15 Things You Should Never Say To A Professional Photographer

What are some of the funniest (or maybe scariest) things your clients have ever said to you? I know we always said we should write a book with all of our experiences. Clients can say the most amazing things – and most of the time they don’t even realize the implications of what they are truly saying. Take a look at these 15, then come up with your own.


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clientexperience@todaysgrowthconsultant.com' About Virtual Photography

We're the co-founders of VirtualPhotographyStudio.com and have been writing on this blog since 2004. We started Virtual as a way to help photographers stretch beyond a part time income, and develop strategies to become a Five Figure Photographer or a Six Figure Photographer. Ultimately its all about lifestyle, and if your goal is to live as a photographer 24/7, we think you should have the knowledge and the tools to do so. Welcome!


  1. “You want HOW much? For a PICTURE?!”

    “I used to be a professional photographer!”

    “I’m paying $10,000 for my dress so I can’t afford a lot for my pictures.”

    “Here, let me take your picture. No one ever takes a picture of the photographer at a wedding!”

    “I’m sorry. Did I just step in front of your shot?”

  2. salazar.veronica@gmail.com' Veronica from SC says:

    LOL! This post was hilarious! Let me share one with you that happened to us a couple of weeks ago. We did a session with a couple that ride bikes. She works in the same company that we do. Pictures turned out great and they ordered a photobook. When the book was ready, we gave it to the . She was so thrilled that she showed off her pictures everywhere! Well, another colleague called me to inquire about the book, and I explained to him our portrait packages. He then said to me “Oh no, no! I don’t want to hire you. I cannot afford you, but I have a CD with pictures that the nurse took from my newborn, and I was wondering if you could make us a book like that!”… go figure… *smh*

  3. Veronica – LOL. We’ve heard that before too. Maybe a side business… hmm… (Just kidding)


  4. Dale – Thanks for the additions, they’re great.

  5. salazar.veronica@gmail.com' Veronica from SC says:

    LOL Dale! Those were good! We were hired by a couple to take some portraits. They live in a gorgeous place, so we immediately thought about outdoor portraits. When we were in the meeting with the couple sharing some ideas for the photo shoot, the man says “Oh no, we don’t want outdoor portraits. You see, my wife is a photographer, and she has taken lots of pictures of us and the kids outdoor.” Then I ask “Oh, that’s awesome! Does she use Nikon or Canon?”. The man replied: “Neither. She uses a Sony Coolpix I gave her… 4 megapixels!” Then we spent 10 minutes looking at their crappy snapshots…

  6. This applies to videographers too! 😀

  7. “Can you send me the full size file? I need to look at it in full size before I can figure out if I want to buy it.”

  8. Anthony – Wow hadn’t heard that one before. That’s bold.

  9. contact@incitephoto.com' incite photography says:

    How about…

    “We just bought a good camera. We can shoot that part ourselves.”

    “I think this is the best angle from here.” (Then they make framing gestures with their hands)

  10. salazar.veronica@gmail.com' Veronica from SC says:

    “We just bought a good camera. We can shoot that part ourselves.” <– That's a good one, incite photography! It goes in line with "that camera takes good pictures" LOL!!!

  11. paul@vandaphotography.co.uk' Paul Horton says:

    “while we are here in your studio you won’t mind if we take some photos on the iphone will you?”

    From a couple in with their newborn. Not really sure how they proposed to fire my studio heads from their phone as my answer was NO!

  12. Paul – People are truly amazing. I like the “negative” – you won’t mind – really trying to throw the psychology into it.

  13. It seems most people just want the disc nowadays. Then they think that just because it’s only a disc, that it shouldn’t cost nearly as much as I charge for prints. Wish it was easy to explain to people that it’s a job that I need to make money from to eat and pay bills, just the same as they do with their job. Thanks for the post – I’ve heard many of these.

  14. p.smith.photography4u@gmail.com' P.Smith Photography says:

    My cousin is going to shoot our wedding for free, but he is not that great at editing, could you cut us a break on editing, we just want the photos cropped. Say what? “*&^%%” lol

  15. Went to dinner a friends house, she said ” I love your photos, you must have a great camera”
    When we left I said” that was a fantastic meal, you must have a great oven”

  16. A colleague of mine was a real cheapskate, so rather got a family member to “shoot” their wedding with his 350D… the resulting photo’s showed that said “photographer” had no clue on how to compose and photograph at all, never mind weddings. I think some of the guests got better shots with their cellphone cameras.

  17. This was really said to me….”I’m a photographer too, my husband just bought me a camera for Christmas!”…this was in February.

  18. Lori – I love it! I guess the camera is the only thing that qualifies you as a photographer any more 😉

  19. serge@phototransfusion.com' Serge Yavorski says:

    The thing that ticks me off the most is when your clients think they can tell you what to do. When I do my own wedding, I weed those types out. But when I shoot for someone else occasionally, I do not have that opportunity and have to deal with those characters somehow.

    Last Saturday I was shooting this Indian wedding and the groom told me that “because I paid a lot of money for this wedding you will have to listen to what I say and shoot the way I sees it fit”. Then a barrage of inept instructions followed. If I paid attention to those, I would have ended up with branches of trees sticking out of people’s heads and all kinds of garbage in the background. I ended this nonsense by telling him that if he takes upon himself the role of the creative director, the resulting shots will be his sole responsibility.

    That’s what you get when you work with control freaks 🙂

  20. Thank you all for sharing all your past experiences with clients, and how you handled it. Some of the things mentioned, I had never heard of! I can see now how people will take advantage of your kindness if you let them, and how difficult it can be to own your own photography business. Makes me think twice, if I would ever want to own my own photography business! 🙂

  21. I had a client sit across from me and say right to my face, “You Photographer’s and your stupid copyrights……”

  22. These are so great. I also like the one from Steph: Went to dinner a friends house, she said ” I love your photos, you must have a great camera”. When we left I said” that was a fantastic meal, you must have a great oven”

  23. Lol, some great ones here!

    One of my favourites is when people look at my $1000+ lens, and say their P&S can take the same shots, as it has the same (digital) zoom range…. alrighty then, I usually smile and back away carefully in these situations.