Five Things That Piss Off Photographers

As my grandfather would have said, it’s better to be pissed off than to be pissed on. I guess he was right in some regards. For the most part, being rubbed the wrong way never becomes comfortable, and even photographers have a breaking point.


We’re all familiar with it. Criticism is something photographers need to become immune to if they plan on lasting. You need to learn to take criticism in this craft. After all, everyone has an opinion and they’re quick to share it online (you know, that place you like to share your work).

There’s no rule set in stone stating that all criticism must be constructive and polite, and because of that, people tend to be say what’s on their mind.


You shoot models? Yep, you shoot porn. Automotive photographer? Yep, you’re a geek. Family portraits? You’re an amateur. This isn’t how I feel personally, but I’ve heard it all before. Shoot, I’ve even developed my own catchy stereotypes that I’m sure would piss off all kinds of photographers, but you have too, so be understanding when someone conveniently places you into a stereotype you may not be prepared to associate with.


You’ve worked your tail off to establish your clientele and suddenly someone dips into that cache with their under-priced offerings. Don’t be that guy. If someone in your area is successful at a certain rate, do what you can to catch up to that rate. You’re probably worth it.


Someone more quote worthy than myself once said that you don’t need to be smart, you just need to know someone smart and copy them. Someone else once said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. That aside, do your thing, and if it’s yours and you own it, people will relate to that and the ones who copy you will fall into place behind you, as intended.


Maybe it’s just me, but damn you, technology! You keep advancing and making me feel obsolete. Or perhaps you complete me? I don’t know, but as my mind’s telling me no, my body, my body is telling me yes, and that leads to random clicks of random "purchase now" buttons on my favorite shopping site. I don’t even know if I need all of this crap, but I’m pretty sure it’s helping me to be more creative. I think. Maybe I’ll just shoot on film.

Did I leave anything out? What irks you as a photographer? Share in the comments below.

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Bill Merritt's picture

What pisses me off the most are photographers who whine about being photographers! lol

Tim R's picture

lol wedding photographers who complain about their weekends not being free.

Dusty Wooddell's picture

That's number six

Anonymous's picture

If you need Adobe, they've done their job and you haven't done yours. :-/

Anonymous's picture

?? No! Spoit, spoit (spray bottle I use on my dogs). If their software doesn't work the way you want, use something else. If you can't use something else, that means they did their job which is to make you dependent on them and you didn't do yours which is to not be dependent on them. PERIOD! <- See what I did there. I ended a sentence with a period, wrote "period" but then capped it off with an exclamation point. :-)

Really? You voted me down for that? WTF!?
You've cast more down votes than up votes! smh

Anonymous's picture

You're quite right except that opinion has nothing to do with your preceding comment which is illogical.

When you agree with someone, there's no need to comment on it so an up vote is appropriate. If you disagree, however, you should say why, which you did, in which case a down vote is redundant. While there're no rules for their use, logic dictates down votes be used for offensive comments.

When I've been offensive, I completely understand getting a down vote. If not, and particularly when my comment is logical and correct, I want to understand why the person did so. In your case, the fact you vote more people down than up, indicates a disagreeable person and probably not worth my time. I would have left it at that had you not also commented.

Deleted Account's picture

While you are providing a sound reasoning for Up/Down votes, there are no official rules and users are allowed to use their own discretion. Some people also like to see the world burn.

On the note of using something else besides Adobe. I've just picked up the Affinity products and they're AWESOME!

Deleted Account's picture

I have not been at all disappointed with Affinity. For the most part it's a very easy user transition since it's set up and looks very similar to PS. It even does some things better than in my opinion.

As soon as adobe went full subscription I was looking for a replacement. I cannot justify the running costs for updates that wont include features that I'm guaranteed to use.

I don't get too many bugs on my copy of LR6 (the last year it was available to own I think) and it hasn't crashed on my mac. The other alternative is CaptureOne which is REALLY powerful for its image quality but is a more tedious program to use.

Deleted Account's picture

The one thing that will keep me from getting rid of CaptureOne is its file processing. The quality is a lot better for some weird reason. Even on things like contrast and and color work. Do the same things on both programs and it will look much more clean in C1.

Anonymous's picture

I acknowledged there are no rules but we were talking about logic. His use was illogical. I would have suggested he try other software but that, also, would have been logical. :-/

Anonymous's picture

I wasn't addressing you and didn't invite a response from you.

Deleted Account's picture

My reply was about your rules on how Up/Down votes are supposed to happen. If someone down votes a comment of yours, get over it.

Anonymous's picture

I know what your reply was to. My response stands.

Deleted Account's picture

It looks logical to me. If you don't understand his logic re-read this snippet from one of his replies to your salt.

"An upvote is simply a way to agree with a poster and a downvote is simply a way to disagree with them. In either case a post can accompany the vote, or not. It's that simple. He simply took the downvote personal and then tried to get personal with me."

Anonymous's picture

Well, if you think so... so what?

Deleted Account's picture

Please pass the salt...

Deleted Account's picture


Andrew Ashley's picture

Complaints about cutting edge technology, no matter who it's from... Mostly found on rumor sites, "If it doesn't have a fudge-a-ma-hoose-it then I'm ditching my SmackCam2000 and going full on FujNikCanHas-a-ma-bob..." Just go out and shoot...

Anonymous's picture

People telling me gear doesn't matter or it does. Social media doesn't matter or it does. Whoever is president matters or doesn't. Basically, anyone who tries to impose their point of view on me. Sure, I want to hear about your POV, but it's yours...not mine.

Tim R's picture

I can assure you it doesn't matter.

Anonymous's picture

Thanks for your point of view. :-/

Matthias Dengler's picture

Wacom driver updates, which set all previously working basics of Photoshop out of order and causes keys "to get stuck".

Joel Law's picture

Tonight I walked into a bar I frequent. The owner rushes up to me and says, "oh my god I've been waiting for you to come back, that picture you posted on my Facebook page I love it, can you send me the original, I want to print it out 16 x 20 and put it on the wall. " I say sure no problem and sit down at the bar, expecting at the very least one cocktail on the house, which I've never had from this owner in 7 years. Nothing. Oh and another patron, noticing my camera says "Are you the photographer who took the picture Salim can't wait to print for the wall?" Yeah I am." It reminds me of a time, when I first moved to Connecticut, I was friends with a lawyer, who always asked me advice on a digital cameras, TV's, anything technology. I always gave him answers. However when I asked him a question he would say, "call me at the office" and then bill me at his hourly rate. Why do some people think your services are free and their services should cost?

michael buehrle's picture

hope the picture at least had a huge watermark on it if you sent the file. and all i can say is, fucking lawyers !

Dusty Wooddell's picture

Well, you did respond to his comment with "sure, no problem", when you could have said, "It'll cost ya". Plus, I hear it's pretty difficult to pass the bar, and a formal education is pricey. I'd guess the latter of those things separate most photographers from lawyers.

Tim R's picture

also attorneys have a lot of liability in giving out answers to questions without knowing situational context. They can lose their career over it. Camera topics are a different ball field.

Dumb Ttt's picture

This is a great example of a clueless photographer taking himself way too seriously and generally acting like a piece of s.

Are you seriously comparing advice on camera gears with advice on legal matters? Hasnt it occur to you that lawyers make their living on giving out legal advice, but your livelihood does not depend on advising people on cameras? This is not to mention that there are a host or legal and ethical rules dictating how an attorney should interact with his client. After talking to an innkeeper about camera do you also demand to stay in his hotel for free? Jesus, get a grip kiddo.

Dave Coates's picture

Camera Snobs. Seriously - yes, your Sony A10MQPQUITY is Super awesome and has some great features, but it costs more than I make in a month and you still take pictures in Creative Mode like an asshole driving a Ferrari with an automatic transmission. Just because its expensive, doesn't make you an better.

Dave Coates's picture

Just that there are some people who can afford the newest, coolest, fanciest tools, but don't really know what they are doing. Then get all condescending with someone who is or working on becoming better with a less fancy cool camera. Those types of people frustrate me. So do sports cars with automatic transmissions. :)

Paul Scharff's picture

You missed my Number One: "You must have a really good camera."

Michael Kim's picture

I process all my photos to look like various kinds of paintings & drawings, but I still consider them photographs!

Anonymous's picture

Undercutting: so I specialize, keep my overhead and costs under control, and I take away some photog's business because I can do it better and cheaper? I guess that WOULD piss off people, but it's a business. I charge what I need, and plus some, but overcharging is a serious issue, and maybe that pissed off photographer should take a closer look at their expenses and see how they can compete. I'm not cheaper because I hate other photographers - I'm a better value because I run my business well.

Dusty Wooddell's picture

Correct me if I'm wrong, but what you're saying is that you're cheaper because you're better?

dale clark's picture

He's cheaper because he is more efficient. He runs a business like a successful person should. There's a reason the term "starving artists" exist. I've gained work because the client's former photographer did not respect their time. My prices generally are more expensive, but I get things done in half the time (even better results). Client manager's are not "giddy" about having their employees, resources etc tied up for more than thats needed. I'm not saying that applies to everyone. However, the photography business, is like any other business. There's many inefficient photographers (lazy one's too BTW). Look at the very top heap of any type of photography...chances are they run an efficient, well oiled machine. Many top level sports photographers exhibit great efficiency. The way they shoot to delivery. Their livelihood depends on it. When I chat with young up and coming photographers from time to time, I always stress watch the workflow of photographers you admire. Not just their gear, software, camera settings, etc. Watch the stuff that goes on behind the scenes. Tons of outstanding photographers in the world. Very few top notch photographer-business people in comparison. Just my 2 cents :)

Dusty Wooddell's picture

I appreciate your input. I lean more towards the camp that believes efficiency should be rewarded monetarily. An automotive mechanic for example - I'd happily pay more if it meant less down time for my vehicle. I feel that idea should be the same for the services we offer our clients.

Anonymous's picture

I didn't say i was less expensive BECAUSE I was better; that's an absurd interpretation. I am better at my specialization AND i am less expensive because I keep costs under control. Because I specialize, I do not need to be ready for every potential client; my studio is small and affordable; my equipment is minimal and efficient; my marketing is targeted and effective. If other photographers lose clients because of merely cost, it could be argued that they were not really loyal clients at all. I don't fleece my clients, and I have a 95% return client rate. One photographer I gave business to because I couldn't meet their needs in time toId me they never called back after the quote. They decided to wait until I was available.

Daris Fox's picture

Undercutting is where a local photographer puts in a quote of 250 when you've quoted 1,500 because they don't understand the job specs and the results are predictably cr*p. I know that from when I saw the leaflets as they wasn't want the client asked for.

Makes it harder to justify your business rates, and yes this happened to me recently. The 'photographer' had a day job so he does this crap as a sideline so never bothered doing CA/CODB. It annoys your clients and more importantly undermines your market.

Anonymous's picture

Sounds like the client was the loser here - or maybe they had low expectations to begin with? In any case, they used the images, paid the photographer, and moved on. It's on you to justify to them the worth of 6x the cost. Clients generally don't care about your CODB - they care only about their CODB, as it should be. Will your images bring in 6 times the business for them?

Daris Fox's picture

Given the standard of the images I saw I'd say yes, it'd have a knock on effect especially for the markets they was targeting. For that market quality counts as their job is about creating impressions.

So the client definitely got burned but also the photographer who did such a cheap job, and yes I did give a cost breakdown to the client and tried to educate them. Cheap arsed photographers no only damage the market for rates but also damages other photographers in that you have to work harder to rebuild trust when they come to you.

Ralph Hightower's picture

I disagree about the comment about constructive criticism, as long as the person adds a suggestion for improvement; but they say that it is their personal opinion.

Chuck Tintera's picture

Irritations? The Johnny-come-latelys that talk jargon, even write it (usually badly) make me snarl.

Eli Epstein's picture

When you work your ass off shooting and editing one shot and someone says "wow, that's such an amazing photo! You must have a really nice camera!". I always sarcastically reply "yes, the camera is the reason it looks so good"

Marion -'s picture

When people don't take me seriously because I don't look like I could properly do my job LOL. Being a short girl on a race track has tons of downsides.
I try to just be polite and explain that I really do take pictures and that I'm not just an intern or someone's secretary.

jorgen lindalen's picture


Stas Aleksandersson's picture

Nothing's worse than photographers fighting in the comments section.
And people taking videos vertically.

Mark James's picture

People with phones that stand in front of me.