Top Ten Things Not to Do on a Photo Shoot.

Top Ten Thing not to do


This list was inspired by my Producer. We did a shoot yesterday and the subject of Ten Things Not to Do came up. I have to admit publically that I only did number ten once.  The rest – all fiction. I hope you enjoy the list.

10. If you are on a photo shoot, do not ignore the advice of your Producer. If you do, at best you’ll have lousy photos. At worst, you’ll have bad pictures and an ex Producer. (See what happens when you ignore good advice, Pard?)

9 If you are on a photo shoot, do not take photos of people without permission. If you do, at best you may have to run fast. At worst, you will take a lovely photo of Tiny the WWF champ before he could suck in his substantial belly. (Funny how that camera turned to dust in Tiny’s hand huh, Tex?)

8 If you are on a photo shoot, do not try to get the whole picture while backing up to the edge of a cliff. If you do, at best a fence will stop you from going over. At worst, you will be catching multiple shots of the cliff face whizzing by you. (It is now time to worry about the landing, Putz.)

7 If you are on a photo shoot, do not take too many pictures of the same thing. If you do, at best you’ll waste camera memory. At worst, your producer will believe you have some kind of fixation on the object. (Sure you can explain away a building, but that person in a bikini is another matter right, Ferd?)

6 If you are on a photo shoot, do not take the shot until you check the camera settings. If you do, at best the last setting is still okay for this shot. At worst, you will get home to find the best shot of the day is a blur. (Oh don’t worry, Buford. You’ll get another chance to photograph that rare bird in flight. Maybe in the next life.)

5 If you are on a photo shoot, do not take the shot until you check the background. If you do at best, all is good. At worst, that cute puppy in the background just decided to lift a leg as you pressed the shutter button. (And of course, this is the only photo of the scene hay, Bunky?)

4 If you are on a photo shoot, do not take photos of places where you see signs that say “No Photographs.” If you do, at best you might get away with one or two with no flash. At worst, just as you are about to take the first photo, the word SECURITY shows up in your viewfinder. (That guy is big and very close to you, Buzzy.)

3 If you are on a photo shoot, do not get carried away with the scene. If you do, at best you may forget to set something. At worst, every one of your photos has the camera body strap or your thumb front and center. (Well that was fun. Maye the circus will be back next year, and you can try again, Doofus.)

2 If you are on a photo shoot, do not enter private property to take photos. If you do, at best you may be asked to leave. At worst, you might not be able to out run that gigantic bull you thought would make a great picture. (You did see the “No Trespassing – Wild Bull” sign didn’t you, Ace?)

1 If you are a photo shoot, do not ignore the weather to get your shot. If you do, at best you might get wet. At worst, that bolt lightning sure cleared your sinus. (You know not to stand in water in an electrical storm huh, Bosco?)


  1. Gwen Plano · ·

    Your producer has a great sense of humor. LOL. I particularly loved #1 and how it helped with sinuses! And….it’s amazing how few folks seem to understand the “No Photographs” signs. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I have to admit I even published a photo on my blog that had about five “No Photos” signs.

  2. I loved #8! Great list, John!

    1. Thank you , Jill.

  3. I have seen so many people break #4 that I’m more surprised when people listen to the sign. There was one time the person I was with broke it and I was just there telling them not to. Got a good ‘I told you so’ when security showed up. Remember the days of lens caps?

    By the way, #7 drives me nuts. Especially when the person is showing you the pictures and refuse to delete the doubles. This is a very pretty pine tree . . . here it is from a slightly different angle . . . it looks an inch bigger now that the cloud moved a hair . . . where is everyone going?

    1. Ha ha ha. I feel lucky I can bore my readers and they can always ignore me. That “where is everyone going is a killer.”

      1. I’m not the shutterbug, so I can avoid blame. The wife is the one who goes crazy with the clicking. We never make it through a trip without her draining the battery.

  4. That stop in New Orleans was strange. Big signs that say no photos, then they invited us to take photos.

    1. I understand. I had the same conundrum when I was there.

  5. Another week off to a great start with big smiles – thanks, John! 😀

    1. Thank you , Jan. Hopefully it’ll get better.

  6. Lol! Always entertaining, John. Backing up without paying attention can certainly cause problems. Especially where cliffs or cactus are involved. 🙂

    1. Especially cactus, Jan. Thanks. 😀

  7. So that’s how to clear my sinuses! Thanks, John! Another great collection, good sir. Glad your Producer has the patience of Job!

    1. Yes. You can try it at home with an extension cord and a bucket of water. 😀

      1. LOL, Mr. John! That’ll curl my hair!

  8. Hmmm, I’ve violated a few of these. I won’t throw anyone under the bus, but a certain daughter and I have probably gone where photographers shouldn’t go. Of course, you only mention “private property” and “no photographs” You didn’t mention “No climbing on bridge structure”

    1. Or “watch out for low flying military aircraft.” Thanks, Dan. 😀

  9. Ha! I’m probably guilty of many of these just trying to live life. 🙂

    1. Ah, you caught me being a philosopher. Thanks, Audrey

      1. Thank you , Audrey. 🙂

  10. These were great, John. The security man is probably a relative of Tiny. I loved the squirrel at the top. His picture came out clearer than the people behind him. 😀 — Suzanne

    1. I know. It made me laugh. Thanks, Suzanne.

  11. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    Good photo shoot rules by John Howell.

    1. Thank you for the lovely reblog,Suzanne.

  12. Wonderful,dear John!: -) 🙂 🙂 And what ten things not to do after 10 years of marriage? 🙂 I’d be happy to learn.
    Have a happy shooting week!

    1. I think I will do that one next week. Thanks, Maria.

      1. Great, dear John! Always at your service 🙂

  13. Telling my hubby to try #1. Love the squirrel!

    1. Thanks, Teri. He’s cute isn’t he? The squirrel that is.

  14. A very photogenic squirrel. No wonder he wanted his picture taken. 😉
    The one about the bull is hysterical, John. Have a marvelous Monday. Mega hugs.

    1. You as well, Teagan. Thank you. Hugs

  15. Thanks for the tips, John. Now none of us should come away with bad shots, right?!!

    1. Ha ha ha. Right. Thanks, Debbie

  16. I loved #5 and could just see it happening in my head.
    And photobomb pictures are the best. I adore the squirrel!

    1. He is cute. Thanks, Mae.

  17. These are actually SO TRUE!!!! The squirrel photo is so cute!

    1. Thank you, Luanne. I thought so too.

  18. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    Great List! I have been known to do do shoots in the lightning storms…lol

    1. My goodness. Not good for the health. Thanks, D.L.

  19. Oh, you’re hitting close to home this week John! I’m guilty of a few of these.

    #8 backing up while making a selfie. It’s rare when I do a selfie, but I do zoom with my feet and I’m always aware of backing up. The people that have killed themselves backing up for “selfie” is so, so sad!

    #5- checking the background. OMG!! Where to begin? When you’re taking photos for your instagram account or to show a friend something you just got, and there’s a mirror in front of you or, behind you…don’t be naked. Just sayin.

    #2 Trespassing. Yep. Not enough time has passed to tell that story yet… I still can’t show my face around there. SIGH! but, there was that other time on a night shoot… 🙂

    #1 Lightening- Who knew you couldn’t stand out in the middle of salt flat with lightening in the area to make a Milky Way image? It would have been an epic image; The Milky Way with Lightening! Right.” My boots have rubber soles, and there are no trees.” I said. He-Man wouldn’t let me out of the car and this Northern California kid learned something about lightening safety.

    🙂 Loved the list and the comments John!

    1. You made me laugh out loud on this comment. Thanks, Deborah.

  20. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Here is another great top ten list from John Howell’s blog. Don’t do these things on a photo shoot.

      1. You’re welcome.

  21. You are too funny. I love these lists. I think we do miss the background sometimes and it makes for an interesting photo!

    1. Sometimes a surprise or two as well. Thanks, Ipuna.

  22. Can relate to no. 9. So take nature photo only now a days.

  23. Love this – gotta forward it to Photo Op Pop, my kids’ name for my husband.

    1. ha ha ha. love that name, Noelle

  24. A puppy lifting his leg, you say? Yep, have that one. He turns up doing the same thing in the most unlikely of places. I’ve also had a few of ‘unseen to the naked eye’ humans lifting their leg (so to speak). I’m just waiting for a WordPress challenge to come up with a theme for them.

    1. Ha ha ha. Knowing WordPress the minute you published their uplifted leg challenge you would be banned. 😀

      1. Now I’m having second thoughts about those photos…🤔

      2. Right? Ha ha ha 😀

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