Talking about tools

A close photographer friend of mine told me a story about the type of person you need to avoid.

This type of person, always male, sometimes dressed like a brand marketer, can be found anywhere; in this case, he was at a birthday party hosted at a colleague’s apartment. The atmosphere was typical for professionals who have recently entered their 30s: domestic wine, jeans and button-downs, tight smiles, indie-acoustic played at considerate levels.

As my friend pours a third glass of red wine, a newly-met acquaintance rushes forward and grabs her arm: “You have to meet my husband, he’s a photographer too!”

The husband shuffles forward, clear cocktail in hand, dressed like a brand marketer. My friend asks him about his photography business.

“Oh,” he replies, “I don’t do that for work. But I like to photograph when I can.” A pause. “So, Canon or Nikon?”

The mark of a person you need to avoid (and the sign of a charlatan): he who mistakes talking about art for talking about tools.

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