And One Day We Can Laugh About Those Epic Fails

As a photographer, I’ve learned that things don’t always flow smoothly as planned.

1. Monster in the BushesLight ArtOne time, while doing light art at the lake, my light artist messed up an outline. I laughed so hard at the result that I almost peed! That wasn’t as serious but on a different night while working on astrophotography – I really had to go! 2am in the middle of nowhere and no Portapotties around.

Ben JosseAfter taking advantage of a shadowy area across the street, I told the guys that I’d heard some eerie sounds in that direction. They laughed and claimed to have followed me and ‘seen everything’. A few minutes later, though, the eerie and bizarre sounds reached their ears. Everyone became increasing paranoid and we had to leave very quickly!

2. Shooting Snipes
The Saleve at Night (1280x404)
Speaking of Astrophotography, one of my photo buddies tells a story in which he was interrogated by police because they thought he was a sniper! Wrong kind of shooting >.< always thought it was hilarious until a patrol of French police decided to lecture me on night photography. The fact they’d caught me under a street lamp didn’t help my case at all!

3. Hanging Out With Ninjas

Some friends and I dressed as ninjas to scout out a rooftopping view in Geneva. We decided to leave our perch when the man watching TV in the building across ran into his room to change.

IMG_0192 (1280x837)After a successful decent, the police happened to drive by (sirens screeching into the night sky) which scared us into switching outfits. While the officers didn’t see us, a group of pedestrians sure got a good look at our undressed bodies as we struggled to get different cloths on!

For weeks after the incident, I had some serious flashbacks/issues with European sirens.

4. No, Really, Don’t Get Blown Away

Behind the ScenesOnce, we were shooting on a mountain during a wind storm. The person holding the reflector may or may not have almost gotten blown away. In the end, it took three people to hold down and steady the reflector!

5. When that One Guy Got Attacked by Gypsies

During a photoshoot, we had people dressed as gypsies and clowns carrying equipment to our location which was close to a mile away. Got lots of strange looks and smiles from people.How to carry Things (995x1280)A couple weeks later my friends and went gypsy camping. While our misadventures included getting burned while dancing around the fire, guarding our belongings from a ‘group of men’ and waking up to freezing temperatures in a cave… We got back to school in time to hear that one of the theology students had been confronted by hostile gypsies the previous night.

That’s definitely not how we remember the incident! What a misunderstanding. Anyways everyone knew who the gypsies where because of the photoshoot. Both parties laughed and apologized for scaring each other in the middle of the night.

6. Are We There Yet?

WorstPhotoShoot (2)Pretty much anytime the crew has to hike over a mile just to get to the location! Happens more often than I’d like. Even worse when we have to transport crippled people. It’s gotten creative.

7. Case of the Missing Ringmaster

Piano (3)I’ve been working closely with an acrobatic gymnast in a series of editorial circus photoshoots. While our results are always fabulously awesome, our heads don’t always flow in the same direction. After three months of struggling with our project we’d finally arrived at our final shoot. Unfortunately, the day of – it became apparent that we were missing a ring master!

Tension really picked up when I suggested a name and got “Eww, no!” as a response.

“You hate everyone!” I screamed.

We exchanged quite a look as we stared at each other in absolute horror just hours before the shoot. Didn’t see each other again until it was time to take the pictures. We laughed in the aftermath of the situation. As it turned out, both of us had spent that time feeling bad and trying to find the other. Neither of us even wanted the unnamed person to be involved.

My photo editor agreed to be the ring master and everything went on as planned.

8. Why We Be So Ghetto?

WorstPhotoShoot (1)We’d planned a photoshoot in a specific location during the month of January. Because of a series of complications, said photoshoot didn’t take place till after the time change. No one had revisited the location and when we got there… Well… It looked like a hot mess! Not only did people have to stand on chairs in an attempt to fix lighting – but one of the guys ended up walking around the pond in my high heeled rain boots trying to clear up the debris.

While the people came out great, I have yet to fix the background situation.

9. Wardrobe Malfunctions
Abandoned Houses (2) (1024x662)
During a film shoot, a friend asked for advice on what his model should wear for a photoshoot at an abandoned building. While the original suggestion was ‘elegant long dress’, the model and assistants (including myself) showed up in quite the opposite.

The photographer stared at us in disbelief. “How did we go from elegant to rebel …. to, to this!?”

We couldn’t quite answer… Except for that maybe dressing in that way was rebelling against our somewhat conservative backgrounds.

While knowing that clothing malfunctions and dancing assistants proved to be a distraction through out the shoot, I honestly don’t know how the final images turned out.

Deans and TAs offered questioning looks as the girls and I ran into our separate dorms at midnight.

10. Dreaming of Cow Licks

astrophotographyWhile trying to get pictures of star trails, a friend and I dragged out a picnic table through a gate and into the middle of a field. Given that these sorts of images take forever, we fell asleep.

Worst case scenario – we wake up as a result of moos and cow licks produced by a herd now surrounding the table and blocking every possible escape route. The low hum of a tractor increases followed by angry and threatening explicatives. We make it 15 minutes late to our first class and definitively arrive under questionable circumstances.

The truth: we left soon after realizing that the above situation could have easily happened.

11. Nightmares for Days

IMG_9496We discovered a freshly killed dehorned dead goat during a photoshoot at an abandoned property.

While trying to report the incident, there was a huge misunderstanding which almost got myself and the crew in trouble. Apparently our dean heard that we had trespassed into an abandoned house to take pictures but had suddenly found ourselves surrounded by goat corpses… a whole heard of them!

One misfortune animal is enough, and for the record nobody was prowling about inside an abandoned house!


So yeah… there are more stories, but you probably get the point. Photography is always an adventure. You never know what you are going to get.


7 thoughts on “And One Day We Can Laugh About Those Epic Fails

  1. An epic post. I read it in my email first – without the photos. Was pleasantly surprised by the photos when I saw the entire post.
    I’m curious to know what an “editorial circus photoshoot” is. I live near the winter home of the circus/carnies – at least what used to be. They always seem to be out there somewhere, lurking. Plus, somewhere in central Florida there is a kind-of old age home for circus animals – so if you drive across central Florida and see elephants and giraffes . . . that would be them. Haven’t quite sorted out who you are and where you are and where you have been because I’m a relatively new follower. But that is OK – discovery is a good process. And I’m babbling. Anyway, nicely done.


    1. Hey!
      Glad you enjoyed the post 😀
      From my understanding, editorials tell a story or present a theme through a series of images. Almost as if photojournalism and fashion photography had a child… or something of the sort.
      Really? That sounds like an opportunity for adventure and exploring! You know what would be really cool too? A circus ghost town. Lots of picture opportunities everywhere.
      About page should clear up some of those questions 🙂


      1. It’s funny – I had read your about page – but awhile ago and, sometimes, I forget who does what – if you know what I mean. So, good refresher. Also, re: circus ghost towns, …. there’s this place near where I live:,_Florida … was the subject of an X-Files episode and, years ago, a really nice feature on the cover of the Miami Herald’s weekly feature section – back in the newsprint days. So, yes, awhile ago …. Covered most of the major characters still living in Gibsonton at the time, including the guy who hammered nails up his nose . . . I’m sure it’s out in the digital world, somewhere….. 🙂


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