I was invited onto the Kay Burley show as part of sky news recently. Talking about wildlife photography trips, tourism, ethics and the demand placed on wildlife by those that put money before ethics. Every single person that places their feet in another habitat no matter where it is around the world has a duty of care to that country, its people and more importantly the wildlife there, was my message.
How we treat wildlife and the planet has never been more important I feel. When we, as guests visit their homes this comes with a great sense of responsibility. Ethics is a big part of my wildlife photography and it’s something very lacking in the saturated market of wildlife photography and wildlife tourism. Local people are the best conservationists and we must work with these people and not against them to save what is left of the planet.
To all those companies here in the UK and around the world before you push and promote your trips and tours make sure you put the place your going to and its wildlife first. When doing searches the first line of the tour is often “Join award winning such and such” or “a specially designed trip for photographers” ethics is rarely even mentioned. There has been an explosion in tours, wildlife tourism and those setting up trips and we all need to ask what’s your ethical statement?
This issue is important to me and should be just as important as the price of the trip, who you’re going with and what is their stance on the topics raised I feel.
“As a responsible photographer of wildlife I capture my images as seen on the ground. I always put the welfare of the subject’s life and care of the environment above any photograph I take. I never use flash, props, live bait or any bait that will adversely affect the behavior of an animal.
I am always honest in declaring the circumstances under which a photograph has been taken. I never use digital manipulation to misrepresent a subject or mislead the viewer.
I don’t sell any of my images to any publication or organisation that promotes any form of hunting or killing of wildlife.
I want the public that view my photography to be transported to that moment in time I was lucky enough to see. It’s important that I change very little in order for them to believe what they are witnessing is real and how it was on the ground.”
Thank you to Kay and sky news for the invite and I look forward to more debates on this very important issue, many thanks.