NEW Series | Photographer Hurdles | When You Make a Mistake

Wouldn’t it be great to never make a mistake?

Where you could end EVERY wedding and hear “Flawless Victory”?

Unfortunately…that isn’t always the case.  We’re David and Drexelle and, dare we say it, we’ve made mistakes during shoots, sometimes embarrassingly wish-I-could-hide-under-the-table ones…  and survived… and somehow our couples still forgave and loved us.

Thank You, GOD!

Now we could watch YouTube videos of other photographers falling into fountains, pools, dropping their gear, and making some very public mistakes.  But every time we watch them, deep inside we’re praying, “Oh, please God, PLEASE don’t let that happen to us!”

Here are some of our favorite public scenes of humiliation…and how we were able to bounce back and capture precious moments from the wedding day AND still make our couples feel taken care of and happy they hired us.  We hope this helps encourage you and maybe give you some ideas on how you can still save the day when you make a mistake.


goodbye macro lens

It felt like the most perfect engagement shoot. Ever.

Shots we’d previsualized we’re coming together, better than we thought they would.  Our clients were in love with the photos they got to see on our camera.  Things were clicking.  We were clicking!  It was perfect.


Right before the last shot, David said, “Honey, hand me the macro lens.”

I pulled the lens from my bag…and somewhere between my hand and his…the lens flew.  CRACK.  CRACK.  On the concrete…and then roll.

In those few seconds, all of us were gasping, including the clients.

I ran and grabbed the lens. David tested it and heard some parts were loose but the lens miraculously was still able to shoot.

“We’re still good!  Let’s get this gorgeous shot of you,” I somehow heard myself say, not at all feeling like I was saying.  But we didn’t want our clients to have to worry about anything other than enjoying the day.  Thank God, they still enjoyed the day and cried with happiness when they saw their photos.

Note: Remember clients mirror your emotions/reactions.  So it’s important to not let them worry about what they don’t need to…and they don’t need to worry if your gear is broken as long as their images are good and safe.


oh no, it’s going to fall on me

The room was full of mirrors and glass vases.

The bride was getting dressed and that moment is always full of excitement for photographers.  There were 3 of us that day.  We had someone ask if they could assist at the wedding and we were happy to have the extra hand.

Our assistant had their camera on a monopod and a belt pack that carried several of their lenses.  I was having fun photographing the bride’s reflection on the mirror and was too distracted to notice the assistant stepping back, back, back until.


I felt it before I heard it.  The glass vase fell on me and cracked into pieces.

Immediately, everyone turned to me and said, “Are you okay?!”

“I’m good!  I’m good.  Don’t worry.  Keep going.  You’re looking beautiful.”

We quickly picked up the pieces of glass to make sure no one else would get hurt and notified the site about the vase.  When I got up, I realized I had gotten several bruises from the vase.  But, thank God, I could still shoot and I could still walk.  So I got up, smiled at everyone, and got the bride and groom ready for their tearful and beautiful first look.

Note: We all need to be mindful of items around us (especially ones prone to fall) but it may be inevitable that you’ll someday run into that table edge, projector screen, centerpieceLike in life, when you fall down, just pick yourself back up and smile.  You’re still alive and the day’s not ruined.  It’s just begun.


not during the ceremony, anywhere but during the ceremony

We had shot at a wedding where the videographers crashed into and broke the ceremony centerpieces.  Twice.  It was easy to say, “Can’t believe they did that!” then… But a few weeks later:

foot in mouth

I ended up almost doing the exact same thing.

The wedding was running late and we wanted to get all the ceremony details before the ceremony began.  I felt on a roll, the off-camera lighting looked great and the details were coming out beautifully on the camera.  One last shot and we’d be clear.

David lit the ceremony arch while I photographed it from the aisle.  I didn’t want to be walking through the center to distract the guests so I stayed on the side right behind the vase – a glass vase, of course.

First shot, second, one more but I needed to get a little closer and I hear…

“Drex, Drex!” from David

and “AH!” from several of the guests.

I knocked over the vase but, right before it fell, I was able to grab it.  The only damage was the candle’s light going off.  But I stood in shock and absolute embarrassment because I had heard all the guests reaction.

But thank God for David.

He looked around at all the guests and cheered out, “Whew!” and made a bow.  They applauded!

I walked off smiling but could still feel the horror of what might’ve just happened.  And all I could say was, “Well done, David.”  I only had a few seconds but I contacted the coordinator about the vase situation and the candle needing to be relit.  Then, I recomposed myself and we got in position for capturing the ceremony.  The night unfolded and it became easily one of our most favorite weddings of all time.

Note: Embarrassing moments can happen to anyone on the team.  If someone else on your team made a mistake, help them recover.  Sometimes, it requires you thinking quickly to save the day and make everyone feel comfortable again. Your teammate will be grateful and it can be just what you need to recover quickly and still let the day be a success!

what next?

Does anyone else have any stories they’d like to share?  We’d love to hear yours!  Tell us we’re not alone… haha

What hurdles are you facing as a photographer?  We’d be happy to address them in future posts.

With Our Love,

The Parks

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