Rules of a cool photographer.

Written by "nablyudatell" (original Russian text)
Translated by Igor Roshchin
  1. The first rule of a cool photographer: Do not show your photographs.
  2. The second rule of a cool photographer: Do not show your photographs!
    If somebody asks you to show them, - make an excuse. Tell about terabytes of raw images on your computer, being busy, copy- and other rights, agreements with "Harper's Bazaar", "Esquire", and other fancy magazines and advertisement agencies.
  3. If you have a blog, post there a few photos of renown photographers with moderately positive comments such as "That's how one should do it!".
    Theorize a lot!
  4. As an exception, you can post 2-3 abstract-looking photos with a note "I am just fooling around" (or "this are my juvenile experiments"). No more than that!
  5. Register on all possible forums, mailing lists, websites devoted to photography. Post often, criticize moderately, without fanatism. Use expressions like "so-so", "boring shit", "the horizon level is off", "faded colors", "is there an idea?" (variation: "is there a concept?"), etc. Really cool photographer can always find something to criticize. Never praise. Mock newbies until their full destruction.
  6. Learn the terminology. The words "expocorrection", "bracketing", "crop", "polarization" should always be in your arsenal. Use them!
  7. Learn the jargon and use it fearlessly.
  8. Disdain the rules, but ridicule those who disregard them.
  9. Learn names of 2-3 famous photographers, and know the Cliff's notes description of their work. Use this when theorizing and criticizing.
  10. Install the latest version of Photoshop. Master the "stamp" tool. Tell everybody that you don't use Photoshop on principle. Ridicule all who uses it.
  11. Photo filters are crouches for disabled. Universal lenses are suitable for handless and footless. A really cool photographer uses different lenses for each situation, and uses his feet and head for moving objects closer and farther away.
  12. Buy a camera.
    Remember, Canon belongs to cheap pop-culture; Panasonic, Sony, Olympus and Konica are all garbage. In the worst case, buy Nikon or Pentax, but you'd be better off with Leica or Hasselblad. If you don't have enough money, buy a wide-angle "Kiev". You don't need to put any expensive film in it - just carry the camera with you.
  13. The more lenses, flashes, filters, exponometers are in your photobag, the cooler you are!
  14. Cool pros use film or the most expensive digital SLRs. If you don't have enough money for 1D Mark, carry an old film camera, motivating it by the fact that digital is inferior to the film. Argue about wrong color reproduction, low resolution, and the young age of the technology.
  15. If you are using a DSLR, claim that you ignore the screen and even the built-in exponometer, setting everything based on your vision and expertize.
  16. Get a friend with a photo-studio and drink with him regularly.
  17. Every so often, disappear for a couple of days. Claim that you had a large-volume contract and you were stuck in the studio, or that you flew in the "National Geographic" helicopter to shoot geysers in Kamchatka.
  18. Display on your desk a certificate of some photo-school, but don't forget to mention that you have outgrown your teachers.
  19. Memorize Ken Rockwell's article. Disprove it or substantiate it depending on the situation.
  20. Learn all the camera models back to the 40s. Read the new releases, and know all modern cameras, lenses, flashes.
  21. Be aware of photo exhibitions. You don't need to attend them, familiarizing yourself with the reviews would suffice.
If you start using these rules, sooner or later everybody around will recognize a cool photographer in you.

[Translator's update:]

19a. Call him "Kenny-da-boy"

© Copyright 2008 (Original Russian text) "Nabludatell"
© Copyright 2008 (English text) Igor Roshchin