Sometimes it may seem that photographers always create amazing images. The truth is they just present the best ones. Most good photographers have failed more than we can imagine. They just never show their failures. Assuming that photographer has done all the preparation work: all of the gear was checked before starting the photo shoot, the team is on time and super prepared and the weather is fine — but something still goes wrong. What do you do then?

Failure in communication or...?

Photographer should always aim for the best results. But it happens in life that client is not always happy. Of course the communication is not pleasant when this kind of failure happens. Yet analyzing the mistakes can avoid taking the same step again. The biggest source for failure is too little time. When there is not enough time then it is better to cancel the shoot than just ‘do something’. Being in a hurry gives photographer less preparation time and can lead to mistakes. For example if the camera battery is not fully charged in a wedding and then it is always a fair that some important images will not be captured.

Second reason to make it fast is lack of money. To give a cheaper price means usually doing it at shorter time period. Sometimes photographers take the risk still. And sometimes they fail.

Another possible failure is communication. A successful collaboration starts from setting a goal. Giving a goal that is too wide can be misfortune. People understand things different. So it is smart to go through all the details before every shoot and also prepare the sets. Best images happen when both sides meet in real life and also if client is there when on the day of the shoot.

Nature photography

In terms of nature photography a wrong image can mean a frame where there has been too fast movement for a camera. The other option is that the light conditions are wrong. For example a photographer imagines a different scene but evaluates the light wrong. Sometimes the photo looks good for someone else, but a photographer itself takes it as a failure.

Sometimes photographer itself messes up the image. It happens when the moment to capture is too sudden or unpredictable. Also distractive things can mislead. For example a phone that rings or mosquitoes on a warm summer night.

Technical problems

Technical and equipment issues. First off, if a piece of equipment breaks down or stops working, simply switch to using backup. There must always be a certain amount of redundancy built into photographers kit so that they can carry on shooting if something goes wrong. A second camera body is a basic professional requirement, although it doesn’t need to be the exact same as main body — just enough to get the job done. Or another option is to borrow fast from a colleague. Of course it is a must to test all the equipment the previous night.


Next big idea, besides using backups, is to look for alternatives. If lighting fails, would it be possible to change the location or shoot with natural light? What are the basic requirements that a client wants? As long as you can fulfill this by whatever means necessary, they should still be happy. Just focusing on getting the job done helps a lot. Panic does not get anywhere far. Knowing where rental places, shops, or even fellow professionals are can save the day.

Post-Shoot Workflow

Following the same procedure — whatever it may be — each time you finish a job dramatically reduces the chances of you losing stuff, processing it wrong, or deleting it accidentally from camera.You should also look at your archiving or backup system. There’s lots of advice about this all over the Internet.

Sometimes the photo looks good for someone else, but a photographer itself takes it as a failure. It’s a lesson. Most of the cases the opinion changes after giving it a certain amount of time. That’s why it is wise not to delete old photos. After couple a months a failure might turn into gold.

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