In the last blog post we went over the Leave No Trace Seven Principles and what they mean for us as wedding photographers. With social media being one of the biggest reasons why more and more people are wanting to experience the great outdoors, recently there has been a lot of discussion across the adventure industry about a need for some updates to these principles for the digital age. Being responsible isn’t just about taking care of these places while we are out in them, but also assessing how we portray them online to the world. So how can we as photographers help to keep our wild places wild and protected in this digital age? Leave No Trace have come up with these new social media guidelines:
Leave No Trace – A Social Media Guide For Adventure Wedding Photographers
Rather than tagging a specific location, tag a general area. Whilst it might feel selfish not to share the exact location with others, too many wild places are now being overrun with tourists looking to take the same shot they have seen on Instagram and causing irreparable damage to the surrounding environment. Anyone who is genuinely serious about finding that same location can research it just like you quite probably did. I 100% believe that everyone should have the opportunity to explore our wild places, not just a single geo-tagged location from a photo. By tagging the surrounding area, you’re encouraging people to explore more and not just visit a location to take one specific photo.
Be Mindful Of What Your Images Portray
This is a HUGE one where I see photos giving the wrong impression of what is and isn’t ok to do out in the wild. One of the biggest problems (and unfortunately some of the most popular on social media) is pictures portraying camping, tents and campfires, in locations where it is forbidden to camp. How many times have you seen a beautiful image of a remote lakeside camp? Whilst the person taking the photo might be aware that camping within 200 feet/60m of water, wild camping, or having a campfire is forbidden in that location, the thousands of people who see that photo and aspire to copy it might not. I love the Instagram account @youdidnotsleepthere for highlighting some of the most ridiculous camping locations.
Give Back To Places You Love
What can you do to actively help to protect these places that you love? Whether it’s donating your time or donating money to a charity, find a way to give back to something that brings you so much joy.
Encourage & Inspire Leave No Trace In Your Social Media Posts
This doesn’t need much explaining either. Make sure you take the time to check yourself and the message you are sending out on your social media. Inspire and educate your clients, your followers and other photographers to enjoy wild places responsibly.