Forums > Model Colloquy > What's the etiquette with mobile phones on shoots?

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 3573

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

This may be a generational thing, but I don't take, much less make, phone calls during shoots.

However, this view does not seem to be universal.  How common is it to attend to a mobile phone during a shoot and how acceptable is it to do so?

Oct 18 12 07:06 pm Link

Photographer

John Horwitz

Posts: 2918

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

cell blocker  smile

Oct 18 12 07:11 pm Link

Photographer

imcFOTO

Posts: 581

Bothell, Washington, US

I think it's rude if it becomes intrusive to the shoot. I would prefer cellphones don't get checked unless we're on a break or a set change. I'd prefer any texting/calling to be minimal. And I would certainly ask the model to silence her phone if she kept getting calls while we are shooting.

I have had shoots where the model has had a lengthy exchange (presumably with a boyfriend) and come back to the shoot agitated - now it's impacting me and can even spoil a shoot.

I usually send a document with general info about photoshoots I hold (including advice as well as requests from me). I think I will add a note about cellphones.

Oct 18 12 07:23 pm Link

Photographer

Right Poes

Posts: 971

Colorado Springs, Colorado, US

So what are you all shooting with then?

Oct 18 12 07:33 pm Link

Photographer

None Use

Posts: 483

Seattle, Washington, US

Paid or trade, leave 'em alone unless on a break.
Common courtesy and sense.

Oct 18 12 07:33 pm Link

Photographer

None Use

Posts: 483

Seattle, Washington, US

Right Poes Photography wrote:
So what are you all shooting with then?

^ Awesome! Lifted up my spirits while watching my team losing.

Oct 18 12 07:34 pm Link

Model

Jess Robinson

Posts: 4948

Dallas, Texas, US

I almost always keep mine on silent.  I will check it during set changes.  With very few exceptions.

I'd probably...smirk....at someone who made mention of acceptable vs unacceptable phone use during pre shoot communications.  I assume most people work with me because they know I'm professional.

Oct 18 12 07:46 pm Link

Photographer

GER Photography

Posts: 8393

Imperial, California, US

No matter what it is about, it can wait till the shoot is done or your on a break, if it's that important, they should be calling 911 instead of you.

Oct 18 12 07:46 pm Link

Model

Isis22

Posts: 3050

Muncie, Indiana, US

I tend to have my phone on silent and only check it during major breaks if at all. But, the last shoot I did I got a call saying my son's school lost power and they were sending him home early. I had to cut the shoot an hour early because of this. I am glad I checked my phone during a break because he had no key and my exhusband was freaking out. Some of us have legitimate reasons for checking our phones.

Oct 18 12 07:50 pm Link

Photographer

Blue Ash Film Group

Posts: 9819

Cincinnati, Ohio, US

Taking cell phone pictures is probably as big of a problem as people talking on the phone. I just had a bad experience on a film shoot I was booked as the stills shooter in Hawaii. The MUA came out on set and kept taking cell phone pictures, many times getting in the way of my shot. I kept trying to hint to her that was bad set etiquette, and I was getting mad at the director for not saying anything (I don't mind if the MUA takes a cell pic in the makeup dept when she finishes on an actor). Finally, one time we were trying to finish the scene quickly and the director said, "we have to move fast, we are losing light" and she said, "Hold on, I want to take a few pictures". I then said, in an assertive voice, I will take the photos and if you want one I will email it to you. She then had the nerve to tell the talent and other crew how pushy I was.

Oct 18 12 07:55 pm Link

Makeup Artist

kat makeup artist

Posts: 183

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Can i just say mobile phones are the thorn in my side i hate them with a passion!!

I have seen so many models and other creatives at a paid shoot that just cant help themselves they just cant put it down! I have told models in my chair that unless they put their phone down and on silent i wont work on them. And it works. Its extremely rude and obnoxious when you are working trying to create a piece of artwork when the main player is disengaged, distracted and is not there at all.

you will not die if you dont check facebook every minute
you will not suffer if you dont take personal chatty calls while suppose to be working

your career will suffer if you have that attitude about work. People wont enjoy you, you produce substandard work when you are not focused.

If someone is really dying they can call emergency, not you!

I have had family intentionally not call me while i was working on a big budget job when there was a family emergency until they know when my wrap time was cause they didnt want to freak me out and ruin my work. I appreciated that. Even if i knew there was nothing i could do to prevent it or change it.

People need to stop themselves from becoming addicted to technology and smartphones i see it as a huge problem that nobody knows what to do to control it.

Man i loved the days when you would line up at a payphone put 20 cents in to make a call to someone. ahhhh..... no one talked to you or hassled or bothered you unless you wanted to talk to them!!!

Oct 18 12 08:01 pm Link

Artist/Painter

ernst tischler

Posts: 15908

Houston, Texas, US

I sort of have a double standard about cell phone calls during my shoots.

Due to my real job, there are some phone calls that I must take.  Since I am paying the model for her time, if I must take a call, she waits on my dime.

On the other hand, I ask models to silence their sell phones during the shoot.  After all, I am paying for her time.

Oct 18 12 08:02 pm Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5366

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

I turn mine off during a shoot (unless I have another model coming later and I want to know if there's a problem). Unless there's a very good reason the model does the same.

Oct 18 12 08:05 pm Link

Photographer

Dannielle Levan

Posts: 12857

New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada

During breaks is fine. During shooting is not, unless you're expecting an emergency call.

Oct 18 12 08:31 pm Link

Model

ChaiNoir

Posts: 345

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

switched onto silent. Check calls / msgs etc when having a quick break. All focus on the shoot.

Oct 18 12 08:34 pm Link

Photographer

Art of the nude

Posts: 11936

Olivet, Michigan, US

natural beauties of qld wrote:
This may be a generational thing, but I don't take, much less make, phone calls during shoots.

However, this view does not seem to be universal.  How common is it to attend to a mobile phone during a shoot and how acceptable is it to do so?

I think it's fine if the model makes a call or two to let someone know how things are going, which tends to happen with novices, or checks in for messages about other shoots, which tends to happen when I host traveling models.  During breaks between sets, of course.

Oct 18 12 08:45 pm Link

Photographer

DAN CRUIKSHANK

Posts: 1786

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Ya, never call or text during shoots. I do pull up example pose pics on my phone to show models every once in a while tho smile

Oct 18 12 08:57 pm Link

Photographer

Lovely Day Media

Posts: 5121

Vineland, New Jersey, US

My phone usually gets turned off during shoots.  In the odd times that I forgot to turn it off, it either didn't ring or I ignored it most of the time.  If I'm expecting a call, I tell the model before the shoot begins.  I tell them I'm expecting a phone call and I expect it to be fast.  If my phone rings and it's not who I'm expecting a call from, I silence the ring and go back to shooting.

Oct 18 12 08:58 pm Link

Model

_ Robyn Elizabeth _

Posts: 436

London, England, United Kingdom

My phone is always on silent (which does mean I miss a lot of calls), generally the only time I'd use it on a shoot is if it was over running and I'd agreed to meet a friend/the other half afterwards just a quick text or call to see if they mind me being late and always during a break.

I would consider it the height of bad manners to take a call mid shoot.

Oct 19 12 02:28 am Link

Photographer

Bravoscape

Posts: 259

Frederick, Maryland, US

I treat it like a job (since it is). Unless it's an important call...I let it go to VM. I check texts as I don't receive many but emails can wait.

Oct 19 12 03:04 am Link

Photographer

RKD Photographic

Posts: 3265

Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Switched off or on silent during shooting - do your FB/Twitter updates before, after or during breaks, please...

Oct 19 12 03:17 am Link

Photographer

Four-Eleven Productions

Posts: 758

Fircrest, Washington, US

What gags me is when the model uses the closed door of the changing room to exchange texts and update their social media. I was looking at a lengthy Facebook post written by someone I had recently shot. "Whaddaya MEAN this was written Tuesday at 3:14 p.m.!?", I'm thinking. "She was with me then."

Oct 19 12 03:17 am Link

Photographer

Orca Bay Images

Posts: 32502

Poulsbo, Washington, US

All phones off while shooting. No objection whatsoever to models checking with friends or SOs during breaks.

One model, pissed that I wouldn't change our agreement and give her all the RAWs at the shoot, decided to text friends whenever there was a five-second lapse in shooting. And each time I had to ask her to put the crackberry away so we could resume shooting. I sent her ass home halfway through the shoot. The most miserable shoot I've ever endured.

I once shot with a nurse who was on standby and needed to keep the phone on. She never got a call.

Oct 19 12 03:26 am Link

Model

KendraDeanne

Posts: 94

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

From my very first shoot I never took calls or texted except if on breaks.  I feel like this is just common sense...you're in the middle of shooting, why on earth would you be on your phone??

Oct 19 12 03:41 am Link

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 3573

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Art of the nude wrote:

I think it's fine if the model makes a call or two to let someone know how things are going, which tends to happen with novices, or checks in for messages about other shoots, which tends to happen when I host traveling models.  During breaks between sets, of course.

Calls to say they arrived are fine, not least because they are made before the shoot starts so there is no real interruption.

Calls during breaks should present no problem but sometime the model assumes that the break ends when she has finished with her phone rather than when others are ready to resume.

Oct 19 12 03:42 am Link

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 3573

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Orca Bay Images wrote:
I once shot with a nurse who was on standby and needed to keep the phone on. She never got a call.

That is one of the hazards of being in an "on call" occupation and I am sure you would have been OK with that.

Oct 19 12 03:45 am Link

Photographer

Richard Nolan

Posts: 116

London, England, United Kingdom

PictureItYakima wrote:
Paid or trade, leave 'em alone unless on a break.
Common courtesy and sense.

Exactly right

Oct 19 12 03:46 am Link

Photographer

RKD Photographic

Posts: 3265

Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

natural beauties of qld wrote:

Calls to say they arrived are fine, not least because they are made before the shoot starts so there is no real interruption.

Calls during breaks should present no problem but sometime the model assumes that the break ends when she has finished with her phone rather than when others are ready to resume.

Stentorian voice: "We're ready for you NOW!"

Failure to comply swiftly enough results in her arse being kicked out the door and down the stairs...

Oct 19 12 03:52 am Link

Photographer

name removed3

Posts: 264

Boston, Massachusetts, US

toss that phone

Oct 19 12 04:12 am Link

Photographer

dcsmooth

Posts: 1238

Detroit, Michigan, US

I don't make calls during shooting time, but leave the phone turned on just in case there is an emergency message. I expect the same respect of our time from models as well. Before starting or during breaks is fine.

Having said that, I have to tell you that I got some awesome casual/lifestyle shots of the younger pregnant model featured in my MM portfolio when she answered her phone while we were shooting. Her husband had referred her to me to do a nude photo series documenting her pregnancy, and we had just met about an hour earlier for the first time at a local restaurant up the street from her home. We agreed to do a photo session right then, got started and did a number of shots while she was nude in her living room when the phone rang. She answered, I shot several great images with beautiful smiles while they were talking. I asked if I could speak to him for a few seconds to thank him for choosing me to photograph her. It was all good.

But overall, I don't think it is a great idea for either models or photographers to be using the phone during photo sessions, except during breaks.

Oct 19 12 05:15 am Link

Photographer

Darren Brade

Posts: 2942

London, England, United Kingdom

natural beauties of qld wrote:
This may be a generational thing, but I don't take, much less make, phone calls during shoots.

However, this view does not seem to be universal.  How common is it to attend to a mobile phone during a shoot and how acceptable is it to do so?

Breaks are fine as long as it's not a break for a phone call. Only ever had one problem model with their phone, the rest ave been very good.

I don't like cell phone pictures during the shoot and I make it clear if they take photos, not to upload them online without asking first. Couple of years ago when FB was pretty new, a stylist shot over my head and posted to FB, first I knew about it was 4 hours later when I got an angry call from my client how she could see the shoot already. Didn't go down well for the stylist.

Oct 19 12 05:58 am Link

Photographer

liddellphoto

Posts: 1801

London, England, United Kingdom

I'd prefer no phones unless it is lunch time but unless you shoot only agency models (and even then) most models are freelancers and so inquiries or matters relating to whatever job they have next need to be answered and I am sympathetic to that. I have no had any problems yet, most seem glued to phones during hair probably because it is something to do and that has no effect on me, if it bothers the hair stylist or mua they can deal with it. Shooting for a client it would be a bit different.

Oct 19 12 06:12 am Link

Photographer

Woven Thought

Posts: 329

Petersburg, Virginia, US

I haven't had it be an issue, but yes, would piss me off if we're supposed to be working and they're chit chatting.  I don't turn mine off but I don't answer it if it isn't relevant (my sister would talk on the phone all day and I don't have time for that).  If it's my next shoot, I answer starting the conversation that I'm shooting now (hint hint, make it short!)  You generally know who's calling and if it can be a short call or not.  Generally it's a quick text these days.  If it's quick, no biggie, I may need it, so may they. 

Not unwise if you're with some stranger in a remote location to keep a text line going.....

As to cell phone pics, I don't mind one or two that don't get in my way.  Likely rev up interest on Facebook to see the real deal.

Just my thoughts.

Oct 19 12 06:24 am Link

Photographer

FlirtynFun Photography

Posts: 13481

Houston, Texas, US

Jess Robinson wrote:
I almost always keep mine on silent.  I will check it during set changes.  With very few exceptions.

I'd probably...smirk....at someone who made mention of acceptable vs unacceptable phone use during pre shoot communications.  I assume most people work with me because they know I'm professional.

Jess...I have to correct you...we worked with you because you're HOT and professional!

Oct 19 12 06:34 am Link

Photographer

annie lomowitz

Posts: 257

WOODY CREEK, Colorado, US

don't trip my strobe; don't distract my assistants.

hmmm, that bout covers it.


annie

Oct 19 12 09:47 am Link

Model

Abigail Rose Hill

Posts: 540

Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom

Mine's on vibrate in my bag, all my IM status updates are set to busy and my family and friends know only to ring during a shoot in an emergency.

Oct 19 12 11:41 am Link

Model

Lanna_

Posts: 830

Seattle, Washington, US

liddellphoto wrote:
I'd prefer no phones unless it is lunch time but unless you shoot only agency models (and even then) most models are freelancers and so inquiries or matters relating to whatever job they have next need to be answered and I am sympathetic to that. I have no had any problems yet, most seem glued to phones during hair probably because it is something to do and that has no effect on me, if it bothers the hair stylist or mua they can deal with it. Shooting for a client it would be a bit different.

Yep, I need to keep in touch with my phone so I don't miss out on work.  I can miss a paying job if I delay too long getting back to someone.  Sometimes "too long" is just 30 minutes between my booker asking me and finding someone else.

That said, during a shoot I put the phone away.  I only take it out during breaks (lunch, driving to a location, lighting getting setup/changed, or if they're shooting other models).

I won't take/make calls during a shoot. Only text or email.

I believe people should ask before taking behind the scenes cell pictures. Not such a big deal on fun TF shoots, but can be some serious bad juju on paid published work.

Oct 19 12 12:20 pm Link

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Photographer

Rays Fine Art

Posts: 6629

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

PictureItYakima wrote:
Paid or trade, leave 'em alone unless on a break.
Common courtesy and sense.

I agree, but I have no problem with a model calling someone before we begin to say "I'm here," and at the end of the shoot to say "I'm leaving," especially if it's the first time we've worked together.  It strikes me as a good security measure and certainly not insulting since I usually shoot just one on one and don't allow llama herders.

Oct 19 12 06:07 pm Link

Model

CRIMSON REIGN

Posts: 829

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Left on silent and in the purse until break time. Period!

Oct 19 12 06:34 pm Link

Photographer

James Sioux

Posts: 1363

Los Angeles, California, US

No phone calls or texts during a shoot.  Check your messages or make phone calls during break.  This goes for the photographer too.  Also, when I talk to the model regarding the shoot, or poses or shoot-related issues, I expect 100% attention.  I will end the shoot and send her home if models disregard these basic etiquette. 

About emergency calls: How would you know if it's an emergency call unless you pick up the phone?  If you're expecting emergency calls, then maybe you shouldn't shoot at all during those times.  Emergencies are unexpected.  So if someone "expects" an emergency call, it's not logical.

Oct 19 12 06:49 pm Link