"Asking for permission to photograph" Top 5 Page for this destination Mexico Favorite Tip by melosh

Mexico General: 399 reviews and 315 photos


Favorite thing: I know of no place in the world where people want to have their picture taken by a stranger without their permission. Although in some places there may be religious or practical fears, in most situations it just seems rude. At its extreme, it really is exploitive whether it is just for the art or for the commercial sale of the image.
Now, I will admit that I have at times envied pictures taken by agressive photographers. I just find it hard to approve of all of their behavior. I recognize also that there is the dilema that asking permission will often destroy the naturalness and spontaneity one desires, and no matter how much time you take to try to put the people at ease, the chance was lost.
It is hard for people to be offended when the picture is from a distance and kind of takes in the scene. And no one will be offended if you ask permission. A request for a tip is not unreasonable, and it will happen at times in Mexico, but satisfying it does make it into an impersonal and monitary transaction. Of course, maybe this is what you want.
After years of promising copies, losing the pictures, losing addresses, or mailing copies and never knowing if the pictures arrived, I read a suggestion on VT (by "epicult") which has really enriched by photography experience. I now take a pocket portable polaroid and ask if the person, usually a mother or child, would like a picture of themselves or loved one? And then if I could take one for me with my other camera. Yes, it costs more than a small tip but the reward of smiles and human interaction are well worth the extra expense and hassle of carrying another piece of equipment.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Dec 6, 2004
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse


melosh Visits Here Frequently!


“If you have not been, you can not know.”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 7 1 1
Forum Rank:
0 0 2 0 1

Have you been to Mexico?

  Share Your Travels