The Most Outrageous Photoshoot Requests From Instagram Influencers According To Photographers
CodyDeasy/Unsplash

Taking selfies has become a standard operating procedure that is handy for instant gratification after posting them on social media.

But that's not enough for influencers trying to boost their presence online and prefer having elaborate photoshoots in various situations and locations.

So they enlist the help of professionals to help them achieve their goals.

However, some of the specific requests influencers have can be headscratchers or downright offensive.


Curious to hear the kind of instructions photographers have gotten, Redditor peaches1687 asked:

"Photographers of Reddit: What is the most outrageous photo shoot request you have received from an Instagram 'influencer'?"

These Redditors share examples of people who apparently didn't grasp the concept of how doing business works.

Effects Of Exposure

"Wedding Photographer here, they said they were influencers with a great following that they'd promote me to but when I asked for their handle online, silence."

"I get this is a lot as I'm fairly well known so an easy target when people look."

"Exposure? People die from exposure."

– chrisgilesphoto

How Insulting

"Been a wedding photographer for 12 years. I ROUTINELY get asked to do entire weddings for free. Not even always from Instagram influencers. One time this guy (whom I didn't even like that much) asked me to do a wedding for free for his friend. Someone I didn't even know existed at all until this interaction."

"I just imagine walking into a restaurant and asking for the absolute best meal they have for zero dollars and then telling them it will be good for their business to do so."

– Richsii

Outfit Change

"I had a client ask me to photoshop his head onto another guy’s body because he liked the shirt the other guy was wearing more than his own. I actually did it because it was hilarious and he paid me for it."

– LegendofZoldo

eBay Guy

"I was selling an old camera on eBay, maybe $50, and someone asked me to send it to him for free so he could review it on his YouTube channel. I’m not the manufacturer of this secondhand camera, just an art student trying to make some money, so i don’t know how he thought reviewing my old camera was of any benefit to me. And then it turned out he only had 10 subscribers so I really don’t know what he thought he was doing (you have ten subscribers but start your email off with 'hi I’m name better known as channel name' ???)"

"Somehow have avoided this with my actual photography work but I still laugh about eBay guy."

– Beckerbelieveit

It gets worse.

Reverse Pricing

"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..."

"Edit to clarify: She was asking me to pay her $300+ when in reality at a minimum she should be paying me. I don’t even charge that much haha."

– PeterPanBean

An Assistant's Worth

"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."

– Fake_Franco

Missguided

"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."

– Amuro_Ray_Gunner

The audacity of these influencers is shocking.

Crap Shoot

"Beet Poop"

"Some influencer that was promoting betanin in beets as healthy diet. She want me to take images of the colored-change poop. That this is actually normal in those that can't process the betanin."

"(that week, my DSLR was dropped hard, and now I am without it. It was a bad week...)"

– anon

Tourist Spot Exploitation

"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."

– Andromeda321

How Patronizing

"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 d*ck pic. I reported him."

– rhgarton

Exclusive Modeling

"She asked for $200/hr with a three hour minimum, without any real prior modeling experience, and had conditions that the photos could not be posted anywhere and that she was going to have them sold exclusively on her Patreon."

– CodyDeasy

Influencers, take note.

You aren't doing professional photographers any favors by asking them to take your photos to advance your social media presence, free of charge.

That's not how it works. You know, in case you were an ignorant influencer. Ohh, snap!