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What Grind's Our Gears as Creatives

As creatives it’s essential we network and create with other creatives. And of course when working with other people we tend to do things that will grind our collaborative partner’s gears. So it’s a two way street and we’re human; we aren’t all going to have the same drive, professionalism, worth ethic, common sense, etc. But this all comes with the territory. So it made me wonder, as a photographer I know what irks me but what about on the other end of the stick, the models! Let us not forget the stylist, make-up artist, hair stylist, and even the studio manager’s. You know, if you’re renting studio time the studio manager is typically the one who unlocks the doors, may help you setup, etc.

I asked a few people, models and other photographers what makes them cringe the most when working on a trade project. Come to find out there are some simple yet universal things that irritate us all. Some things I never took into consideration as a photographer because I don’t have to….


Punctuality/Going Ghost

LORDT… if this wasn’t the most brought up issues when I asked everyone what bothers them. Showing up late.People have scheduled time out of their day, and probably paid for studio time or could be missing paying clients to help execute the project, just for you to show up late. And it usually ends up with the shoot being rushed or taking longer meaning if there’s something scheduled after it’s going to start late.

The No Show: Imagine sharing the killer concept you’ve spent hours creating, cashed out $150 on studio time, scheduled a makeup artist AND hairstylist, bought the wardrobe for the shoot with 2-day shipping, just for the model not to show up?! This is one of the most hair-pulling, frustrating, ‘I just want to roll over and die’ moments you can ever have as a photographer.

This goes BOTH ways. I’ve heard plenty of stories of photographers going missing when it’s time to shoot. The amount of time and effort wasted is extremely annoying for everyone.

Lack of Communication

This is straightforward. Photographers not communicating where they are in the editing process, people not communicating their ETA. Communication is key but majority of the time those keys are missing.


Some people think because it’s a trade project, or because it’s not a ‘big’ deal it’s not serious and they don’t need to be professional. But this is the biggest ball buster. You never know where these connections can take you or the experience you’ll gain. SO keep it together...


Edits Taking Forever

Ok ok. I am extremely guilty for this. I always tell clients my turn around is typically 2 weeks after the shoot but truthfully this is not always the case. And plenty of photographers can contest.

“My biggest pet peeve is when a photographer says ‘I’m going to have these back in 3 days’ and it takes 3 weeks. Just say you don’t know how long it’s going to take.” Saunsu @saunsu

Sometimes, as photographers, we don’t estimate our work load right. We say ‘oh this won’t take long’ and it ends up taking days. And that’s hard to admit. But there are cases, and this is being brutally honest, where we just aren’t motivated to edit. Perhaps the concept or execution didn’t come out like you thought it would and that alone makes the editing process for us painful af. Even so it’s no excuse. We’ve got to do better ya’ll.

Edits Never Being Sent

“There’s a couple shoots I did and I never got the photos back and when I reached out to the photographer multiple times, they stopped hitting me back. Eventually I dropped it. It’s annoying because the photos were my payment. So I put in work and got nothing even though the agreement was TFP” - Jazz @jazzisnotahipster

This is a horror story and from what I’ve heard now it happens often. This sucks because a photographer can have a bomb portfolio and great energy when shooting but completely drop the ball in the post-shoot stage. Not only did you wast time but you’ve burned valuable bridges at the same time.

Not Being Able To Pick Their Favorites/Wong Picture Sent

Typically your photographer will let you choose the edits you find the best, and me personally I’ll edit a few more that I like so we are all happy. But this isn’t always the case. And sometimes the wrong favorite is sent. Which can be a bummer.

Perverted Photographers

This…. Speaks for itself. Honestly. I’m not a model but I’ve been hit up by a photographer that wanted to shoot me. I thought it would be something new so why not. Until he said he only wanted me to wear lingerie or a swimsuit Lol, I’m good luv. I literally asked if I could wear something else and he was not having it. It sucks because there are people out there shooting with a hidden motive. And it’s scary.

“One of the BIGGEST pet peeves is a photographer hitting you up for BUSINESS but they want everything else from you BUT BUSINESS. Perverted photographers are always a model’s least favorites. “ -Rach @rach.harris

Too Much Direction/No Direction

So this is a mixed bag. If your model is fire, let them do their thing. If they need some help, guide them and make them comfortable. As a photographer, it's our job to know when and when not to guide our models.

Depending on how seasoned and comfortable your model is, it’s a chance they don’t need direction. And for me, when I see the model’s magic I let them drive the boat. I hate trying to tell someone how to pose so when they naturally kill it, it’s likely I want to work with them again.

Over directing tho is extremely annoying. I’ve watched this happen and I cringed every second of the shoot. You could see how irritated the model was and that energy just transferred to the photos. And the photographer was annoyed because they couldn’t get the exact shot they wanted. So everyone lost in this situation.

What I like to do prior to the shoot is send pose inspo. Sending images of the poses I favor and want to execute so my model and I are on the same page. This helps SO much and I would highly recommend having your pose inspo ready. Even saving images of poses you like for whenever you need them helps. You can still guide your model this way without being too pushy. Especially if they aren’t very comfortable with their poses.


No mood board. No location idea. The ‘oh we will figure it out’ attitude, yeah. No.

“I’ve had a what should of been a 2 hour shoot ends up taking the entire day because of poor planning, guessing locations, rental space times are last minute, the assistants are late, or no show.” Tre @onetrejordan

Proper planning prevents poor performance. Nobody wants to look stupid, guessing what they’re going to do next. So please, have your shit together…

Dry Photographers

The energy can make or break the shoot. Models love when you cheer them on. Let me know that the photos look good, show them how much you love this shit. I’ve been on sets with photographers who don’t engage or make the experience fun and it’s boring. Let your model know the pictures are coming out fire. Cheer them on, keep the energy golden and hype your model up!


Instagram Poses/Not Knowing What To Do

It’s nothing like booking a fly model who can’t pose. I always tell people, practice your poses! Get in the mirror, find your angles. Don’t come to the shoot not knowing what you want to do.

I understand not every client is a model but even so you want to be prepared. Spend as much time on finding your outfit to practice posing. It makes the process way more fun and easier. You actually get more value because you’re not wasting time trying to find a pose or shooting the same pose over and over for an hour

Not Being Realistic About Retouching

There are photographers who can transform their models completely, and there are those who like things more natural. When choosing your shooter, ask questions. See if their retouching game is in line with your expectations.

Asking For Unedited Pictures

While this isn’t every photographer, there are a few. For me, I never send unedited images. Why? It’s not a clear reflection of my work. Let’s say I do give you an unedited image and you post it. People may think this is the quality they would get and it’s not. But there are some photographers who don’t mind posting unedited work. So this doesn’t reflect everyone..

Putting Filters Over The Edits

Not everyone cares but honestly if I spend 3 hours on an image and you put a trash Instagram filter over it, that hurts.

I honestly thought, before writing this blog post, photographers had more pet peeves but really as long as you’re on time, professional with good energy and can work the lens, we are content. But even so it’s good to see what both sides go through. We can be a bit more compassionate when working with others and remember that it’s a team effort. We got this, creatives!

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