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Don’t be that guy: Avoid annoying behavior by following basic photography etiquette

Despite being a medium that’s more than two centuries old, photography as a hobby is still going strong, thanks to digital cameras, smartphones, and the many photo sharing sites that have made it more accessible and affordable. Most pros know how to properly go about in taking a photo, but casual photographers tend to disregard the etiquette for proper shutterbug behavior. Here are some of the basic rules you should keep in mind when taking your next shots. Have you noticed other bad behavior we’ve missed? Share them in the comments.

Don’t use a flash where it’s not wanted

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Yes, there are times when a flash is super helpful (bringing out your subject’s details when shooting in bright sunlight is one), but more often than not, blinding people in a dark room won’t win you any friends, Mr. Paparazzo. (Image via Lane V. Erickson/Shutterstock)

Acknowledge the rules

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If a museum strictly prohibits photography, adhere to the rule. You are not above the law. And yes, this applies to all you iPad shutterbugs.

Also, not every public place gives you free reign as a photographer. Gyms and schools are a given, but some areas like onboard a plane or on a subway platform may not be so clear-cut. Rules in other countries, both governmental and cultural, are also different. If someone tells you to stop – whether or not they have the right to – it’s best to step back and avoid confrontation.(Image via Leo Gonzales/Flickr)

Don’t photo stalk people like a creep

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Please, if anything, don’t be this guy. If you really want to take a pic of a stranger, have the guts to ask him/her. Which leads us to… (Image via Mark Turner/Flickr)

Take no as an answer

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Not everyone feels photogenic all the time. In fact, surveys have found that most people are camera shy. There are also certain cultures where people don’t like being photographed. Be prepared for the consequences when you won’t take no for an answer.

Plus, don’t force family members into photos if they’re not having any of it. If your kids are exhibiting more frowns than smiles, don’t make them pose for a group shot – they’ll only look miserable. (Image via Werwin15/Flickr)

Don’t force people to wait for you while you take your sweet time

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Be considerate, especially if you’re a tourist. People will usually wait for you to capture a shot, but it is not OK to hold them up while you tinker with the settings. With that said… (Image via Lois Foley Steinmetz/State Archives of Florida)

Don’t intentionally photobomb someone’s moment

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This rule applies more to the passerby. Sometimes you’ll inadvertently walk into someone’s photo – accidents happen. But if you purposely walk through someone’s shot like you own the sidewalk, then you’re just a douche. (Image via SpnkyHappy/Reddit)

Stop flashing the “V” sign

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Seriously, when and where did this global phenomenon start? (If you’re going to do it, do it right: A “V” with your palm facing inward is the equivalent of a middle finger.) (Image via s_bukley/Shutterstock)

Don’t watermark your photos

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Ugly watermarks plastered over an entire photo take away from what could be an awesome image. Place it in a corner discreetly, but if you’re going to share it online, accept the fact that it can be copied no matter what your watermark says. If you don’t want it stolen, don’t share it. (Image via Joe Goldberg/Flickr)

Stop taking inappropriate selfies

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It can and will only lead to trouble, as many politicians and celebrities have discovered. (Image via New York Post)

(Main image via Bud/Strictly No Photography)