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|| News Item: Posted 2002-10-01

The Photodude asks the question: Are you a Photo Geek?
By Photodude

Dear Photodude,

I'm a student at a university with a fairly well known photojournalism program. Last week I was talking to this little hottie at the local juice bar (okay, it was an Orange Julius at the mall), and I ever-so-suavely asked her what her major was and then told her mine. Her reply? "Oh, you're one of those photo geeks".

The last I saw of her was a flip of blonde hair and the backside of a pair of Abercrombie and Fitch jeans headed towards Victoria's Secret.

My question -- am I really a photo geek?

Confused on Campus



The Photodude totally sympathizes with you. Not.

The Dude has been out of college for quite some time now, and has a couple of questions of my own before I can even begin to answer yours.

Are geeks now cool or not? When the Dude was in school, geeks, were well, geeks. But then, geeks became cool for awhile, didn't they?

What's that? Oh, computer geeks became cool. The other geeks (drama-geeks, band-geeks, journalism-geeks) still couldn't get any action.

And they still can't. Which also raises another interesting question. Where on the "Geek Status Ladder" do those rate?

All share many of the same characteristics - they all hang out in separate environments (the drama building, the band room, the college newsroom), all are defined by a special interest that causes them to lose all interest in anything else that might be fun about college (classes, friends, sports, members of the opposite sex, and well, sex), and members of all these groups have an annoying giddiness about whatever they're doing, as if acting out scenes from Ibsen, marching around in polyester, and writing "editorials" calling for a boycott of Nike by the athletic department (which receives about $1 million or more from Nike) is more important than well, having fun and getting laid.

It's college, people! You have the rest of your lives to do something important!

But now to the gist of your question - are you a geek?

In the interest of public service, I, the Photodude have created a short quiz to help you decide, once and for all, if you are a Photo Geek.

Question #1:
You're more likely to say:
1. "I take pictures." (1 pt.)
2. "I shoot pictures." (2 pts.)
3. "I make pictures." (5 pts.)

Question #2:
When people ask what you do, you reply:
a. "I work for the newspaper." (1 pt.)
b. "I'm a photographer." (2 pts.)
c. "I'm a Sports Photojournalist" (5 pts. Oh man, if I could only smack you across the Internet)

Question #3:
Do you own a photo vest?
a. No way, dude. (0 pts.)
b. I own one. (1 pt.)
c. I wear one on daily assignments, like portraits. (3 pts.)
d. I wear mine to the mall. (5 pts.)

Question #4:
I subscribe to the following magazines:
a. Sports Illustrated (1 pt.)
b. National Geographic (2 pts.)
c. Popular Photography (4 pts)
d. Shutterbug (5 pts.)
e. Maxim (okay, you're a geek, but for entirely different reasons)

Question #5:
When online, my DAILY visits include:
a. (1 pt.)
b. (2 pts.)
c. (5 pts.)
d. (you are so NOT a geek if you surf here)
e. the page view stats for my member page (AUTOMATIC Photo Geek status earned if this is you...)

Question #6:
You're at the Sports Shooter Workshop and Luau in November, and you spot a hottie of the opposite sex. Your first reaction is:
a. "Cute butt! (1 pt.)
b. "Wouldja look at the size of that lens!" (2 pts.)
c. "Say, isn't he/she carrying the new Nikkor 70-200mm/f2.8G AF-S VR lens just announced at Photokina?" (5 pts.)
d. "Wow, could that be the Photodude?" (0 pts.)

So, tally 'em up and find out where you rank!
0-7 pts. Not a geek. You read this column, which gives you the odor of geekiness, but…you are not one.
8-15 pts. Geek-in-training. You might want to get out a little more.
16-22 pts. Surfing on the edge of geekdom. You might be past saving.
23-30 pts Photo Geek! Dude, just embrace the fact you might never dress well again.

Okay, kids, that's all for this month. As always, you can send those tough-to-answer questions to me at


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