The Rollercoaster of Shooting People: Dealing with Unresponsive Subjects in Photography

Photographers often face frustrations when unresponsive subjects later show interest. Manage fatigue, nurture relationships, and persevere through the journey.

Jul · 2023

the rollercoaster of shooting people dealing with unresponsive subjects in photography

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash


For photographers who love shooting people, dealing with unresponsive subjects can be a challenging and tiring experience. This article delves into the rollercoaster ride of encountering initial disinterest, followed by later enthusiasm from people for a shoot. We will explore the frustrations involved and offer insights on how to persevere through these situations.

1. Initial Frustration: Silence and Disinterest

It can be disheartening when people show no response or disinterest in being subjects for a shoot, especially when photography is your passion. Silence or rejection may make you question your skills or the appeal of your creative vision. Remember that not everyone may share your passion or be available at the time you approach them.

initial frustration silence and disinterest
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

2. Delayed Enthusiasm: Navigating Change in Circumstances

The frustration intensifies when, later on, the same people who were unresponsive express interest in doing a shoot. It’s important to understand that circumstances change, and their initial disinterest may have been due to personal reasons or scheduling conflicts. Be open to revisiting those opportunities and maintain professionalism in your interactions.

3. Dealing with Fatigue: Managing Emotional Energy

The emotional toll of dealing with unresponsive subjects can be exhausting. It’s crucial to prioritize self-care and manage your emotional energy. Find support through a creative community, engage in personal projects, or explore other avenues of photography to keep your passion alive. Remember that persistence and patience are key qualities of a successful photographer.

4. Effective Communication: Nurturing Relationships

When subjects show interest after a period of disinterest, effective communication becomes crucial. Engage in open dialogue to understand their reasons for the change and align expectations. Use this opportunity to build a strong rapport and establish clear guidelines for future collaborations. Maintaining professionalism and mutual respect are essential for nurturing positive relationships.


The journey of a photographer who loves shooting people is not without its challenges. Dealing with unresponsive subjects can be emotionally draining, but it’s important to remember that circumstances and interests change over time. By managing frustrations, maintaining perseverance, and nurturing effective communication, photographers can navigate these situations and eventually create meaningful and impactful images. Keep your passion alive and embrace the process of finding the right subjects who align with your artistic vision.


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