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5 Things You MUST DO When Photographing In A Public Place | The Friday Five

what to do when photographing in a public place5 Things You MUST DO When Photographing In A Public Place


This post is for BOTH new and seasoned photographers.  It is for amateurs and professionals because so often I witness all types of photographers doing these 5 things….and it drives me a little bit nutty. (<—does that phrase make me sound old? 😉 )


It’s a privilege to us photographers out there  that there are a lot of public places that we are able to shoot at. Right?  It’s like our own outdoor studio that we don’t have to pay rent on.


BUT, because (most of the time) it’s free for us to use these parks, and trails, and sidewalks as a backdrop for our wonderful photos  there are things we MUST DO as photographers, whether you are hired by someone or just out there practicing with your new DSLR.


Now to be fair, some of you might just not know ( or realize you’re doing ) some of these things.  And honestly, I may have been guilty of one or two of these things at some point.  But now you’ll know.  So here you have it, the 5 things you have to make sure you’re doing when photographing in a public place.


  1. Clean Up After Yourself

This is number one for a reason.  It’s odd to me how many photographers don’t do this.  I have to smh a bit every time is see glitter or confetti just left on the ground.  It’s essentially trash that you’re just leaving for someone else to pick up. Same goes for cakes or chalk.  Clean it up when you are done. As a general rule to yourself, leave the area how it was when you go there. Make sure it looks like you weren’t even there.  So yes, you just might have to bring a broom, wipes or a small hand vac with you.

5 Things You MUST DO When Photographing In A Public Place

  1. Be Considerate Of Other Photographers

Chances are, if it’s a public park or area you think is great for photos, others will too.  Certain times of year there will be more photographers out and about. Remember you are sharing these areas with them.  Be considerate. Take turns shooting at the “money” spots at these locations (you know which spots I’m talkin’ about.) Don’t hog up certain areas or set up shop right in the middle of a busy place.  Also, and this is a big one…. don’t think of these other photographers  like your competition, think of them as your peers, so smile and say hello when you see another photographer at the same place as you! 

  1. Be Considerate of Other People

Just like you’re going to be kind to the other photographers, remember, that most people are at the public place you are at for another reason besides photography.  They’re enjoying the day, the park, the trials, or just relaxing. Don’t get angry if they accidentally step into your shot or if they’re in the middle of a picnic in the grassy area you wanted to be.  Let them enjoy the space too.


  1.  Check for Permit Fees Beforehand

Just because the place you want to shoot at is public doesn’t always mean free.   A lot of places that are public may still charge photographers a fee to shoot there.  This might by a yearly fee, or a one time permit. If you’re unsure, check beforehand.


  1.  Be Grateful

Be thankful and appreciative that you are able to shoot in so many public places.  After every time you shoot somewhere take the time to thank the owner or just internally be grateful for the benefit to shoot somewhere great!5 Things You MUST DO When Photographing In A Public Place


So next time you’re out shooting, remember to keep these 5 things in the back of your mind:)

The Friday Five is a short sweet blog post that comes out each Friday with 5 quick tips to help portrait photographers.  To see previous week’s Friday Fives click here. Have an ideas YOU would like featured on an upcoming Friday Five, tell me your ideas here!






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