One thing I’ve noticed about social media in the past couple of years is that if the photographer posts a photo and for whatever reason doesn’t include the location info of the photo, often someone will ask for it in the comments.
Then if the original poster doesn’t give the location, someone else will come along and give the location.
Doing the above is showing a lack of respect for the original photographer who made a choice not to include the location. For whatever reason the original photographer decided not to give it, it was their decision. If someone doesn’t like their decision, then they should respect it and post their own picture on their own profile and say whatever they’d like. But as like in most things these days on the internet understanding and showing respect is missing.
There are many valid reasons for not posting a location. An important reason is that if an area is sensitive or could be impacted by a large influx of social-media-driven traffic, it’s a good idea not to give out that location publicly. Or if the photographer does give out the info, then they should include information about Leave No Trace
Another reason and a big reason that I seldom post exact locations is that photography is part Exploration, Adventure and Discovery. When you give the location, you rob other photographers who photograph in part to experience the joy of exploration, adventure and discovery from actually experiencing it.
Without knowing the exact location when searching for it, a photographer may make their own discovery of the location or even something cooler and more unique to photograph. That’s one of the things that I love to do, and when I know the exact location of a photo from a post, it robs me of the adventure of figuring it out. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t like to post location info.
Sure, some people are going to buy or write guidebooks, such as my Three days on the North Shore Photography Guide Fall Edition
, but that’s a non-public choice they have made. Sure, some photographers want to get the shot without any exploration, discovery and adventure. There’s nothing wrong with that either.
But by posting location info on a photo that the original photographer choose not to, someone robs other photographers that want exploration, adventure and discovery from experiencing that. For the photographers that don’t care about exploration, adventure and discovery, they can get a guidebook if they want. I do sometimes.
Just as a disclosure about my location info: if there is no location info from me, you can assume it is in Cook County. If not knowing bothers you, then know that saying the location bothers me just as much. I’m not going to give the location unless I feel like I want to give the location, and I think that should be true for all photographers.