When filming a shot at a busy area, make sure you
follow the following rules of photography etiquette.
- Finish capturing pictures as
fast as you can – don’t create an obstruction to people moving around for
more than a couple of minutes. An easy way to do this is to get the
settings on your camera right before you ask someone to pose or focus on a
particular object for your shot.
- Don’t throw dirty looks at
people who happen to interrupt you without realizing you are filming.
- If you are photographing
your kids with an amusement park character, don’t spend a long time
clicking them from different angles – take one or two pictures and make
way for the others who are awaiting their turn.
Ask for Permission
Whichever part of the world you may be traveling in,
make it a point to ask for permission before you take a photograph of a person.
If you are traveling in a country where the local language is not the one you
speak, find out how to ask someone ‘Can I take your picture?’, and then ask
this politely whenever you want to photograph the locals.
If you find people a little hesitant to pose for you,
break the ice by asking one of them to take a photo of you and then ask if you
can take one of them. If someone flatly refuses to pose for you in words or by
turning away, it is against photography etiquette to continue to photograph
them with or without their knowledge.
Offer a Copy
When traveling in a foreign country, make it a point
to carry a Polaroid camera so you can offer an instant copy to the people you
photograph. While this doesn’t cost you much, it definitely gives them a thrill
to have a photograph of their own. If this is not possible, offer them a view
of the digital display so they can see how they look.
Respect People’s Beliefs
In certain cultures,
people harbor a negative feeling about being photographed. For example, people
in the Caribbean region are scared the photo may be used to perform black magic
on them, whereas native Americans consider that the camera can enslave their
Although you can try explaining that your purpose in taking a photograph
is not anything like this, take care you don’t poke fun at their beliefs. If
people don’t agree to pose for you, then it is important to respect their
belief without any ill will.