Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The Allure Of East Africa
Beyond the dramatic wildlife, eastern Africa is also one of the richest tribal regions in the world. These unique cultures have drawn the attention of photographers since the medium’s beginnings.
The answer is complicated because each situation is different. I try to find ways, other than money, to compensate people for their time. Sometimes I take the warriors out to the local bar for drinks; other times, I bring flour to the women to free them from spending hours grinding it. Another approach is to make gifts of their session. Often, many people I photograph have never owned a photograph of themselves. A hand-sized printer that produces business card-sized images straight from your camera becomes a big hit and a nice way to show respect and gratitude. Create a relationship with your subject, and you may be asked less often for compensation.
If I take a person from their work/livelihood for a three-hour photo shoot that I intend to market, then I get a signed release, and I pay them just as I would pay a model. My view is that for those few hours, they're working for me and should be compensated, which is much different than a short village visit.
Avoid handing out money for photographs in a local market or along the road; it promotes begging, which often leads to harassment just for taking snapshots. Every photographer has a different approach, but keep in mind that your actions will create a standard that may hamper the photographers who follow.
You can see more of Piper Mackay's work and sign up for her workshops and photo tours at her website, www.pipermackayphotography.com.
Page 2 of 3
Get 11 Issues of Outdoor Photographer for only $14.97!
That's 77% off the cover price!