Photoshoot Etiquette - Part 1

February 15, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Long time no blog…

Some things have been happening around me (not necessarily to me) and it feels like a good time to come up with a list of things to do and what not to do before, during, and after your photo session. This is particularly important for models and clients who are interested in getting published. While the pin up, boudoir, and alternative modeling world is a very casual environment, there is some decorum that is expected in how we behave and handle certain situations.

The Do’s:

  • Prompt communication is always appreciated in any profession, however even more so, clear communication is equally if not more important. If you have a vision for your session or if you do not like an idea that is presented, it is your responsibility to communicate that to your photographer to the best of your abilities. As much as we all wish we were, photographers are not mind readers. Adjacent to this, research your photographers before you book them. Make sure you like their style, and don’t assume that they can create a whole new style or shoot a different way just because that’s what you expect. Like any artist, you’re hiring them because you love their work and you want them to do what they do best. Pay attention to how they edit, light, and compose things if you can, as well as how people are styled by the hair and makeup artists on staff. This will be a good indicator of what you can expect from your session.

  • Most photographers will reach out close to the date of your session to confirm everything is good to go. Make sure you confirm that you’ve heard from them so they know to expect you. 

  • A prompt arrival is greatly appreciated, and if you’re running behind, reaching out to let the photographer know is always a best practice. On days when I have multiple clients, while rare there’s always a chance that we will fall behind by a few minutes especially if folks aren’t arriving on time. We can make up as much time as we can in front of the camera, but arriving when you are meant to will obviously ensure that you are not taking time away from any of the other clients throughout the day. 

  • Respect the space that you’re in! Whether it’s a stand alone studio building, or if your photographer works out of their home, make sure you’re being respectful of your photographer and makeup/hair person’s work area. Respect also means not coming to your session feeling unwell, especially since we are still in COVID times. 

  • After your session, make sure you understand the editing timeline and let your photographer have their timeline to do their job. If you don’t know the timeline, always feel free to ask respectfully, and keep in mind you’re most likely not the only client they’re working on and that we all have lives outside of our work that need our attention. If you need images by a certain date, make sure you communicate that before you book your session!

  • Generally most photographers and makeup and hair stylists will have their social media handles readily available, so be sure you are tagging them in any posts you create using their images! Word of mouth is how most of us get new clientele, so we always appreciate a shout out and credit!


The Don'ts: 


  • Please do not arrive more than a few minutes late and expect the photographer to still be able to do your session that day. Even if there are no other clients after you, a photographer or makeup/hair person may not be able to take you due to commitments outside of work. It’s not good to assume that people are available to you 24/7.

  • Don’t assume you get copyrights to your images. It’s important to understand what is included with your package. If you have questions about the services and products you get from a photo package, it’s important that you ask them so you have a clear understanding of what you’re getting. Copyrights that allow you to use your images however you want outside of personal use, as well as allowing you to edit them is not something that most photographers allow, and generally speaking can cost thousands of dollars. Most packages give you personal use and print permissions only.

  • Along the lines listed above, do not edit your images without getting permission from your photographer. It is your responsibility to voice any concerns you may have with your images to your photographer to allow them the opportunity to fix things if it is indeed something they can do within the parameters of their services. If what you're asking goes beyond the boundaries of what is included with your package, be prepared to pay an additional fee to cover the work involved with your requests. Once again, ensure you are researching your photographers before you book them to make sure you like the work they do on a regular basis. 

  • Do not steal wardrobe and props. Most of the time, people don’t intentionally do this and do a good job of returning a hair flower or whatever they may have accidentally walked away with. However, knowingly taking something other than bobby pins and eyelashes without permission is theft, and depending on the item if it’s worth more than $1,000 could be felonious theft. 

  • If you think you may have damaged something in the studio space that you’re in, please say something. Very few things are more disrespectful than breaking a small business owner’s things and then hiding it from them.

  • Sometimes you may have to reschedule. Make sure you do it in a timely manner and try to keep it within the month that you originally scheduled. If you have to move something to a completely different month, you could be messing up that photographer’s income planning for that month. Please be prepared to pay a rescheduling fee. 

  • Do not book something impulsively and be unprepared to pay the balance due. We’d rather have to wait years to work with you so that you can save up to book a package, than have you book now and flake out on the bill once reality sets in. Most photographers are also willing to work with you if you need to arrange a payment plan, so never feel bad for asking!

  • Do not bring someone else with you to your shoot without letting the photographer know first. As a woman, I definitely understand wanting to bring for safety and support reasons. However, I also want any other clients, my hair and makeup people, and myself to feel safe and comfortable as well on your session day. Please discuss any additional guests with your photographer before you arrive to ensure everything is kosher.

  • Lastly, if you and your photographer discuss submitting your images to a publication, make sure you both agree on what publication(s) and that you’re getting all of the permissions from your photographer (i.e. photo releases) to submit your photos to each publication. Also, make sure you’re abiding by the rules of whatever publication you’re submitting to, such as not submitting already published photos, not sharing images online before publication, etc.

And this is already getting super long, so let's just leave it at that for now! I’ll probably touch on this subject again in the future.

Stay safe everyone!


No comments posted.