# If a photon is a boson and has spin 1, shouldn't it have 3 spin orientations since spin 1 is a triplet? [duplicate]

I've gotten used to the fact that a spin can be described by its total spin and its $z$-component. And I've learned that a particle (really, anything) with spin 1 forms a triplet with three possible states for the $z$-component: +1, 0, and -1.

Now my world is shattering since I keep hearing that a photon has indeed spin 1, but only two spin orientations: +1 and -1. This sounds like it clashes with what I have learned.

What am I missing?