Self-portrait, 2020.

He always felt a bit unease; when he had to say: “l am a photographer”. Is he allowed to claim the title when he doesn’t earn money by taking pictures? Is he allowed to say so even though he still learns the basics? Should he brand himself a photographer only after gets published in a magazine or has his own exhibition? After he gets the proper education? Only if he shoots full-frame? After he owns at least half a dozen lenses and two camera bodies? And who decides? Should they even?

So who is a photographer?

He creates from within…


How owning only the essential stuff opens creative opportunities.

Photo by Christian Mackie on Unsplash

Anxious, I paused for a bit, looking at a screen. Listed neatly below each other, several ads offering to sell all of my gear. Everything. Bodies, lenses, flash, all the filters, bags, remote controllers, radio triggers.

It seemed crazy. It seemed illogical. It seemed unnecessary. I was in no financial need to sell, nor was I leaving photography behind. On the contrary, I’ve never dedicated as much to it as then. So, why on earth?

What seemed crazy, illogical, and unnecessary at the time, was one of the most thought-through, mindful…


What makes an image a great one? Outstanding? Remembered? Celebrated?

FROM LEFT: Steve McCurry Afghan Girl, Kevin Carter — Starving Child and Vulture, Dorothea Lange — Migrant Mother

It’s how they make us feel.

Just as in life, also in photography, feelings come from within. They represent attitude, state of mind, they communicate a message. Photography is all about evoking feelings and emotions. They can be hidden and obscure, or specific and obvious. They flow right on the surface of a photograph, slapping you across the face, or swim below, awaiting discovery.

As an artist, there is hardly anything more satisfying, than producing an emotional piece of art. Describing the importance of emotions is easy. …


…and why every photographer should master this technique

Shot by Peter Gróf, 2020.

Today, the quality of the photograph is often measured based on the technical brilliance of it. Exposed correctly, focused well, edited to perfection. I’ve recently had a feeling that mastering these is all you need to capture the audience. Sometimes it’s true.

Regardless of your photography niche, adding the long exposure technique to your arsenal of skills will expand the portfolio variety.

Shooting with slow shutter speed, or “long exposure” on the streets adds a different dimension to images. They’ll become nostalgic, mysterious, more art-like rather than a pure documentary.


On patience, humility, and knowing that sometimes, it’s good to put the camera down.

Peter Grof, 2020.

If you’re like me, someone who looks at photography as a hobby or creative outlet, then a full-time profession, you might sometimes experience other priorities taking over in life. Interventions with your job, family, health, and other hobbies or something as unexpected as this year’s Covid-19 outbreak, can put a break on your creative endeavors. Just like it did on mine.

Hobbyists are more prone to being distracted from their art than professionals. Disclaimer: you can be professional and hobbyist at the same time, but for…


Shot by Peter Grof, 2020.

A “gear head”. Whether you consider yourself to be one or not, at some point, you will have to consider a new gear purchase. I try not to be one, but when it comes to my gear, I can get very obsessive about choosing the right tool for my photography.

Gear decisions can be hard. For some, crippling even. Camera manufacturers ask us to make choices daily. They are endless. The more choices, the more contemplation, the more time, the more work on our side.

How does one decide correctly? It is, after all, a lot of money we spend…


Tackling the disruptive times by adjusting one’s own trajectory.

Shot by Peter Gróf, July 2020.

In his 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Harari states that in the near future one of the most valuable skills a person can possess is the ability to constantly adapt to new disruptive changes. Biotech and infotech ages are to disrupt almost every single aspect of our lives. Many jobs will become obsolete and we’ll have to learn new skills fast, to stay competitive in the job market. Assuming it still exists by that time.

Art has always been considered purely a human domain and no amount of new technology…


Time to step back, look around, and appreciate the journey of an artist.

Shot by Peter Grof, 2020.

Do you know the weird feeling when you go the opposite direction of a frequently traveled road? How suddenly everything looks and feels different? How sometimes, you even have to stop to make sure you have not lost yourself?

I go running almost every day. I have a route I take frequently, a forest road. I decided to run it backwards the other day. During a few moments, I had to stop, look around, and make sure I was going the right way. This lead me to…


Weddings. Shot by Peter Gróf, 2017–2019.

Becoming great requires practice. Without it, you won’t be able to write a novel, race a sports car, or bake a loaf of bread. At least not well enough. Without practice, you won’t create great images either.

Evermore sophisticated cameras enable us to become technically great photographers at a very fast pace. While it’s easy to make technically perfect image today, it’s harder to infuse spirit into them.

There will be little emotion, no story, and a weak connection to the subject. No amount of technical greatness can surpass capturing the decisive moment.

“There is nothing worse than a sharp…


Identify the right time to stop exploring and start focusing on your photography niche.

Shot by Peter Grof, 2017.

During my last street photography session, I focused on shooting black and white, deep contrast scenes. I prepared myself, got into the right mindset. I dialed in exposure and started shooting.

Keeping my head around the main subject isn’t very hard. Actively looking for the composition I plan to capture has become second nature.

Now and then I run into a scene I’d like to take. Not black and white, not deep contrast either. Perhaps its a color. Maybe a gesture, maybe not even “street photography”.

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