Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Respectful Photographer ~ Telephoto Tuesday!

"Working the Fields"

Was out last week in Mennonite country. The color around St.Jacobs and Elmira is just starting to riot, and the warm temps make it easy to get out and wander back roads for great scenes. If you're ever in the region, take the opportunity to explore beyond the main drag of town.

The images today were taken with my telephoto from the side of the road, and was the perfect tool from my kit to be a considerate photographer. Mennonites are a quiet, humble group to say the least, and are generally okay with you getting photographs as long as you are respectful and refrain from being intrusive. We stayed out of this gentleman's way and simply followed his progress through his fields from a distance. He'd spotted us on the road and smirked from behind his sunglasses at one point, and then went on his way slowly, enjoying the sun and his team.

What I realised very early on in my pursuit of photography, is that even though I have a right to photograph beautiful scenes and public spaces, I still need to conduct myself in a way that shows that photographers are simply eager to share what they see, not eager to exploit what they see. All too often I've been out with other photographers and noticed someone pushing the personal space or privacy boundaries. Making everyone, including other photographers, uncomfortable. And for the most part, if you ask first anyways, most folks will allow you a second to take your photo and be on your way.

"Heading Home"

It was a good reminder for me, to be aware of making people more comfortable with photography, as opposed to creating a reputation that cause the public to be wary of it. After all, it's the public that we want to love the resulting images to begin with. Time to treat them with some respect if we don't already.

Thanks for the ramble folks, enjoy the autumn weather!


  1. Great ramble and shots. I have spent a lot of time in Elmira the past few years and often thought about capturing some of the locals. But as you wrote, wanting to do it in a respectful way.
    Nicely done

  2. Thank you Peter! It is such a pretty location... I should make a point to get out there more, but life always has other plans, lol.