Some Annoying Things About Photography and Cameras


Photography gave me a creative outlet in life, and I owe so much to it. It’s my form of escape and a way to relax. It pushes me to explore new places and it gets me out the door. I love it dearly.

That being said, there’s a lot about photography that annoys the heck out me, and here’s a list of everything I can’t stand. As a side note, I hope you don’t mind that I illustrate this article with some zen photography instead of pictures of the things that annoy me. That would just get my heart rate up too high.

Disclaimer: This article is meant to be tongue-in-cheek and have some fun. Don’t take it at all seriously, please!

Everything that annoys me about photography and cameras


Have you seen a Nikon camera these days?? Most people will never need half of those buttons in their lifetime. Can’t they invent a camera that only needs a few buttons? Where is Apple when you need them?

But seriously, I wish more camera companies put extra time into thinking about ergonomics, design, and making everyday use more pleasant rather than trying to pack each camera with new unneeded features just to lure people into an upgrade.

Everything that annoys me about photography and cameras

Lens dust

Last time I changed lenses, I was literally in a vacuum chamber and still a piece of dust got stuck smack in the middle of the sensor. And is there anyone who can clean it easily near me? Nope, because Nikon stopped making repair parts available in order to shut down third party repair companies. So not only do I have to send my Canon camera to the factory for small repairs because my local shops couldn’t stay in business without the Nikon business, but I can’t even find someone locally to quickly clean my sensor.

Yes, I know I can do it myself, but I’d rather have someone trained so that I don’t screw something up.

Everything that annoys me about photography and cameras


Remember that time when you thought you needed all these expensive filters to be a good photographer? While you do need a few filters, everyone goes overboard at some point and now has a filter graveyard drawer.

Everything that annoys me about photography and cameras


We don’t need more megapixels Sony! Our computers and external hard drives can barely keep up. Instead, give us better ergonomics, better ISO, faster focusing, and better dynamic range. Which brings me to the next point.

Everything that annoys me about photography and cameras

Small cameras with big lenses

What’s the point in a tiny mirrorless camera with a massive 20-pound lens? Is it impossible to make that 24-70mm lens that everyone uses just a little bit smaller? Please take the money from the megapixel blitzkrieg department and put it into the making lenses smaller department.

Everything that annoys me about photography and cameras


Why are all $300 tripods designed to fail after a year of use? I can’t imagine how much money the Planned Obsolescence Manager at Crap Tripod Inc. makes. We all learn this the hard way. We suffer until we get fed up and spend way too much money on a Gitzo that lasts us the rest of our lives and makes us really happy.

Everything that annoys me about photography and cameras

People walking in the way of your shot to get a closer shot

You’re pretending you don’t see me. I’ve been here for an hour. I’m a peaceful man, but I will strangle you with my remote shutter cord and break this tripod over your skull (not really, I’m just kidding!). Oh wait, it’s a Gitzo. This Gitzo will break your skull and then continue to work perfectly fine.

Everything that annoys me about photography and cameras

Neck pain

Please don’t carry your tripod over your neck. Use a backpack sometimes instead of a shoulder bag. Pick one lens before you go out the door instead of five. Stretch. Your body will thank you in 20 years when you’re not walking around like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Everything that annoys me about photography and cameras

Taking an iPhone photo of some sweaty person at a party with overhead lighting and them thinking it’s going to be amazing because I’m a photographer

I’m not Saint Theresa – I can’t perform miracles. Now stop trying to look like a duck.

Everything that annoys me about photography and cameras

People saying, “Isn’t everyone a photographer these days?”

You know, photography is a way for all types of people in all walks of life to find a creative outlet, and there’s a vibrant community of so many fun and interesting people that are drawn to it. But whether you meant it or not, that statement has a demeaning and devaluing undercurrent to it. All of us are completely different as photographers, just as anyone with a pen will write in a completely different way. Just because this amazing community is growing, does not mean that photography should be devalued.

Everything that annoys me about photography and cameras

When we’re traveling and I can’t skip out on all the fun stuff to take photos

You mean I have to go to a nice dinner at a fun looking place on the water with someone that I love dearly? What the heck – I want to go walk down this dirty alleyway for the next hour to take some moody photographs!

Everything that annoys me about photography and cameras


What things annoy or make you angry about photography or your gear? Please share in the comments below.

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James Maher is a professional photographer based in New York, whose primary passion is documenting the personalities and stories of the city. If you are planning a trip to NYC, he is offering his new guide free to DPS readers, titled The New York Photographer's Travel Guide. James also runs New York Photography Tours and Street Photography Workshops and is the author of the e-book, The Essentials of Street Photography.

  • Pete Mueller

    Awesome!! Thanks for the fun article…

    How about:

    * Buy this camera!! 65 focus points with all sorts of amazing capabilities!! (except in the fine print… only with certain high-end OEM lenses, or f/8 only, or… “your sucky $700 Tamron doesn’t qualify”)

    * Why is it EVERY time my pet does something super hilarious (a pose), the moment I get my camera up to my face (and I mean the very moment), he reconsiders?


    Home based mother Kelly Richards from New York City after resigning from her full-time duty been able to get paid from 26000$-28000$ per month from freelancing at home… This is just one way she implemented it >>> learn by clicking here how to do it right now

  • Greg Taylor

    You must have a dachshund

  • Robyn Jean Grace Garnet

    Good giggle and also total empathy.. thank you x

  • Kat

    Thank you for that last one!!! My non-photog family and friends will never understand it.
    And don’t forget this one – “wow, that’s an awesome picture, you must have a really great camera!” Uh, the camera had some help from the person who set the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, then metered the scene, waited an hour for the right light, studied the scene for the best angles, composed the shot, focused properly, and then hit the shutter button, opened it in Lightroom and polished it off. Yeah, my camera did all that by itself, I was home eating nachos at the time.

  • Wanderin_Weeta

    Manuals. Manual indexes. ’nuff said.

  • Tim Laborde

    Family photos. I hate taking those pictures. No one is ever satisfied with their expression/pose.

  • Tim Laborde

    Biggest Pet Peeve is when I get ready to release the shutter, someone with a camera phone steps in and gets in the way of the composition.

  • Olivia White

    “Taking an iPhone photo of some sweaty person at a party with overhead lighting and them thinking it’s going to be amazing because I’m a photographer”

    Oh my! You hit the nail on the head with that one! 🙂
    Thank you, we can all empathize together.

  • Mtpalms Took some night shots at an art installation last weekend. I had my camera, pancake lens, tripod, and a small $10 remote. I set my shutter to bulb and got one great shot after another. Part of the show were ‘flying saucers’ -mesh satellite dishes lit from the inside- and there were a lot of frustrated people who couldn’t figure out how to get the pictures they wanted. One woman insisted I was getting them, because I had her ‘dream camera’. Her dream maybe, it is a Canon T2i, which I would love to upgrade -maybe to a refurbed T5, I dunno… ? My tripod is a -$100 zomei. It is pretty sturdy, but I probably wouldn’t risk hurting it by hitting anyone over the head with it.

  • Nan Jolly Moore


  • Adrian Wedderburn

    Great post, one I find annoying- wrong lens disease. Carefully choose a lens, research the location and get there to find I need a zoom not wide, or there’s unexpected wild life and I need a Tele, goes to your comment on over packing. I hate having to change lenses in the open – your other point on sensor dust. Thanks for the refreshing post, made me smile.

  • Kerry Sidwell Wilson

    Being told for years – practice more dont waste money upgrading to a full frame body. Yet most photographers producing quality work shoot with a full frame! And when i finally upgraded, the differnce in the dificult shots is so worth it, when you live in a city with harsh light that is most shots.

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  • Lynda McKay

    Showing other photographers your photos and all they want to talk about is the numbers. I took a nice photo – let’s talk about where I was or why I included those elements instead of the camera, lens, aperture or shutter speed.

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  • Ravindra Kathale

    Congratulations for writing a humourous article. One of my complaints is that everyone takes photography very seriously – especially while writing about it. So, thanks once again. I have read it twice and am book-marking it for going back to once in a while. All your points are very valid and nicely dealt with. My twopence is the histograms. Notice that if you ETTR, the image is too bright? If you like them that way, fine. Otherwise? also why Nikon cannot have a live histogram that a Sony mirrorless has? About smartphone photographers: when they sees my image of the same thing, he understands.
    All images you included in the essay are very good. Congratulations. I liked them all.
    Why not write more frequently about the funny side of photography, photographing, photographers etc.? Give it a serious thought.

  • Bob Pearce

    The most annoying thing about DSL photography is when you start out and know little or nothing you get locked into a particular brand eg a barging deal locked me into Sony , with kit lenses , better lenses available ,then you think you have solved the lens issue costs and mounts etc by buying Tamron etc then your told their are better quality Ziesse lenses , then Sony change their mount, an adaptor cost $ hundreds only to find that the old lenses don’t work as well because they don’t suit a full frame sensor and I’ve still got the wrong lenses

  • Jose Rodriguez

    People who show up to a professional shoot and you question them about their camera and they pull out an iPhone…not even kidding…I told her to piss off and I wasn’t paying her for photos…

  • Ha – that’s pretty crazy Jose. Never had that happen to me 🙂

  • This is very annoying!

  • Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Completely agree Lynda!

  • I actually think a high quality APS-C can be very comparable to Full frame in certain ways, but it has a big advantage for portraiture, event/wedding, and anything where you need a really shallow depth of field.

  • That’s fear of missing out Adrian! Pick a lens and the shots you can’t get with it don’t exist anyway – let those go!

  • Happens all the time!

  • Yes being the official family photographer is the worst. “I just want something super quick.” “Ugh, I hate how I look there.”

  • Ha, yes!

  • Arthur_P_Dent

    Then you tell them, “That was a really good meal. You must have a good stove!”

  • Arthur_P_Dent

    I was at the Seattle Aquarium when they were feeding the otters, and this woman with an iPad is in the front taking pictures, blocking anyone behind her from getting a shot, and she didn’t have the decency to move after she got a shot. So I missed the main feeding.

  • Calif Dan

    The only thing I don’t agree with is your comment about buttons. I teach people how to use their camera’s in one-on-one tutoring sessions so see all variety of makes and models. I am always frustrated with lower end cameras that make me go to the LCD to make a common change (like ISO) rather than having a dedicated button – especially when they make you go to the full menu system rather than a quick menu. So, for me, the more buttons the better. However, they do need to be intelligently laid out so your finger can find them easily with the camera at your eye. I think Canon is far superior to Nikon in this regard.

    One thing you failed to mention is the lack of the DOF preview button on many (mostly Nikon) entry level models – especially when the Live View also uses wide open aperture. It is an abomination not allowing the user to preview the DOF just to save a couple of bucks in list price.


  • KC

    I can relate to buttons. How did we have decades of photography without so many buttons?

    Scene modes have a place here. When did this become a “thing”? Pet mode? Baby mode? Sharing a beer with a yeti selfie mode? I used to joke that jy life should be as exciting as the scene modes on my camera.

    This one is a bit more bizarre. Some of us are left handed and left eyed. If your camera has an eye level viewfinder, and you’re left eyed, where do you put your nose? Nothing like nose prints on a rear screen.

    This one I find interesting and annoying. I’ve never owned a Canon or Nikon, but I’ve used them. They attract other Canon and Nikon people who want to talk endlessly about their Canon and Nikon epiphanies, reviews, whatever. If I have either in my hand I’ll hear endless babble about how the other brand is better because….I tune out. I’m working, it’s just a camera, and both brands make fine cameras. I prefer my Panasonic’s because I can work in peace. You can spot this type coming by the “camera bling”. Everything they’re carrying and wearing has the camera brand on it.

    The annoying “so what do you shoot? question” Hunters shoot, I capture images. The other, commercial, part of that answer is anything that pays the bills and interests me enough to take on. (I freelance.) The art side of photography is whatever I’m working on at the moment.

    If people press the question, and you need to throw them off, say “forensic photography”. Someone has to accurately document crime scenes, cadavers, and other gory things. You seldom get follow up questions.

    All kidding aside, I enjoy photography, all of it. It’s all good.

  • KC

    I take it seriously, did a lot of studying, have a lot of experience, but I can’t “do” the bizarre level of pomposity I’ve run across too many times. I can fake it, until it makes me laugh, though. Maybe because it was always there in my life, along with other art forms. But, I have heard and seen some truly bonkers things.

    I enjoy sharing encouragement and inspiration. If there’s a need to get into technical/science bits, I do, but gently.

  • CaptainJack

    How about spending several minutes lining up the perfect shot, snapping the shutter, processing the image only to find someone else already has that shot copyrighted and living on their website. I know, we all gotta eat, but dang, don’t get angry with me because *I* did my own version. Besides, this world changes enough that my shot and your shot aren’t really the same. Okay, this only happened to me once but dang it was annoying.

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