When you are out shooting, would you say that you’re typically a “rule follower” or a “rule breaker”?
I’m all about doing whatever it takes to get the shot you want (heck, I’ve definitely been known to break the rules!), but what I want to encourage you is this. Please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t be THAT photographer! You know, the one who thinks the rules apply to everyone but them and they can say/do whatever they want! That’s bad news not only for you, but also for the photography community at large… read on and I’ll explain why.

Don’t Be THAT Photographer

The One Who Thinks Venue Rules Don’t Apply to Them

If a venue has rules about shooting on their property – you best to everything in your power to walk the line and do exactly what they are asking. Not only will this make them happy (yay, they don’t have to babysit the photographer), it will help build relationships so that you will be asked to come back and shoot again.

The rules are there whether you know about them or not!

don't be that photographer

Ignorance is not an excuse! It is up to you (as the photographer) to check the venue/location you are planning on going to and see if they have rules/fees associated with shooting there.
The most common one I can think of is Norfolk Botanical Gardens – they have a fee that you MUST pay in order to have a professional photo shoot in the gardens… otherwise you might get found out by security and asked to leave – that would be super embarrassing in front of clients!

Not only that, you not abiding by the rules could be ruining it for other photographers as well.

None of these venues that we like to photograph at (NBG, Regent University, Red Wing Park, Oak Grove Park) have to let us shoot there. If the powers that be got too fed up with photographers breaking the rules, they could totally close it down and not allow any photo shoots to take place at those locations EVER! That would be a damn shame!

Don’t believe me? Think about what happened at Ft. Monroe!

The One Who Says Whatever They Want

I’m all about speaking my mind (I’m sure my mother would say I’m too blunt!), but when it comes to interacting with other people, a little kindness goes a long way.
I know of quite a few photographers who are afraid to put up their photos for critique because in the past people have been unkind and strayed from giving critique on the photo to critiquing the person.

One of the things I most admire about my mom is the fact that she always (ALWAYS) has something nice to say. Even if she doesn’t agree with the person or dislikes what is going on – she does not badmouth anyone.

By far, I am not like that. I have a potty mouth and I am quick to have a temper… It’s a work in progress for me. but I really do strive to always speak good of people, and never talk about someone behind their back because it will always get back to them! I want to lift this industry up – and we can’t do that if we’re all sitting around talking trash about each other!
Because at the end of the day, the photography community is really pretty tight-knit – if you talk badly about someone, chances are, they’ll find out and then you look like a jerk. I see this happen WAY TOO OFTEN (I’ve had it happen to me recently when another photog talked badly about me to one of my friends) – it sucks and it totally unnecessary!

Moral of the story – be nice, don’t be an asshole (see, told you I had a potty mouth 😉 )

just be nice