Why we wrote a Code of Ethics

Our Code of Ethics were created with the intention to encourage and preserve the dignity, class and art of the photography industry whilst maintaining a place where clients and models feel safe and beautiful.

This Code of Ethics formalizes what should be standard photography business practices, and is designed to honour not only the trade but the women and men whose desire is to look their best while – providing safe, creative and private settings before, during and after their session.

We at Headshots by Gareth & Gareth Shaw Photography, will…


  • Conduct ourselves as professionals at all times
    • We are representing the industry and my business
  • Not share my client’s images without their consent
    • and will acquire written approval beforehand
  • Maintain the security and confidentiality of my clients’ images
Hannah Roze - New York Actor Headshots - Headshots by Gareth 5


  • Perform to the best of our ability at all times
  • Strive to capture the best images at the time of the session
    • Unless the request or goal is artistic modification, our practice shall be to endeavor to only use Photoshop / Editing Software to subtly enhance images, not “fix” them
  • Report technical issues with photos or prints to our clients immediately and resolve them in a fair and timely manner


  • Always arrive to the session location prepared and on time
  • Have backup equipment on hand at all times
  • Reasonably plan for all contingencies (inclement weather during outdoor session, on-call hair or makeup professionals, etc.)
NYC-Actor-Headshots-by-Headshots-by-Gareth-Shaw-Photography 105
Jeff Herskovitz's NYC Executive Headshots by Gareth


  • Have our sessions be governed by a written contract or agreement and signed prior to the session
    • this is to protect the client and ourselves by setting terms, expectations and goals ahead of time
  • Have a contract which specifies who will own the rights to the photos
    • and never attempt to negotiate this at the session


  • Never use photographs or images that we do not own the rights to – respect the copyrights of others
  • Never publish photographs or images that we do not have a signed model release for
  • Never discriminate based on sex, race, religion, sexual orientation or other factors
    • Recognize that photography is an inclusive community and should welcome everyone
  • Maintain appropriate business licenses as required
  • Never engage in illegal activity or the promotion of illegal activity
  • Make reasonable efforts to confirm that their clients are 18 years or older
Devon Savage - NYC Actor Headshots by Gareth


  • Carry appropriate insurance to cover my business
    • This provides security both for us the photographers, assistants, et al, and our clients

Image Rights

  • Never pressure clients or models into releasing image rights
    • If they grant full or partial releases, it must be done freely and with full information
  • Discuss image rights with our clients and models prior to the session and include this agreement in their contracts
    • Never try to negotiate image releases at the session
    • Model releases may be signed before or during the session
    • or after the session to allow the client to review the images and decide which specific images to release
  • Tell clients/models what we will do with the images
    • Clients must be informed before releasing any rights
Skye Washington looking sweet in his blue velvet jacket. Sometimes when the phones goes during an NYC executive headshot session, you just have to answer

Transfer/Sale of image rights

  • Not sell or transfer image rights to others who are likely to use the images for unethical/illegal reasons
    • The subject of my photos took my professionalism and integrity into account when they transferred rights to me
  • Always include in client contracts whether image rights will be transferable or not, and under what conditions and circumstances


  • Always be honest and forthright with our clients and business contacts
  • Discuss safety and privacy policies with our clients, including how they affect the session location and image storage
  • Discuss expectations for the session with our clients, and have them share their desires and expectations as well
  • Honor our client’s vision
    • We will provide guidance and expertise, but remember that the client’s desires supersede our own when it comes to their final photos
    • We ask that our clients recognize that they hired us because of our style and expertise, and allow us to guide them
  • Honor their contracts
    • Meet all requirements and deadlines, and provide the services to the best of my abilities at all times


  • Treat each client with civility and respect at all times
  • Respect the wishes of our clients regarding rights to their photographs


  • Not reveal private information about our clients
    • We often learn and see private things about our clients
    • We will not share private/intimate knowledge with others unless we have permission to do so
  • Not share photos of our clients on social media, website, or elsewhere, unless the client has signed a release for the photo(s)
  • Not reveal the name(s) of our clients without permission
  • Always use discretion when discussing engagements with third parties so that personally identifying information about our clients are not revealed


  • Always respond to client communications in a timely and professional manner

Comfort of Client

  • Make sure clients are comfortable at all times
    • The more comfortable the client is, the better the results will be
  • Keep the session clear of other people
    • We will discuss with the client before the session anyone else who will be present during the session (hairstylist, makeup artist, photographer’s assistant, client’s friend or partner, etc.)

Alcohol Use

  • Never encourage the over-consumption of alcohol by anyone at the session
  • Limit the amount of alcohol our clients consume during a session, and if necessary, arrange for transportation should the client become inebriated
  • Verify age and check with their local and state laws to ascertain if providing alcoholic beverages is legal and allowed
  • At no time will we actively encourage the consumption of alcohol by anyone at a session
  • Never discuss contract terms when our client has been drinking, especially at the session

Drug Use

  • Never be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at a session
  • Not allow clients or others to use drugs at a session
Hannah Roze - New York Actor Headshots - Headshots by Gareth 6

Sexual Relations with a Client

  • Not attempt to initiate a sexual relationship with a client
    • Any attempts are inappropriate during the duration of the client relationship, up to and including the delivery of final products
  • Attempts after the conclusion of the client relationship are discouraged, as they may result in negative feelings