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 boudoir 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 honor not only the trade, but the women and men whose desire is to look their best while wearing the least – providing safe, creative and private settings both during and after their boudoir / maternity session.

We, Gareth Shaw Photography will…


  • Conduct ourselves as professionals at all times
    • We am representing the Boudoir / Maternity 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


  • 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.)


  • 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 Boudoir / Maternity 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


  • 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

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