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The word photography comes from the Greek root words of ‘photos’, which means ‘light’, and ‘graphe’ which means a ‘representation’ of something, usually using lines or by drawing.
Together, the words ‘photos’ and ‘graphe’ roughly mean ‘drawing with light’. This is a quite an elegant way of describing the art of photography since the practise of photography is all about using light to represent the world around us in ways that are unique and meaningfully speak to the viewer.
A Photophile is an English word that also has its roots in the Ancient Greek language. As mentioned above, ‘photos’ means light, and in Greek ‘phile’ comes from the word ‘philos’ meaning ‘love’.
Therefore, a photophile is literally ‘someone who loves light’, however, in a more colloquial sense the word means someone who loves photography or photographs!
What are the Characteristics of a Photophile?
A photophile is someone who is absolutely passionate about photography. They live, breath and dream about photography and of course they never leave home without their camera! Photography is way more than just a passing trend or hobby for a photophile because they know that they’ll never stop taking photos and couldn’t live without a camera!
Top 10 Signs that You are a Photophile!
- You own a great camera and know exactly how to use it! For some people reading the manual for a new camera is dull, but not for you! You poured over every page and even took notes to make sure that you didn’t forget anything. You regularly refer to the manual if you ever have a question about how to achieve a certain result with your camera and there’s no limit to your interest in every fine detail of its operations.
- A photophile spends more money on their camera equipment, lens, tripods and other gear than anything else in their life! This can sometimes stretch the budget but as any true photophile knows, the photography must come first! Browsing though camera shops is a slice of heaven and you regularly order camera catalogues to day dream about future purchases.
- If you’re at a party or social event and find that your friends are giving you their cameras to take a good photo for them then you might well be a photophile! Your friends and family would have noticed if you are photophile and having seen the time, energy and practise that you have put into your work as well the results, you have become the trusted go to source for advice, tips and even photos in your circle!
- When you see a photograph taken by someone else you immediately scan the picture while analyzing the lighting, focus, depth of field and other details that nobody else has ever even heard of!
- Excellent creativity and a powerful visual imagination come as second nature to you. As a photographer and a photophile you’re bound to have a great imagination. You can pre-visualize photos and often find yourself sitting on the train looking out the window and doing a quick ‘previz’ out the window across the station platform.
- A photophile will often collect old or antique cameras, equipment and gear. Do you have a growing collection of old cameras and outdated equipment? Photophiles will often have display cabinets in their home where they keep a whole assortment of cameras and other photography memorabilia! Does the history of photography fascinate you? If so this could be a sign that you are a genuine photophile!
- You have a superb eye for detail and can always pick out the essential elements of a great photo. Lighting, composition, narrative and the emotive power of the shot; all this comes easily to you and your photos are bursting with life.
- You are extremely patient and work in a methodical manner to get the shot you want. This can be a bit frustrating for friends and family but as a photophile you are more than likely something of a perfectionist. This is an ideal trait while you’re in the studio however it can get a little annoying if you’re at the zoo with your family and you’re spending 40 minutes getting the perfect angle for a holiday snap of the tiger in the big cage!
- You’ve got an extensive library of photography books that cover every topic and technique you could imagine! You like to sit and read through your books and sometimes you take notes, leave bookmarks in the pages to go back and read it again and love to study the photography in magazines.
- You have an eclectic online social media presence that looks more like an art gallery than a jumble of bad selfies and family shots! You post process photos before you publish them online and have your photos in neat series, files and galleries.
A Photophile Not Only Loves Photography but is Also a Great Photographer.
It goes without saying that as a photophile you’re also a pretty decent photographer, and what’s more, with your dedication and passion you’re getting better everyday.
Photography is more than just a lifestyle for a photophile – it is life! A photophile will have posters and prints of their own work on the walls of the home and never misses the opportunity to go on a new photographic adventure!
Photography is a fantastic artform to become completely engrossed in. Not only are the technological advancements in photography opening up new possibilities all the time but the cost of cameras and other equipment is becoming more and more affordable. There has never been a better time to be a photophile and so the future’s looking bright for all those who love photography!
Are you a photophile?