Ep 174: Seven Habits of Selfish Photographers

Do you know what the right etiquette is in photography? Did you know that there actually are conventions to follow and unwritten rules to be aware of? You don’t want to be THAT guy or THAT woman.

In this episode, Gina and Valerie unpack the etiquette that most photographers should follow if they want a successful and sustainable career.

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Show notes

Shout out

Patrick Mallard from Wichita, Kansas, USA.

At the risk of sounding sappy, I want to thank you and Val for your wonderful podcast and explain why it has made such an impact on me.

First a little backstory. I’ve been a police officer for over 20 years only to find my career cut short by a random accident that has left me partially disabled, and totally unable to perform the rigorous physical duties of an officer. I don’t even the satisfaction of it being a cool story like chasing a suspect over a wall or something like that. I jumped over a puddle working an accident in the pouring rain and managed to completely rupture my Achilles’s tendon.

This accident left me depressed, and wondering what to do with myself after I take my medical retirement. I started thinking about doing something with photography because I know I’m happiest when I’m doing something creative. I stumbled across your podcast and it was like a ray of light in the darkness.. The skills, tricks, and MacGyvering I’ve learned from the podcast has given me the hope and confidence that I need to move on to this next phase of my life. Seriously Gina, your explanations take photography concepts that made my eyes cross and turned them into into ideas I could wrap my head around. An example would be how the f-stop number relates to the number of objects in focus – brilliant!

I would also credit the podcast with keeping me nearly sane. [No police officer or fire fighter is truly sane. Anyone who runs towards danger instead of away from it isn’t right in the head 😉 ] I’m stuck at a desk while they process my retirement. Listening and laughing along with you and Val keeps me from banging my head against the desk repeatedly while I scan in old fingerprint cards from the 1990’s. I’ve been listening through the entire back catalog of episodes at a rate of 5-6 episodes a day.

Once Modern Retro Photography gets off the ground, I look forward to passing along photos to have you and Val critique them to make me a better photographer.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

Patrick Mallard from Wichita, Kansas, USA.

Seven Habits of Selfish Photographers

the customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group.


1. Be camera aware at all times

  • Always look around for other photographers or videographers if shooting an event or wedding
  • Don’t stand in the aisle or block the view of patrons
  • Ask what their framing is and where they will be
  • Work as a team for the shot
  • Popular tourist attractions – don’t hog the location, get your shot and move on
  • Working on location? Be respectful of locals

2. Thou shalt not steal

  • This is like walking up to someone at a restaurant and helping yourself to their dinner

3. Social Media Etiquette

  • Be positive
  • Don’t bag other photographers
  • Comment/like and share
  • Don’t use another photographers platform to sell your own work
  • If you join a community introduce yourself
  • If you are part of that community welcome the new members
  • Don’t drop and run

4. Noise and light pollution

  • Don’t do this:
    • Bombarding speakers with flash or shooting a million frames
    • Stumbling into popular night photography locations with bright torches or LED screens
    • Leaving focus beep on during performances

5. Be respectful of your models

  • Ask permission
  • Be respectful of their time
  • Ask before you share pics

6. Understand the culture and customs of the location you are photographing

  • Dress code
  • Religious customs

7. Be generous and respectful to your fellow photographers

  • Hold a light
  • Watch gear
  • Share or refer clients, and information

Got a horror story? Please share it.

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About Gina

About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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