4 of the Most Annoying Things Photography Clients Ask

Our job would be great if it wasn't for the clients. Here are the 4 most annoying things that clients regularly ask me. I am sure most of you can relate to these.

One of the main reasons people come and go from the profession of photography is having to deal with difficult or downright ridiculous clients. Thankfully, after the first few years of being a pro you have heard and learnt how to deal with pretty much every ridiculous request that their is.

In this video I go over the 4 most annoying things that photography clients have asked me. However, what I didn't include was my first ever ridiculous request and which ones would be red flags for working with someone. During one of my first weddings that I shot a client asked if I could Photoshop one of the candid shots I took to make her Grandma be facing the camera rather than away from it. 

Clients wont ever stop being difficult to work with, but it usually comes down to either miss communications or needing to educate or set budget expectations of the client. Thankfully, I now see these requests as red flags or the as a client who might need a bit more information on how a shoot works before we go any further.

What are the most annoying requests that you have had from a client?

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John Ohle's picture

The one I get is "while you are here...". I may have been booked to photograph a launch or an event but "while I am there" could I to do portraits of the management team etc. Or while I am waiting for the MD to do his/her portrait could I do a few 'snaps' of the office...

Some clients think a camera just goes click and that is a Pulitzer prize winning photo. They do not always realise what goes into making a picture.

My last rant is the subject who after hair and make-up for there portrait and has walked into my setup says “I prefer the photographs where I am not expecting the photo”! I have, over many years, learned how to turn this around, but still.

It could be worse, every patient at the dentist says as soon as they see the dentist, “I hate going to the dentist”. So maybe as working photographers its not too bad.

Scott Choucino's picture

haha yeah this really makes me feel awkward and uncomfortable on jobs. I tend to end up saying yes too, and then doing a bad job.

Mike Ditz's picture

I have learned that with some of the "Hey can you shoot this while we wait for that" requests if I say sure, good idea! Let's do it after we get the main shots, they will forget about it or we run out of time.
Another option is to bring up the money/work equilibrium, as in sure we can do that, what would you like to drop from the original shot list?
Other times I am the hero and get a few goodwill points by doing something extra, depends on the client.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I had a client once that hired me for a small campaign that included some images for their web site and a show display. They were a bunch of friends who owned a very prosperous business but during the entire shoot all they did was goof with each other, constantly asking me to shoot what I consider as snaps not part of the project. I couldn't spend more than 5 minutes setting up for what they asked for originally before something else got their attention, like 35year old kids. By far the most annoying photography experience ever.

Jan Holler's picture

Yes, about the same happened to me lately. Had to shoot a trio for a flyer. Two of the three artists were talking all the time. I tried politely to have them look at me but failed. I ended up with about a hundred shots but could barely find one usable.
They all turned up fully dressed but one of them was wearing horrible shoes not fitting to the outfit. I tried to hide them but that destroyed pretty much the composition. It left me pretty frustrated.

Jan Holler's picture

I shoot portraits for a school. The kids are from 4 to 7 years old. They relax quite easily and they behave like grown up 35 years old. With a complete set-up, 2 portable studio flashes on stands to build up and take down, I get more than 20 kid's portraits with the obligate group photos done in less than 2 hours. And they all look great. (The photo too, but far more the kids).
So far for working with kids. :-) Cheers!

Deleted Account's picture

Welcome to customer facing roles.

People are morons.

Daniel Medley's picture

How much for photos? is a completely normal and legitimate question. It's odd that this bothers him so. I just consider it a segue into a necessary conversation.

In my opinion, anyway.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

In advertising type of photography, you really need to have all the details on what the client expect work-wise before being able to provide a price. Eventually, the pricing question will and has to come, but there is a time for it.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Oh, sorry, my husband just called to tell that he is late and I picked up his shirt. Do you have a place to iron it? Great! Could you please iron it while I’m making my makeup?

Michael Krueger's picture

I don't have a lot of experience with clients but I have been asked by a client if it's ok that they apply Instagram filters to my photos. Also got asked to photoshop out a guys double chin one time too.

Richard King's picture

The one that gets me is the statement that qualifies why I should Photoshop something in or out I. E. How easy it is or how long it would take

"I've got sunburnt and my tattoo cover up cream is now the wrong shade, IT WON'T TAKE Long for you to remove the tattoo from All of my wedding photographs"

Followed by the waterworks.

Derek Madge's picture

"a client asked if I could Photoshop one of the candid shots I took to make her Grandma be facing the camera rather than away from it. "

Couldn't you just turn the monitor around and click " Print"?