Why You Should Ask Before You Snap that Photo

digital cameraWhether you’re a hobbyist, professional photographer, or someone who loves to take photos with their smartphones, there are instances where you need to refrain from simply snapping away.

These may not be obvious, and may seem harmless. However, you REALLY do need to ask before you snap!


Art Fairs and Festival Fuss

As someone who loves to attend local arts fairs and festivals, I’m always respectful of the creators who are manning their booths. It’s a ton of work for them – but can also be their bread and butter for the year. And while they may be in the public eye for a few days, it’s still their work – and they need to protect it.

For larger events you may see a staff photographer who is wearing a placard around their next. This defines them as such so if they do take some photos of an artisans works, they have a pretty good idea that their work is protected. Even so, they may ask the artist if it’s ok to take photos of their work before doing so.

No Photos graphicHowever, often is the case that folks just walk up to an artist’s booth and just start taking photos of their work willy-nilly without asking. There is a blatant disregard and it’s a disgrace. YOU NEED TO ASK THE ARTIST BEFORE YOU SNAP!! I cannot stress this enough.

Some artists will not mind – but again be respectful. Others have gone to such lengths as having clear sings around their booths that say NO PHOTOS. Others have literally closed in their booths so they can protect their ideas and keep a watchful eye on those who may be trying to steal them via photos. And YES, these things really do happen.

I spoke to an artist at a show in Santa Fe who had this happen to her. When she saw her stolen ideas online – costing her thousands of $$, it became necessary for her to enact proactive measures at shows to nip the “photo-takers” in the butt.


A Day at the Museum…

smartphone with famous artwork imageIt’s pretty much a given that you cannot take photos of famous works of art at museums. But at my favorite museum in Santa Fe, NM, I found myself asking a couple to PUT THEIR CAMERA PHONE AWAY!! For the record, this was no young couple. It was an elderly couple who by all accounts felt that the rules of the game did not apply to them. To say I was ruffled at their behavior is an understatement.

Worth mentioning, there were signs right by where they were taking photos that said NO Cell-Phone Photos!!

Show some respect people! Lose the entitlement. Can you say ethics?? Millennials may have a bad rap for their wanton behaviors with smartphones (yes the “selfie” crap which is literally killing animals has to stop), but older folks can be just as bad if not worse.


Please Keep Me Off Facebook

I make no secret of my disdain for FB. However, as someone who likes to volunteer at certain events, more often than not there is a staff person roaming about to take photos. Wanting to “pimp” their event on FB, I find myself in a constant position of asking them NOT to include me in their photos.

facebook logoPrior to taking any photos, often the person will ask first – which I always appreciate. But this is not always the case and it should be. If you think I stand alone in this sentiment, you are mistaken. There are others who also speak up to stay out of FB destined photos.

FB, may not take your privacy seriously (no secret there). However, I have a right to protect my own privacy.


We Are Visual By Nature

Photos engage us. They tell a story. They evoke emotions which can make us laugh or cry. However, you still need to respect who and or what may be on the other side of your camera. AND if they want themselves and or their products or artwork in your next photo-op.

FYI, depending on the location, events or persons they are shooting, professional photographers very often have to have photo-releases. Or they may have to pay to photograph in a particular location. Otherwise they can find themselves in trouble for various types of violations and can be fined.

So regardless of the type of photographer you are, be respectful and always


eco-conscious graphic designer barbara rogersWritten by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Graphic Designer and Nature Inspired Art photographer visually enhancing client’s print and digital media. Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place.