The Rifleman’s Creed (also known as “My Rifle”) is a famous creed from World War II that all Marines learn during recruit training. The text emphasizes the rifleman’s symbiotic relationship with his personal rifle, and talks about how he needs to become one with it and treat it as an extension of himself.
You might have heard the creed uttered in a number of famous war movies in the past decades. An example would be the film Full Metal Jacket:
A number of versions of the creed have existed through the years, but here’s the original text:
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will…
My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit…
My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…
Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but peace!
After seeing this creed, we got to thinking, “what about creating a photographer’s version?” Maybe what applies to riflemen and their rifles can also apply to photographers and their cameras. This may have been done before, but here’s our version:
The Photographer’s Creed
This is my camera. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My camera is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life.
My camera, without me, is useless. Without my camera, I am useless. I must shoot my camera true. I must shoot straighter than my rival who is trying to outshoot me. I must capture before they capture. I will…
My camera and I know that what counts in photography is not the number of frames we capture, the speed of our burst mode, or the megapixels we make. We know that it is the keepers that count. We will capture…
My camera is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its lens and its body. I will keep my camera clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…
Before God, I swear this creed. My camera and I are the eyes of this generation. We are the masters of life’s moments. We are the savers of our lives.
So be it, until all of life is captured and there are no missed moments, but beautiful memories!
Enjoy, and feel free to share this with photographers in your life!
Image credit: “The Photographer” by Jim Royson