Tough Love Tuesday: Five Things You Shouldn’t Say To A Photographer


I love being a photographer. Trust me, I really do. But sometimes things are said to me that I just don’t understand. Here are five of my faves.

“Wow! Your camera takes nice pictures!”


“Hey, plumber! Your tools did a great job fixing my sink!” “Hey, basketball player! Your sneakers really did a good job getting you to jump that high!” All of these statements are ridiculous so why say it to a photographer? I doubt someone would say to a painter “Damn, you must have used some really good brushes on that one.” A photographer worth their weight can take a great photo on a $10k setup to a toy camera. The camera may be awesome but it doesn’t mean much if it’s in the hands of someone who doesn’t know how to use it.

“I’d love to have you come to my niece’s birthday party! Bring your camera!”


Ummmm, thanks for the invite but I don’t know your niece like that. If you wanted to hire me to take photos that is one thing, but never ever invite someone to your party just for them to work it. I’ve had that happen to me before. It’s not a great feeling.

“Can you shoot my poetry slam? You can use it for your portfolio.”


Well, I’m a natural light portrait photographer so photographing a bunch of poets in a poorly lit cafe at 9pm isn’t really going to do much for me. Just because someone is a photographer doesn’t mean they want to photograph anything and everything, especially for free.

“You’re really expensive. I’m going to have my uncle/neighbor/sister-in-law/pet photograph my wedding.”


By all means, have your uncle who bought a DSLR at the local camera shop on Black Friday photograph your wedding. I wish you all the best. If the photographer you want to hire is amazing and you want them to photograph you, try to find a way to make it happen instead of resorting to someone who isn’t a professional.

“I only need one photo. It will be quick!”


Well, I may be sending you one photo but I still need to photograph you to make it happen and that takes time and I’m charging full price. A photographer will still need to spend time taking photos to make sure we got THE ONE™. Rushing the process will get poor results no one will be happy with.

This was obviously me having a bit of fun. There are so many more things I could have added to this list but they deserve longer posts dedicated to each one. So I hope you got a laugh from this and more importantly, stop saying these to the photographers you know.

One more meme for the road.