Photographer Excuses

This post was originally written for and published by PetaPixel after they found out about our project.

Photographers make all kinds of excuses, if it is 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.

We created as a small side project within around 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! Maybe you recognise some of your own struggles when you were a bloody 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 every trend.

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

On our little vacation project we also wanted to make sure that it would be possible to link to individual excuses, so you could send your friends exactly the one you thought was funny, so even when you refresh for another quote, you get the right link in your address bar.

Here are some of our favourite excuses, some tongue in cheek, some pointing out serious defects.

Oh, but now it looks like the Instagram filters!


Listen, it's not sexual harassment if I have a camera in my hand, sweety.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

Thanks to the person on reddit who inspired us to put it in by reacting to the link we posted!

We're a small and part-time photo duo called GegenWind (German for headwinds) and we live in Copenhagen. By day we're both developers in advertisement agencies in the city, but we spend a lot of our free time with cameras in our hands!

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!

Greetings from Copenhagen, Judith and Jonathan.

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Written by: Jonathan M. Hethey tagged with blog, petapixel, photographerexcuses