What Type of Photographer Are You?

What Type of Photographer Are You?


In the world of photography, everyone seems to fall into certain categories or somewhere in between. There is nothing wrong with either but most photographers seem to be one of these; technical photographers or creative. Technical photographers are more about getting it in-camera, while creative photographers are more focused on composition and post-processing. However, there are others as well, and while you may not think you are one of these, you might fall into one of the others. So what type of photographer are you?

What Type of Photographer Are You?

Photographers all over the place at a popular tourist place in Australia. They are all different and take photos for different reason. There are a lot of different types of photographers.

Technical photographers

A technical photographer is one that likes to know exactly what their camera does and how it works. They understand how white balance will affect their images and what kelvin means in regards to the color scale. Generally, these photographers will know what the sweet spot is for their lens (meaning which aperture will give the best and sharpest images).

Getting the best possible image from the camera is how these photographers like to work. You will hear them talking about how they like to get the image right in-camera, meaning that they don’t want to do any post-processing, or rather they don’t want to do too much. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t also creative, but the technical aspects are more important.

What Type of Photographer Are You?

A technical photographer might just do some basic processing to an image like this and leave it as it is.

Creative photographers

This type of photographer is less concerned about how the camera works and more interested in the composition and what they can do with the camera. You will often find they don’t understand a lot about their camera, other than the basics.

The more creative ones won’t have any issues with post-processing and doing what they can to achieve the results they want. Editing images is part of their creative workflow.

What Type of Photographer Are You?

A creative photographer might try to do a lot of different things to an image and see if they can change it, make it their own.

Other types of photographers

While most of us will fall into one of the above, there are a lot of other categories that many of us will fit into as well. The technical versus creative side is more about what type of photographer you are, but the following says more about why you take photos. Some will fit into more fun type categories, while there are others that are a lot more serious about their craft. You may also find that you fit in more than one of these.

The Fun Photographer

There are a lot these sorts of photographers out there, they often just use phones and are not interested in any technical aspects at all. They are more interested in just taking photos for fun. They will usually only use the cameras that are in their phones.

This category of photographer will take a lot of selfie images. You see them in many places with their backs to the sights as they photograph themselves in front of them. The don’t take photography seriously and for many, the images will go to social media and possibly nowhere else.

In some ways, many of us fit into this category. We are all guilty of taking selfies and taking photos just for fun. There’s nothing wrong with this.

What Type of Photographer Are You?

People at popular tourist place taking photos of themselves with their phone. They are having fun taking photos.

The Social Photographer

For some people, joy comes from going out with others to do activities or hobbies. There are a lot of people who are like this, and we call them social photographers. They have cameras, but the only time they use them is when they go out during photography excursions with others who are like them, or groups of people.

They may not have the most expensive gear, but it is good enough to take images and share the experience with other photographers.

What Type of Photographer Are You?

A group of photographers out together enjoying the social aspect of photography.

The Holiday Photographer

It is hard to believe, but there are people who only take photos when they go on holidays. I have a friend who is one of these. She has learned how to use a DSLR, but she only uses it when she is travelling. She has no interest in taking photos other than to record her trips.

There are other people who are the same. Holidays can be expensive and remembering them is important. So, for these photographers it is vital to know how to take photos so they can capture those places to help them relive their holidays.

What Type of Photographer Are You?

A man holidaying in Melbourne taking photos of the Block Arcade.

The Hobby/Amateur Photographer

There are many photographers that fall into this category, the hobby or amateur photographer. They are usually people who like taking photos for leisure. They don’t do it to earn money, but as something they can do in their spare time.

Going out on the weekends or days off when work and family life allows. They often have gear that is fairly basic as they can’t afford to spend that much money on their hobby. There is no reason to believe the images they create are not good, in fact most of these photographers still take what they do seriously and will learn what they can to take good photos.

What Type of Photographer Are You?

A hobby/amateur photographer taking photos around an old building.

The Serious Amateur Photographer

In this category, you will find the next level of hobby photographers. They do it for their own interest but they are far more serious about it. They spend as much time as they can out taking photos. Often, they will learn everything they can about their cameras and photography in general.

They can be really rigid in their thinking and you might find a lot of them don’t believe in post-processing. In some ways, they can be very technical photographers and because of this they often have the best gear they can afford. Many will have professional level photography equipment.

They can be like professionals, but in many ways they still do it for fun.

What Type of Photographer Are You?

Serious amateur photographer getting ready to take a photo.

The Professional Photographer

They say a professional photographer is anyone who makes money from photography. The reality is a lot do, you could say that someone who sells a photo has made money, so that put them into this category. Perhaps, it should mean making a living by doing photography. Whether that is a lot or not is up to the individual.

The professional doesn’t listen to what is right or wrong in photography and will do what they must to get the image for their client. They can be technical, or creative depending on the work they do. Most know how to use photo manipulation software. They tend to do their own thing.

What Type of Photographer Are You?

A professional photographer with expensive gear, taking photos.

Which one are you?

You might fit into one or more of these categories of photographers. There are no hard rules about it. It is important to remember that most of these are just generalizations and there will always be differences.

So which type of photographer are you? Which do you most relate to? Fill in the poll below and tell us!

What type of photographer are you? Select any of the ones mentioned in this article that you can relate to.

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Leanne Cole graduated from the VCA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Melbourne, Australia. She has since been working as a practicing artist and teaching people how to be Fine Art Photographers. She also teaches long exposure photography and runs workshops around Melbourne. Click here to download her 10 tips for Long Exposure Photography in the City. You can find her on her website.

  • Michael

    I am serious amateur photographer but I really believe in post-processing. I only shoot in raw and after my creative editing, all my photos are converted in high resolution JPEG format.

  • That sounds very similar to the way I work Michael. I love post processing, it is the part I really enjoy. Thank you for sharing what type you are.

  • Pete Mueller

    Ditto here as well.

  • That’s great to hear Pete, thanks for contributing.

  • Although I have made money with photography (not a living wage) I still consider myself a serious amateur. I shoot different genre’s and post processing is a big part of my workflow. Rarely do I post a non-processed image but occasionally I’ll get a shot out of one of my Fuji X cameras that doesn’t need anything done to it. I do shoot RAW and jpeg just in case the jpeg can’t handle the processing if I have something specific that I’m shooting for.

  • It is great to hear from others who love post processing as well. I only shoot RAW now and never process jpegs, but I understand that each person works in their own ways. Thank you John for sharing with us what type of photographer you are.

  • mikespivey

    Many of these categories are condescending. Like you can’t be technical and creative.

  • My experience has been that most people identify themselves as one or the other, while some are both, they still seem to go more towards one. I know the technical stuff, and use it, but I think of myself as more a creative type photographer. Besides, it is just a bit of fun, sorry you don’t get that.

  • mikespivey

    I do know some that could be pigeon-holed. But if you focus on one area, you are leaving something on the table. I also bristle when people assign skill levels between Pro and Amateur. You came close, but skirted that successfully. 🙂

  • Khürt L. Williams

    I don’t think Leanne put the professional in the skilled and the amateur in the unskilled category. She was very clear. A professional — per the dictionary definition of the word — is someone making a living from their work. I have met skilled and unskilled professional photographers.

  • Khürt L. Williams

    I guess I would fall into the category of serious amateur technical photographer, but I am working hard to develop my creative side, while having fun alone the way.

  • That’s great to hear, it is good to look at different categories and see where you may or may not be. I am so glad that you said you have fun, I always think that is so important. Thank you for sharing that.

  • This article was never meant to do that, the reality is if you ask photographers, a lot of them any way, do they think they are a technical photographer or a creative one and they will just tell you, so they pigeon hole themselves. It is something I have noticed over the 25 years that I’ve been doing photography myself. I wasn’t assigning skill level, we have all seen professional photographers that are making a lot of money, but their level of skill is not good. That happens with a lot of things.

  • Thank you Khürt really appreciate what you have said. I agree, that some photographers that make money from photography are not necessarily very skilled at it. It is hard to understand, but there you have it, thanks again.

  • J Public

    I understood she meant more of a “spectrum” between the technical perfection and people like me (haven’t a clue!); and also, there is something up there about the techies still being creative. More difficult for me was the category, being a “serious amateur” who also sells pictures while remaining basically clueless – especially at that dreaded moment when someone asks me to take a photo with their Nikon and I have to set it to auto and put my finger over the flash to stop it popping up.

  • Colin-Val Habbershaw

    Although i have made money from photography i would put myself in the serious amateur and a technical photographer,i enjoy and do all types of photography ranging from landscape to people,i only shoot in RAW

  • I think a lot of photographers are in the same situation as you Colin, thank you so much for joining in and sharing what type of photographer you are.

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