If you’re specifically interested in travel photography, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in unfamiliar places, quite possibly surrounded by people who follow different social etiquette norms than the ones you’re used to. Therefore, in order to ensure you’re behaving respectfully (and being smart) in places where you will be a guest, we’ve put together a list of protocol and practical advice for the traveling photographer- specifically, a list of 3 things traveling photographers should try to stop doing. From equipment to etiquette, are you guilty of any of the following?
Street Photography Tips
1. Be Mindful of Public Street Photography Norms
In the United States, it’s legal and generally socially accepted for traveling tourists and photographers to capture street photos of pedestrians without the need to ask permission from subjects who will inadvertently be included within the frame.
In other places, that’s not necessarily the case. In Spain for example, you’re really not allowed to photograph public photos that include people unless a cultural, public event is taking place. For them, socially (and technically legally), candid street photos are off limits. The best way to avoid trouble? Take the time to do a quick google search before you head out on a street photography excursion in a new city.
2. Be Safe
This should be an obvious piece of advice, but unfortunately in light of an uptick in photography related incidents involving tourists, we felt it appropriate to reiterate. It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of being in a new place, on an adventure. That excitement coupled with a photographer’s insatiable desire to capture that perfect, awe inspiring shot can often be a formula for failure however.
Whether you’re on a hike or touring a landmark, heed all safety precautions- regardless of whether or not they inhibit your compositional goals. Safety precautions were put in place by the local authorities within the city you’re a guest of- ignoring those rules for a photo is not only dangerous, but disrespectful.
3. Pack Smart
Many traveling photographers seem to forget the obvious fact that they’re going to be on-the-go for a large part of their day. Packing too much equipment will weigh you down and likely deter you from adventure- you don’t want to find yourself cutting a day trip short because you’re exhausted from lugging bulky gear around all day. Pack light- a functional but small camera and basic lens is much less tiring to carry than a large DSLR with a telephoto zoom.