Keeping Safe With a Camera

Learn to Avoid Injuries During a Photography Session

Keep safe with a camera
Arctic-Images / Getty Images

As with any type of consumer electronics device, a digital camera requires some safety precautions to ensure that it will work correctly and safely for you. The last thing you want is to operate the camera in a manner that could leave you with an injury.

Follow these tips to use your camera as safely as possible.

  • If you're going to shoot a photo of the sun, do not stare at the sun through the camera's viewfinder. You can hurt your eyes staring at the sun in that manner; the viewfinder doesn't protect your eyes.
  • If the camera feels hot, begins to malfunction, or begins smoking, immediately discontinue use and turn off the camera.
  • Use care whenever handling the camera's batteries, especially if you see any leakage on the rechargeable batteries. The acid in the batteries can injure your skin. In addition, do not try to take apart the batteries or repair any wiring connected to the batteries.
  • Do not use the camera in environments that could cause you harm. For example, if flammable gas is nearby, do not use a camera or any other consumer electronics. Unless the camera is designed specifically for underwater usage, do not use the camera underwater to avoid any possibility of electrical shock.
  • Do not take the camera apart or try to repair any of the electronics yourself. Some components on the inside of the camera could cause an electrical shock if you inadvertently touch them. Stick with a qualified camera repair center instead.
  • Be careful using the camera strap around your neck to avoid any chance of choking yourself with the strap; this is especially important for children.
  • Try to avoid walking while looking through the camera's viewfinder or staring on the image on the LCD. If you're concentrating on the image that the camera is displaying, especially if you're zooming in on a faraway subject, it's easy to lose your bearings for the environment directly around you. You could step off a path, stumble over a tree root, or slip on rocks. If you need to move while shooting photos, move the camera away from your eyes while you walk and then begin reusing the camera once you arrive at your new location.
  • Another option to help you avoid injuring yourself from a stumble or slip while working around water or unstable terrain is to make use of a tripod. You'll then be forced to remain relatively stationary while shooting your photographs, reducing the chance of taking a bad step. You'll have to take your time when moving, as you'll have to move the tripod and other equipment, which should help avoid a fall.
  • You also need to make sure your subjects remain safe during the photography session. When shooting a close-up photo, be careful to avoid shooting the flash too close to the subject's eyes, which could cause temporary visual impairment. The subject then might bump into something, causing injury.┬áDon't shoot photographs where the subjects may have to stand on a ledge or be in an unsafe location either.
  • Finally, keep the camera out of the hands of small children. Some cameras have small pieces that could cause a child to choke.