A Hilarious Collection of Insight and Insults From a College Photography Professor


What do you do when your photography professor at college goes on daily rants and rages, critiquing work with an iron fist while doling out priceless lessons? Well, thankfully, some student thought to start writing said rants and rages down.

But not only did he write them down, he shared them via a Tumblog so that the rest of the world could see, read and laugh hysterically at the brilliance and brutality of this awesome photo prof.

Called S**t My Photography Professor Says, this blog (which, sadly, hasn’t been updated since March of 2011) consists of page-after-page of photographic cliché no-nos and so much more. The professor goes by the name Roma, but that’s about all we have to go off of. A few comments on Reddit from former students of Roma suggest that these are indeed things he has said and continues to say as a professor at an unnamed university.

Just to get you started, here’s a nice little collection of some of the best we’ve found:

  • You did NOT photograph a homeless person.
  • Don’t you dare go to Chinatown. Leave the f**king Chinese alone.
  • Don’t default to your intelligence. Your intelligence will let you down. It makes you overthink things. But feel — you can never overfeel things.
  • Every time you do it right, you make it harder to do it right again.
  • I was addicted to midol in the 90s. I’m considering starting back up again.
  • Ugh. Just by looking around, I think none of you should procreate.
  • Do you know what happens when you give white kids a camera? They come back with photos of little black kids throwing up gang signs. True story. When I was teaching at Yale, every single privileged motherf**ker went out to a poor neighborhood and came back with photos of little kids throwing up gang signs. I didn’t even know what they were doing. I thought they all had arthritis.

As you can see, the quotes are golden and will definitely give you a good hour of laughs. As said above, it’s been dead since 2011, but a commenter on Reddit who will be taking this professor’s class soon has considered attempting to take over and begin updating the quotes next semester.

Fingers crossed this means many more pages worth of laughable insults and brilliant insights. Be sure to check out the Tumblr for more and share your favorite with us below.

(via Photography On The Brain)

  • David Liang

    The last two got a loud laugh out of me lol

  • TerraKacher

    Why on earth did you dig these up? They should of left to RIP. Are really dipping so low to find something worth writing about? moving on….

  • MMielech

    Yeah, the last one is gold.

  • Carlini Fotograf

    My favorite is “The camera in your hand is not a passport for you to be a moron!!”
    The photography professor she is talking about in the blog is named Thomas Roma. According to Wikipedia hes a fairly well credited American photographer.. He has 13 books out and several photo exhibitions.

  • Andy Austin

    I took one intro to Digital Photography class in college and it was terrible. The professor (who wasn’t even that good), was so insanely full of himself. I also found out he didn’t like competition, so the better your images were the worse grade you got. Also if you were a pretty girl you got better grade, no matter how terrible your images were.

    I decided to test it for myself. During my semester I turned in my first ever night shot, it had maybe 4 stars.. hell the horizon wasn’t even straight. I got my highest score of the semester. The next semester a buddy took the class, I helped him to achieve thousands of stars, milky way, and a much better shot. He got a D on that assignment.

  • David Liang

    I dunno I’m glad he found it, I’m digging through the blog right now there’s a ton of great stuff on there.

  • David Liang

    That’s awesome I’m gonna check out some of these books. Thanks!

  • Mojo

    Ugh…can’t liberals just TEACH a class instead of pull crap like that?

  • Bruce

    I wonder if he writes like he talks?

  • Íris

    Noooo, I submitted a few and then noticed that actually it hasn’t been updated since 2011. I got sad.

  • Íris

    I had one of those back in college.
    Our photojournalism professor gave us lessons together with the Design class (I don’t even know what the hell they were there for) and he would NEVER credit the photography class because he knew we were better and he was on the verge to lose his job at the newspaper for a younger version of himself.
    I hope he lost his job so far.

  • Gannon Burgett

    We’ll look into it more! Thanks for the info!

  • Thiago Souza

    Now i know where Ken Rockwell education comes from. lol!

  • Snow Shine


  • Amber VanLoh

    Where is this class? Who is Roma? I need to know more.

  • Burnin Biomass

    He also designed and modified cameras…

  • Jake

    Where the heck do you get “liberals” from? Why are you picking fights?

  • Mojo

    The assumption that white people are “privileged motherf**kers”…the “none of you should procreate”, the “Don’t think, feel…”

  • Justin Case

    …and some totally crazy portable lighting apparatus. He’s been at this for a long time, and I love the quotes.

  • Stan B.


  • Thomas Kryton

    I agree, and these are great. I’ve had a couple of instructors like this in the past and finding someone has captured these pearls is a nice reminder that we’re all still students that should be reminded of some basics.

  • Thomas Kryton

    Hope so! It’s refreshing some times, not as a steady diet though. I just finished Zack Arias’ book “Photography Q&A” and it’s nice to get information that is in a down to earth manner when it suits the information being presented.

  • Valerie

    He must have tenure.

  • cjs711

    There are a few words of wisdom here, but the profanity gets old fast. And it’s an old trick: any comedian whose act isn’t really that funny throws in a bunch of swearing and profanity hoping to wring out some laughs that way. Paltry. Guys like this only add to the stereotype that photographers are uncouth, uneducated boors. If the only way he can bring students ‘out of their comfort zone’ is by swearing, he’s revealing his own shortcomings.

  • cjs711

    I’m certainly a liberal AND I’m in favor of teaching, too, not spouting unfair, unfounded insults like this and calling it teaching…….. I also went to Columbia, loved it, and learned a lot. AND never had a prof who addressed us in anything less than respectful language. The ones I had – granted, it was in philosophy – treated us like the professionals we would become.

  • Display_Name

    Last one = All the poverty porn I am so sick and tired of

  • Chris

    Sometimes a professor like this can teach you in a year what others can’t in a lifetime,because you will talk about it and share opinions with fellow students and they’ll stick by you for life “do you remember that prof…”. Only a few can set up a good class this way though, it looks easier than it is. The line is thin.

  • Stan B.

    Keep in mind that this is one person’s selective excerpts. I’m gonna venture that he does not conduct the entirety of each and every class like this…

    Better yet, look at one of his books(I suggest Found In Brooklyn); nothing profane there- just good, solid photography.

  • Stan B.

    Google Thomas Roma/Museo Magazine for one insightful interview on his philosophy regarding: teaching, photography and life in general.

    Well worth the read…

  • Jojo

    lol since when have White People™ NOT had privilege? It’s always disappointing when some White People™ do not realize the privilege they have here in the States.

  • George Johnson

    To be fair some of it is actually very good, the full quote ( from the source page ) about homeless people is brilliant. Don’t stand back at 50 yards and take a picture. All the best shots of homeless and downtrodden are from great photographers who’ve spent time getting to know their subject and documenting their stories properly. They don’t just take pot-shots for a one-off assignment to pass an exam.

  • Carlini Fotograf

    God I hope so…lol

  • flightofbooks

    Some of the quotes are really good, but it’s hard to take anyone who barks about an “authentic self” too seriously. He’s probably a decent teacher. His quote about legacy is good (“I’m going to make a big mess”)

  • flightofbooks

    Thanks for the tip! I’m definitely interesting in learning more about him/his work outside of the weird filter that blog creates (which may not be particularly fair to him, no matter how good its intentions).

  • flightofbooks


  • flightofbooks

    ironically, the author of this article did exactly what you describe (correctly I think) Roma as trying to make his students not do. Such is life on a website that full of hysterical copyright violation stories that gets 90% of its material from other sources.

  • flightofbooks

    “privileged motherf**kers” doesn’t sound particularly liberal to me, seeing as how liberalism is mainly a justification for the protection of “privileged motherf**kers”

  • flightofbooks

    you sabotaged your own friend’s grade in the class just to gather ammo for your beef with an old professor? damn, that is savage!

  • flightofbooks

    I’m pretty sure a guy like that hates this website and everything it stands for.

  • Andy Austin

    Actually not at all. I had suspected that was the case, but at the time I was genuinely trying to help my buddy. Figured if the professor loved my night shot then he would love one that was even better. Didn’t expect that result at all, but it confirmed what I had suspected.

  • Chad Andreo-Photo

    Great Find!

  • mokleTkcuF

    Better than having a professor tip-toeing along with political correctness.
    With trillions of meaningless photographs now in this world, this angle of wisdom is more valuable than ever.

  • mokleTkcuF

    How many highly esteemed artists do you know that are right wing? Conservative thought is the antithesis of creativity.

  • Michael Rasmussen

    More than well worth. Fantastic article.

  • Stan B.


  • Stan B.

    Obviously, you haven’t seen the paintings of one George W. Bush!

  • spongebob nopants

    Woah there people. It COULD be Thomas Roma. That’s who came up when I googled Roma Professor photography.
    But the student doesn’t say what school he’s attending. So it MIGHT be Thomas Roma but there’s a lot of colleges and universities out there, all with photography proffs. Probably more than one with that same last name. Also Roma might be a first name or nickname or nom de plume.

  • Stan B.

    Mr. Roma is one of a rare breed that can respect, empathize with and relate to his fellow New Yorkers of every shade and station. He’s also that even rarer form of “liberal” that could vanquish and eviscerate every one of the dick heads that populate the FOX news room in short order.

  • fnurt

    only 90%? Is here any OC at all on this website?

  • Victor Ayala

    Come off it, prude.