This past weekend I led a bird photography training session at a local state park. Participants got to see and photograph eagles, falcons, hawks, and owls in natural habitat settings. It is an incredible experience simply being in such close proximity to these magnificent creatures.

When I snapped a quick photo of the group, I suddenly thought of my friend Jeff Wendorff, bird photographer extraordinaire. Jeff has fun telling folks the collective noun for various bird groupings, such as a squabble of seagulls, a raffle of turkeys, or a herd of wrens. Looking at folks gathered together for a peregrine falcon shot, I found myself unable to focus on the task at hand. For a moment or two, I began to wonder what collective noun is fitting for a group of photographers. I chuckled to myself thinking if we were photographing cardinals, maybe the appropriate collective noun would be a college of photographers. We were not in Rome, but if we were I wondered if Canon law would include some spiritual guidance on the proper terminology for a group of photographers. Perhaps the pope would call his many photographers a flock or a mass.

I got my mind off recent news out of Vatican City and considered other terms. Why not say a flash of photographers? When I decided light regiment was a brighter term, I began to shutter thinking of even more possibilities collective nouns:

  • Landscape photographers … a range
  • Travel photographers … a boatload
  • Wildlife photographers … a pack
  • Portrait photographers … an eyeful
  • Travel photographers in Paris … an Eiffel
  • Fashion photographers … a vogue
  • Wedding photographers … a party
  • Kid photographers … a school
  • Sports photographers … a crew
  • Paparazzi … a mob
  • Photographers upset they missed a shot … a grouse
  • Unsuccessful traffic photographers … a squash

Try as I might, I could not think of an appropriate (or inappropriate) use for bevy, horde or throng. Hey, if all the folks on Gilligan’s Island had cameras, we could call them a shipwreck. Uh, right, we already do.

It was at that point in my muse-ings that I realized my mind had wandered a bit off course. Before I got back to helping folks to capture great images, I decided my favorite all-encompassing collective term is a click of photographers.

Think about collective nouns for photographers, and let me know what develops.