Articles: Ethical Considerations For Wildlife Photography

December 19, 2022  |  Wilderness

Ethics is a subject that often gets a bad reputation in photography circles. People that discuss ethics are often wrongly seen as sanctimonious and elitist, when in fact, ethical considerations are really at the core of what makes us human. Ethics is an often misunderstood subject; however, it is paramount for us as nature photographers to be mindful of ethics when in the field. As this great article from Santa Clara University suggests, "ethics is based on well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues." As it relates to wildlife photography, ethics can provide us with guiding principles to protect our subjects and to remain true to our personal values as photographers.

Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Pam Dorner

This week on the podcast I was joined by two amazingly talented wildlife and nature photographers, Pam Dorner and Jennifer Leigh Warner to discuss ethics in wildlife photography. This topic is one that is near and dear to me and I hope you enjoy both Pam and Jennifer's thoughtful responses to my questions relating to the challenges we face regarding wildlife photography and ethics.

On this week's episode, we discuss:

  • The contrast between landscape photography and wildlife photography,
  • Our personal feelings about ethics in wildlife photography and why they are of import,
  • Personal rules for ethical behavior as wildlife photographers,
  • Respecting wildlife and wild places,
  • Bear jams - what they are, and the pros and cons of them,
  • The problems with using live bait in "wildlife photography,"
  • How to properly define wildlife photography and the problem with photographing captive animals,
  • Spotting fake wildlife photographs,
  • The importance of honesty in wildlife photography,
  • And a lot more!
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Jennifer Leigh Warner

Other topics/links discussed on the podcast this week:

Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Pam Dorner

Here is who Pam and Jennifer recommended on the podcast this week:

I love hearing from the podcast listeners! Reach out to me via Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter if you'd like to be on the podcast or if you have an idea of a topic we can talk about. We also have an Instagram page, a Facebook Page, and a Facebook Group - so don't be shy!

Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Jennifer Leigh Warner

We also have a searchable transcript of every episode!

Thanks for stopping in, collaborating with us, and listening. See you next week.

P.S. you can also support the podcast by purchasing items through our B+H affiliate link.

Scroll down to see more of Pam and Jennifer's photography.

Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography
Ethical Considerations for Wildlife Photography