As a photographer, it's important to me that I follow a code of ethics each and every time I go out into the field to capture my subject (nature, wild or human). By upholding to this code, it is my intention to respect and protect the natural world I interact with, for future generations to enjoy.
Take only memories,
LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS.
Respecting nature and the wildlife it contains, is of the utmost importance to me as a photographer, but more so as a human. The best way for me to do this is by leaving as many things as possible undisturbed, and by limiting the amount of impact I have on the surrounding ecosystem. This means that none of my images are staged, and that no animal (wild or captive) have been baited or called for photographic purposes.
While out in the field, traveling by foot will be contained to existing trails (hiking and game) as much as possible. If a desired shot is to be obtained by leaving the trail, great effort will be used to limit the amount of damage to that environment. Great care and consideration will also be taken in regards to the placement of equipment, such as setting down a camera bag or the positioning of tripod legs. These are just a few examples, as it's important to me that I use the full seven "leave no trace" principles each and every time I venture outdoors.
Whether I am out photographing with a group or individually, I will always ensure that there is a safe working environment. By researching about the areas of each planned visit, I will gain an understanding about possible dangers to avoid, both man-made and natural, as well as the local weather patterns. I will never push myself beyond my physical limits, and will be respectful to those of others that may be accompanying me.
As a precautionary measure, bear spray will be carried, and only in necessary situations, will it be used to protect myself, or others accompanying me from unwanted/dangerous encounters with predatory wildlife. To ensure a safe return home, a detailed itinerary outlining the various shooting locations and procedure for the involvement of emergency personnel, should it be required, will be left with either a friend of family member.
As a photographer, I will respect the privacy of others and their property. No trespassing signs will be respected, and only with the owner(s) permission will I enter onto private property for photographic purposes, provided it is clear who the owner(s) are. In the case that I am photographing abandoned buildings, their location will not be disclosed, as to protect it from possible vandalizing and any harmful impact to the surrounding environment, as well as to respect the privacy of the owner(s).
I will respect the privacy and will not disturb or engage in conversations with other photographers, hikers and fellow passerby, unless approached by other parties. Doing so will limit the amount of noise pollution in the surrounding areas, making it more enjoyable for others, but more importantly, not creating a stressful environment for the nearby wildlife. If I see anyone in immediate danger and/or violating anything in my code of ethics, I will respond swiftly with a calm demeanor and a cautious approach.