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Clients’ Safety: Be Cautious About:

  1. Shoot Location:
    1. When planning your location, think about your clients and their safety. A cool stone wall may be a beautiful backdrop or seat for a high school senior, but its proximity to a busy road may be inappropriate for a family with small kids who could make a run for it at any moment!
    2. More generally, be conscious of what the surrounding area is like. Google, “Photographer Mugged” and you’ll come up with plenty of reasons to be aware of your surroundings and plan accordingly. Our big cameras and big lenses are conspicuous. Be careful out there, y’all!
  2. How You Speak and Act:
      1. Consider your audience and stay classy. It’s fine to joke around, but stay age appropriate and clean.
      2. Ask before touching. As photographers, we often want to smooth down fly away hairs, adjust necklace clasps, fix collars, etc. in order to get things right in camera, but always ask someone before getting in their personal space.
  3. Posing:
    1. Check with folks about limitations before posing them. You don’t want to put Dave on one knee before his beautiful bride only to find out that Dave had knee surgery a few weeks prior. I show clients how I’d like them to pose and then ask if they are okay sitting/posing that way. I also tell them to let me know if they become uncomfortable and frequently ask them during the session if they are all right in whatever pose they are in.
    2. Those adorable poses in which you see babies photographed? Many of them are not straight out of camera - they are composites, several images merged to take out hands that are strategically, safely holding the baby. This post is old, but demonstrates the point: Make sure you do your research and are properly trained before attempting newborn poses. Safety first!
    3. Again, consider the surroundings and the age and physical limitations of your clients. Great, great, great grandma may not be able to climb down the stairs to your perfect spot, much less hit that perfect pose and it might not be best to pose the two year old on the ivy covered, interesting brick wall. It’s your job to adjust and make do.
  4. Your Stands:
    1. Lighting stands are cumbersome, top heavy, and tripping hazards. Be cautious about their placement, both in the studio and at events.
    2. Be especially cautious with children who tend to run without looking or grab things without looking up!

Phew. Lots to think about. Thankfully, there are plenty of experts out there (not me!) to help you make sure your business, contracts, insurance, accounting, and anything else I’ve forgotten is legit and running smoothly. It’s up to you to look out for yourself and your clients. What other safety issues should we add?

Katherine AzarKatherine Azar is a Chester County photographer who specializes in anything that moves: kids, pets, high school seniors, and action sports. She believes that photo sessions should be fun experiences and customizes each session to create a festive environment. In addition to shooting, Katherine teaches photography workshops and guest hosts Keep Shooting! Mondays with Greg Cazillo.

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0 # El Prezidente 2014-03-31 23:11
The photo behind you is crooked and driving me crazy!!! Is this a cross-LeTip video?!?

Nice work!
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