Sunday Stroll: Why Asking for Permission is for the Dogs

Thanks for stopping by. Here’s a post about doing something I’d never thought of: asking for a dog’s permission to be photographed. We’ll also cover how to ask people’s permission. But, first how I came up with this post . . . if you don’t want to read the back story, skip to the how to ask permission section. Please share your comments about how you photograph events for PR – or links to photographs of your pets.

It’s day three of being back in the U.S. after spending a week in Paris and I’m writing my third post in as many days, which is not a huge feat, but not something I expected to be doing on an early Sunday morning. While in Paris, we walked and walked and walked – for what seemed like four or five hours a day. Come along with me on a short Sunday stroll and meet Mimi.

Why Asking Permission is for the Dogs

Walking around as a tourist, you’re apt to see lots of scenes you’d like to photograph. For me, in Paris, I wanted to take a picture of a French bulldog. Yes, we have them here and in fact there’s one in our neighborhood. But something about a French bulldog in Paris caught my fancy.

As it happened, we walked right up to a French bulldog and her owner in Montmartre. I hesitated. I knew that I could take a long-range image, but it wouldn’t be as good as a close up. The owner and the dog walked by. I smiled at them and walked in the other direction.

Then, I turned around and followed them. Catching up with the owner, I asked if I could take a picture of her dog, the French bulldog. I didn’t know if she would be offended because I asked in English, not French.

“My dog? You want to take a picture of my dog?” she asked.

“Oui.” I said and smiled.

She laughed and said, “If she wants. Mimi?”

Mimi looked up at her owner and this is the picture I got. She looks kind of quizzical, doesn’t she?

Asking for Permission to Photograph People for PR at Events . . .

When photographing events, first ask people if you can take their picture and then let them know how it will be used and where to find it online.

Ideally, everyone will sign a photo and video release form ahead of time so that all approve what’s being captured.

As extra insurance, preview the images and let the people pictured approve or disapprove the shot right after it’s taken on the camera’s display, and iPad or a laptop.

Our clients get a CD with images or a link to a gallery on flickr. Want to produce a quick, free and easy video? Check out out Animoto, a free tool that turns image slide shows into a videos.

How about you? How do you get permission to take pictures – of pets or people?

Image from the 2010 Paris collection, Montmartre set, by Barbara Rozgonyi for copyright 2010