Regardless of whether you have a pocket camera, a DSLR or just using your mobile phone to take snapshots, you need to follow a few etiquettes to make shooting experience significantly more enjoyable to yourself as well as the people around you.
It's easy to notice if others are violating the rules of etiquette. But you may face a hard time recognizing your mistakes. The biggest trouble here is inconveniencing people or being inconsiderate. You can follow a few tips to avoid being a nuisance.
Always remember that silence is golden. Mute the noise makers. In case it makes noise and it's impossible to silence it, avoid using it altogether. If that is not possible, try to muffle the noise. It's not hard to cover the speaker of the device you are using.
If you cannot let go the noisy gear, you can warn people who are working around. Don't you think this is a novel idea? This is quite an obvious thing to do, but most photographers fail here. If you will be shooting in front of a large group of people and you are well aware of the fact that you will be causing a bit of disruption, you can give a warning beforehand. You can send an email or set up a board notifying this the day before. If you are shooting at an impromptu location or running around, you can warn people after you have settled down. They will know that the inconveniences caused are not intentional and you are trying to be considerate towards their needs while working.
Avoid being the Center of Attention
When you attend a gathering, try not to make people annoyed or frustrated by your behavior. Always remember that it's not about you. It's about others and you are there just to document things. Have you ever stood up in the middle of a wedding just to get a shot of the bride and the groom? Have you ever muscled your way to the front just to capture little Peter opening his presents? Do you run hither and thither on the sidelines trying to capture highlights and in the process, push away some of the coaches and players out of the way? If yes, you must have clicked a great picture but have hurt the feeling of others in the process. It is hard to adopt a discreet approach, but this is the thing that you ought to be doing. Though this may sound somewhat counterintuitive, staying out of the way often ensures best results as you are taking several other people into consideration. This acquires prominence if you are not an official photographer but just happen to be there. Everyone around you is trying to enjoy the experience and does not care whether you have a camera or not. They are just there to enjoy the wedding, watch Peter open his presents or enjoy the game-winning goal with others. For them, the person running with the camera is actually a disturbance and not an asset. Try to find a few viewpoints that will not ruin others' experience but yield great pictures. You can buy or rent zoom lens for special occasions or take the cue of people and find out how they are taking pictures without being disruptive or rude. You may find more interesting pictures and look at things from angles that you haven't considered before.
Ask for Permission before Going Click Click
Most photographers, especially newbies photograph anybody and everybody. If shooting landscapes this will never be a trouble but if you are attending events, you may be in trouble. Everyone does not love being photographed and every event does not demand hundreds of snapshots either. Asking for permission will solve problems and avoid hurt feelings. Though this may seem a little awkward, it's really worth the trouble. The next time you are attending a party or a celebration, just take a minute and ask whether they mind if you take their pictures. This will also ease the guests helping them enjoy the event.
Most of these etiquettes walk a fine line. You must gauge the situation to decide where the boundary is to be placed. You may need to reexamine your approach in some situations and go for a different course of action involving yourself and others.