Whether we like it or not, we've long since been yanked into the influencer age.
From makeup to vitamins to clothing to video games, influencers are selling, selling, selling, and they enjoy an unprecedented level of power, often helping companies dictate the buying habits of millions of people.
But aside from that, some of them––not all of them––are downright wild, and by that we mean they know how to waste the time of professionals.
These people told their stories about how they learned this hard way once Redditor peaches1687 asked the online community, "Photographers of Reddit: What is the most outrageous photo shoot request you have received from an Instagram 'influencer'?"
"I do documentary film..."
I do documentary film and I had a non-film job in college and I met this lady who was maybe 30 ask me to do an "Instagram video like this" and she showed me a professional video-shoot done with a green screen, lights and set. I told her I could probably get pretty close to quality (with my University's equipment) but it would take time to get a crew together & reserve a studio. She told me no, that I should just record it with my phone. I told her that's not what they did for the Instagram video she just showed me and she said "It's on Instagram, that means they recorded it with their phone." She dropped it after I mentioned I charge money and wouldn't just "do it to be nice." She has like 10 followers and three of them were adult video bots.
"Had someone ask me to do..."
Had someone ask me to do more than a week of videography for them and create a promo video for $200... not a day... for the whole week.
"Influencer asked me..."
Influencer asked me to shoot and before I even had the chance to give her my prices she decided to give me hers, over $300 for ME to shoot with HER for 30 minutes, one of her main selling points was she could "teach me how to leverage and grow my social media."
Girl was 15...
"When I mentioned my price..."
Had an "influencer" try to set up a shoot with me. When I mentioned my price she was shocked because she was under the assumption that I was going to pay her for some reason.
"A few years back..."
A few years back I was in Acadia National Park and we did the Beehive Trail hike. For those unfamiliar it's basically as close to rock climbing as you can get non harnessed as you are going straight up a cliff on iron rungs and stuff, so super fun and you are rewarded with an amazing view at the top. Most people take a quick snap there at the lip, as most do at the peak of their hike, and then move on to the more rocky area (but less a nice view) to rest.
Anyway while we were there resting two Instagram girls got to the top, and promptly took over the best view of the lip to take various yoga poses. (Because that was totally a natural thing to do after scrambling up a cliff?) For at least ten minutes- families were coming up asking if they could take a picture, but they literally said "we were here first" and "we'll be here awhile" when asked if they were almost done.
We ended up leaving before they were done but it still boils my blood thinking about it.
"Someone asked me to shoot..."
Someone asked me to shoot her entire wedding, a full day, an engagement photoshoot underwater (I do underwater photography also) and some 'honeymoon' shots somewhere... All for 'exposure'... I straight up said no, politely and she kicked off in a patronising way asking me if she knew who she was and what it would do for my career... She had about 10k less followers than I did and I don't even do weddings as I had pointed out so it wasn't even in my best interest even if she had millions of followers.
Oh and an 'influencer' guy asked me to do a nude photoshoot for him for free. I declined but wished him luck... He then sent a peen pic. I reported him.
"She then proceeded..."Giphy
I got asked if I had any duct tape because she wanted her boobs to push up into her dress
She then proceeded to strip completely down to just high heels and wanted me to go in the other room so she could take selfies with my remote control.
Uh, I'm not leaving you alone with 10k worth of lenses.
As a photo assistant in Chicago, I had a friend tell me there was a popular NY photographer looking for an assistant on Instagram for a shoot in Chicago. I inquired with the gentleman, and he said he only had a day rate of $150. On top of that, he said the day would be a 14 hour day, and he asked me to pick up his equipment rental which included a 12 foot sweep, and store it at my place to be ready for the shoot the next day. Hell no. $150 for 17 hours worth of work? Idc which photographer you are pay your assistants correctly.
"So the afternoon..."
I have a long grey/white beard which naturally prompts a lot of jokes about looking like Santa Claus. We spent Christmas in Punta Cana this year, and I have this old Hawaiian shirt with reindeer and Christmas stuff on it.
So the afternoon of Christmas day I went walking down the beach in my Christmas shirt, and was instantly surrounded by all these girls in bikinis wanting to take a selfie with Santa Claus. I was game. Seemed like it was all in good fun, and if a bunch of giggling girls want to sit on my lap and take a picture, who am I to complain?
But it got obnoxious really quickly. Each one of them wanted 20 shots from different angles, in different poses, with different backgrounds and different light angles. I couldn't figure out what was going on until one of them mentioned how popular this was going to be on Instagram, that she "found out what Santa does to rest after Christmas Eve."
After that it was just kind of irritating, so I refused to do any more photos unless a child asked, which just pissed the Instagram crowd off, which naturally made it even more irritating. I ended up avoiding the beach and pool area for the rest of the week.
"One time at a small party..."
Not a photographer, but one of my acquaintances is a semi popular influencer. She spends way too much time to see authentic and down to earth. One time at a small party I did something funny that made a bunch of people laugh. Whatever it was wasn't caught on camera and she forced me to recreate the moment so that she could film it for her instagram stories. You're not having fun unless you can prove it to your thousands of followers apparently.