard that, but let’s take a look at some of the most obnoxious phrases that need to go according to our SLR Lounge Facebook Community Members:

1. “I’ll Fix it in post” – Gideon Dariyal Heller

We are all guilty of saying this at one point in our careers, but it’s the ones that always rely on this method that are truly the worst. All of us want to shake these photographers by the shoulders and just say “Get it right in-camera!”!

2. “light is light” – Pye Jirsa

Golden hour is clearly a better light than noon-day sun; well-made flashes that hold color and power consistency are better than cheap ones; bad constant lights with a low CRI (Color Rendition Index) that render crappy colors are inferior to high-quality constant lights. So no, not all light is equal, light isn’t just light.

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3. “Oh, you have a day job?” – Gary Barragan

There is a large majority of photographers out there that use the art as a side hustle while maintaining a career elsewhere. This phrase is just so derogatory in its implications and has alternative ways of being asked that don’t make it sound like being a photographer isn’t enough. So yes, for those friends that we haven’t seen in awhile that are wondering if we are still photographers, catch me on Instagram, how ‘bow dat!

4. “you must have a really good camera” – Janis Loran

What makes a picture great? Is it the equipment or the photographer behind it? Great pictures can be taken with minimalistic gear but it truly takes a good eye and ability to execute to make a vision come to life.

5. “Momtographer” – Stephanie Lane

Whatever happened to equality? How come the phrase ‘Dadtographer’ never became popular? Let’s put this to rest please because unlike photography categories (landscape, fashion, wedding, etc.) ‘moms’ shouldn’t be sectioned off due to their interests.

6. “I’m a natural light photographer” – Brian Carter

Pretty much all of us love shooting natural light, it’s how the naked eye sees scenes, so who is going to out right admit – ‘I am a flash-only photographer?’ This phrase should really be changed to “I’m an available light photographer” because really, that’s what you are.

7. “chasing the light” – Matthew Saville Baldon

Landscape photographers have heard this all too often and are, quite frankly, embarrassed by the phrase. It seems to be breeding this “do anything for the shot” mentality that is increasingly putting photographers, models/clients, and wildlife/nature at risk of damage, destruction or death.

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8. “togs” – Damon James

While some may refer to their medical professionals as ‘Docs’, it really doesn’t make much sense to shorten photographers to ‘Togs’. Yes, this also includes Photogs, ‘Tographers, and whatever other ridiculous nicknames people have come up with.

9. “Canon or nikon?” – James Wasswa

Sony, Fuji, & Leica users, I apologize on behalf of the photography-uneducated population that doesn’t appreciate you, or any other camera brand out there. Since mainstream media pushes the advertisement and marketing of Canon & Nikon most, all of you are left in the dust and therefore aren’t on the radar for the general population.

10. “just one more” – Neil van Niekerk

Fitting that this is the last of the bunch, but once again, we are all guilty of this: keeping our clients in a fixed position or location for the sake of getting one more shot. Most of the time,it’s more so for the security of knowing you have the shot you want duplicated or triplicated for that matter, but why waste your shutter count?

What are some of your least liked phrases that you have heard as a photographer? Comment down below, we want to hear!

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Articles by SLR Lounge Official are created by multiple authors. They represent official announcements by SLR Lounge.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. joel babilonia

    Really? These lingos are fads and we will always have new ones come and go. Lets stop this already and just say whatever you feel like saying.  You cant control what others say or do. Stay true to yourself and be happy and enjoy what you do no matter what.  Learn the craft and experiment. Dont try to please others or gain their approval to make you happy, listen to yourself and do or say, what really makes you happy. Be you and recognize that some of those who try to put you down or tell you dont do or say this sometimes are jealous or insecure themselves. Lets move the art forward and if a word can encourage others to pick a camera be a “momtographer or dadtographer or brotographer blowing up images and headshots with bokehlicious or creamy images” let it f-ing be! JMHO!

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  2. Aidan Morgan

    I heard someone say “critical light mission” once and I’d be very happy if I never had to hear that one again.

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  3. Frank Kendralla

    Head shot, blow up the image, I only shoot babies, etc – Wow! No wonder why folks don’t want a memory of them created. The words used sound as if we are in war.  What happened to the word enlarge an image to ‘fill in the size’, or Portrait from the shoulders up, or I only photograph (create memories) of couples.  

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  4. Bill Bentley

    “Stunning”. This word is used a LOT by people commenting on photos and it needs to STOP. 99% of photos are NOT stunning. To anyone. Just stop it.

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  5. Heratch Ekmekjian

    Okay, I’ll admit to having used the term “Togs”, but really does anyone use these other phrases?

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    • Shivani Reddy

      Heratch Ekmekjian You would be surprised haha the originaly question in our community page shows the numbers:

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    • Barry Robinson

      My father was a commercial photographer,  and back in the day the only way to change an image was understanding how chemicals interacted with light. It took genuine skill and an understanding to get a good image, no mater how much natural talent you had. People have become far too dependant on technology to do things for them.  Plugin’s and TTL automates just about everything, which is probably why so may people’s work looks the same. Don’t get me wrong, I love Photoshop as much as the next person [I used to be a software engineer] and I’m not a ludite by any means. It’s just that when I look back to some of the images I grew up arround there seemed to be so much more care placed on the actual craft. The amateurs from my youth took more care, and had more love for what they did than a lot of people who call themselves professionals today. 

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  6. Ralph Vazquez

    I always love it when I am out enjoying myself and other photographers feel the need to tell you that the light isn’t good enough, color isn’t going to happen or the clouds aren’t right.  

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  7. Tom Stoncel

    Usage of the words “glass” and “bokeh” need to stop, now.

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  8. S Zanki

    re: 9. “Canon or nikon?” – James Wasswa, Sony, Fuji, & Leica users, I apologize on behalf of the photography-uneducated .  Why not also apologize to Olympus and Lumix users or is bigger always better?

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  9. David Hodgins

    We also need to get rid of the ones that we, in our own industry, have used past the point of death.

    You already referenced “Get it right in camera”. That one excludes the HDR folks, the composite folks, and if you’re going to tell people to get it right in camera, don’t be talking about pulling shadows or changing white balance after the fact.

    “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer”. Sure. Then stop reviewing (or reading reviews) of what this new camera does, or how that new lens will perform. But why shoot a wide-angle lens if you can do a pano in post? Except then you’re not getting it “right” in camera.

    We place far too many limits on ourselves and our industry when we continually seek to define ourselves into this niche or that one.

    Who has the time to tell their friends (photographic or otherwise) that they are a semi-pro Canon body, Sigma lens, Phottix flash using nature and wildlife photographer that shoots studio portraits with speedlights when they not shooting wildlife in natural light, who processes RAW files in Lightroom and uses MacPhun for noise reduction and Nik for sharpening as layers in Photoshop?

    We need to quit segregating each other, and ourselves. Do you pick up the camera you spent hard-earned money on to make a picture of some kind with intent? You’re a Photographer. ‘Nuff said.

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  10. Andy & Amii Kauth

    We have been trying to get “shoot” and “shooting” and “images” out of our vocabulary. We are, after all, photographers, who photograph. We want our couples to actually print their “images,” right? Get it off the computer and into albums and onto walls! :)

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    • Shivani Reddy

      This one is a hard one for me, it’s just so much easier to say it sometimes haha 

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