Getting started in wildlife or nature photography can be overwhelming, with gear to select, locations to identify and scout out, and numerous new skills to learn. Many photographers look to photography workshops or guides to help them build skills or capture a “dream shot.” But how do you know if the person you’re hiring for a photo workshop is ethical? Are the shots you see on Instagram truly wild animals, not manipulated in any way? Are they taken at game farms, where animals are bred specifically for photography? Are they lured in with bait? Are they captive animals simply not disclosed as such?
Although little introduction is needed, Don Carter is the president of NANPA, and Melissa Groo, in addition to being a world-renowned wildlife photographer, is chair of NANPA’s Ethics Committee. Over the past several years, significant ethical considerations around nature photography have arisen, along with the need to honestly and accurately caption the details of images.
After several years of work, NANPA has developed a new “Truth in Captioning” statement that addresses these and other issues. I recently sat down with Don and Melissa to talk about ethical considerations in wildlife photography, as well as the work done on this document.