Discussions (20)

Photographer Etiquette

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_Allen_ is a group administrator _Allen_ says:

On podcast #35 I scratched the surface of this topic.

Do you have any opinions or stories about this topic?
9:53PM, 29 July 2007 PDT (permalink)

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DerrickB says:

I truly believe that if you are out in public with your camera, before you start shooting away at people close in your vicinity, you should introduce yourself (I'm a photographer and ...) and ask if it is OK to take their photo. I don't do this if they are at a far distance though.

If I want to take a photo of a street vendor, I don't just shot the images, but I get their premission first. Sometime (most of the time) it is OK and the vendor is very nice, but there are a few times where the person doesn't want their photo taken. I thank them and move on, but that actually makes them change their mind also on occassion and allows me to take their photo.

My #1 advice is to be thoughtful and respectful. Most vendors and people in general want to be respected.

I think this is one of the most valuable tips I learned in photography. The people skills need to up to par.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
DerrickB edited this topic ages ago.

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_Allen_ is a group administrator _Allen_ says:

Derrick,
I just shoot and hope the subject does not notice or does not mind ... I think that comes from shooting so much sports, I can't really walk out on to the field and ask the player if they mind being shot :)

Here's my little story to add to the conversation:
One day I was driving home with my brand new Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens and I thought to myself "why not drive by the park and see if there is anything going on that I can test this new lens on". I drove by my local park and there was a kid at the skate park practicing his tricks and whatnot.

I walked up to him and asked "Hey, I've got this brand new lens I'm testing, do you mind if I shoot you for a while"


Fully expecting him to blown away at the prospect of being a celebrity for a few minutes I was already raising my camera up to shoot

... and he promptly answered "I'd rather you didn't"

The next line running through my brain was: "Why you little punk, who the hell do you think you are? the f&^*ing king of England or something?"

... but what came out of my mouth was "No problem dude, thanks anyways" and I moved on.

I know that legally speaking I had every right to stand right there and shoot till I got tired of shooting ... but I had to respect his wishes to not be photographed. So, I went home and shot my dogs instead ... they never complain.
ages ago (permalink)

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DerrickB says:

Yes I agree Allen. I only ask the subject if I am really close on the person, but in that case at the park I probably would have kept my distance a little and shot the kid without asking. When I ask for permission it is only because I am within 3-4 feet from the person. Those type of shots are very personal and I feel better if I ask, but for longer distance shots, they are as good as gotten without asking.
ages ago (permalink)

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nils9three says:

I think Derrick nailed this in his initial reply. Courtesy, respect and common sense override any of the real or imagined rules.

Nils
ages ago (permalink)

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