In 2013 I had my first opportunity to be a wedding photographer where being a female was a requirement.
Since then, I focused on providing photography services for segregated events and learn in depth the ethics that such events unveil.
In my photography practice, the most common segregated weddings are Muslim weddings, where a number of moral and ethical practises need to be considered. In Islam modest behavior is a requirement for both men and women. Female Muslims are required to wear modest attire as well as act in a modest way when they are in the presence of men. Therefore, the only way how females can wear their special occasion attire and dance to the music without drawing attention, is by attending a segregated event where men are not present. As a result, the images taken at such events are strictly private, and are to be viewed by a females only.
Since segregated weddings accommodate the needs of females only, it is essential to have a female-only staff who cater for such events. In the UK it is a niche that is gaining popularity as the demand grows. As a photographer, I shall respect the traditions of the environment I am in, as well as be able to apply my ethical judgment on how I take the photos, and what I do with them after.
According to the Copyright Law, the photography copyright is given automatically to the photographer to control copying and exploitation of the photographs. In other words, I have full right to print, publish and promote my work. However, it would be unethical and immoral to publish images taken at a segregated event without the subjects’ consent as it goes against their religions beliefs and practices.
Although it is sometimes disappointing not being able to publicly demonstrate the photographs from such events, it is more important to respect the clients’ privacy and religious beliefs. As a result such actions would not only betray the clients’ trust and would also negatively influence the business and reputation.
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