In conservation, wildlife and animal welfare photography, I believe there are at least two primary ethical issues to consider:
A) What impact does taking the photograph have – both at the actual time of capture (e.g. could it stress an animal, change its behaviour), and in the future (e.g. do the images use help conservation and wildlife, do your behaviours impact others etc.).
B) Is the photograph honest – does it give a fair representation of what was there or what was happening at the time.
The answers to these questions are not always as simple as they appear, however I think a good place to start is by always keeping in mind the four virtues of:
> Compassion – or some might say kindness
> Transparency – in what you have done and what you have created.
Sometimes there is a lot to consider, your ego can get involved, there is pressure from clients o at the time of shooting, but I find what can really help is simply asking ‘What would a good person do?’
Winning at What Cost?
The staging of wildlife in photography competitions
For some thoughts on this issue by myself and iLCP staff memberBrooke McDonough, please clock on the following link here.
8 Common Ethical Mistakes in Wildlife Photography (and how to fix them)
Some thoughts by form myself and other iLCP fellows published by Feature Shoot (link here)