Ethics and Photography

Journalists have to deal with ethics in their work all the time. Some things are considered an ‘ethical’ issue (is it morally ‘right’ or ‘wrong’?), even if it may be legal (the law doesn’t say you can’t do it).

Please read this article regarding a photograph taken of a mourner praying in Newtown, CT and the discussion over ethics and photojournalists. Then come back to my blog and leave me a comment discussing your opinion on the topic. What do you think is appropriate in a situation like this?


3 thoughts on “Ethics and Photography

  1. That’s tough. Depending on who you are, how do you even photograph a situation like that? I think maybe asking permission to photograph someone in despair is appropriate, but at the same time you don’t want to bother them. And you don’t really want to be creepy and just take a picture of them and walk away. Perhaps, taking a picture and talking to them afterwords? It’s a tough thing.

  2. i sort of agree with the last comment! there is no right or wrong in THIS particular scenario since both persons involved did not intend to hurt either but as an artist / photographer i think it is very essential to respect another persons privacy and feelings! that is the least an individual can do!

  3. Yeah, I guess this is a pretty tricky situation and I’m not necessarily sure that there is a right or wrong answer. I can understand where the person in mourning is coming from when they wish to have their privacy respected. However, from the photographer’s point of view, asking for permission to do your job seems unnecessary and annoying. I guess in situations like these it may be better to be tactful while taking pictures politely, and in sensing that your presence is making people uncomfortable it may be appropriate to pardon your self or seek forgiveness.

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