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Appropriate Photography – have we lost our senses?

July 18, 2010

By Danielle Lancaster

Every now and then, one of us here has to have a vent. You could call it a verbal vomit and here goes:Tonight I opened (and to keep the sender unanimous) an email, snail mail, magazine (am sure by now you get the drift). Glaring at me was a fabulous photo of a group of girls from a school here in Australia with the local village women who they had gone to meet on a school trip far, far away from our sunny and ‘luxurious’ Australian shores. For many of us, a trip like this is a trip of a life time.

Now while I am sure many of their parents would look this image and say ‘look at our little darling’ (from the copy editor: OK Danielle, enough tongue in cheek for one blog), I looked at it in horror. Yes the girls looked beautiful in their short, short, khaki shorts and skimpy white tops but not dressed appropriately for visiting the culture they were visiting.

An outfit for ‘Tomb Raider’ or some other Hollywood blockbuster but….DOES NO ONE instruct these girls on appropriate dress when visiting these people?? Call me old fashioned, call me a stick in the mud or whatever springs to mind, but we cannot forget we are fortunate enough for some of us still to see villages like this, experience the time and place of another culture. The more we make them a tourist attraction the more they will become.

I feel the majority of this is total ignorance though I am not sure in the world we live in this should now be an excuse – there is information on every corner, at every news stand and within every click of the mouse button into the wide world of cyber space. It is an aspect we cover in our pre tour meetings for the Buedog Vanuatu Photography Tour and has rewarded our participants no end.

Come on Australia: let’s have some respect, we ask for it here, let’s learn from different cultures and lets all make an attempt to get along for the sake of our planet.

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