There are plenty of photographic nightmares a photographer can have. In this post are useful tips on how you can avoid these unpleasant situations and go to sleep at night with peace of mind)
Nightmare 1: Missing the decisive moment
“The decisive moment,” said Henri Cartier Bresson.That everything is just right for a top record. The camera settings, the light, the background, composition, emotions, you name it. Unfortunately, the decisive moment is often short. Think of ‘the kiss’ at a wedding or photographing dolphins or whales leaping out of the water . You really don’t want to miss this moment, because usually there is no opportunity to take the same photo again. But boy oh boy , a lot of things can seemingly go wrong just at that perfect moment.
One, you may have chosen the wrong camera settings for example causing the photo to be too light or dark or you may have relied on the automatic mode ( never a good idea ), the memory card may be full, the battery is empty, the flash overheats, you clicked too late, the lens cap was still on (= black viewer ), you just looked the wrong way, you had the lens with the wrong focal length on it …
Unfortunately, not everything can be prevented, but a dose of logical thinking, a solid preparation, and clear focus helps a lot. Is everything charged ? Is the memory cards empty? Good camera control (know when to choose certain settings)
Are you photographing a wedding or some other important event? It is then impossible to miss the decisive moment and arrive with ‘Yes, but my camera suddenly didn’t work’. In such a case, make sure you always have a good backup camera at hand!
Nightmare 2: Loosing your photos due to hard drive crash
Statistics has shown that 3 out of 10 people do not back up files on their computer.
Photos are often more valuable than you think, especially when you loose them, when it could have been prevented with a simple backup. So try to put in place a solid, self-operating backup system . And no, that is not something you will ‘set up’ next week or something that should be on your to-do list for too long. It should be now!
Nightmare 3: Water damage to the camera
Water damage is definitely my worst nightmare! But fortunately, the current range of SLR cameras doesn’t get estroyed by a few splashes here and there. But you can never be too careful when it comes to water. Always try to prevent your camera from getting wet as much as possible.
If your camera gets wet due to drizzle or a heavy downpour for example, remove the battery as soon as possible and put the camera in a container of rice. The rice pulls the moisture out of the camera. Be patient and only when you are sure that everything is dry which should be at least 24-48 hours, before you turn the camera back on. I know how hard it is to be patient in such a case (you just want to know if it still works), but it’s so important. If you turn the camera back on too soon, it can cause a short circuit somewhere and cause damage to the camera
The trick with water works with cell phones as well, as long as it’s not sea water. The seawater leaves behind salt and other debris once the water has evaporated, which can affect the operation of the electronics.
You can also protect your camera against water by investing in a good camera bag.
Nightmare 4: Not finding the right button for a required setting just before or during an important moment / event / photo session.
Yes, it happened to me. By this I do not mean that you do not know which camera settings to choose, but you simply cannot find the button for that one setting at that point in time.
The chances of this happening to you when you use your own camera is slim. But it can happen if you rent or you are using a borrowed camera (for example, a backup camera), or when you are using a newly purchased camera.
It happened to me twice that I kept looking badly for that one button. When I rented another camera for an assignment and it took too long before I realized that the focus point was locked with a Lock button. And another time I couldn’t get the camera off LiveView, because I hadn’t used that at the time. It may sound silly, but I think it’s more common than you think.
A good friend of mine, who is also a photographer, recently called me one day much too early in the morning because she was on her way to her appointment, but couldn’t find out how to do it on her new camera (which she had less than 24 hours) focus point could change. I had that camera for a while, and I remember looking for the right button for it myself the first time. At home I had taken the manual with it. A few weeks later, when she asked for advice early in the morning, neither of us had the manual to hand and it took another 15 minutes to figure out how I got it right the first time.
The lesson I hope to teach in this is that even if the rented / new camera is of the same brand as the camera you worked with, sometimes things work just a little bit differently. Make sure you to use a camera you are familiar with for extremely important occasions like weddings.
Nightmare 5: Camera is stolen
You can never prevent theft100%, but what is really annoying in the event of theft (despite all measures) is if it turns out that you have to bear the costs yourself because you are not properly insured.
Therefore, check different situations and consider whether the camera is insured in all situations. Theft may be covered by your home contents insurance, but not if your camera is stolen while you are at the beach or the zoo for a day. If you are on vacation, travel insurance often only covers up to a certain amount, and the value of your camera may be much more.
Nightmare 6: Forgetting to bring something
Haste is rarely a good thing, so make sure you take the extra 30 seconds to one minute to make sure you have everything with you. . A packing list comes in handy. When I was still working as a wedding photographer, I always pick up the list the night before and put everything ready. And in the morning I check it again just to be sure. For a photo session with children and family I am a little less stressed, but I definitely check it all again before getting in the car.
Reduce the chance of forgetting something by keeping your camera bag as complete as possible and / or keeping equipment together as much as possible. Do not leave the battery in the charger when it is ready, but put it back in the camera. Do not leave the memory cards lying around your computer after you have put photos on the computer , but store them back in the camera bag.
Nightmare # 7 “Mr A” also wanting to take a picture (and ruin your picture)
Photography is more popular than ever. It is also not surprising that more and more wedding guests also bring their camera, even if there is a professional photographer to capture the whole thing. This can cause some unpleasant situations, such as the example with “Mr A”. Mr A is the family member or friend who also likes to take pictures of the event. Although Mr A probably only has good intentions, but it can have a negative effect when photographing.
For example Mr A gets up to take a photo himself and suddenly walks into your composition, or stands in front of you at the wedding ceremony, just before ‘the kiss’.
Fortunately, it is becoming more and more common for the bridal couple to ask the guests to remain seated during the ceremony and not to photograph themselves, so that they can fully enjoy the wedding ceremony, and also so that the photographer can do his job well.
Prevent a situation like this by discussing with the bridal couple in advance.
Always make clear agreements if you know that there will be a photographer such as Mr A or videographer during the wedding.
Nightmare # 8 Suddenly the memory card is no longer readable
You have taken a bunch of beautiful photos and want to load these photos into the computer . And then you find out that the memory card is suddenly no longer readable. Oh no! I have experienced it several times myself. Once because I accidentally turned off the camera while the camera was saving another photo, causing a disk error. Another time the card gave an error for no apparent reason. Don’t panic, in many cases a reading error does not mean that you have actually lost all your photos from the card. With special software you can often still get the files back.
Nightmare # 9 Lost Photos
You deleted photos from the memory card that were not on the computer yet.
Maybe you were convinced you had them loaded, or maybe you just didn’t think twice when erasing or formatting the memory card. Anyway… you absolutely can not find the photos in Lightroom or on the computer. Oops. The good news is that as long as you have not completely refilled the memory card where you think the photos were on, there is still a chance that you can find the photo with special software, because the photo is still on somewhere on the card, but hidden. But if you have filled the entire card with new photos, then the hidden photos will be overwritten.
I try to prevent a situation like this by only formatting a memory card after I have confirmed whether the photos are really all loaded in Lightroom. Since I have a lot of memory cards, I often grab a ‘new one’ and check and erase everything once in a while. In fact, you can of course also remove the photos from the card as soon as you have loaded them, but because it sometimes takes a few hours before the backup is made (even if it starts running automatically), I often keep the photos on the memory card for a while.
Nightmare 11: The photo not turning out the way you envisioned.
If you can’t capture a situation as you envisioned, it could mean several things. It could be due to lighting or weather. It could also be that you find it difficult capturing the image the way you see. In this case it could be as a result of having the wrong lens with wrong focal length on the camera. It could also be because of the camera settings; perhaps there is so much contrast in the situation you are shooting that it is impossible to photograph it as you see without special accessories or lighting techniques.
These are the Photographers’ nightmare I could think off . Has any of these happened to you lately?