Is it Okay to Take Photos of People on the Streets in Marrakech?

Marrakech, a city bathed in a dreamy light that photographers covet, offers an alluring blend of colors, culture, and charisma. With clear skies and captivating sites at every turn, it’s no wonder that photography enthusiasts are tempted to capture every moment in this vibrant Moroccan destination. However, the act of taking photos in Marrakech isn’t as simple as it seems.

Exploring the Conundrum of Street Photography

When I first arrived in Morocco, I wielded my trusty DSLR camera, specifically the Canon Rebel. But now, my primary tool for capturing memories isn’t the DSLR—it’s my iPhone. Surprising as it may be, many of the photos I use on my platform originate from this compact device.

I quickly learned that thrusting a camera into someone’s personal space doesn’t always garner a positive response. It’s not about rudeness; rather, it’s the weariness of countless tourists that engenders the reluctance. Being amidst a throng of tourists daily can test the patience of locals.

Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean photography is off-limits; it just necessitates considering a few guidelines before clicking the shutter.

Respecting the Privacy of Marrakech

Marrakech is not a zoo, and its inhabitants are not exhibits for our cameras. The vibrant colors of djellabas worn by women or the delectable local cuisine may entice us, but we must pause and reflect before capturing these images.

Place yourself in their shoes—would you appreciate strangers taking your photo without consent in your hometown? The essence of street photography lies in capturing candid moments, but it’s crucial to be discreet and respectful.

Taking a Different Perspective

Imagine befriending someone or having a casual conversation before requesting a photo. This rapport can ease the process, enabling you to capture moments without intruding. However, it’s essential to refrain from ambushing people or invading their privacy.

Another technique is to incorporate others into the frame, redirecting attention while maintaining the essence of the scene. The key lies in being creative and mindful of others’ feelings.

Embracing the Moment Beyond the Lens

The allure of constant photography can obscure the genuine experience of Morocco. Spending your time behind the lens can lead to missing out on immersive encounters that enrich your memories. While photos are valuable, experiencing the culture firsthand can be more rewarding.

The Etiquette of Permission

To ask or not to ask—this query is often debated. While some scenarios may not necessitate permission, capturing a person’s likeness requires their consent. A person’s face or their product could be personal, and courtesy dictates seeking approval. Children’s photos, particularly, should involve parental consent.

A candid scene, rather than a direct portrait, can offer an alternative approach to capturing moments without causing discomfort.

Capturing Landscapes with Grace

Landscapes, blessedly stationary, allow you to compose the perfect shot at your own pace. With multiple attempts and angles, you can embrace the city’s beauty in its entirety. Consider capturing scenes during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset, bathing Marrakech in a warm, ethereal glow.

Navigating Portrait Photography

Moroccans may be reticent about having their portraits taken, reflecting religious conservatism or personal preferences. Building a connection with locals and seeking permission can ease the process. Abruptly snapping portraits or using a long lens to maintain distance isn’t respectful and can make subjects uncomfortable.

Seeking Guidance for Capturing the Moment

Hiring a local guide can not only enrich your journey but also facilitate photography. A knowledgeable guide understands the city’s nuances, offering insights into ideal photography spots and helping you navigate cultural nuances.

Guides often possess the rapport necessary to secure permission and ensure your photography session aligns with locals’ expectations.

Seizing Serendipitous Moments

Some of the most captivating photographs arise from seizing spontaneous opportunities. While sipping coffee at a café or pausing by the roadside, observe scenes unfolding before you. These unplanned instances can encapsulate Marrakech’s essence in a single frame.

The Power of Multiple Shots

A first shot isn’t always the best shot. Take multiple photos to ensure you capture the essence perfectly. Post-processing can transform an image, so refrain from editing on your camera. Reserve judgment until you review your photos on a larger screen.

Navigating Requests for Compensation

In some instances, people might request compensation in exchange for being photographed. Carrying a small amount of local currency (5-20 dirhams) can address such situations. However, whether or not to pay depends on the context.

The Charm of Compact Cameras

While DSLRs are popular, smaller cameras—like smartphones—can be inconspicuous and foster candid photography. Utilizing volume buttons or discreet angles enables you to capture authentic moments unobtrusively.

Being Considerate Always Wins

Empathy is the cornerstone of respectful photography. Before snapping a photo, reflect on the feelings and perspectives of those you capture. Street photography isn’t just about images; it’s about connections, experiences, and mutual understanding.


Capturing the essence of Marrakech through street photography, with the guidance of a skilled Marrakech photographer services, can be an incredibly rewarding experience. However, it’s essential to approach it with sensitivity and respect. By considering the emotions of the locals, seeking permission, and immersing yourself in the cultural tapestry, you can create a mesmerizing collection of images that convey not only the city’s visual beauty but also its soul. Remember, in the realm of street photography and photoshoots in Marrakech, authenticity and human connections are just as valuable as the photographs themselves.