Photography

  • There are some issues with respect to taking photographs or videos overseas that students should be aware of.
  • First, remember that in many countries, for security reasons, it is illegal to photograph major infrastructure sites such as bridges, airports, harbors or military installations. (Even in the U.S. it is not legal to take photographs in the customs areas of airports).
  • In some religious faiths, it is considered very disrespectful to photograph religious statuaries or deities, or take any photos within places of worship.
  • In some societies taking an image of a person is believed to be taking something from them and there may be a cultural taboo against photographing people.
  • If a student is unsure, they should ask someone knowledgeable before snapping a shot.
  • If a student wants to take photos of strangers on the street or other individuals, they should ask if those people mind having their picture taken. Many people will not mind, but some will feel it an invasion of privacy.
  • Students should also be aware that many locals may not want them to take pictures of things that they are not proud of, such as poor neighborhoods and villages, polluted areas, the homeless, political demonstrations, etc. 
  • Program staff should be able to provide students with guidance about what is and what is not appropriate to photograph in their host country.