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Photographers are a different breed of people. You can’t put them into a single category, because they come from all walks of life. They can be full time doctors with amazing talent or they can be full time pro photographers who spend their time in harsh environments waiting for the perfect shot. They are therefore on both sides of the border between art and profession.
All this makes them awesome people to have as friends. But don’t be fooled: it’s not always easy to be friends with a photographer. Their egos can skyrocket sometimes, and occasionally their sensitivity is only matched by that of a newborn puppy.
If you are already a photographer, this might sound familiar. It’s ok, you don’t have to openly admit it, and we’ll keep it between ourselves. If you are just starting your road in photography, there might be some more experienced photographers you would like to be friends with, but you might find it difficult. This guideline should help you. It can also be subtly shared with people from other lines of work who are having trouble getting in your good graces. Let’s get started!
Compliment their work!
The absolute rule of thumb if you want to be friends with a photographer is to compliment his work. You could be the rich popular friend everyone wants to have, but if you want to be friends with a photographer and don’t compliment their work, you are not looking at a beautiful future together as friends. It’s also a good idea to mean it if you say a compliment.
Be careful around their gear
Even if you are best friends with a photographer, not taking care of their gear will turn you into their enemy. This is understandable up to some point. Most serious photographers and even the occasional amateur spend small fortunes on their gear. Not being careful around that kind of investment is equal to lack of respect. It’s like you have a BMW and your new friends brings it back scratched or slams the door like it’s their cousin’s trailer.
Give them the right gifts
Befriending a photographer will cost you. Every time Christmas or their birthday is around the corner, you need to have a decent penny put aside. They aren’t the kind who likes symbolic gifts. No, it has to be something they can use for their passion/job. Even if it’s a filter or a memory card (which they most likely have plenty of), it’s still going to make your wallet thinner.
Share their taste
Sometimes, your photographer friend will want to show you his idols. And they might be photographers who suck just as much as a kid who just bought a DSLR. The thing is, if you insult a photographer’s idols, you insult him/her. It’s like going to a band that has another band as inspiration and bad mouthing it like there’s no tomorrow.
If you do like your friend’s idols though, be prepared for a photography overdose.
Go on road trips together
Most photographers love traveling, even if it is not their bread and butter. They enjoy it because traveling means new photographic opportunities. Some like to organize road trips, others like to snap their fingers and do everything spontaneously. If you’re not up to the challenge, you’re probably better off with accountant friends.