A quick PSA to my fellow photographers out in the world…

It isn’t often that I will post a blog intended for my peers. Honestly, I think this is the first time.

It is with great trepidation and frustration that I even write this blog entry, but I feel very strongly about this.

There are a ton of us. Especially in the St. Louis area. I get it. Space is at a premium when you are shooting on-location. There aren’t that many places to choose from, and even less when the weather gets cold. Most don’t have a studio space.

I’m not pointing fingers, I just want to bring awareness to a few things that I noticed this weekend.

I had a pretty low-key family session at a public indoor location. I’ve shot this location many times over the years and had maybe run into one or two other photographers in the past. This time was completely different. It was packed. Six or seven photogs with cameras blazing!

My first thought was how awesome it was that we were all so busy with the holiday photoshoots! The more the merrier! Proof in my book that the economy is really getting better!

But that quickly wore off as I realized that it was actually going to have a negative impact on my shoot. The space was pretty small. There were really only a few decent spots inside for the family photos that I was doing. The main one that I had been looking forward to was in use. No biggie, I don’t mind waiting my turn. But it wasn’t to be. The photographer that was there had staked their claim and wasn’t moving. Going so far as to set up props and lights. Two other photographers had brought props out as well. Now, I love props as much as the next person, but in a small, public place, you should really be choosy instead of bringing every prop that you own out. I wish I could say that I was exaggerating to get my point across, but I’m not. Then there was the photographer that was moving things around in the center of the location and didn’t put anything back.

Look guys, I know that this is a crazy time of year for us all. Some of us have too much business to handle, others have not enough. Pretty please, slow down and be considerate of your peers.

  • Take only a few props out into the field with you and keep them contained and out of the way when not in use.
  • Take turns at a spot when you can clearly see that it is the only spot big enough to shoot a family of five.
  • If you see that another photographer is working with a kid that is on the verge of melting down then give them the right-of-way. Your clients will not only understand, but probably love you even more!
  • Clean up after yourself. (Don’t get me started about glitter and confetti. They make cordless vacs people! I’ve done glitter shots and used an old dust buster to clean up the mess!)
  • If you move something that doesn’t belong to you, move it back when you are finished.

Remember a while back when St. Louis County tried to ban photographers from the public parks unless they got a permit? I can completely understand why! The parks are there for people to enjoy. That is the main purpose of a park. It’s purpose is not to serve as a great backdrop for a photo shoot. We are LUCKY to be allowed to work there. We should take care of these spaces so that we can continue to use them for our work purposes.

This isn’t a competition. This isn’t a race. This is common courtesy and just plain, good manners. Let’s take care of these locations and each other!

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