Thirty Three Tired and Dated Photographic Expressions: Un-Edited

Thirty Three Tired and Dated Photographic Expressions: Un-Edited

Riffing on a post by Ash Ambirge today, I asked the intrepid members of my Lighting Essentials Flickr group to come up with a list of photographic cliche’s and terms that they were also tired of.

I did not edit them, nor did I censor any of them… 33 different pet peeves by 33 photographers.

Now, you may believe some of them should be on the list, and others may piss you off.

Good…. that means it is a great list.

So without further comment:

1. Blowing out the Ambient
2. Creamy/Dreamy/Delicious Bokeh
3. Use the Histogram to _________
4. Gangnam Strobist style
5. Beating the sun
6. Stofen/Fong make soft light.
7. Capture
8. It’s only a phone camera
9. its a little hot
10. iPhoneography
11. “Capturing life’s precious moments”
12. it’s a little soft
13. “put it on the thirds”
14. ‘Clicking’ a picture
15. The “Dave Hill Look”
16. What triggers do I need to buy?
17. Photoshopped
18. I coulda done that better
19. Capture an image
20. Its fine I’ll fix it in post
21. Spray and pray
22. RAW or JPEG?
23. Lost detail
24. tog/photog
25. Signature (Don’t tell Missy)
26. Just tie some knots in a piece of string.
27. Chimping
28. Momtographer
29. Never use hard light
30. That’s an expensive camera, it must take great pictures
31. pixel peeping
32. Light Depth of Field
33. If you use P you suck.
(Bonus 4 – don’t never say we don’t give you free stuff…)
34. HDR
35. TTL sucks
36. “Editorial ”
37. Document the Experience

If you want to add your single most annoying phrase or term for photographers, add it in the comments. NOTE: arguing with the list is pointless: I didn’t write it, and I do not remember who said what. So if your Ox got gored, consider it for what it is. It’s just for fun.

Direct all hate mail to “”

(And you really SHOULD read Ash’s post… it will get you thinking about the words you use.)

Print Friendly


  1. FF

    • Hi Frank,

      What does FF mean?
      Not sure I am familiar with that phrase… LOL.

  2. FF = Full Frame, which is of course beaten to death on the gear forums.

    The one that makes me cringe – Leica Look, and I own a Leica

  3. Calling someone a “fauxtographer.”
    Saying someone took their HDR to “candyland.”

    • We pros were all a “fauxtographer” at one time.

      Then we pulled it together and started making money with it.

  4. Great post and question Don.

    Anything to do with bokeh. It’s become overused. And most people don’t know the origin of the word. It gets so annoying. It’s become an overused word used mainly by amateurs who want to sound technical.

    Stunning, glorious, and other synonyms used to describe landscapes. I believe these terms have become watered down and therefore have lost their punch.

    Photojournalist or photojournalism: Another term watered down by overuse. Especially with the new iPhone commercial stating “A billion photojournalist roaming the world.”

    Chimping has always tickled my funny bone.

  5. #26 made me smile

    I have to add “moment”, “moments”, and “capturing moments”

    I think of moments as pertaining to certain styles of photography but not every shot is a “moment”.

  6. “Nice capture.” We didn’t “capture” anything. We “took” a photo, we “made the shot.” We’re shooting a photo, just like we always have, except we don’t have to drop the film off at the drugstore and wait a week to see the results.

  7. “Overcook.”

    As in “Did I ‘overcook’ this photo in post-processing?”
    If you have to ask, my response is “Yes.”

  8. I bet that ScooterPie guy’s inbox will be stuffed.
    You gored a few oxen.

  9. We’ve already taken some shots you can use.

  10. Here’s a few that can go….

    “I hate all these MWAC’s”
    “D800 is as good as medium format”
    “What do you shoot, Nikon or Canon”
    “Here’s my strobist info”
    “This is my passion”
    “My style is photojournalistic”
    “That’s bad light”

  11. Forgot one.
    “I’ve been shooting for a year now, I’m going to put on a workshop for newbies.”

    • Love that one – too bad it’s so accurate.

  12. Mine would be:

    I’ve taken a picture just like that.

  13. You must have a nice camera