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Wild Life Ethics

Are you eager to connect with the wonders of nature? 


Discover valuable tips and guidance on responsibly observing and cherishing the natural  surrounding us. Tanner Belcourt Photography is dedicated to encapsulating the magnificence of nature and its wildlife. Through my lens, I endeavor to narrate compelling stories and transport the outdoor beauty indoors. Upholding respect for animals and their habitats is paramount. To ensure ethical practices, I adhere to specific guidelines when encountering wildlife. Explore these guidelines below.

"Protect what you love"


Allow SpaceIt is important to give space to animals and avoid over-crowding when observing wildlife. Animals use lots of energy to survive and thrive in their natural habitats, so adding unnecessary stress can be detrimental to their health. I always try to look for signs of stress in animals when observing them, such as restlessness, panting, and displays of aggressive behavior. If signs of stress are detected, it is best to leave them alone rather than pushing them further out of their comfort zone. Giving animals space and avoiding over crowding is essential to ensure their wellbeing. 



Do No Harm: "Do No Harm" is an important concept when it comes to nature and wildlife. It means to take responsibility for one's actions and to be mindful of the environment in order to protect and preserve nature. When I am outdoors, I always remember to take out what I take in, and to leave the environment in the same condition as I found it. This means not littering, or leaving any waste behind. We must also take care not to damage any natural habitats, and to respect the wildlife living in them. By adhering to the Do No Harm principle, we can help protect our environment and ensure its sustainability.



Keep It Wild: Wildlife photography is incredibly rewarding and an exciting way to observe nature. However, it is important to remember that safety is paramount when dealing with wild animals. Baiting wildlife for a closer shot or "mid flight" photo is an unethical practice that should be strongly avoided. Refrain from feeding wildlife, as this can unbalance the natural order of the environment and can cause wildlife to lose their hunting or foraging instincts. Additionally, baiting or feeding wildlife can lead to an animal becoming aggressive or habituated to humans’ presence, putting both the observer/photographer and the animal in danger. This action may also lure them closer to roadsides in pursuit of food, increasing the risk of the animal being hit by a car. Unfortunately if a wild animal is approaching humans it is most likely going to result in euthanizing the animal by conservation authorities.  Obtaining a dream shot should never be worth the risk of interfering with an animals life. 



Switch Up Locations: Animals can become accustomed to the presence of humans, changing up your location allows the animals a break and keeps them wild and alert. Switching up your location can provide unique opportunities to capture the beauty of nature and the wildlife within it. Additionally, different environments can help to provide a unique perspective and different backgrounds, leading to more interesting and varied photos.



Caption With Honesty: I personally believe that honesty is essential when photographing wildlife. When capturing photos, ensure that you accurately represent how and where a photo was captured. If you have taken a photo in a sanctuary or a zoo, it is important to make it clear that the animal was captive and not in its natural habitat. Claiming a photo as if it was taken in the wild when it was not is dishonest and can be misleading to viewers. Respect the truth of the photo and be honest about its origin. Honesty allows me to maintain a professional and trustworthy reputation.

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