Sharing travel photography original full size files with travel companions, yes or no?

Started Mar 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
Alphoid Veteran Member • Posts: 5,333
Reasonable request

It's a reasonable request, and commonly done on trips I've been on. Most people I've traveled with don't think twice about it, and you shouldn't think less of your companions for making it.

'Reasonable request' doesn't mean you have to say yes, however.

We all come from different backgrounds and cultures. What's an expected in Crimea might be a reasonable request in Florida, and might be rude to ask for in New York City, and vica-versa. The same goes for academics, engineers, and lawyers -- very different cultures. When folks get together, that's sometimes hard to manage. It's important to understand:

  1. Your colleagues aren't jerks, and what they're doing is very reasonable.
  2. You're not a jerk either for refusing. You just have a different culture and set of expectations.

That has to be managed. How concerned are you about protecting your photos? How concerned are you about the value of friendship? Are you planning to sell your photos to them? Are they likely to respect your wishes about how the photos get used? In most cases, when faced with a cultural conflict, I find the value of the social connections outweighs whatever I'm giving in on. When that's not the case, it's usually a complex negotiation.

There are two places you'll run into issues, sometimes:

  1. Your colleagues are unlikely to see you as different from them. If I go over to a chef's house for dinner, I don't see them as providing a service to me anymore than when I visit friends who can't cook. We're outside of a professional setting.
  2. If I'm with my family, as a matter of efficiency, if I see someone else taking a shot, I won't bother taking the same one, and vica-versa, since I know photos will get shared. If people expect sharing, and it doesn't happen, you will be perceived to be a jerk. It's important to set clear expectations early. Most people will respect that if it is done before the fact. This doesn't have to be a big deal. Mention you're a professional photographer, and perhaps tell an off-hand anecdote about a previous trip where someone annoying wanted photos for free or something similar that clearly implies what your expectations going in are.
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