The Excuses Photographers Make

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Photographers make all kinds of excuses, whether out of lack of experience or just because they thought something to be common knowledge (which it often isn’t). Taking ownership of your work and communicating expectations is crucial on the path to success and professionalism.

Here are some of our favorite excuses. Some are tongue in cheek, while some point out serious issues.

“Oh, but now it looks like the Instagram filters!”

“I didn’t know she was the bride.”

“How is it my fault that your eyes reflect light and you therefore look like a demon?”

“I don’t know who you think you are, but from where I stand, portraits need a soft filter.”

“Listen, it’s not sexual harassment if I have a camera in my hand, sweetie.”

(Sexual harassment and people overstepping boundaries are not ok in any field. Be sure to communicate well and to be respectful towards all models and subjects.)

“You say ‘poorly lit’, I say ‘atmospheric’.”

“A photographer is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.”

“The sun wasn’t shining.”

“The sun was shining.”

“It’s called art.”

“Well if you paid me more, I wouldn’t have lost your wedding shoots because I couldn’t afford backups!”

(Negotiation of hourly fees and working for free are a big topic in the community, but it’s something you need to figure out and never get in a situation like this.)

“It must be your screen, they look fine on my computer.”

“I can’t remove my watermark, it’s on the pictures now.”

“Just saying, you never stated it wouldn’t be okay to use those as stock pictures for me to sell.”

Obviously your clients wouldn’t expect that you would sell off their portraits as stock photography for anything.

“Sorry, I must not have had coffee that day.”

Want to read more? We recently created photographerexcuses.com as a small side project in about a day to illustrate a lot of bad practices, common mistakes, and misunderstandings in the world of photography. Most importantly, we wanted to make people smile with some of the excuses photographers make.

Maybe you recognize some of your own struggles when you were a beginner — I sure can relate to a couple. Especially about how to deal with clients, how to deal with different light settings, and how not to jump into every trend.

We got the idea from the fantastic and bitter-sweet funny site programmingexcuses.com, which also displays quotes that probably anyone working in the IT or software industry can relate to.

We hope the excuses make you smile a little or even spark off an interesting thought of how to take better ownership of your production quality, attitude or how to communicate with your clients better!


About the author: Based in Copenhagen, GegenWind is a part-time photography duo consisting of Judith and Jonathan. By day, they’re both developers in advertising agencies, but they’re often found with cameras in their hands outside of the office.

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