Rules abroad

Digital Camera World - - PHOTO ACTIVE -

Q Are there any rules I should fol­low when pho­tograph­ing peo­ple in other coun­tries? Keith Wy­att

A I don’t think there are any rules as such; it all de­pends

on where you are and what the sit­u­a­tion is. How­ever, I do think you need to be sen­si­tive to any cul­tural con­sid­er­a­tions and think about whether what you are do­ing is likely to cause any of­fence. I’ve lost count of the num­ber of coun­tries I’ve vis­ited and pho­tographed the peo­ple. Yet I can count on one hand the times that I’ve in­ad­ver­tently up­set some­one – and I shoot can­dids.

Be­ing dis­crete rather than sneaky works well for me, as does the simple mea­sure of ask­ing some­one for per­mis­sion. But you get two different types of im­age with each ap­proach. I know that pho­tograph­ing peo­ple can be very daunt­ing and it makes a lot of peo­ple feel un­easy. But there’s no doubt in my mind that when you are vis­it­ing a different cul­ture, the peo­ple are an im­por­tant part of the pho­to­graphic record you should come back with.

Ba­si­cally, Keith, I’d sug­gest you make sure you un­der­stand any nu­ances of the cul­ture of the place you are vis­it­ing that might be an is­sue, but also be open and friendly when you are there. I think if we are all sen­si­tive to cul­tural dif­fer­ences, then we’ll know when it is ap­pro­pri­ate to shoot im­ages and when it’s not. Stick­ing to strict rules doesn’t work – you have to be able to judge the sit­u­a­tion.

Learn about the cul­tural quirks of any coun­try you visit, but re­mem­ber that a friendly smile can get you a long way to­wards your photo.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.