Dealing with unexpected erections and ants in my pants

If you are anything like me when you are working then you will want to remain the consummate professional, whatever may happen.

I pride myself on providing my clients with a wonderful photography experience. When I arrive at a portrait session, my intention is to do my job with calm, positive energy. I direct my subjects and help them feel relaxed with lighthearted and easygoing banter.

Sometimes, however, the universe has other plans for you. Take, for example, the time I arrived at a client’s home for a photo session. I’d just gotten the mom, dad, sons, daughter and very affectionate labrador into a great pose when all of a sudden the dad shouted, ‘“STOP, he’s got an erection.” I promptly lowered my camera and quietly panicked. I thought he was talking about one of his teenage sons, and how awkward this situation was going to be for him. My brain was desperately trying to think of some consoling words for a teenage boy with an untimely boner. Turns out, it was the family dog, proudly sporting a very obvious erection. Yes, sometimes (apparently) on a photo shoot, you just have to patiently wait for an erection to subside to get the shot you want.

And sometimes on a shoot I get ants in my pants, literally. A repeat client asked me out to their summer cottage south of Stockholm one glourious June afternoon to photograph the extended family. After greeting everyone, I found a lovely wooden staircase for them to sit on. I backed up as far as I could to get everyone in the frame. In my enthusiasm, I accidentally backed up on an ant hill and before I had a chance to react a furious colony of ants were charging under my pants and up my legs. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Riverdance (the Irish dance show), well, I gave those dancers a run for their money that day with the way I kicked my legs into the air. I had no idea I could kick or scream that high. It was several long minutes later before I got those angry ants out of my pants. Yes, the little buggers bit the bejesus out of me, but you know what, I still got the shot ;)