Responsible Travel: TO photograph or NOT to photograph???

camara fotosAlmost every traveler carries a digital camera, iPhone, or some piece of equipment that allows them to take photos or video to share on Facebook, use for artistic projects, make photo/video montages on Youtube, or upload onto blogs that give travel advice to others. Taking photos and video can be a wonderful way to share your experiences, connect to others, and even get people excited to travel themselves.

While traveling, it’s important to discern what is appropriate to photograph so you don’t intrude on local people’s privacy or get yourself into trouble. Here are some guidelines for photographers abroad.

Ask First: This is the simplest way to figure out if a situation is appropriate or not. When you want to take a photograph of a random local, imagine if you were walking down the street in your hometown and random people started taking pictures of you without asking. For travelers to Thailand or India, some religious buildings allow photography while others don’t, but there isn’t always a sign that says so.

Be Careful While Photographing Government Buildings, Borders, Military Bases, or Police: In certain countries, there is paranoia that people photographing government buildings or military bases are spies or terrorists. We’ve run into this sentiment at the line of control in Kashmir and the Russian/Mongolian borders. With police, we’ve found that they are OK with being photographed if you ask, but won’t want you to photograph them while they are actually working. Don’t photograph a policeman while he’s taking a bribe (we know from experience that they don’t like that!).

Don’t Exploit Peoples’ Suffering Through Photography: Especially in India, we always see travelers taking pictures of beggars, sick people, lepers, and those who are generally suffering. Treating people like a spectacle by taking their photo is unethical and an invasion of privacy in our opinion. You aren’t going to seem worldly or artistic because you posted those types of photos on your Facebook wall.

If You Take Someone’s Photo, Offer To Send Them A Copy, Then Send Them A Copy: Especially when traveling off the path in villages, people will want you to take their photo. If you spend time with a family during a homestay, you’ll have tons of memories your hosts would love to have. Get their email or address and send them some photos. It’s a great way to maintain relationships with the people you meet. Don’t say you’ll send them photos unless you mean it.

turismo-responsable-Ecuador-Chota 2 (1) - copia

Know When To Put The Camera Away: While taking photos is great, don’t let the actual experience of traveling pass you by because you spent all your time behind the lens. If you are spending a few days in a place, take at least one day to go out without a camera and just experience the present moment. Also, there are so many great ways to remember your trip without taking photos. Keep a journal, draw or paint your experiences, or make music. Sometimes those memories can mean just as much as a photo.

Information source: Off the Path Travel

Read more in spanish

Information source: Revista Geo / Agrotravel Turismo Responsable

Acerca de TurismoResponsablebyAgrotravel

*Member of Board of Directors Of Global Sustainable Tourism Council GSTC. *Member of Board of Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism FEST. *International associate director of the Center for Research, Development and Innovation in Tourism CIDTUR (Perú) *Manager Director of Agrotravel Turismo Responsable, Green Euskadi andTotonal Viajes que iluminan -México- *Speaker at Conferences, Sustainable Events Management, Workshops and Meetings to promote responsible and sustainable tourism *Consultant and trainer in responsible and sustainable tourism area.

Publicado el 04/03/2013 en IMPACTOS DEL TURISMO y etiquetado en , , , , , , . Guarda el enlace permanente. Deja un comentario.

Deja una respuesta

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Salir /  Cambiar )

Google photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google. Salir /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Salir /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Salir /  Cambiar )

Conectando a %s

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: