Forgotten film and frustrations: Photographers share their worst experiences, biggest pet peeves


posted Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 1:13 PM EST


Professional photographers often have amazing stories to share about their experiences around the world, photographing different subjects. But with those incredible moments also come negative events, and Feature Shoot recently asked 13 photographers about their worst moments on photo shoots.

Muir Vidler recalled the first time he met Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi -- better known as Colonel Gaddafi -- at his house following a beauty pageant in Libya. Before meeting him, officials took Vidler's camera from him, stating he wasn't allowed to take photos. So here's a photographer, without a camera, watching Gaddafi scurrying around a room kissing and hugging all of the contestants. Apparently when Gaddafi asked his aide why Vidler didn't have a camera if he was a photographer, the aide replied that he (Vidler) must have forgotten it. Vidler got redemption a few weeks later though when he returned with an American beauty pageant contestant and was allowed to take a few photos of the Colonel, such as the one seen below. 


Colonel Gaddafi photographed at the Bab al-Aziziyah compound in Tripoli #libya #gaddafi #portrait #portraitphotography

A photo posted by Muir Vidler (@muirvidler) on

Wildlife photographer Brent Stapelkamp thinks his worst experience during a shoot was when he was on safari. Stapelkamp charged his batteries, formatted his memory cards and was prepared to photograph an action. A pride of lions was surrounding a watering hole and as he went to capture an image of a lion chasing down a parched water buffalo, he was met with the "No CF card" error message on his camera.

Similarly, Traer Scott -- who has been attacked by animals, mind you -- referenced a time when she was just starting out. She had photographed nude models during a master class workshop for 45 minutes. Excitedly thinking she had just captured fantastic images of the human form, perhaps her best images ever, she was devastated to realize she had forgotten to load film into her camera.

To read the rest of the "worst moments," see the article here.

Continuing the trend of asking about negative experiences, Feature Shoot also asked 21 photographers about their pet peeves. Muir Vidler was quizzed again, this time replying that he hates longwinded, pretentious artist statements. Ed Kashi just hates talking about photography too much in general. Leon Borensztein offers a humorous reflection for his pet peeve, the fact that "people think great shots are a matter of luck in capturing that special moment in time. I know it is accurate, but I hate it when others know the truth."


A photo posted by Ed Kashi (@edkashi) on

Like many of the other respondents, Brent Stapelkamp's pet peeve has to do with other people doing things they ought not to do, "In wildlife photography, you have a moral duty not to disturb the animals that you are photographing. All too often I see photographers whistling or banging on the sides of vehicles to get that sleeping lion to put its head up, etc. Let's give these animals the respect they deserve."

Others are annoyed with gear. Lissa Rivera doesn't like when people ask her about her equipment rather than her artwork and Henry Hargreaves hates tripping on his tether cable. Click here to read the rest of the pet peeves.

Readers, what are your worst photo shoot experiences? What about your biggest photography pet peeves? Let us know in the comments below!

(Seen via Feature Shoot. Index image)