Photo courtesy Thinkstock
The phrase “take only photos, leave nothing but footprints,” is a phrase that many travelers take to heart, and for travel photographers who are trying to leave as little impact as possible, PetaPixel’s Drew Hopper has some tips.
First, understand the culture you are interacting with.
“Never try portraying someone else in false light. Be honest with the message you wish to convey, respecting different cultures whilst enabling, not disabling people through your work. Photography is a powerful medium, so use it effectively and wisely,” says Hopper.
Always being respectful is another golden rule.
“Never demand anything from your subjects, bribe or violate their human rights. Be friendly, move gently and always work with a light footprint – it makes the world a difference,” says Hopper.
Respecting people is one thing, but you should also respect property.
“A lot of it comes down to common sense, which unfortunately seems very uncommon for a lot of people who travel abroad. Just because you’ve left home doesn’t mean you should leave your manners and morals behind,” he says.
Paying to take someone’s photo is also something photographers should try to avoid, but Hopper notes this is a fine line.
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“As a travel photographer interested in having culturally rich experiences, I very rarely pay anyone to take their photo. There’s obviously a difference between travel and commercial photography, but where do you draw the line?” he asks.
One thing he recommends is trying to give back in a non-monetary sense.
“Instead of paying people with money, try giving something back; food, water, clothing or a kind gesture is a great way to thank someone for their time,” he says.
For more tips on making the right impact with your photography, read on here.