Photojournalist A. M. Ahad was at a train station in Bangladesh when he came across a group of photographers pointing their cameras at a young man who was leaning out of a window and striking a prayerful pose.
Ahad, an Associated Press photographer based in Bangladesh and a co-founder of the Absurd Photos photo agency co-op, recorded this 18-second video of what unfolded:
What’s happening in our city? Bangladesh is not for people like this who came to ruin professional photographers etiquette for the sake of winning medal. Stop telling us that you are a foreign media covering the congregation when you have no proof to show us. Nowadays, it’s very hard to make a frame with people like you hogging a place and staging a scene. Just stay home for goodness sake. Whoever local is bringing in these foreign tourists to make money, they should brief them thoroughly to not behave like this.
Posted by A. M. Ahad on Sunday, January 14, 2018
Ahad then shared the video to his Facebook page, pointing to it as an example of how prizing-hunting photographers have been descending upon Bangladesh during major annual Muslim holidays in recent years to try and capture award-winning “photojournalism”.
“For last couple of years, during the Bishwa Ijtema and Eid al-Adha time, there are hundreds of Malaysian and Chinese tourists carting cameras and doing things,” Ahad tells PetaPixel. “They are all around making images and ruining things for professional photographers.”
Ahad says that since many of these photographers aren’t professional photojournalists, they don’t abide by the standard rules of ethical journalist conduct. The photographers routinely pose subjects in eye-catching ways, and passers-by are often more than happy to oblige, as “people think it’s natural to give a pose if a photographer asks,” Ahad says.
“What’s happening in our city?,” Ahad writes on Facebook. “Bangladesh is not for people like this who [come] to ruin professional photographers etiquette for the sake of winning medal[s].”
Ahad says that some of the photographers pose as photojournalists who were sent by media organizations when asking people to pose for pictures.
“Stop telling us that you are a foreign media covering the congregation when you have no proof to show us,” Ahad writes. “Nowadays, it’s very hard to make a frame with people like you hogging a place and staging a scene.
“Just stay home, for goodness sake.”