Re-Blog: 7 Ways to Be an Ethical Photographer While Traveling

The following is an incredibly insightful article written by travel expert Julia Austin on Planet Green’s blog.

I happened upon the article while watching recent episodes of Dresscue Me on I hope to write more about Dresscue Me in the future. It’s about a vintage boutique that makes it’s living upcycling out-of-date fashion items!

Anyway, this particular article about travel photography really spoke to me, as it resounded with many of the experiences Josh and I had while in Europe this past winter and spring. We came in contact both with the joy that respectful lifestyle photography can bring and the mistrust that careless photography can cause.

Julia said it best, so I’ll stop babbling and let you enjoy her work.

The best part about a trip might actually be looking at the photos after and sharing the stories behind photos with friends. And taking a photo in today’s world has become extremely simple.
You can take one while you text your friend what time to meet you at a café. But don’t forget—you create a world through your images. Just like you monitor which personal photos you put up on your social media pages like Facebook and Twitter, in order to give what you believe is an accurate and complete depiction of yourself, you must take this same care with photos of others that you take while traveling.

The tiniest camera phone can be snuck into a sacred place. If you wanted to, you could take a photo of just about anything. But, as always, with freedom comes responsibility. Here are a few tips on being a responsible, ethical photographer while traveling.

1. Unless you are at a public performance, parade or somewhere where the individuals expect to be on display, always ASK to take a photo. Sometimes language is a barrier, in which case simply smile, present the camera, make a motion to take a photo and see how the subject responds.

2. It’s tempting to pay your subjects to be in your photo, but this encourages a type of prostitution, so to speak. Individuals in that culture might then offer to pose for photographers in exchange for money, making their ordinary lives look more “photogenic” rather than portraying the reality of it.

3. Try to develop a relationship with an individual or a group. If you can just spend an hour or a week with them, they will grow a trust for you and usually want you to take photos of their life. Also, those photos will be more genuine because the subject is comfortable with you, and feels they are being in your photo, rather than imagining all the websites they may appear on . . .

Read the rest of the article on!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s