ethics

Subjects of World Press Photo Series ‘Paradise Lost’ Critical of Project

The mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which sits between Armenia and Azerbaijan, has been rife with tension and animosity for over three decades.

The conflict was reignited in September and quickly became an outright war, with drone strikes and missile attacks. Thousands died, and more have been displaced. In November, a peace deal was brokered, Azerbaijan declared victory, and captured most of the contested region, forcing Armenians to flee.

Thoughts on a Framework for Photo Ethics

Ethics in photography is a topic that just keeps popping up. Whether it’s the latest dish on Magnum, or an argument about photographing the homeless, some days it seems you can’t turn around without stumbling across another disagreement.

Who Should Own Photos of Enslaved People?

In 1976 while rummaging through an attic of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in search of old museum publications, editorial assistant Lorna Condon opened a drawer in a wooden cabinet. Inside, she found a number of flat leather cases which contained a series of daguerreotypes of partially and fully nude Black people.

My Response to David Burnett’s Open Letter to the NPPA

Dear Mr. Burnett,

I have some concerns I’d like to address in your recent open letter regarding the Photo Bill of Rights (BoR). I am a 36-year-old white female editorial and commercial photographer. I am a member of APA and a Houston chapter board member for ASMP.

David Burnett: An Open Letter to the NPPA on Ethics

World-renowned photojournalist David Burnett recently published an open letter to the National Press Photographers Association in response to the recent debates surrounding photojournalistic ethics and the controversial new Photo Bill of Rights that calls for, among other things, consent from subjects in public spaces.

No, Photojournalists Aren’t Advocating the Blurring of Faces at Protests

In the midst of global protests in support of #BlackLivesMatter, the Poynter Institute caused a ruckus within the photojournalism industry last week with the provocatively titled “Photographers are being called on to stop showing protestors’ faces. Should they?”

Are Your Social Media Photos Ending Up In a Law Enforcement Database?

Facial recognition is an incredibly useful consumer tool for organizing our burgeoning photo albums. Companies like Google and Apple have slowly integrated machine learning algorithms into their consumer photo products, which allow you to search by keywords without the need for manual tagging, or to simply click on a face to see more photos of that person.

How to Photograph Wild Amphibians and Reptiles Safely and Ethically

It frustrates me to see so many fake wildlife photographs of amphibians and reptiles on social media. That's because those staged photos of captive animals in unnatural positions and situations go viral on a regular basis, and this “success” can inspire other people to follow them in their footsteps.

The NYT’s Poor Caption and Dubious Image Selection of Hope Hicks

Unlike most types of photography, photojournalism abides a more stringent set of ethical guidelines because truth is paramount to accurate reporting. Many newspapers enforce their own ethical journalism guidelines, which tend to focus on retouching and the use of photo illustration techniques (e.g. compositing, timelapse, panoramic, etc).

Are You an Ethical Photographer?

A group of boys in Baraboo, WI assembled for a junior prom photo and posed with a Nazi salute. One of the boys posted the image to Twitter with the caption “We even got the black kid to throw it up.” In the midst of public outrage, it was revealed that a professional photographer not only took the image but directed them to “wave goodbye.”

The Model Release in Travel Photography

While most commercial photographers know about copyright laws and the use of a model for their images, it seems the answer isn’t so clear when it comes to travel photography. If you’re traveling the world with your camera, what laws apply for you and for your subject?

To Stage or Not to Stage in Travel Photography

With the recent polemics surrounding a certain image that won a photography competition this week, I feel like we need to talk about travel photography. About people photography, in our case. And to set up boundaries as to what’s acceptable in both cases. Honestly, in my opinion, it’s a matter of common sense – but it seems that’s not enough. We still witness some shocking scenes in the world of travel photography these days.

The New York Times’ Photographic Double Standard

In covering the terrorist attack on a Nairobi hotel that killed at least 21 people by Shahab extremists, The New York Times decided to publish an image of a bullet-riddled body taken by Khalil Senosi. Photo Twitter was outraged, and Poynter wrote about the “hard choice” the NYT made regarding the selection.

Defending ‘Needles in the Sewer’ and Photographing the Disadvantaged

One of my images has been subjected to criticism and scrutiny in a way that none of my other work ever has. The photograph in question is of a scene in London, Chinatown; a man reaches into a sewer while shouting about how someone threw his needles down there.

BBC Wildlife Film Crew Intervenes to Save Trapped Penguins

One of the cardinal rules of documentary wildlife photography and filmmaking is to not interfere with the natural course of events in the scenes and situations you're trying to capture on camera. A BBC wildlife film crew decided to break that rule by coming to the rescue of trapped penguins.

What if He Falls? Shooting the First Free Solo of El Capitan

How do you go about shooting a subject when you know they could die in a split second while your camera is pointed at them? That's the reality filmmakers Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi faced while creating their documentary Free Solo. The duo followed climber Alex Honnold during his attempt to be the first human to ever climb the 3,000ft El Capitan in Yosemite without safety equipment.

Ethical Exif (EE) for Wildlife Photos

One of my least favorite shots from Sani lodge now serves as a constant reminder of poor practice to me. This subject was one of many subjects collected by Tropical Herping working on a photographic field manual of Herps in Ecuador. This parrot snake (Leptophis ahaetulla) was played with.