It’s a nice camera. I’m sure he takes great pictures

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If you clicked on this story, you’ve probably been told many times. The photographers will heave a sigh of exasperation. Non-photographers will have no idea why anyone would be bothered by this. But yes, you have a nice camera. And it is very capable of taking great photos. In today’s world, no one makes bad cameras. But there are tons of awful photographs made with the cream going all the way to the top in certain situations.

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Why would anyone tell you that you have a great camera? Well, I’ve come to understand it more over the years.

First of all, they don’t say anything bad. Instead, as photographers, we’re trained to take it the wrong way. Mix that with the way society works, and we probably can’t accept a compliment or accept words of affirmation and adoration. These people are trying to make conversation with you. Otherwise, they just give you positive energy and how we take that is up to us.

Second, you probably have a really nice camera. I have often received this compliment in different ways. When I have a refurbished vintage camera, a Fujifilm, a Leica or an instant camera, someone will tell me that I have a nice camera. The way they say it is full of adoration. They look at it as fancy jewelry, a nice car, a nice scarf, etc. It really is a compliment to what you are wearing. In this case, you carry this beautiful camera.

The other way people say it has to do with it being just a compliment. When I used a Nikon z9, someone at my yoga studio told me it was a nice camera. But the compliment remained empty, empty and just for conversation. I ignored it, even though she thought it was professional equipment and looked expensive. I ended up saying thank you to him. Again, it was his way of sending positive energy in my direction.

That part of the statement probably doesn’t bother photographers as much as the fact that it can take great pictures. Of course, the photographer takes the pictures. But some photographers can only take good pictures with certain equipment. Have you ever seen a photographer who only uses autofocus work with a manual focus lens? Sometimes it’s a bit comical. “I’m sure it takes some great shots,” it says when the person tries to take the compliment further. I have seen this offend photographers because we are often in our own world. Instead, many of us need to be present. Your mind can be both your best ally and your worst enemy. You don’t have to be inside your mind when all of this is happening. It’s not traumatic. Instead, you can present to the environment around you. That’s the point of street photography in some ways. However, that is also just the purpose of photography. You have to find a balance between what is outside and what is inside.

If you have a nice camera, be proud. Show it. Start a conversation if you are comfortable and do not feel in danger. If it’s a sincere compliment, keep going. But use it to start a deeper conversation and connect people. Do more than just chat.

Here’s a bigger tip: ask people what they’re looking forward to capturing.




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