Photographers etiquette

In reading a fellow writers blog about fishing, Allen Rizzi, wrote about fishing etiquette. I started to think about photographers etiquette and realized we have one too. I also realized for non-photographers often honor this unspoken code too… and sometimes everyone throws this courtesy out the window.


In typing it in a google search I see others have thought about these unspoken suggestions before me. I’m going to write my post before I read those.

This surprises me because I’m still amazed at people who don’t see the invisible line splitting a sidewalk in both directions and just keep barreling down fellow pedestrians. Or the huge amount of cars that seem to lack a turn signal. Or the absence of using please, and thank you.

I hardly ever shoot people but if it’s anything more than a quick snap of someone in public, if they are distinguishable, or kids perhaps I will ask but pretty much I just don’t shoot people. If it is a musician or artist I may throw in a bit of money if they have a hat out. If I sold my just for fun shots I’d go to the trouble of model releases but those are all reasons I prefer not to point my camera at people.

I don’t share (distinguishable) pics of individual people online without permission and I’ll always honor a request to take a photo offline.

Now some of the rules change a bit when I go out with the camera club because there’s a bunch of us all in one spot at one time. If I do shoot fellow photographers and get a half decent shot I’ll go to the clubs site, get their email and send them a copy, Now I hate being on the other side of a camera. I am just not comfortable and I don’t know anyone less photogenic than me.

So now that people pics are covered let me discuss the rest. I try every time to make sure I’m not walking in front of a camera. At our recent train ride I looked behind me before I stood up and hogged the window for a shot. I looked at the lady shooting at the depot and thought what a good idea it was that she had her lens cap on when she wasn’t taking a photo. That let me know I would mess up her shot right then if I walked in front of her.

I’ve had more than my fair share, of especially time lapse or long exposures interrupted by someone walking in front. I’ve also had lots of people stop and wait without saying a  thing for me to finish a shot. Thank you.

I try to look at different spots or angles than the photographers around me. It’s no fun, especially in the club if we all get the same shot!

I’ve learned no photographer wants you handling or moving their gear any more than you’d want your gear moved. I stood up a backpack that had tipped over one time only to learn that was not help that was wanted.

While spending all my time learning about shooting the eclipse (or any night photography)  I wanted to shout “NO FLASH NO FLASH” but I refrained and guess what …  people still fired their flash. They may have even if I’d said something and that would’ve been even worse. FYI flash doesn’t help when shot at sunrise or sunset or night photography with anything in the distance.

3e4e8c0105ebe53ff846471115c7d8d9I have mixed thoughts on advise not asked for. If you’ve just seen something unusually please do point it out. If you’re going to tell me as a DSLR owner how I should be using my bridge camera for something not asked for… please know,  I’ve spent countless hours reading my camera manuals and taking classes or tutorials. If I’m on the trail I’m shooting for fun, and just for me and I want photography to stay fun and something I look forward to doing. I’m well aware there is always something to learn, but I think there is a place and time for that. Just my thoughts.

Here are some others thoughts. Let me hear yours!

Anyone know what is a group of photographers is called?

Fellow photog? you may enjoy these pins

and lastly, I have a question for you…. Do you wash your lens cloths? I mean we use them to wipe or glass for they’re always getting something on them, and it stands to reason we’d need to wash that off.

1 thought on “Photographers etiquette

  1. allenrizzi

    In Italy, you need written permission to photograph anyone who is identifiable. Therefore crowd shots in Rome are almost an impossibility, legally speaking. Our photographer required a written release from my wife and me just to use our anniversary photo in his store. Perhaps a bit of over-kill.

    Liked by 1 person


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