You Are Not A Photographer!

I discovered the most amazing website whilst exploring the wondrous internet.  The ‘you are not a photographer’ site looks through countless facebook pages and looks for dubious images from ‘professional’ photographers.  Digital cameras are getting cheaper and more powerful and it’s easily within the grasp of many to get hold of kit that looks impressive.  The problem is that being a photographer is not just having a big camera and Photoshop.  This is not the place to argue what actually makes a good photographer, but an understanding of composition and light has got to be on anyone’s list.  Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are amazing pieces of software but it takes more skill to apply the tool subtly than to drag out every trick in the box.  All clearly things that some of these ‘professionals’ have not yet grasped.

When you look at the photos in this post, and hopefully go on to the ‘you are not a photographer’ website I hope you’ll find a few images that make you laugh.  Remember though that these individuals are charging for their service and have the audacity to call themselves professional.

All of the images are the copyright of their respective photographer, thank goodness!  Website link to the ‘you are not a photographer’ site at the bottom of this post.

Here are some of my favourites – your comments are more than welcome!


10:  Semi-transparent layers are fab, everyone loves then and when used properly and with some thought can literally add depth to a photo.  Used badly though and it goes horribly wrong.  This poor baby that hopefully didn’t actually have a deformity that turned it’s head into a giant foot.  With an ill-fitting toe ring!


9:  There are times when using ‘spot colour’ is perfect.  Those times were in the late 1990s and that fad should have passed a long time ago.  Applied with the gentle touch of a bear swiping a bee’s nest from its honey soaked face this image is just plain bad.


8:  For all those people that like crazy filters and plug-ins.  Bubbles are great but sometimes a photographer can just get carried away.  Would you pay for this shot if you were the couple in the image?


7:  Solarisaton.  This is a process that originated in the very early days of photography and is like a negative print that can be done in colour.  This possibly cute kid has been turned into an evil zombie baby with just a few clicks of a mouse.  What mother couldn’t possibly want a massive print of this on their living room wall.


6:  A sweet little kitten.  By controlling the depth of field a photographer can decide what is in focus and what is an attractive, non-distracting blur.  This professional photographer has been taking pictures of pets for over twenty years.  Just how bad must those early shots have been if this is the pinnacle of his/her career!  I might be wrong though  maybe this was a shoot for a brush lovers website.


5:  The pointless portfolio shot.  When putting together a portfolio a real photographer realises that the whole thing will be judged by the weakest shot.  With that in mind what the hell was this ‘professional’ thinking when he included this.  More importantly what the heck is going on under that towel?


4: The professional portrait shoot.  Every aspiring model wants a few head-shots in her books so she can show potential clients.  It is important that these images reflect the actual model the client will be booking and so they should look as natural as possible.  The photographer obviously knows that it’s all about the eyes but has clearly forgotten one of the golden rules: Less is More!


3:  Blown highlights.  They are often a problem for photographers, but modern software can usually take these overly bright spots and work miracles to bring back some of that precious lost detail.  At the other end of the scale are those photographers who are trying to create a perfect blank background to allow their subjects to stand out.  When it goes wrong the effect is anything but special. What makes this image for me is the photographer’s defence to the comment about the brightness…


2:  A perfect excuse for me to share an important photography tip.  When I’m shooting I don’t check the centre of the frame first, I check the four corners to force my eye to look at the whole picture.  This simple trick means that you can spot anything distracting in the background that is easily missed if you are focusing on the subject first.  The follow image shows what happens if you don’t use this technique and then post the image in your ‘pro-photographer’ Facebook page.


1:  And finally my favourite shot from the website.  Baby photos are snapshots of cherished moments when your little one is changing rapidly from week to week.  Great baby photos are actually very tricky to capture properly but done properly will be looked at by their parents for years to come.

I’m sure the client asked for a cute shot of their baby dressed in Christmas clothes for a lovely card for grandma.

What they got was a shot of a dead baby that had just been dropped on the floor.  More disturbing is that someone actually clicked ‘like’!



The link for the full website is HERE.  Many of the older pictures are no longer available as photographers remove them from their sites, so enjoy them while you can!



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