Principles of Ethical Photographic Practices
The Alaska Society of Outdoor and Nature Photographers (“ASONP”) believes that following these practices promotes the well being of the location, subject and photographer. Every place, natural formation, plant, animal, whether above or below water, is unique, and cumulative impacts occur over time. Therefore, one must always exercise good individual judgment. ASONP believes that these principles will encourage all who enjoy nature to do so in a way that best promotes good stewardship of the resource. These principles are modeled after those adopted by the North American Nature Photography Association (“NANPA”).
Environmental: Knowledge of Subject And Place
- Learn patterns of animal behavior. Know when not to interfere with the animal’s life cycles.
- Respect the routine needs of animals. Remember that others will attempt to photograph them too.
- Use appropriate lenses to photograph wild animals. If an animal shows stress, move back and use a longer lens.
- Acquaint yourself with and respect 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 and follow the rules and laws of the location, whether public or private. Ignorance is never an excuse, nor are you exempt from the rules.
- 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 with consideration. Be sensitive to others already shooting in the area.
- Tactfully inform others if you observe them engaging in inappropriate or harmful behavior. Many people unknowingly endanger themselves, animals or ecosystems.
- Report inappropriate behavior to the proper authorities. Don’t argue with those who don’t care, just report them.
- Be a good role model, both as a photographer and a citizen. Educate others by your actions; enhance their understanding.
- Follow the NANPA Truth in Captioning guidelines. The principles of honesty and courtesy should extend to your business as well.