As photographers prepare to take themselves off to the annual trade fair in Birmingham I thought I'd resurrect this old article - a lighthearted look at the different kind of people working in this wonderful industry of ours .....
The Photographer Tribes
Over the years I've noticed that there are a number of different photographer tribes! Recognise yourself in any?
The 'Er-Wazzat-Then?' Tribe
I've got a new camera - I've just got the camera out of the box and the shoot starts in 15 minutes, but's it's ok, I'm sure I can get by, I mean, how much more difficult is a Canon 5D Mark II to use than a point and shoot? What's this button? Bugger, I seem to be taking loads of video. Anyone know how to turn this off? Oh look, there's a whole lot of creative settings here, and I can just set the camera to Auto. Phew, everything's going to be ok!
The Brand-Junky Tribe
Apple have brought out a new product, it's called the iNeedit - it's not clear what it is yet, but I'm ready to go out and buy it now, can't wait for it to be released in the UK - I mean, it's from Apple, for goodness sake! It must be good and it HAS to be something I need - look, Steve Job told me I can't live without it, so it's got to be true! Apparently there are two models, the entry level iNeedit, and the pro model, the iNeeditreally - I'm thinking it's the iNeeditreally for me.
Oh, wait, what's that? Ooooh, Nikon are bringing out a new camera ... what do you mean I don't need it? Of course I do, Nikon have brought this camera out for people just like me with all sorts of upgrades from my last camera, I MUST need it! Look, it can shoot a black cat in a coal cellar! Thank goodness I still have the day job to pay for all of this!
The Gotta-Have-It Tribe
I've heard that Some BigName Photographer has one of those new video lights from America and he's using it at weddings. Crikey, I've gotta have it, I mean, if he thinks this is the right tool for the job, it must be the one for me. I haven't the foggiest what I'm doing with it, but who cares, this is going to make my photographs amazing because I've got the same video light as Some BigName Photographer. Goodness me, it's expensive, but hey, it's worth it. What do you mean, he's sponsored by the company to say all these good things about the light? No, I'm sure he loves it and uses it at every wedding. Surely?
The It's-OK-I'll-Put-It-Right-In-Photoshop Tribe
Damn, I messed up on the shoot, but it's ok, I've got Photoshop, I can put it right when I open up the images in Lightroom, and I'll get rid of all those dirt spots in Photoshop - I mean, that's what it's for, isn't it? Now what does this thing do in Lightroom? Crikey, I've got a lot of images from that shoot, but hey, it looks like I've got a good 25 or 30 photographs from all those 2,000 photographs I took. Goodness, look at the time, 1am, and I'm still working on all these images! But it's ok, I'm putting it all right.
The Bravado Tribe
I'm not too sure f-stop what I'm doing, but if I shutter speed talk a lot of technical garbage then ISO everyone will think I TTL know what's going on!
The Who-Cares Tribe
I've got this early 5D, bit scratched, but it does the job for me, now, next assignment, bring it on!
The How-Dare-You Tribe
I can't believe it! I mean, how can you! How dare you pull to pieces my choice of kit! Everyone knows that Canon is better than Nikon is better than Canon is better than Nikon is better than any other brand on the planet. Damn, my auto focus has gone down again - is that some back focusing going on? Shhh, don't tell anyone I bought this pile of junk! Best not tell the other half how much it cost.
There may well be other tribes, but I reckon most of us fit into one or more of these - so as you think of buying new kit, just spend a moment thinking about which Tribe you belong to, and whether you need, no, really really need, that equipment you're planning on buying this year!