Now that so many of us carry digital cameras everywhere, we’re finding
new and amusing ways to annoy one another with them. We post awful
photos of obviously drunk acquaintances, and push camera phones so
close to people’s faces that it impedes their ability to blink.
Every new technology comes with its own shiny set of social problems. A few suggestions on digital camera etiquette:
1. Examine your priorities.
Unless you’re a professional photographer, recording an event should take a backseat to experiencing it. It’s fine to use your camera phone, just don’t hide behind it.
2. Protect minors.
Only parents get to decide whether it’s OK to post images of their kids online. Ask them first, and respect their answer. As you know, once an image is out there, it can end up anywhere, so be sensitive to possible misappropriations. And mind your privacy settings, especially when it comes to bathtub photos, and shots of kids running jaybird naked through the sprinklers.
3. Accentuate the positive.
You know that photo of your mom where one of her eyes is half closed and she seems to be snorting? Or the one of your best friend where his martini is about to spill, and his eyes aren’t working as a team? Take those down. Otherwise, your friends will start to back away when they see you approaching with a camera. As an added measure of kindness, give your friends editing rights. Tell them you’ll remove non-group photos that they find embarrassing or unflattering.
4. Give credit where it’s due.
If someone else took a photo on your camera and you decide to upload it, credit their compositional skills in the caption.
5. Blur identifying elements.
If you’re publishing online, it’s nice to blur out license plate numbers, and street addresses. If you really want to play it safe, block out anything that associates you with an organization, like college logos on sweatshirts, or the baseball cap that has your workplace on it.
What’s your pet peeve when it comes to digital camera etiquette?
Read more by Maggie Mason:
5 USB Sticks that Don’t Insult Your Data, Beyond Evite: Top 3 Unique Invitation Sites, Top Luxe Laptop Bags, 5 Stands to Keep Your iPad at Attention, 5 Great Covers for your iPad, 5 Cool, Easy Ways to Display Snapshots The Wired Pet Owner: Top 5 Pet Gadgets Top 5 Lapdesks: Spend More Time in Bed Gadget Case Roundup: Keep Your Gear Safe4 Tips for Creating an Inspiring Office, 5 Super Useful Camera Accessories, Five Small Camera Bags for the Casual Photographer, Gift Guide for Geeks, 6 Unique Tools for Better Photos, Budget Tech Gifts Under $50, Mighty Girl’s 2010 Resolution
Mason is the author of No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas
for Your Blog, publisher of Mighty Mighty Media, and a Twitter power
user (@Maggie). Her personal blog, Mighty Girl was recently nominated
for a SxSW Lifetime Achievement Award, and she was named one of Silicon
Valley’s Top 50 Influencers by Now Public.