Thursday, June 7, 2012

"What Kind Of Camera Do You Have" And Other Discourteous, Ill-Mannered, Insolent Questions

I’ve taken and sold lots of photographs, and even put myself through college taking pictures. I can’t count the number of times people have asked, “Ooooh, what kind of camera do you have?”
Why is that?

I’ve written and sold many dozens of stories and articles, even wrote a book or two, and no one has ever said, “Hey, nice article. What kind of word processor do you use?”
Why is that?

Aren’t photography and writing both forms of creative expression? Don’t both require technical skill enhanced and empowered by individual sensitivity and emotion and vision? Aren’t they both the result of perspective, of thought, even passion? Aren’t they both intimate and personal, and when done well, universal?

Aren’t they both, you know, Art?

So why is it that the one seems to be the result, perhaps the inevitable result, of mere equipment, while the other is not? Did anyone ever say, “Leonardo, that’s some picture – what kind of brushes you using?” or, “Michy, that David, it’s nice. What kind of chisel you do that with?”
I doubt it.

Is it just me? Has this happened to you?

What do you think?


  1. I was a yearbook photographer way back in college; now, not so much. Mostly I just sing, and play barely adequate piano. A fellow at church tries to encourage me with statements like, "Keep practicing. You're not nearly as bad as you used to be," a statement akin to, "For a fat girl, you don't sweat much."
    Serenity matters to me, ya just gotta let it go.


    1. cm - well then, I suggest tossing the piano and dusting off the ol' SLR.

      Are you any relation to ee?

      Thanks for writing.


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