So if you mix some scatterbrained tendencies together, measure in a little socially awkward, add a scoop of hot mess and bake them all into small business owners, you will definitely get us every time. It’s a tried and true recipe. Anyone that knows us for real knows that we are a quirky duo. We have been this way since we were children, and let’s face it, some things will probably never change. We will be 90 and still be locking ourselves out of cars, talking to ourselves, losing our purses, burning whatever is baking, saying the wrong thing, and forgetting how old we are.
Somehow, (by nothing short of an act of God) we have managed to hold it together when it comes to running a successful photography business. But as you can imagine, in the course of our almost 10 years as photographers, there were some moments we forgot to successfully manage the crazy and had a few fails that are definitely blooper-reel-worthy. Lucky for us, our clients are the actual salt-of-the-earth and mostly laughed with us (or at us, whatever!) instead of feeding us to the wolves. And now for your entertainment, some of our top absent-minded photographer fails:
HANNA – In the photography world, we call sessions photoshoots. We don’t always say that we ‘photograph’, sometimes we say that we will “shoot”. Well, anyone that has had small children should know that they are quite literal. This fact completely escaped me a couple of years ago in the middle of a family session when I smiled down at the sweetest little five-year-old girl and explained that I would shoot her, right after I got done shooting her mother. Blood-curdling screams. Gut-wrenching sobs. She threw herself in her father’s arms and begged him to save everyone from the terrible lady. (who was, evidently, planning a mass murder) Her parents were laughing so hard it was difficult to console her. Meanwhile, I slowly started digging myself a grave.
HEIDI – It was Hatcher Pass, so obviously my clients and I were outrunning the storm that was hot on our heels. We had already raced halfway down the mountain, hopped out of the car and snapped a few photos before it reached us. When we got back to the vehicles to make our way to the next location, I took one look at my Tahoe and knew that in my haste, I had proved all the jokes about women drivers. The rain came. It poured. And my professional image melted along with the soft shoulder of the road, my tires sinking to a point of no return. I had to hitch a ride with my clients to the rest of the photoshoot that I was providing for them. They thought it was hilarious. My husband less-so.
HANNA – A few years back I photographed a wedding for a lovely couple. I had already shot 3-4 hours, done all the family and wedding party photos, when the bride stopped me during the couples photos to explain that the grooms name was David, not Daniel. HOW COULD I GET THE NAME WRONG?! As a business owner, I never want clients to feel like I don’t know them or overlook anything, especially when it comes to photographing the most important day of their lives. I had done my homework, read their questionnaires, planned their timeline, even met with them in person, but somehow still managed to completely get the name wrong. What’s worse is I kept doing it and catching myself the rest of the day. They thought it was pretty funny and soon everyone was calling him Daniel (even the DJ cracked a joke) at my expense.
HEIDI – I had a family session with the cutest little baby. We had taken lots of gorgeous family photos but I wanted to get some close ups of the baby by herself. So I asked mama to situate her daughter on the ground and I squatted down to get on her level. RIIPPPPPPPPPPPPP. My pants split all the way from my knee to my crotch. Mind you, we are photographing in Alaska, so session locations are mostly in the middle of nowhere and I don’t exactly bring an extra outfit with me everywhere I go. Needless to say, I just had to walk around the rest of the session with my pants flapping in the breeze. THANK GOD I was wearing underwear.
HANNA – All kinds of interesting situations happen when you are photographing groomsmen. For one thing, there is most often booze involved and they are rowdy. Combine that with my awkward personality and there are bound to be some hilarious and embarrassing moments. Once I had lined all the men up for a group photo and noticed that one of the groomsmen had belongings in his pants pocket, which is actually really common! So, I said, “Sir, it looks like your pocket is bulging out a little, would you mind removing whatever is in it?” He looked at me blankly and said, “Ma’am, there is nothing in my pocket…except something you probably don’t want me to remove.” The guys died laughing and I must have turned 18 shades of red.
HANNA – Speaking of men’s bulging pockets, I have a compartment in my camera bag that I use specifically to hold all the keys, chew cans, lighters, knives, wallets and whatever else Alaska men carry around on the regular and forget to take out prior to our session. It was a beautiful summer night for a family session and the dad was happy to have somewhere to put his belongings. Everything went perfect, the babies cooperated, the sunset was brilliant and we said our cheerful goodbyes after it was over. I drove home (maybe 25 minutes one way), said hello to my family, and started to unpack my bag, only to find (to my horror) that I still had this families car keys so they couldn’t drive, and also phone, so they couldn’t call me. Almost an hour into my oversight, I made it back to their car, now full of hungry, screaming children, and a flustered looking mom and dad. OYE.
HEIDI – Once this nice gentleman called to book a session as a gift for his wife. I went through the usual routine of talking on the phone, sending contracts, getting payment, etc. A couple days before the session I texted him to touch base, talk about the weather and give him the location address. I ended the text by saying, “Thank you! I am so excited to sh*t with you.” I didn’t even realize the mistype until he replied back, “Oh wow, guess you are into some weird stuff!” (Followed by laughing emojis) I died. The session went well, but when we were leaving they made sure to rub it in by waving and hollering from their car, “Thanks! That was the best sh*t we ever had!”
HEIDI – It was an August wedding and I was photographing family photos at a wedding. Everyone was so happy and seemed to be having a great time…except the father of the groom. For whatever reason, he just looked disinterested, bored and clearly not into the pictures. We always try to set the tone and work really hard to keep up the energy so we often will try to crack jokes, or say things to encourage good moods and cooperation. In this particular instance, I said, “C’mon dad! Let me see you smile! This is a happy day.” He still didn’t budge. I kept going, “Aw, just one! Your new daughter-in-law will thank you!” Right then the groom spoke up and explained that the dad had recently had a stroke and was physically unable to smile. Whoops!!!
HANNA – My most embarrassing texting fail by far was when I had been texting both a newborn client and also my husband in a short period of time. I had just finished planning out newborn session details with mom and decided to sit down and text my husband before leaving the studio. He had just made it back into reception from a hunting trip and I had a racy and very inappropriate photo prepared to send him just for the occasion…only I accidentally toggled back to the newborn thread and the poor unsuspecting mama wound up receiving imagery clearly meant for his eyes only. I immediately called, apologizing profusely and died a thousand deaths. My client laughed until she cried and assured me that it was deleted. Needless to say, on the day of the newborn session my face was permanently red and I was still mortified.
HEIDI – I was in Hatcher Pass (where evidently my #photographer fails happen a lot!) shooting a few sessions back to back. For those that haven’t been there, Hatcher Pass is far away from civilization, in the mountains, and has VERY spotty cell reception. Well, I show up to the first session, say hello to everyone and open my camera bag only to realize that I left my extra batteries on the charger at home. I had to leave my clients and drive until I got enough cell reception to call Hanna to rescue me by bringing charged batteries and then return to shoot. Luckily, my camera still had one battery in it with enough power to get me through until Hanna arrived to rescue me.
*to protect the innocent…the photos in this post do not go along with the actual stories