Taking Photos

This is a checklist of 10 travel rules for taking photos that savvy world travelers observe.

As world travelers, we want to take great photos and not annoy the locals at our travel destination. We want to be responsible travelers who are sensitive to our hosts, but we also want to take photos to remember our trip. This is a difficult balance to achieve; however, long-term travelers know that taking photos is not harming the planet or anyone in particular, really. 

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First we must decide our ethical point of view, choosing between two options:

A. It is OK to take photos in public areas without permission.


B. It is NOT OK to take photos in public areas; we need to always ask permission.

This is the essential problem we face taking photos: We must make a commitment to one or the other. Until we make this decision, we are forever confused, and this confusion makes being a photographer difficult.

Paparazzi defined: Paparazzi are photographers who take pictures by invading others’ personal spaces and private areas, taking photos without consent to sell or use for profit.

Non-negotiable photo rules:

1. There is no right to privacy in public places, e.g., beaches, tourist areas, outside of building, restaurants, etc. Take the photos without asking permission. 

2. There is a right to privacy in members-only-type areas, e.g., churches, synagogues, homes, etc. Do not take photos unless you have permission.

3. People doing private things in public can be photographed. They are annoying the public. It is not their right to do private things in public and expect privacy; it is an inappropriate expectation. 

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