A Complete Guide to Street Photography in the Philippines

Here are some pro tips from a local! πŸ™‚

Hi there! If you’re new to this website, allow me to introduce myself.

I’m Sher, and I created this website to serve as my travel writing and street photography portfolio. I am also an Assistant Professor of International Relations from Manila, Philippines. I have photographed 34 countries and 40 Philippine provinces. That being said, allow me to share my pro tips on doing street photography in the Philippines.

Can you do street photography in the Philippines?

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY PHILIPPINES: Sunset at Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

Yes! Obviously if you will Google ‘street photography philippines’, you will be able to see tons of publicly-posted street photographs. Albeit some questions about real ‘freedom’ being exercised in the country, the Philippines is a democratic country. That being said…

Are there local laws that could make street photography punishable in the Philippines?

In 2014, there was an attempt to legislate a law that could make street photography punishable in the Philippines. To cut the long story short, it aims to penalize whoever would profit from taking photos of people without their consent (and street photography definitely falls under this definition). The legislative bill went as far as aiming to penalizing people who take selfies and accidentally capture people on the background. To be honest, even if this bill became an actual law, it would be difficult to implement it given the amount of content (monetized or not) that gets published over the world wide web every single minute. And since the world wide web does not recognize territorial borders, where does the coverage of the act begin and end?

How to avoid breach of privacy when doing street photography in the Philippines?

The rule of thumb in street photography (regardless of the location) is to capture candid shots of people in public spaces. The definition of “public spaces” could be subjective, though.

Who are some street photographers in the Philippines where you can get inspirations from?

A lot! But I can mostly relate to the style of Alexis Lim (@sinosijuan on Instagram).

What is the best time for street photography in the Philippines?

Regardless of the destination, I consider early mornings to be. the perfect time for street photography since it gives a warm tone (sunrise, baby!) and people are just starting to live their daily lives.

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