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Photography Etiquette


Photography etiquette is something you don’t hear much about but is truly important to keep in mind, especially in the agency world. When hiring a photographer there are few steps you need to take to help your shoot run as smoothly as possible. Whether you’re shooting for work, a blog, or just for fun remember that though these rules may be unwritten, they should always be in the back of your mind when shooting.

First things first: when you hire a photographer make sure you are on the same page, aesthetically. Let the photographer know what you want ahead of time. Provide a shot list, mood board, and examples of what you are wanting and make sure that the photographer shoots in your preferred style. There is nothing worse than finishing a shoot and getting back edited photos only to find that they are not at all what you wanted and something not suited to the brand voice. It is a waste of both your time and your money.

Communication is key to getting exactly what you want. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask to see a sample. A photographer may have a great eye, but you are the one that knows exactly what you want. Remember, you hired the photographer for a reason so be polite when asking them to switch things around. This will save both of your time in the long-run.


Get permission before shooting in a space. This will apply when you are going into a hotel, restaurant, boutique, etc. to shoot. Make sure you are in contact with the owners or managers beforehand so that they know you are coming in. There are many places that will not allow you to shoot without a contract, so be prepared. Always, always reach out and be courteous. These places are doing you a favor by allowing you to use their space as your photo prop. Even if you are shooting in public, you still need to ask permission before taking images from private property. The last thing you want is to start shooting and then get kicked-out of the space!

Know your environment before shooting. Take a walk through to get a lay of the land before heading there to shoot. It will put you at ease when you know the surrounding area and places you want to shoot. Go a few days before and take note of details you want to capture. This will help you when forming your shot list and sharing information with your photographer.

Be sure to respect people and their surroundings. After getting permission to shoot somewhere, respect the property. If someone around you does not want to be photographed, then put the camera away and do not take photos of them. Many places require each individual person to sign a contract if they are being photographed and the photos will be posted online. Always remember, anyway under the age of 18 must have a signed contract by a parent or guardian.

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