How is like to photograph people in Morocco? It’s a question that might pop in your head, as you are preparing to visit Morocco, for many of us, professional photographer or not, as we all have a camera attached to our phones, this question need to be answered.
Before trying to answer this question, we need to understand the culture in Morocco, Morocco is an Islamic country, with a conservative society. Whoever, Morocco is also a mixture of different cultures and millions of tourists visiting it each year, so this influence Moroccans to become more open toward forgiven.
Back to our question, photographing people is a tricky thing in Morocco, talking from my experience as a Moroccan photographer working in Morocco, also a shy person by nature, sometimes I found it a challenging task. Moroccan People like their privacy, even in an public spaces, which is a normal thing, we all do. Why not just ask for their permission? for me, while shooting, if I asked someone for permission before taking a photo, if he agrees, he is now much aware of the camera, the picture then will have a fake look to it, a thing that I don’t like. Of course, if I’m working on a portrait it is a different situation. Sometimes I get lucky with people who accept to be photographed and they just carry on what they are doing, does are my lucky ones.
While People in cities might be too busy to notice a photographer, in remote village life is different, people there are more aware of visitors/strangers especially with a big DSLR, also due to tourists always passing by taking snaps, people in villages may be less friendly, especially women, but if you get a chance to spend time, and let them know you more, you will discover how generous they are, and probably take some special photographs.
So can I take a photograph of people in Morocco? Of course, just by being nice, friendly, and open minded. If someone refuses to be photographed, don’t take it personally, maybe the person in question found his photo on a travel agency website, or her husband finds her photo on Facebook and start a fight over it.
Photographing people is much a like all over the world, Morocco is no different, sometimes you get a smily faces, other times, you get something else. Just keep focusing on what is beautiful, keep an open eye on diversity of landscapes, the architecture, your friends, and of course, yourself, and enjoy your journey, enjoy photography.