Travel photography has always been very popular. Taking photos of skylines, nature and animals on your travels is one thing, but photographing local ceremonies is completely different. In some cultures, it might be seen as invasion of privacy, in others as an insult, while in some places, you will be greeted as an honored guest.
If you have the interest to capture unique moments during the local ceremonies on your travels, make sure to pay attention to these 4 respectful ways of photographing ceremonies in the distant corners of the world.
Let’s Get Some Things out Of the Way
It seems to me that it would be good to start with some legal and ethical implications. While in the public area, you are allowed to take photos of people and upload them online, but you are not allowed to sell them without their consent. Also, keep in mind that, although you are allowed to take pictures of people in public areas, it doesn’t mean that you should. That’s when ethics kick in. Your actions as a photographer should never render you as an intrusive person, but a caring one instead.
Always Ask for Permission
In some parts of the world, locals are very hesitant about getting photographed. Asking for permission is always a smart idea when you want to take photos of local ceremonies. Make sure that your DSLR is still packed when you approach to ask for permission, you don’t want to give out an impression that you are intrusive.
In order to get the vibe of the locals, take your cam to shoot session, and you will see how locals react when they are in the near vicinity of your camera. If they are not okay with it, it’s a clear sign that you want to ask for permission during the local ceremony.
Visit the Local Town Hall or People in Charge
If you really want to go home with digital local ceremony mementos, you can work your way towards becoming an official photographer of the local ceremony. Visit the people in charge with the organization and offer your services for fee. They will get the photos that were taken and edited by a professional, photo editing services for free, while you will get your wishes fulfilled. It’s a win-win situation.
Get Shots from the Distance
In some cases, you will be able to get shots only from a certain distance, so make sure to bring your lens set along with you on the travels. This is beneficial in two ways. First, by shooting from a respectful distance, you will lower your chances to make the people participating in the local ceremony feel uncomfortable. And, second, by shooting from a distance, you will not make yourself known to people and you will be able to catch a natural moment without spoiling it.
There you go. There is no science behind of being polite and communicative. If you manage to follow through this “set” of rules, you will increase the chances of getting back home with a memory stick filled with beautiful and breathtaking travel photos.
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