I can spot a rookie photographer in a nanosecond. Every single time. Without having ever seen their work. Mind you—there is nothing inherently wrong with being a rookie but do you really want to advertise the fact. Maybe you do—if so, simply do these two things: use your branded neck strap and mount your lens hood incorrectly.
If you’ve ever lugged around a heavy DSLR camera and lens on a flimsy manufacturer’s neck strap for any length of time then I’m probably preaching to the choir. Nothing shouts rookie louder than a neck strap with Canon, Nike, Sony et al printed on it. And using a neck strap as a shoulder strap is just a bad idea—they slip off your shoulder and CRASH.
If you’re a lightweight Micro 4/3 shooter do whatever you think best—but in my opinion manufacturer provided straps still look dorky and aren’t very efficient. The second visible rookie fail is not using your lens hood correctly (i.e. you leave the damn thing mounted on your lens in the reversed storage position). A lens hood comes with your lens (most of the time) for really good reasons; I’m not going to discuss all those reasons in this post because I included a great video to do that job for me.
Technical Field Notes: Understand that many of my blog posts have a tongue-in-cheek element to them and are hopefully humorous to some extent (though old man humor can be really trying for the younger folks and women). I make no money whatsoever with this blog but I can highly recommend BlackRapid camera straps for high quality, professional grade, camera carry systems. I have two in my kit—one for each professional DSLR camera body I carry: What’s in My Bag. One final pet peeve: if you’re an Old Fart (dinosaur) like me don’t wear your baseball cap backwards like a teenager when you’re shooting—it looks dorky. SFD