Professional Ethics for Freelance Photographer Jobs

Professional ethics apply to freelance photographer jobs as well as other lines of work. Ethics are basically the best practices you should follow when at work. They are not law but instead are based on morals and goodwill. Ethics in freelance photographer jobs include but are not limited to privacy, job completion, content and proprietary claims. Privacy and proprietary claims are covered by law in some jurisdictions, and you should familiarize yourself with these laws in order to get a clearer picture of what is not allowed.

Privacy in Freelance Photography

As a freelance photographer, you must respect the privacy of others. It is up to you not to misuse any photographs you have taken. You must also respect the wishes of people who may appear in your shots. Many people are uncomfortable having their photos taken. Although often not required, it is a moral practice to ask permission to use the likeness of your subjects for whatever purpose the photo may be used for whenever possible. 

Job Completion in Freelance Photography

Freelance photographer jobs often take you to major life events such as weddings, anniversaries, births and various parties. Once you accept these jobs, you should follow through on your work and make sure that the photographs are nothing but your best work. If something major prevents you from being able to attend, find a suitable replacement who can produce the same or better quality of work for the same price. In addition, you should not pass off the job for another that happens to be offering more money. As a businessperson, you do not want to make a bad name for yourself by engaging in such unethical practices. 

Content in Freelance Photography

Freelance photographers often find themselves in newsworthy situations. It is important to remember your morals when you find yourself in such situations, especially when they involve death or a horrible accident. The best question to ask yourself would be the following: "If this were my family, how would I feel if this picture showed up in the newspaper?" If you would not feel comfortable if it were your family, chances are, it is not suitable material. 

Proprietary Claims in Freelance Photography

Freelance photography jobs do not allow you to pass off someone else's work as your own or plagiarizing. Passing off involves claiming a photograph that is not yours as your own. Plagiarism involves recreating a photograph taken by someone else. Both practices are often offenses in law and have varying punishments depending on jurisdiction. It is also good business practice to ask permission to use photographs that were taken at a job before using them in another manner. Most people are happy to give permission for the use of their wedding photos in advertising, for example, because it gives them the feeling that they are model quality.