Ethics for Photographers


Way too Close

Photo courtesy Florida Audubon Society.
Nature photographers approaching the Richard T. Paul Alafia Bank Sanctuary too closely, despite warnings by Audubon wardens.

The North American Nature Photography Association has endorsed the Ethical Photography Practices. These guidelines are supported by the Florida Shorebird Alliance and local Audubon chapters.

PRINCIPLES OF ETHICAL FIELD PRACTICES 

NANPA believes that following these practices promotes the well being of the location, subject  and photographer. Every place, plant, and animal, whether above or below water, is unique,  and cumulative impacts occur over time. Therefore, one must always exercise good individual  judgment. It is NANPA's belief that these principles will encourage all who participate in the  enjoyment of nature to do so in a way that best promotes good stewardship of the resource. 

ENVIRONMENTAL: KNOWLEDGE OF SUBJECT AND PLACE 
  • Learn patterns of animal behavior.
  • So as not to interfere with animal life cycles. 
  • Do not distress wildlife or their habitat. 
  • Respect the routine needs of animals. 
  • Use appropriate lenses to photograph wild animals. 
  • If an animal shows stress, move back and use a longer lens. 
  • Acquaint yourself with the fragility of the ecosystem. 
  • Stay on trails that are intended to lessen impact. 
SOCIAL: KNOWLEDGE OF RULES AND LAWS 

When appropriate, inform managers or other authorities of your presence and purpose. 
  • Help minimize cumulative impacts and maintain safety. 
  • Learn the rules and laws of the location. 
  • If minimum distances exist for approaching wildlife, follow them. 
  • In the absence of management authority, use good judgment. 
  • Treat the wildlife, plants and places as if you were their guest. 
  • Prepare yourself and your equipment for unexpected events. 
  • Avoid exposing yourself and others to preventable mishaps. 
INDIVIDUAL: EXPERTISE AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

Treat others courteously. 
  • Ask before joining others already shooting in an area. 
  • Tactfully inform others if you observe them in engaging in inappropriate or harmful behavior. 
  • Many people unknowingly endanger themselves and animals. 
  • Report inappropriate behavior to proper authorities. 
  • Don't argue with those who don't care; report them. 
  • Be a good role model, both as a photographer and a citizen. 
  • Educate others by your actions; enhance their understanding
North American Nature Photography Association 
6382 Charleston Road 
Alma, IL 62807 

t. 618/547-7616 
f. 618/547-7438 
nanpa.org 

Connecting the Nature Photography Community


Don't Be a Nuisance when Photographing Birds

Watch the video to learn the recommendations of ethical behavior when Photographing Birds.

Ethical Behavior when Photographing Birds

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