ETHICAL CODE OF PRACTICE
Updated: Feb 28
As a fine art photographer currently developing a project for children audience that is going to include nature and wildlife subjects (Fig.1), I commit to comply with principles for ethical practices when photographing nature and wildlife subjects, published by various organizations (for example, ‘The Nature Photographers’ Code of Practice’ published by The Royal Photographic Society and ‘Nature First Principles’ published by Nature First: The Alliance for Responsible Nature Photography).
Fig. 1: Kalmane Saksens 2022. The Bush Monster [pair of digital photographic images]
Keeping in mind that “the welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph” (The Royal Photographic Society, 2007: 1), the common philosophy behind ethical behaviour when photographing in nature can be perhaps summarized in the following main environmental, social and individual principles that I commit to:
- Learn beforehand and do not interfere with animal life cycles. According to wildlife photographer Art Wolfe, “Ethical wildlife photography begins with knowing your subject” (in Jill Waterman 2021). The photographer should be familiar with the natural history of the subject and animal behaviour patterns.
- Respect the Law. The Law concerning nature photography, animal welfare and location access should always be observed.
- Do not disturb. Neither the subject, nor the photographer should ever be put in risk due to practicing photography.
Do not destroy. The photographer should not destroy landscape when practicing photography. The photographed space should be left as it was before photographing it.
THE ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY. 2007. The Nature Photographer’s Code of Practice. From The RPS [online]. Available at: https://rps.org/media/1xcnsuga/the-nature-photographers-code-of-practice.pdf [accessed September 22, 2022].
WOLFE, Art. N/D. From Jill Waterman. 2021. The Ethics of Wildlife Photography. In B&H [online]. Available at: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/the-ethics-of-wildlife-photography [accessed September 22, 2022].
Figure 1: KALMANE SAKSENS, Ruta. 2022. The Bush Monster [pair of digital photographic images].