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  • Writer's picturebonniejheath

Can we take our headshots in common office areas?

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

While planning your team photo session, you might decide the best place to take your headshots is somewhere on the grounds of your building or in one of the building’s lobby areas. Be aware that you will need to get permission from the property manager before your session day.

Why would the property manager care if you take photos outside of a building where your company is a paying lessee?

Insurance: The building managers will want documentation that your photographer is insured. If someone is injured during the photo session, they do not want to be held liable. The photographer may be asked to provide a certificate of insurance to cover liability.

Traffic Obstruction: The property manager will want to be sure the photographer will not impede foot traffic around the building. No one wants to be late for work because they had to wait for a photographer so that they could get to the elevator.

Copyright laws: If a building is recognizable in the background of the photos, it may be subject to copyright laws. Artwork, such as a painting or sculpture, may also be subject to copyright laws, if it is identifiable in the background.

Monetization: If a production is big enough, the building manager can potentially make money by renting their building for photography and videography on their property. The movie industry’s move into Georgia has made everyone aware that commercial photos and videos can be monetized.

You may ask, “Can we try to take the photos outdoors, and then ask for forgiveness if someone notices?” If you are hiring a professional photographer, the answer to that question is likely no. If you start taking photos outside, and a security guard notices and tells you to stop, your photographer will need time to break down and set up lights again in your suite, delaying your session and changing everyone’s schedules. The first few portraits may need to be done again so that your company photos look consistent.

To help your session run smoothly and avoid delaying the project, it’s best to make your building management aware of your photo session and comply with their requests.



Bonnie Heath, photographer, Atlanta


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