recent article about a woman who was killed by a train while photographing another train coming from the opposite direction. It is a tragic situation that could have been avoided, but this woman is certainly not the first photographer to put herself into a risky situation for a photo. It is likely that many of us take on risks for this craft. The two questions are: 1) Do we even realize that we are in a risky situation? 2) What do we do to reduce the risk?
I invite all of you to share your ideas on how to make our photography sessions safer for ourselves and clients. I'll begin with a few ideas.
Before going on location to shoot, first think about the potential risks that may arise. Is any special equipment needed to reduce the risk? Should another person be brought along to help handle equipment or serve as a lookout? Prepare yourself ahead of time as best you can. It is much easier to think of how to handle a situation when not in a rush as the "perfect shot" suddenly appears.
Also consider potential allergens that your clients may have. It may be a good idea to find out if anyone in the group is allergic to certain pollens, animals, or other things that are in (or near) the environment you are suggesting.
In the Studio
If you often photograph children in your studio, perform some basic child proofing. Cover exposed power outlets, keep breakables out of reach, make sure that equipment cannot be easily pulled over, etc.
Be aware of common allergens that are also common props. Some of the most common culprits are hay, dogs, cats, and peanuts. Have a plan on how you will handle these types of items in your studio.