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10 Things You DON'T Want to Happen at a Photo Shoot - PPA Today

10 Things You DON'T Want to Happen at a Photo Shoot

brokencamera_blog.jpgAs a professional photographer, you know that the unexpected can (and will) happen during a photo shoot.

We asked you to share your stories of some of the strangest occurrences while photographing on theLoop, the social network just for PPA members! Ten of our favorite stories are below. While these stories can be hilarious, they also highlight the need for things like equipment and malpractice insurance for your photography business (both of which are available through PPA as part of your membership!).

Fainting brides! Fire ant attacks! Mother Nature! And excrement! You'll find all these situations and more in these stories.

1). "I managed to break my camera and my 35mm three minutes before the bride walked down the aisle. I have no clue what happened to cause it either. The top plastic grid thing of the mirror fell off. Literally broke and just fell off. It was like a quantum leap into suckdom! I almost cried. Thank GOD (or a brain) for insurance AND backup equipment. Being without my 35mm was so hard though. Sigh!" - Jessica Williams Dorris

2). "While taking photos of Girl Scouts at a farm, the peacocks started mating. We were so happy that the male peacock was showing his beautiful feathers for our photo shoot. Well, he was trying to attract Mrs. Peacock and it worked!" - Karen Hoglund

3). "I stepped in dog poop! Matter of fact, It was a dog photo shoot. I'm usually careful about such things but I backed up to get a shot and...squish. I didn't have another pair of shoes either. Needless to say, I took off my shoes when I went in their house later!" -  Karen Hoglund

4). "I was on a shoot outside a decommissioned Air Force (Loring AFB) in northern Maine. On the base is a place where old military vehicles go for upgrades and repairs. I used to do lingerie or swimwear photos on the old trucks that were placed just outside the gate and were either scrap or awaiting repairs. The model went to change and I informed her I would be waiting on the back of one of the trucks, it had been a long day of shooting and I was not watching where I was going, I also did not see the pipe that the cable of winch went through nor did I realize that it had been welded in place.  

"As I jumped on the back of the truck and turned I rammed my left temple into the end of said pipe. I didn't think much of it until I felt a bit of blood on the side of my face... Yep, I drew blood... That caused the saying that 'No one but me is allowed to get injured during shoots', although I have learned to make sure of where I am going before I leap to it." - Jason Grass

5). "I had a bird poop on my face while shooting an engagement once. Not fun...right down my face." -  T. Blair Wright
6). "Before a wedding ceremony I was at the hotel doing portraits of the groom and groomsmen. I arranged the men on a lawn between two of the hotel buildings. What I did not realize was that the groom was standing on a fire ant hill. All of the sudden I saw the groom drop his pants in a panic and started slapping at his legs. It was pretty hilarious to see him wearing tails and no pants out in public. I kept shooting!" - Thomas Collins, M.Photog.

7). "I was doing the pre-ceremony bridals. We were outside on a warm day so I made sure to keep the bride in the shade of a tree on the lawn. I was focusing on her face and was just about to click the shutter when she suddenly went out of focus and out of frame very quickly. At the same instant her bridesmaids' cries of alarm made me look over my viewfinder in time to see my bride fall backwards in a dead faint!

"It was a good thing I had her on the lawn--she was unconscious but unhurt. It turned-out that on this hot and stressful day she had not eaten or drank anything! It took about a half-hour, and some food and water before she was able to stand, to resume photography. We used this story, for many years, as a warning to our brides to eat and hydrate on their wedding day." - Jerry Venz, M.Photog.

8). "I was in the Smoky Mountains shooting possibly the prettiest river ever...clean, cool and clear water flowed all around when my camera decided to take a dive into that water! While I was trying to retrieve it, I took a dive too. It was perfect shooting conditions too! We were over an hour away from the cabin where we stayed so I had to ride all that way in wet clothing. I learned the value of bringing an extra set of clothing on shoots, and even if the camera is on a tripod, it still needs to be on a neck strap and around my neck." - Marie Mitchell

9). "I was doing a beach/pool wedding in the Virgin Islands. The groom gets toasted, to the point of falling in the pool with his full tux, jacket, shoes, flower and all. His bride, now his wife, is also a few sheets into the wind and she starts hitting on me. They contact the officiate the next day and ask her to tear up the papers like they were never married - no can do. I never did find out if that marriage lasted..." - Bob Coates, M.Photog.Cr., CPP

10). "Have back-up equipment handy at all times! The bride and groom have started their recessional; they're walking towards me, and fortunately are being slowed down by guests shaking the groom's hand. I'm clicking and winding my Bronica ETRSI medium-format camera as fast as I can when suddenly the view finder goes black! I quickly check, did I hit the mirror lock-up? Nope. So I grab the other Bronica that's on my shoulder strap, with fortunately a wide-angle lens, and I continue getting a few more images of the bride and groom followed by their wedding party. It turns out that I had total shutter failure on my favorite lens, the 150mm, so I made do for the rest of the wedding with my 250mm and my three other lenses. Always have backups of everything--especially of your favorite gear!" - Jerry Venz, M.Photog.


We all face unexpected surprises at photo shoots, so, what's your story? Share them with us and your fellow PPA members on theLoop!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on May 24, 2013 10:00 AM.

Attitude Problem: Change the Way You Approach Weddings was the previous entry in this blog.

You Asked, Jen Answered is the next entry in this blog.

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