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Northwestern University

Staying Safe Taking Pictures

One of the most exciting parts of travel is documenting your experiences with photographs. These days, it’s common for travelers to post pictures to Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook as soon as they are taken. However, understand that in some countries it may be inappropriate or even illegal to photograph certain individuals (such as women or children), acts (such as religious ceremonies), or facilities (such as military installations). Always ask for permission to photograph individuals or families, especially in developing countries, and consider offering a small tip as a token of your appreciation.

Read a thoughtful article about how students' photographs can promote stereotypes as well as spread misinformation about their experiences abroad. Saffran, Lise. “Students Abroad: First, Do No Harm With Your Camera,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 6, 2015.

For more information about taking pictures safety abroad, read the U.S. Department of State report on safe photography abroad.

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