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Types of People Photographers Have to Deal With

Updated on July 28, 2015

Being a photographer is no easy task. The work is hard and no one wants to pay decent money for what they believe are "snapshots". The photographer must summon every piece of artistic talent within their soul while also mastering the mechanics of the camera, and usually within seconds or they risk losing the perfect photo. Some shots require climbing, crouching, running, or staying entirely still and balanced. And as soon as a relative or friend discover they know someone with professional equipment, they assume they now have their own personal photographer for any and all events in their lives. Pro bono, of course.

During my experience as a freelance photographer, I have come across at least one of each of these types of people. Whether they are the actual client or a guest at the client's event, these people really have a knack for getting under my skin.


The Editor

Every event, party, or portrait session has never failed to bring forth The Editor, which is the title I (mentally) give to the person who persistently asks, "you're going to edit these, right?" or "can you crop that (random object in the background) out?".

Apparently, there is at least one in every bunch who doesn't understand that photographers do much, much more than take pictures. Editing is a whole job in itself, and yes, it is included with every photo session. If you doubt my ability to professionally edit your photos, I will hand you the memory card and let you have at it. But please, refrain from calling me when you have no idea what you're doing.

The Editor doesn't just repeatedly remind you to fix the photos, but they expect miracles, as well. I've had women on separate occasions ask me if I can please make them skinnier, slim down their butts, or change their eye colors. I am a photographer, not God.


The "Look Everywhere But At The Camera" Person

Perhaps my biggest pet peeve as a photographer is when others fail to recognize that I am the photographer. When everyone gets gathered together for a group photo at a wedding reception, only a select few realize they need to be looking at the camera. The others will glance around aimlessly. I'm not sure why this happens so often seeing as how they knew they were in a group photo. But, alas, the bride and groom will become annoyed when they are going through the photos of their big day and most family and friends failed to cooperate.


The Other Photographer

The Other Photographer is the person who has some cheap digital camera or cell phone and honestly believes in their hearts that their photos are better than the real photographer - the one with the real equipment. This person will usually pal around close to the photographer and take similar shots. They feel they are somehow cooler because they can apply filters to their snapshots through apps on their devices and even upload them to social media immediately, whereas the real photographer may take weeks. They will then tag the bride and groom and make others assume they did the photography. And since these are clients and the real photographer is getting paid to be a professional, it is bad taste to say anything about it. (Secretly, we are wishing the bride and groom will step up and say something!)

I recently photographed a wedding where one guest decided to be The Other Photographer and stood just inches away from me. I was in the middle of photographing group shots of the family with the bride and groom. This person belonged to the family, so naturally she was more talkative and playful with them. The guests began aiming their eyes and adjusting their poses towards her cell phone instead of my Canon. Regardless of how often I politely reminded them to look at me, only the bride and groom did. The end result was I had a whole series of photos to hand the bride and groom where no one was at my attention.


The Assistant

The Assistant is similar to The Other Photographer in the sense that this person stays close by and is always there when not asked or needed. However, The Assistant does not try to take better photos than you. Instead, they desperately try to make your photos better.

Just before you snap the photo, this person will rambunctiously enter the frame because they noticed a leaf on the ground that should be removed. Or maybe a hair out of place on the subject's head. Whatever the reason, The Assistant will always mess up what would have been a decent shot by photobombing it. They will excuse their actions by saying "sorry, I just thought it would look better if that branch 25 yards in the distance wasn't there."


The "A Monkey Could Do This" Person

No matter what you do in life, there will always be that one person who assumes it is easy. I frequently come across someone who reminds me about how simple it is to push the shutter button. The "A Monkey Could Do This" Person is the one who literally believes a monkey can do whatever it is you're doing, and therefore it is not impressive that you are doing it. This person will be right there to complain the entire time about how long the portrait session is taking or how they don't understand why "so and so" paid for this. After all, anyone could push that button!

Yes, it is true that monkeys are highly intelligent. They can, by all means, learn how to push the button on a camera. However, they cannot learn the concept of art, and photography IS an art. And like all other forms of art, it must be studied and practiced by ambitious individuals. People do not become photographers simply because they have a camera and know to press the shutter button. They become photographers because they have a passion to create art based on what they are viewing at that exact moment. Please, don't ever be this person.


What type of these annoying people are you?

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      Frank Simonetti 2 years ago

      I agree with your story, being a photographer for the past thirty years. When I was a young photographer (up to age 48) :) I found my ego got in the way with the different personalities-people I photographed. Now with age, I go with the flow. I try to not to let the annoying personalities bother me. Rather, I give the people a stage for a few moments to voice their opinion, I thank them and we all get back to work and create successfully. As I view my images now I can see a more joyful and peaceful images.