Profile of a fire photographer
We should define what type of individual is recognized as a fire photographer in the context of the Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is a tool that makes it easier to identify individuals that make fire photography a serious and professional line of work. Here is the general profile of a such an individual and what differentiates him/her from other photographers and amateurs.
- The fire photographer uses professional or semi-professional photo equipment. Those that have disposable cameras or small "family-type" digital cameras are considered pure amateurs and are therefore excluded.
- The fire photographer shows great respect for incident scenes, authorities and victims.
- The fire photographer collaborates directly with emergency services during incidents so as to not impede on their work.
- The fire photographer is extremely watchful of its surroundings while he is within a safety perimeter, so to be able to get out or move at any time if firefighters work near him.
- The fire photographer remains discreet on incident sites and does not attempt to engage in conversations with emergency personnel on site so to not disrupt their work.
- The fire photographer shows interest not only to the spectacular aspects of incidents but also to firefighting techniques. His interest is to accurately represent the fire department's work. His portfolio will therefore include photos that are less sensational: truck shots, firefighting techniques, image sequences showing the evolution of a fire, etc. This is an important criteria to distinguish the real fire photographer from the amateurs.
- The fire photographer never challenges nor circumvents the instructions or interdiction of the fire department or police service on an incident scene. He collaborates immediately.
- The fire photographer is not directly employed by the fire department as a firefighter or an officer, or is not on duty at the time he is acting as a fire photographer. Any photographer whose photographs are owned by the fire department is not covered by the Association but rather by their own department.
To be allowed to declare himself «Signatory of the Quebec Fire Photographers Code of Conduct», the fire photographer must provide the Association with filled-out and signed copy of the Code of Conduct.