I'm inaugurating a new feature - "Ask a..." anything you like. This time we are asking photographers about what some perceive as an annoying question. The idea is to ask pertinent questions and have someone with a particular occupation answer as honestly as they can. If it's controversial, even better. We all need a bit of controversy every now and then, no? If you have any pertinent question you'd like to see answered by anyone, drop me a line in the comments, I'll get it answered for you!
Do you hate it when people ask you for camera recommendations?
Yes. Mostly because they don't tell you what they want to use it for. Or, they say "which camera will let me take the best pictures?" Or you see people running around with digital SLR's all set on auto. What a waste of money.
What annoys me is the assumption behind that question. Because there are still a lot of people out there thinking that it’s the camera that makes the photo. As for the question itself, there are hundreds of new cameras coming out every year and I’m no gear geek, so it’s usually hard for me to answer to such a question.
It doesn't annoy me, at all, when people are interested in photography or have a problem to solve. We can talk it over and I can give them my two cents. It doesn't bother me when they're just trying to be pleasant and make conversation. I now get that. It does annoy me when "What camera should I get?" is immediately followed up by comments like "What's the point? it will be obsolete in six months." Or "But don't real photographers use film, anyway?" (So why did you ask?) Or, "It's the photographer not the camera." (Indeed) Or they begin to regurgitate reviews and test reports. (IOTW, they have a camera porn habit.) I tend to agree with everything they say, it's less work. One day, if I'm in a lousy mood, I'll ask to see some photos.