Ethics photographer is simply a photographer who tries to express her/his values and ethics in their work. So it’s also a way of putting a positive spin on the “Ethical Photographer” moniker. “Ethical” is a word that gets bandied about a lot, which isn’t a bad thing, but that doesn’t mean everyone is looking for ethical representation. When they are, they should look with the same criteria they use to choose their clients. Here is an example:
For a professional photographer, choosing a client based on what they’re trying to get out of their relationship is often a bad idea. If your objective is to be the photographer’s “friend,” chances are good that the first client you approach will be someone who will help you in whatever fashion they can.
When this occurs, there are plenty of ethical photographers out there to choose from who will let you in on the truth about your client. While they may not be friends, the “first-friend” relationship isn’t always about friendship or friendship is a false concept. The truth is usually more nuanced and emotional than you think. Even the best of friendships are only a beginning.
While you are the photographer and you’re not friends with your client, you really shouldn’t be judging them based on who they are and what they may or may not do, or what’s in “their best interest.”
The way I see it is this: I see ethical photographers not as my friends but as my trusted advisors. They will share any and all relevant information, and sometimes just be happy to share it with you.
When you approach a photographer in the right mind and with the proper information, this may be what you can expect to get out of them.
The ethical photographer
The ethics photographer understands that there is a ton of overlap between the ethical and the professional photography business, and it often comes down to how it’s done and what is being learned out of that overlap. For example, if you’re a beginner and you want to work with more experienced photographers, ethics photographers have the tools and skills needed to navigate the gray zone between the two, which is often easier said than done.
This doesn’t mean we can’t learn much from some of the most accomplished ethical photographers working today. They have more in common than either of us realize, so let’s take a look at some of the ethical photographers in the field (in no particular order).
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