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10 Things Photographers Freaking Hate With a Passion

By on Nov 14, 2018 in Inspiration
10 Things Photographers Freaking Hate With a Passion

Photographers are a friendly enough bunch, but just like with designers, there are some things that really, really get on our nerves. They're those little things that happen again and again, each time breaking down our willpower to not freak out just a little bit more. So in honor of frustrated photographers everywhere, I present you with ten things that we freaking hate.

1. “Let’s Do This Thing I Saw On Pinterest!”

Image sources: Bridal Guide and Plum Tree Studios

The statement above is inevitably followed by this one: "It looked a lot better on Pinterest..." Here's a pro tip: nothing ever looks like it does on Pinterest. Often, you simply can't stage that perfectly-timed, once-in-a-lifetime shot. Or you're simply not the right height, width, etc. to pull off what the freaking gorgeous people on Pinterest can.

We Don't Like Ripping Off Other Photographer's Ideas

Another reason we photographers hate it when you ask us to duplicate something you saw online: stealing unique ideas isn't cool. I swear to all that is decent, if one more person asks me to do the T-rex wedding thing...

Image source: Reddit

This photographer had a great, funny idea, but stealing such an original concept feels pretty unpleasant as a professional. There's this internal war between giving clients what they want and knowing that photography is a creative pursuit where ripping off your colleagues isn't always acceptable. Perhaps the best thing a photographer can do in this awkward situation is use the client's request as inspiration for something original.

2. Being Treated Like a Terrorist In Public Places

Image source: Grey Coast Media

I'm not sure who started the rumor that photographers are prime suspects for violent crimes against humanity, but police and security guards everywhere sure got the memo. Every photographer has a story about getting kicked out of a park, train station, museum, amusement park, church; the list goes on.

I've even had people tell me as a paid photographer at a wedding venue that I wasn't allowed to take photos during the wedding ceremony. What!?

3. Competing For Attention With Cell Phone Photographers

Image source: alfonsodetomas

As the paid photographer at a wedding or other event, having 40% of your photos ruined by guests and family stealing the attention of the people you're photographing is immensely frustrating. Example: the entire wedding party is looking at my camera, but the groom is looking off to the side into grandma's cell phone. That's not the photo the couple wants to see on their mantelpiece for the next fifty years.

If you're ever a client in this situation, always remember who you paid to be there and that the best way to get your money's worth is to get everyone on board that the big camera gets top priority.

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4. “Gorgeous photo! You must have a great camera!”

Image source: Pawel Kadysz

I've spent years honing my craft and improving my skills, but this statement has the amazing ability to wipe it all away and make me look like nothing but a monkey with a magic camera.

5. "Let's Put The Baby In This!"

Image source: Anne Geddes

Don't get me wrong, Anne Geddes is an amazing photographer with creative talent that I will never achieve, but she pioneered a trend called "putting babies inside of random crap" that will plague photography until the end of time.

Try Something More Natural

So what's the best thing you can put your baby in? Here's a great answer: your arms. It turns out you can leave the baskets and burlap at the thrift store and still have an amazing, intimate newborn shoot that might not make your kid want to set the photos on fire when she's 16.

Image source: Radiant Photography

Bonus: Getting Peed On Ranks Pretty Low Too

When we're on a newborn photo shoot, I always tell my wife and photography partner that she handles babies better than me. This is just my little trick for never getting peed on, which has happened to her several times.

6. “Can I Get All The Original RAW Photos From The Shoot?”

I've lost track of the times my clients have asked (or demanded) that I present them with every single image taken during a shoot, RAW and unedited. It's totally understandable why someone might think this is a reasonable request, so I get why they do it, but from the photographer's perspective, it simply shouldn't ever happen. Daniela Bowker has my favorite response to this question:

Image source: vog

7. When You Edit Our Photos And Put Them On Facebook

Image source: fotopitu

First off, stop doing this (it might actually a violation of the contract you signed when you hired your photographer). Secondly, if you do it, and someone asks who took the photo, do us a favor and lie. We don't want the credit.

8. Never Having Good Photos of Ourselves


The above is seriously the best photo my wife and I have together from our trip to Paris. Lots of people offered to take our photo, but even after careful instructions, none of them could handle the autofocus feature on my Canon 5D Mark II. Sigh...

9. When You Make Us Miss The Good Light


Want to piss off a photographer real quick? Simply show up to your shoot late and miss golden hour.

10. Terrible Photography Clichés

Some photography trends need to die. I know it's really hard, but we need to let them go. It's going to be ok.

That One Full Color Item In a B&W Photo

Original (much better) image source: Michal Bednarek

Super Crooked Photos Are So Cool!

Every new photographer does this (including me when I first started). It's fine every now and then, but when you're looking through a hundred photos and realize that you don't have any straight ones, you have a problem and need to seek professional help.

Image source: Aleshyn Andrei

What Drives You Nuts?

Now it's your turn to vent. Leave a comment below and let us know what drives you crazy as a photographer. Here's your chance to let it all out.

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  1. midiweaver

    Augment the smartphone photographer's annoyance: "Will you take that picture again with my smartphone?"

  2. setmysite

    LOL @ the getting peed on. This happened to my wife and I during our newborn shoot for sure. Question though. What's the etiquette on when you're allowed to bug the photographer for your photos? We had an agreement with our photographer that she'd get the photos ready for us in a month. A month came and went and no contact. We started reaching out to her and she sorta evaded our emails and calls. We started worrying that she lost the photos or something. 2 months in, and I sorta resulted to being a little dickish with her, which I hate doing. 3 months later we got our photos. So really, what's the deal with the timeline here?

  3. jthomas88

    What Drives me nuts is when try short you, when you already are offering a good deal. Another complaint I have, they want everything edited by basically the next day, and don't realize the process of spectacular edited and the average phone app edited. Another thing I hate is when people show up late and then expect everything to be over in an hour but they still have to do the preliminary make up and hair designs.

  4. A.Herden

    1:Taking a picture of the winning team and all the parents run to the field and block me out of the way!
    2: Other photographers in my space and who are rude
    3: People thinking photographers have an easy job

  5. BrookeHorn

    This article is spot on! Thank you for a laugh at myself this morning, I don't ever voice these things to others...and #8 so true. :0)

  6. ryanblauer

    "I just bought an entry level DSLR! I am a pro now and will charge less for photos thus making it harder for real photographers to make money."

  7. jenni.kupelian

    This post was therapeutic :) I would add the random uncle who just bought a DSLR at Costco and wants to know about all your gear in the middle of family photos or wants to shoot next to you and compare gear. Or the random uncle that stands next to you and says "what are you gonna do with this awful lighting...if it were me...." Kill me now.

  8. designtheory

    Oh my goodness this was the BEST interpretation of what it's like for me as a photographer! It's really sad that we're belittled at times, but I guess it's the changing times.

  9. robyn.neufeld

    What drives me nuts is that people think anyone with a DSLR is a professional. Even the 15 year old who got one for Christmas and just uses the auto setting.

    Also, everyone assuming that we'll work for free - uh, no!

  10. photoman52

    When people ask me to tell them how I do different things in order to obtain that great shot. I usually go into my story about Picasso waiting in a restaurant for his food, while waiting began to doodle on the napkin, a customer came by and asked if they could buy what he had just drawn. He said sure, $20,000. The customer said, "It only took you 5 minutes", Picasso agreed, then he said, " However it took me 40 years to learn how to do it in 5 minutes!". If anyone thinks I am going to tell them what took many years to learn for free, they are mistaken.

  11. eoin.healy.10

    I'm no pro, but even as an armature many of these are still true and very annoying. Great read, got a few giggles out of it. :)

  12. artam

    Oh god!!! This is partially why I stopped shooting weddings. Super Crooked Photos: the only photog who could do this well was Denis Reggie. Also, enough with the High Dynamic Range (HDR) toning!

  13. deeandreoli

    Argh #4 is so true! If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that!

    Also I hate it when I post a photo on Instagram and I get a comment like "cool shot, what filter did you use?". Um its not a filter, I actually spent quite a bit of time editing this shot to make it look this good. The downside to the rise of phone photography is that people think you just snap a shot and add a filter and boom, you're done! Ok rant over ;)

  14. MadameSoybean

    Another photographer shooting models outdoors, facing the camera into the sun, and calling the image, which is full of flare and unclear faces, "moody." It creates a mood in me alright...a bad one. ;)

  15. itsmesimon

    Actually mine gripe is about photographers who always complain about not having the right kit, wont even take images without the right equipment.

  16. alessia.zuccarello.9

    Yesterday I was browsing through my twitter feed and I spotted a photo I'm pretty sure I took (it's a common landscape but you know... yeah it was definitely mine) cropped to cut off my watermark and oversaturated for no reason whatsoever (in fact it looked horrid as the whole composition was fucked up). I didn't get too pissed off because there's plenty of awfully edited photos of my town (Montepulciano - you know, "artistic HDR", saturation, more saturation, photoshop fiters) and people is still crazy about them for some reason, but really, something in my heart was broken.
    And about the tilt thing... my teacher is a photographer for Vogue wedding and he always wanted us to tilt stuff to make it dynamic or something like this. I got so annoyed by this thing and by the crappy architecture we wanted us to represent artistically even when the light was total shit that I, uhm, dropped photography (also because he taught us only theory for 4 years and told us we were hopelessly bad). I took it back for mere work reasons. Now I just watch my wannabe photographer friends tilting the shit out of their shots and asking me to vote them in competitions. How 'bout no (they're not the best of friends).

  17. KimCarroll

    OMG! Brilliant! I just switched from weddings to explore Fine Art after 11 years in the biz. Agree with 100% of these!! The cell phone one was one of the reasons I will never miss weddings. LOL. Getting married next May and will have my officiant tell everyone to put their damn phones away and be in the moment. LOVE this! Thank you for a good laugh!

  18. katherine.weimer

    I'm a nature photographer. I enjoy actually capturing a great photo in the camera and not relying on post production to make it beautiful. I learned that from my dad. It's annoying when people think it takes no time at all - it's like being a huntress, you have to stalk your pray, and certain days you come up with nothing.

  19. PhotoCoach

    Good post! I've got some that I would like to share. The main reason why I gave up wedding photography and now do publicity photography - Phone call... Hi Paul You shot a friends wedding last year and your photo's are amazing, I would love you to shoot mine, how much are you..? Tell them the price and never hear from them again..! People demanding to see the shot you have just taken and say no you can delete all of those, I look awful! People making a beeline for you at an event to tell you NOT to take their photograph. What I say to this one is, no problem, I need to take your photograph so my camera will know and store your face in it's memory bank and not take one when in get in shot. Works every time and I have my image of them.

  20. michal.rosa

    One thing I hate reading - the same unoriginal shit all over again. Not a simple new idea, just a repeat of things that have been said thousands of times before. This post is as interesting and original as a iPhone Instagram photo.

  21. Squidgital

    I agree with Michal. Further, I find the snarky overtones of this article a bit contrived and pretentious. Unlike the graphic design article with the same idea, the author of this article just seems pissed off at the people paying his bills. Clients have no idea about ANY of these things. You need to learn patience, likely the client that looked on Pinterest just isn't a creative individual. So you're naturally going to get people asking for what's popular... and that's actually a favorable trait in certain industries like marketing and branding. Keeping up with what's popular, however oversaturated the idea, is what's going to pay your bills.

    I have one rule, no matter how trendy a technique is. If it looks good, it is good.

    It doesn't matter if you're a "noob" or a seasoned photographer. Chances are that you're taking photos that are equally uninspired.

  22. SMCS

    Wow.... why not simply include in the contract that "none of these photos really belong to the person paying for them..." I mean - really, wth are you doing taking photos of PEOPLE if you aren't willing to hand over OWNERSHIP to them for THEIR LIKENESS in the photo?

    Who do you "think" you are?

    I find this article insulting both from a photographer point of view and as a potential client.

    You want MONEY but you ALSO want ownership of the photos?

    Fat chance loser.

    I'm going to send this to a friend who will post it on Facebook as the questions to ask your photographer so they know when a photographer ISN'T for them.

    Talk about a false sense of entitlement.

  23. RalucaDesigns

    The author just sounds like someone who hates his job with a passion and needs to find a new career. Possibly something at McDonald's where they can't be bothered to go above and beyond for clients and do the bare minimum....

  24. modernus

    Some of you people are fucking laaame. Dude, clients are not entitled to RAW files, it don't work that way, stop acting like you don't know that. Also, to you corn-balls acting like you're the only ones to discover this article is nothing but click bait- no shit! Chill, do you know how hard it is to come up with content you mouth breathers will actually like?

    Sorry, been listening to a lot of Bill Burr lately... carry on.

  25. noland.ugalde

    When you're done with shooting a group pic of people and they all give you their cell phones to take the group pic again and again and again. Worse when their phones go to locked screen to add to more wasted time.


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