The Wild is being taken out of Wildlife. And the truth is the public are being lied to or deliberately misinformed.

“Wow! Once in a lifetime shot!”
Nope. This is a captive harvest mouse placed in a manmade setting created to mimic its wild habitat. It is frozen stiff with fear, allowing a photographer to obtain staged images such as this.

Ethics and Wildlife Photography

Many of the wildlife images that you see and love are sadly not wild at all. Whether in a magazine, a Christmas calendar, a ‘Like’ on Facebook or Instagram, or that treasured print you have hanging on your wall – the chances are high that many of these images are not of truly wild animals. They could be captive animals staged in a wild setting, or, wild animals that are being fed or interfered with and subsequently their behaviour influenced in order for the photographer to get the ‘perfect’ shot. Such captive animals are often not kept in conditions that the public would not be happy with, I have sadly witnessed this with my own eyes.

Society today expects and often demands that we know exactly where our meat comes from, or our eggs and that the animals are kept in a humane way that meets welfare needs. Why is this not the case for wildlife photography?

Spirit of Suffolk is an ethical business. I am proud of the ethical platform upon which I stand and represent amongst the wildlife photography community. Unfortunately poor wildlife ethics form a dark underbelly of wildlife photography and many people are unaware of the consequences such practices can have upon species both captive and wild alike.

All of Spirit of Suffolks Photo Tours and Workshops are ethical and I follow a series of self-set guidelines that have been influenced and inspired by the worlds leading ethical wildlife photographers.

  1. Leave a location exactly as I found it, or better
  2. I never bait for wildlife
  3. I never call-in wildlife
  4. I cause as little disturbance to the subjects as possible
  5. I limit the sharing of exact locations of wildlife (online)
  6. I keep group sizes extremely small
  7. I actively educate those around me regarding ethics

“Beautiful, wild Red Fox”
Nope. Think again.

“Incredibly lucky to spend intimate time with wild Otters!” …..
….. or perhaps not.

The beauty of following these guidelines is that all our viewing has a completely natural feel to it. This allows us to spend time with subjects observing their natural behaviours; allowing those intimate moments to capture our hearts before hopefully capturing on camera.

Many tour-guiding operations around the world and especially here in the UK will pursue wildlife by any means necessary and this is proven to have potentially dire consequences for the wildlife at question. Join us to enjoy a totally natural experience where every adventure is different to the last.

This image was taken on a local nature reserve at a ‘perfect photography location’ where food is strategically placed for the birds. This has altered the natural behaviours of these great tits.

%d bloggers like this: