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Top 5 Ethics Every Travel Photographer Should Follow

Published by WPC Official Account on Sep'28,2021

0 | 242


Top 5 Ethics Every Travel Photographer Should Follow

WPC Official Account
0 | 242 | Aug 13, 2022

The job of a travel photographer is fascinating. It takes a person everywhere across the globe, lets him/her meet new people, learns about new cultures, and shows that to the world. Like any other profession, photography also has some principles to follow. It is especially important if you are a travel photographer because you need to work in foreign countries, among strangers. If you offend some people and the community they belong to, it might drag you to court, and in some places, even be killed by a mob. So carefully read the article and try to follow the ethics mentioned here when you shoot abroad. 

Here are the top 5 ethics every travel photographer should follow:- 

 

Follow the rules:- 

 

 

Do some research about the country or place you are going to visit. Not only the specific instructions for photographers, but you also need to learn about the general rules and guidelines for tourists too. You will get an overall idea about the mentality of the people from this. These include whether they are inviting, or conservative, how much they value their heritage, etc. There are some universal ethics that you have to follow too. Above all, always use your common sense when it comes to ethics in photography.

Do not expose poverty:- 

 

 

 

There is endless debate on this topic. Though as a travel photographer, you have the responsibility to show the true pictures of a nation, focusing too much on its poor people is not a good idea. You should not take advantage of the viewer's emotions. Only showing the poverty-stricken face of a country creates wrong beliefs in their minds and is an unethical act for a photographer.  But it is highly ethical when you are doing it to grab the attention of the world to a serious issue. So, understand where to draw the lines and follow your conscience. 

 

 

Ask for permission 

 

 

You may love to take candids, but it is always advised to ask for permission first when you are clicking people in a foreign land. People belonging to different cultural backgrounds react differently to being clicked. You may fall into trouble if you do not ask for permission before taking a snap.  

 

Be respectful

 

 

Everyone expects that a foreign photographer would respect their cultural and religious monuments, activities, and rituals. So be very cautious about the sentiments of people regarding these, and do not hurt anybody's feelings. Though you might know their language, you can always show humbleness through your body language and gestures. 

 

Do not invade personal space:- 

 

 

If you are shooting an auspicious ceremony, keep a respectful distance from the people performing it, and know how much of the ceremony you are allowed to click. If they are forbidding you to touch something, or capture a particular moment, obey that. Always ask for permission first, before clicking these kinds of pictures. If you do not know their language, keep an eye on their expressions and gestures. If they seem offended and angry, stop shooting immediately. 

 

 

 

As you read in the article, it is important to follow ethics for your own good. Do not try to be too adventurous and hamper the privacy of anybody.  



Written by Sanga Basu, Content Writer, WPC. 


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The job of a travel photographer is fascinating. It takes a person everywhere across the globe, lets him/her meet new people, learns about new cultures, and shows that to the world. Like any other profession, photography also has some principles to follow. It is especially important if you are a travel photographer because you need to work in foreign countries, among strangers. If you offend some people and the community they belong to, it might drag you to court, and in some places, even be killed by a mob. So carefully read the article and try to follow the ethics mentioned here when you shoot abroad. 

Here are the top 5 ethics every travel photographer should follow:- 

 

Follow the rules:- 

 

 

Do some research about the country or place you are going to visit. Not only the specific instructions for photographers, but you also need to learn about the general rules and guidelines for tourists too. You will get an overall idea about the mentality of the people from this. These include whether they are inviting, or conservative, how much they value their heritage, etc. There are some universal ethics that you have to follow too. Above all, always use your common sense when it comes to ethics in photography.

Do not expose poverty:- 

 

 

 

There is endless debate on this topic. Though as a travel photographer, you have the responsibility to show the true pictures of a nation, focusing too much on its poor people is not a good idea. You should not take advantage of the viewer's emotions. Only showing the poverty-stricken face of a country creates wrong beliefs in their minds and is an unethical act for a photographer.  But it is highly ethical when you are doing it to grab the attention of the world to a serious issue. So, understand where to draw the lines and follow your conscience. 

 

 

Ask for permission 

 

 

You may love to take candids, but it is always advised to ask for permission first when you are clicking people in a foreign land. People belonging to different cultural backgrounds react differently to being clicked. You may fall into trouble if you do not ask for permission before taking a snap.  

 

Be respectful

 

 

Everyone expects that a foreign photographer would respect their cultural and religious monuments, activities, and rituals. So be very cautious about the sentiments of people regarding these, and do not hurt anybody's feelings. Though you might know their language, you can always show humbleness through your body language and gestures. 

 

Do not invade personal space:- 

 

 

If you are shooting an auspicious ceremony, keep a respectful distance from the people performing it, and know how much of the ceremony you are allowed to click. If they are forbidding you to touch something, or capture a particular moment, obey that. Always ask for permission first, before clicking these kinds of pictures. If you do not know their language, keep an eye on their expressions and gestures. If they seem offended and angry, stop shooting immediately. 

 

 

 

As you read in the article, it is important to follow ethics for your own good. Do not try to be too adventurous and hamper the privacy of anybody.  



Written by Sanga Basu, Content Writer, WPC.