Categories / Inspiration

10 Things Photographers Freaking Hate With a Passion

Creative Market March 31, 2021 · 6 min read
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!”

things-photographers-hate 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… things-photographers-hate 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

things-photographers-hate 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

things-photographers-hate 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!”

things-photographers-hate 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!”

things-photographers-hate 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. things-photographers-hate 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: things-photographers-hate Image source: vog

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

things-photographers-hate 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

things-photographers-hate 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

things-photographers-hate 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

things-photographers-hate 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. things-photographers-hate 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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  • 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. 6 years ago
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  • Hilarious and SO true! Love the photo of you and @Kelley Johnson! That was my fave. You guys are too cute...even when you are out of focus. :) 5 years ago
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  • Thank you for putting all our thoughts into words! I did a family portrait shoot at the beginning of the summer and one of the daughters asked me to send a certain photo to her so she could have it and post it on Instagram. Her exact words were "can you send me that one so I can post on instagram, with that Valencia filter on it." Jokingly (but oh so seriously) I said "you are not ruining this beautiful photo with some cheap filter!" For the record: I'm rather close with the family and would never speak in such a way to anyone who I didn't know. 5 years ago
  • nice article 5 years ago
  • As a beginning photographer who has done some pretty awesome work, if I do say so myself, my daughter has very young twins. She allows me to "play" with the photography, but hires someone else (a nurse who also does this one the side) for the "real" photos. I have actually been told not to take any pictures when they were infants because I was supposed to take care of her and when they were a little older, not to wear them out when I took pictures because the photographer was coming later in the day. My other set of grandchildren had a lot of very good pictures when they lived near me. Now the jealous? mom ruins every photo take I try to do. She also hires someone so I am not needed. The things she does when I bring a camera! 5 years ago
  • I am a newbie photographer and I just love this article, it rings so true, have not had many shoots as yet but I get the gist......but I was absolutely delighted with my first wedding shoot when the bride and groom announced that their 'official photographer' would take photos first and then there would be a session for the cell phone users...made my day : ) 5 years ago
  • Number 8 is me all the time. I will even set up the camera and all you have to do is point and click. ...Nope. So in my travel photos, my husband looks great and I look like a dingus *le sigh* 5 years ago
  • "You can just Photoshop that out" 5 years ago
  • I tinker now and then with photography but strictly of my kids and now my grandkids, family reunions, and cemetery headstones. I prefer restoring vintage photos that I discover or have scanned from various family members [I do provide them with their original back and a copy of my restoration as a courtesy for allowing me access to the photos - it was by this method that I finally was able to see what my maternal grandfather looked like as there are only about 4 photos of him at all and 1 is blurry beyond any type of recognition and another is of him in his casket - which was a trend back then and one I am grateful for as it is the best image of his face]. I'd rather do that for my own genealogical purposes than work with "live" individuals. My Dad started taking photos as a very young man and then decided when he was in his 50's to become a photographer and took classes at NYT in New York City and spent hours and hours blindfolded when practicing loading exposed film [yep! There wasn't any "digital" then] onto the film wheels preparing for developing. We had a darkroom furnished with every piece of development equipment known to man and some that were unknown as he would craft his own tools when he got an idea. He preferred photographing nature and the only human he enjoyed taking photos of was my stunningly gorgeous mother in elaborate sets he designed and built himself [he photographed my sister and myself if he had to ... ]. His friends did not hesitate to request his services for their children's weddings and he would only take money for the cost of film and paper. In one instance the young couple split up before the photos were even ready - I think it happened abt 2 weeks after they returned from their honeymoon so he didn't even get that. Now he was of the mindset where he would give the married couple everything - including the negatives [which is a very bad habit despite what someone above commented in a snide manner. She obviously doesn't realize that those wedding photos are not just "snapshots" but are in fact artworks and it doesn't matter whose image is in them, the photos and all rights to them belong to the photographer. By giving away these items, you, as the photographer are most likely losing business - reprints being done by some cheap mail-order co that only charges 50¢ for a 4x6 and using old chemicals and thereby making them look awful and then having your name attached to the sub-par prints - who is going to call you for your services after having seen those prints? [Dad did it that way so they would NOT ask for his services at weddings. He hated them and was perfectly content to lose "that" business]. Well, that is enough for my commiseration/mini rant. Ignore the negative comments that have been made regarding your article - everyone needs to blow some steam every now and then. 5 years ago
  • I agree with all 10! Great article. 5 years ago
  • I love this, I have seen bridal consultants think it is their place to tell photographers how to do their job. Get back! I think it is critical that family understands the boundaries of each person so as to not cause tension during a wedding shoot. I know of photographers who just stay clear of weddings. 5 years ago
  • Very funny but the real and right update! Everyone love the photo of you. Thank honesty for Pro photographers that make pro designers seem just a small less affected, snooty and whiney. Thank you for put all our opinion into words! It is very helpful for me. Thanks you so much. 4 years ago
  • Anonymous
    Photographers who think their work is more important than the actual crowd of people who show up to an event and stand in front of the crowd. Live audiences get precedence everywhere, sorry. I am under 5' tall, when you go in front, I see nothing. 4 years ago
  • Non-booked couples, other photographers, and planners who email/call to ask where a location is that they see on our portfolio. Go do your own damn location scouting. If you're not my client, you don't get my multiple decades of location scouting knowledge for free. We don't just press a button on a box. 4 years ago
  • Here are a few things that have ticked me off over the years... 1) The person next to you on the plane asks you why you are flying out of Iceland. You answer for a landscape photo shoot. "Oh, anyone can do that." 2) A former college instructor (though not in the arts) asking you to take a shot for her. Tells you how much it would mean to her if you would do this and make a print. "I would pay you, like $5 bucks." (Gas alone would have been over $10 for me to do this job!) 3) A colleague asking you to do an interior design photoshoot of her cabin. Sets the date, says she will call back that evening. You pack, get all set, keep your evening open for the job and..... she leaves you hanging. 4) A factory contacting you for a job. They want product photography done. They make it clear they want PRO work... after a month of helping them set things up, the boss says. "I just want it set up so anyone from the factory can press the button and we have the shot." Photography takes years of study and training. There is so much observation and planning that goes into this art. You can't just set it up so anyone can press the button and you have the shot. It doesn't work that way. Cameras are tools, not photographers. 4 years ago
  • @setmysite That sucks and I'm sorry. When a photographer doesn't follow the timeline, you are totally in your right to bug them - especially if you have followed the payment schedule! The only time I might hold back photos is if the client hasn't paid me - either the amount needed for me to release the gallery, or the amount needed to download the finals. They should also give you clear turnaround times in their contract/proposal. Glad you finally got the pics and I hope you loved them! 4 years ago
  • A roadeavour phone lens! 4 years ago
  • Yep. Covered it- thank you! Also this one (because I live in tourist land) "But my photographer at home..." I'm here. They're there. I'm not them. 4 years ago
  • Wow Great post. Thanks for sharing. Hope you will share more post. 4 years ago
  • Even though I love my digital camera I think one of thing that drives me a little crazy is that people do not know how to use photoshop I feel that if I have to edit my photos then they are not truly my photos do not get me wrong I have photoshop and lightroom but I rarely use it unless I feel like playing around with different effects and every person that i have taken photos of or for love my photos I do always get the question about photoshop and most people are shocked when I say that i never use photoshop or lightroom. 4 years ago
  • When people can clearly see I have my camera out but still decide to get in the way of my shot. it really pisses me off! 4 years ago
  • I laughed out loud at #7 — seriously, I did — having just spent the better part of an hour trying to disable Shutterfly's goddam auto "Vivid" function. Came across this item after Googling "Shutterfly settings are an insult to photographers," so there you go. Tnx for giving me a laugh! 4 years ago
  • Absolutely hate it when I take a lot of pics, edit the good ones, then send them to my client then they’ll say “didn’t you take more?” So annoying, I have a reason for not sending you pictures. It means they’really bad pictures. 3 years ago
  • Yes! Also just because it is such a great post and #7 is a great one, you have a small typo in #7 I think it was missing the word “be” or something. Thanks for such a great post though! 3 years ago
  • These are true fact.Thanks for the post. 3 years ago
  • When my costumers tell their children to say cheese! when my costumes are chewing gum! 3 years ago
  • Excellent article! 3 years ago
  • The pure truth. Hilarious! 3 years ago
  • I do know one thing for sure, that is photgrahers do not mind ripping people off and stealing money just because you add one word like Senior in front of a menial job. photographers are con artists that people fall for. I take my own pictures and best of call I offer my services at the local high school free of charge (just cost of prints, usually Sams club 10 cents a print) to undercut the local photographers that charge 100 dollars plus to take a simple picture. hopefully more people find out that the idea of taking a picture is not difficult at all. This will bring the price that these con artists charge for photos down to a realistic level. 3 years ago
  • The friends who are never happy with the pictures you take of them because they're not happy with their bodies... I can't change that, they can't be made happy, but by all means, keep taking the time to take their picture, edit, etc. 2 years ago
  • I have two pet hates: YouTube "influencers" and review sites that try to make us dissatisfied with perfectly good cameras and lenses so that they can earn commision when we "upgrade" ... and review sites that post awful photos that in no way show the true capabilities of the equipment they are reviewing. It never bothers me that I am sometimes expected to give my images away for free ... I just quote a realistic price, for example for an archival quality print. People are shocked that the 5 or 6 Euros they imagined they'd pay would not even cover the cost of the ink, never mind the heavyweight art paper; the cost of owning a good camera, fine lenses and a wide format printer; and my time and expertise. 1 year ago
  • These may be spot on, but they're also reasons why folks dislike working with photographers. I guess it all comes down to the contract. But can you imagine you paid a painter to paint your house and he said you can't put certain photos up on your own walls? Or, how about if someone builds you a table, it's copyrighted because he built it, but what if he said, oh, you can't put certain food on the table. That's pretty dang close to what it's like for a person to pay a photographer a ton of money, and then not have the right to do what they please with the photo. Hopefully these things change. Let's refute a few things: 1) This isn't unreasonable for someone to want a new, cutting edge type of photo. This shouldn't be an unreasonable request. 5) Come on man, you're being paid to do work. This shouldn't be an unreasonable request. 6) You're being paid for the work, that is, the photo taking. It's reasonable for the employer to want the source files. This shouldn't be an unreasonable request. 7) Come on man, you're being paid to do work. This shouldn't be an unreasonable request. 12 months ago
  • This is very good and looking full article and photography. I have a image editing company. please visit this website and take you service. 11 months ago
  • #6 is complete BS. if the client pays extra you should give him the entire sd card. this is not rocket science. 9 months ago