Sunday, November 18, 2012

The three rules of ethics for photographers

I've always wondered whether there is such a thing as a code of ethics for photographers, whether be it for the amateurs or the pros. Perhaps there is a guidelines of sorts, but then again the variability of genres available in photography might certainly not be able for certain standards to hold water for all of these genres. And as much as we want to, there are certainly some boundaries that are little shades of grey themselves, when one is trying to discern between what is worth taking/showing, and what is not.

Well I've been thinking about this for a while now, and although I don't consider myself a professional just yet, but somehow I would like to subscribe to these 3 tenets whenever I am doing my photograhy jaunts.

1) Show what needs and appropriate to be shown: These applies especially when one talks about what should be shown, or not. With the preponderence of social media, I think this idea should be something that every moral and ethical (casual/professional) photographer here should abide, that no matter what you have captured, the more important thing is to ensure that the photos that you are going to publish or show to the world are photos that would not cause unnnecessary public embarrassment.

2) Set the context: the problem with photography is that with a single visual, and without an accompanying story or texts to follow, there are bound to be times when the visuals could be taken out of context, and worst still, be misinterpreted to mean something totally irrelevant! I think the only fair thing for photographers would be, as far as possible, to caption or put in a story to complement their pictures, unless they are of the sort that falls in point #3 below

3) Tell the story in its entirety: The worst mistake for any ethical journalist is to tell their story from only one angle, and in a similar vein, photographers should strive to find a balance and tell their stories through a set of visuals too, rather than a singular one that may not tell the true picture in its entirety. Much like how any debate should be heard from 2 or more angles, visuals should be able, or should show their 'stories' from more than just one perspective, or one linear line of reasoning.

Well, there you go, 3 principles that I thought I'd like to share when it comes to being a more ethical photographer. No, I don't think all would agree to them, and neither should you accept them as they are. But what I choose to put in here are the very things that have worked for me, and I do hope that they would do the same for you too.

idgraphy aka irfan darian

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