The Damage We Inadvertently Do in Photography

The Damage We Inadvertently Do in Photography

I’ve long been a believer that wildlife and landscape photography does a lot of good for wildlife by raising awareness of conservation issues. But there’s a problem that many of us don’t consider. Are you aware of what can you do to ensure your photography is doing more good than harm?

There’s an old children’s story about a king who demanded the world’s biggest birthday cake. The baker made this monstrous delight and placed it in a huge box. Inquisitive members of the royal household passed by and looked inside the box, and each was tempted to try one small piece, thinking nobody would notice. When the king’s birthday arrived, he opened the box and there was only a small crumb left.

Wildlife and landscape photographers, often unwittingly, are doing the same with the subjects they shoot. Wildlife populations are plummeting, and the world is waking up to the damage photographers do.

Eider (Somateria mollissima) have an amber status, and conservation efforts are seeing thieir numbers grow.

The Importance of Where You Live

Wherever you live, there is a certainty that it will be important to different species of creatures. The coastline where I am is next to an estuary. It teams with wildlife. The rocky and sandy shores, the tidal mudflats, and the dunes are host to an incredible variety of wildlife. Many of the birds that visit here are migratory, so this little corner of Great Britain is of global importance.

Ten minutes of waiting and I was gifted this view of a lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) flying over the water. They are endangered because of the loss of their breeding habitats to harmful intensive farming methods.

I enjoy photographing those birds and the scenery here. However, I certainly don’t consider myself a wildlife photographer. That definition is preserved for those who study the creatures and use that knowledge to understand them and their behaviors. It’s those who capture astounding photos. About a third of my bookshelves are filled with wildlife photography books because I enjoy seeing those great images. I find them inspirational but, most importantly, I can learn something about the creatures because the photographers are experts in their field. Invariably, these days, that information is about how they are at threat of being wiped out by human interference.

Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) were persecuted nearly to extinction in the UK. Now, thanks to conservation projects, the numbers of these magnificent raptors are rising. It's now known that top predators play a role in our natural ecosystems. Photographed at a bird of prey center.

Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of photographers, just like me, long to take wildlife and landscape photos good enough to adorn the front cover of National Geographic Magazine. But we don’t have the time to learn the fabulous skills of Andy Rouse, Apub Shah, or Rathika Ramasamy. We are, therefore, tempted to take shortcuts and don’t bother to learn how to take photos without upsetting the wildlife. Consequently, along with the rest of humanity, we are gradually eating away at that cake. In my lifetime, nearly three-quarters of wildlife have been lost from this planet.

Bad Practice in Photography

Responsible wildlife photographers learn how to cause minimum impact on their subjects. But so many do not. Here are some examples.

Close to where I live, little owls breed (Athena noctua). Although their status is of the least concern worldwide, their numbers are declining rapidly here in the UK, probably because of intensive farming methods and the shocking loss of invertebrates and small mammals on which they feed. Just 7% of Britain’s native woodlands, where they live, are in good condition ecologically. It’s not the photographers’ fault that they are disappearing.

Not a little owl, but a great gray owl (Strix nebulosa). Again, this was photographed at a bird of prey center in 2010 using a bridge camera.

They live on inaccessible private land. Consequently, wildlife photographers entice them by baiting them with mealworms on a boundary fence post. This might seem harmless. After all, they are feeding the birds. However, the fence post is by a road, which increases the risk of the owls being hit by a vehicle; one of them has been. Furthermore, the post is also in the open, making these tiny birds more likely to be predated. As the owls regularly visit the same spot to get food, so too will the bigger hunters that will see the tiny owls as easy meals.

Some photographers play bird songs on their phones, which attracts others of that species. They arrive not to be photographed but to defend their territory against this nonexistent intruder. Everything birds do is about survival, so this seemingly harmless act distracts them from finding food for themselves, winning a mate, feeding their young, defending their territory from real intruders, and protecting their families from predation.

Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are in sharp dicline in the UK, with a 66% drop in numbers since the mid-1970s. They too have a red conservation status here.

Every winter, large migratory flocks of shore birds arrive on the mud flats here to feed. They make a magnificent spectacle. Many of these migrated vast distances to get to their feeding grounds. They must replenish their energy reserves, ready to return to their nesting grounds thousands of miles away. Last year, I saw a woman run into the flock to make them take to the wing and then started photographing them with her phone. Photographers often stalk these birds, getting as close as they can to get a photo, but ultimately frightening them away.

Shot with a 400mm lens on a Micro Four Thirds Camera gives the equivalent field of view of an 800mm lens on a full frame camera. There's still plenty of scope to crop the image too. I sat for 10 minutes on a muddy shoreline, waiting for action.

The use of drones is increasingly restricted because of the disturbance they cause to wildlife. Even when flying 100 meters away, they can cause distress. Most unmanned aerial vehicle (AEV) pilots do not want to disturb wildlife and will ask for advice from experts. Even though they might not seem to be causing a disturbance, drones can still cause huge amounts of stress to animals and birds.

Each of those actions seems small when considered individually. The photographer probably thinks that their action alone is not causing too big a problem. However, each unwanted disturbance increases the chance of the bird being unable to cope with additional stresses in their lives. Furthermore, multiply each incident by the tens of thousands of unskilled wildlife photographers who carry out similar acts and, overall, it has a huge impact. Wildlife photography is helping to destroy wildlife.

Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo

We often see bird photographers creeping toward wildlife, putting pressure on them to the inevitable point that they fly away.

Space For Shorebirds, Northumberland UK

Landscape photographers can be equally problematic for these creatures.

Similarly, we see photographers walking in areas where birds are feeding or roosting to get into position to take a photo of one of our spectacular castles or the beautiful landscape. This can often mean hundreds of birds being disturbed, some mid-migration to West Africa and some during the depths of winter, when every calorie consumed and spent, can matter to the birds.

Space for Shorebirds, Northumberland UK

I've blurred the photographer's face to hide their identity, but they were lingering too long close to this arctic tern's (Sterna paradisaea) nest.

So, What Should We Do About It?

To misquote a certain superhero, with great wildlife photography comes great responsibility. The techniques used by the very best photographers to get the very best photographs are those that cause the least impact.

I asked Philadelphia zoologist and wildlife photographer Anwar Abdul-Qawi, to ask for his expert advice:

I am actually working on a presentation called "Ethical Wildlife Photography". Mainly, it focuses on what it means to be a wildlife photographer and the footprint that we leave behind. As wildlife photographers, it is our responsibility not only to capture the beauty of the natural world but also to advocate for its protection.

The issue with wildlife photography is that there are so many different forms all over the world and what that means is that everyone comes up with their own ethical way of doing things. I advocate for whatever technique gives the least amount of stress on my subject.

No matter what we do as wildlife photographers when we are in the field, we ultimately leave some sort of environmental footprint, I just try to ensure that mine is as small as possible.

I think this is a young herring gull (Larus argentatus), but I am no expert at identifying them, so please correct me in the comments if I am wrong. Again, herring gulls are red-listed here in the UK.

Learning From Wildlife Documentaries

I’ve watched a series of superb nature documentaries produced by the BBC, and some of their incredible footage took months or even years to achieve. We are unlikely to be able to invest that much time. What is more, nowadays, people have the desire to fill every moment with some activity, usually doing something with their cell phones. Consequently, many have lost the skill of sitting still and doing nothing. So, the temptation is to blunder into an environment, taking shortcuts to get our shots. It’s those shortcuts that are especially harmful to the animals we photograph.

You don’t have to sit on an uncomfortable platform in a tree canopy for months on end, but if staying still in a bird hide for a couple of hours and waiting isn’t your thing, then wildlife photography is probably not for you.

Ten minutes of waiting and I was gifted this view of a lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) flying over the water. They are endangered because of the loss of their breeding habitats to harmful intensive farming methods.

Simple Things to Do to Improve Your Wildlife Photography

Do your research. Speak to the naturalists in the area where you are going to shoot. Ask them about simple things you can do to get better photos in the area while safeguarding the creatures in the environment you are visiting.

There are also common things that always make a difference in your successes and bring about less impact:

The first secret to capturing great wildlife shots is patience. Keep still. Stay in one spot and wait for the action to happen.

Don’t approach your subjects, let them approach you.

If you must move, then gentle, slow movements are less likely to scare away your subjects.

Looking directly at a bird will often scare it off; two forward-facing eyes are those of a predator. Holding the camera to your face hides your eyes. But many telephoto lenses are heavy and so a good quality monopod gives you stability and movability.

Shot several years ago, a flock of sandling walked within inches of me as I sat and waited.

Having a Positive Impact With Photography

If taking the photograph is more important to you than the welfare of the creature you are photographing, then there it’s worth taking note of a paradigm shift in wildlife photography.

While photographing birds in a nest has long been frowned upon, these days, photographers and even the people who buy photos are increasingly shunning those who show disregard for wildlife in other ways. On a scale of importance, our photographs, and our enjoyment of taking them is at the bottom and the animal or bird’s welfare is at the top. If your approach is to get the photo at any cost, your reputation will be harmed.

Keeping your distance might mean using heavy cropping and not getting the perfct image, but the welfare of the birds is far more important than the photograph. Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

I can already hear the what-about brigade screaming that other human activities are far more damaging to wildlife than photography, and they are right. Most of the wildlife loss is caused by bad agricultural practices including monocultures, insecticide use, habitat destruction, over-fishing and hunting, pollution, and other exploitations of our planet. Added to this is climate change.

Apart from the pressures of climate change that are shifting the migration of sand eels away from the nesting areas of guillemot (Uria aalge) and puffin, last year, this colony was decimated by bird flu. Every year, the populations of these colonies are counted.

But that is no reason why we photographers should not do our best not to cause harm. We achieve that by discovering and employing best practices. What is more, we can even employ our skills to do some good.

You can use your photography positively by combining it with scientific research. Conservation organizations want to know the locations and nesting sites of certain birds, and one can sometimes help with counting animals or birds. There will be similar work where you live too. Often, drones can be used for surveys, and photographs of large herds and flocks can assist with counting too.

Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

The Surprise in the King's Box

Puffin (Fratercula arctica) populations are in sharp decline.

At the end of the children’s story that I mentioned earlier, the King was happy because when he opened the box, although there was only a crumb left; it was a surprise. If photographers continue to contribute to the destruction of our wildlife, we will be in for a surprise too, just a much less pleasant one. As our wildlife fades away, from the humblest pollinating insect to the largest pachyderms, the tapestry of life on Planet Earth will continue to unravel and not having creatures to photograph will be the least of our worries.

Ivor Rackham's picture

A professional photographer, website developer, and writer, Ivor lives in the North East of England. His main work is training others in photography. He has a special interest in supporting people with their mental well-being. In 2023 he accepted becoming a brand ambassador for the OM System.

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Great article Ivor.

Ethical behavior is so important as photographers can have a significant impact on animal welfare and the environment. Like we treat our human subjects, animals and wildlife need our respect as well.

Thank you, Russell.

"The Damage We Inadvently Do in Photography". I'm not sure "inadvently" is a real word. Did you mean "inadvertently" in the heading, instead? Beaut pics, btw.

British people have different words and different ways of spelling and pronouncing words than we have here in America, even though the base language is English on both continents. I suspect that Ivor proofread the title before publishing, and that it passed his scrutiny because it is the way that word is spelled by most Britishers.

Sorry Tom, as a British person we speak English, you my former colonial friend speak a dialect of English. It is you who have the "different words and different ways of spelling and pronouncing words". Ours is the true tongue, the Mother tongue, yours is nothing but a naughty illegitimate child. 😃

What the hell, lol. Funny stuff 👍

You've come up with a creative stab in the dark, but it was just a simple typo, quickly and easily corrected.

That is a typo in the heading. No such word in the English Oxford Dictionary.

Sorry folks. Yes it's a typo. No idea how I managed that. Our editors missed it too but it's been corrected now. Just as well I don't write the security measures for controlling top secret documents! Thanks for letting me know.

Completely agree with the message here. Everyone has a camera in their pocket, but an iPhone isn't the right lens for wildlife and so it puts people and animals in danger. Look at Yellowstone as an example, where tourists will get out of their cars and walk right up to grizzlies or bison to try and get a gram-worthy selfie.

One thing a fellow photographer suggested to me was to avoid geo-tagging photos, especially of endangered animals, and instead just post the general location (or not post the location at all). It's a great way to continue sharing great photos and raising awareness without the risk of inadvertently attracting too many people to the location.

Great article!

Your fellow photographer is correct. The average person does not understand the time, research and equipment put into getting the photos you may share on social media. But it's the spark of interest that leads the average person to find the *** and get photos for themselves. I frown on social media post with location tags of species that are struggling to survive. I am lucky enough to have spent some time with endangered wolves. I only share information with likeminded photographers, as information is shared from both sides. Networking has been my biggest asset but I guard certain things from the general public. I have personally witnessed social media becoming a major problem on several fronts. Seems everyone wants to be a the photographer but few are willing to do it the right way.

Thanks for that. I am glad you enjoyed the article.

There is an eagle nest near my home (in the suburbs!). I shoot from the closest legal position (on an established trail) but I have always stripped out location when I post.


Great article, Ivor. Thank you for writing another solid and enjoyable Fstoppers Original!

It is interesting to me how the folks who I see in the field employing poor ethics and disturbing the critters are usually the ones who have a pretty poor / subpar portfolio.

Conversely, those who are patient and respectful to the critters often have many thousands of professional quality wildlife photos, and are widely published 'round the world.


Thanks Tom.

Kudos! As a WL photographer, I am shocked by the behaviors of my colleagues from baiting to stalking. Many species are in decline more so from habitat destruction and pollutants rather than by direct confrontation though our efforts should not create or add to the creatures' stresses.

Adam, you hit the nail right on the head when you mention habitat destruction. That is far more damaging to wildlife than anything else, and yet so little is being said about that. We worry about air quality and ozone layers and whatnot - things that don't have any immediate and direct effect, when there are literally bulldozers destroying millions upon millions of acres of prime habitat every year. It boggles my mind why our environmental concerns are so misplaced.

Thank you Adam.

Grazie Ivor per lottimo articolo, ma io andrei anche oltre. La protezione dell'ambiente in generale è un dovere per noi fotografi naturalisti, quindi non solo gli uccelli fauna ma anche flora e territorio. La tutela ed il rispetto delle aree visitate è nel decalogo di organizzazioni internazionali di fotografi come "nature first" e "leave no trace". Visitate il nostro sito e se vi piace unitevi a noi.

Guarderò quelle eccellenti organizzazioni. Grazie.

Excelent article Ivor.

This topic is concerning me more and more. I was in North Norfolk (SE England) a couple of weeks ago and watched in disgust as a herd of about 15 twitchers chased what I later learned was a Blue Throat, from bush to bush for about an hour before it managed to fly off and get away from them. Most of these people were sporting long lenses.

Just for context, this bird had almost certainly just arrived from a long migration from perhaps as far away as India and was probably desperately tired and needing to feed. The group was aggressive and relentless and had I not been about a half a mile away on the other side of a marsh, I would have attempted some form of mediation.

I am increasingly seeing this sort of behaviour, especially with regard to rare birds, such as this one. I suspect that there may soon be some sort of further restriction placed on photographers if this continues, as already (quite rightly) exists at nest sites in the UK.

Yes, you are right. it isn't just photographers. I hope that others including bird watchers, dog walkers, and people just spending time with nature start to take heed.

"Wildlife populations are plummeting, and the world is waking up to the damage mindless Instagram and TikTok Influencers do."

There, fixed that for you.

The person who disturbed the birds I mentioned in my article was just an ordinary person, not an "influenza" as a friend of mine calls them. The local organization, Space for Shorebirds, with whom I liaised before writing this article spoke with me about the particular problems wildlife is facing with photographers trying to get images whatever the cost to the birds. They are all just amateur photographers with no idea they are causing a problem until they are educated about it.

Thanks for commenting.

How about some controversy? Maybe... just maybe... photographers should pay into wildlife funds and buy licenses with proceeds devoted to wildlife conservation just like hunters do.
I know this doesn't take the Tik-Tok and phone-based people into account.

Interesting idea. The problem goes beyond photography though, and includes dog walkers, campers, off road drivers, intensive farming methods, and families out for the day in the country. Perhaps there should be an increase in the taxes to pay for conservation of our wildlife. (You wanted controversy!) Thanks for commenting.

I am surprised and offended that Mr. Sharma gave this comment a thumbs down. Shame on you Mr. Sharma.

I live at t'other end of the country to yourself & my experiences differ considerably from yours.

My passion is for surf photography, which means I stand less chance of disturbing my subjects than finding a dropped half-pee on a 3- mile beach 😎:
However, when no swell, blown-out swell, or any other of the other factors involved means there's no action, I'm generally doing my best to snap seals, ocean birds & the always-elusive marine mamals that I share my stretch of coast with.

Now here's the rub - The Notional Truss 'own' the cliffs where I photograph seals & have notices up telling people not to disturb them; but they caused more disturbance last year by having a couple of guys with a big pick-up & trailer full of fenceposts, which they bashed into the hard cliff-top with sledge hammers:
The vibrations going down through the hard ground were 'orrible.
I've been up there when ADHD kids have been jumping & screaming with excitement on seeing seals & the response has been for an old bull to open one eye, 'Oh, Kids' & settle back down.

They warn kayakers not to approach the sleeping animals but, when they slowly troll past, they're invariably followed by a few opportunists hoping to nick some bait.

My favourite route, on the ebike, takes me round the coast from Treyarnon bay to Padstein & the Camel Trail, which follows the estuary, then the river for ~9 miles before turning for home, Nirvana for a geezer with a 560mm APSC lens.

No need for stealth, or cammo gear here either, as the estuary birds are too far away & not interested anyway.
When I get up-river, past Wadebridge, it's a different story, of course.

So, in my locality, we often find it's the Eco-warriors who cause much of the agitation with their 'We know best - We're Experts' attitude.

Thanks for sharing your experience. There is a huge amount of important conservation work by respected organisations going on to protect, amongst other things, nesting shorebirds like the ringed plover, which are in steep decline. I hope that by making people more aware of the problems that they inadvertently cause along the entire coastline, especially in the forthcoming nesting season when people don't notice waders' well comoflaged scrapes, it might have a small positive impact.

This resonates with anyone who has awareness of the world around us.

It is instructive to watch the behind the scenes docos which shows the tech, patience and discomfort that goes to providing Attenborough like entertainment.

I am very much an amateur photographer and most of the time the experience of sitting quietly watching other creatures creates more of an experience than what I may have captured on camera.

I absolutely agree. Just sitting down and watching is an amazing thing to do. Most of the time I don't have my camera to my eye.

Great article and agree completely. I think it’s strange that there are photography expeditions to Svalbard to photograph polar bears and there’s a man (or woman) with a riffle with the group in case the polar bear attacks. Just stay away, a photograph isn’t worth a polar bears life.

But the Devil's Advocate view would be, "what good are Polar Bears if we cannot enjoy photographing them? If we cannot pursue them with a camera and get high quality photos of them in their natural habitat, then why have them at all?"

This is the mindset that some, perhaps even many, people have toward wild mammal and bird species. It is easy for you to say, "a photograph isn't worth a polar bears life", but to some people, perhaps many people, a photo of a Polar Bear IS worth that bear's life. That is the mindset that we are up against.

Let those people photograph polar bears in small groups (I understand from another comment) and don’t give them a riffle. A good meal for the polar bear is worth a photographer with that mindset.

The rifle is there primarily to make the humans feel safe. If a bear comes near and isn't deterred by shouting, a shot into the air should work. If the bear still acts unfavourably, it's probably nutritionally stressed.

Even then, it's pretty damn rare for an attack on a group of >2 people:

For me, the bigger problem is the open question: Does non-negative exposure to humans increase tolerance of humans and, if so, to the point that we create "problem" animals?

So in any case better to stay away from them. Thanks for the link to the article

I agree with some of the points here, about photographers need to be weary of the species they are shooting, but I think this is also sort of avoiding the real problem here. By blaming environmental destruction on photographers, your evading the root cause of the environmental destruct. The problem isn’t with photographers, its with the massive corporations that are polluting the earth, deforesting, and actually destroying the environment. It's like when people blame climate change on the fact that a person doesn’t recycle or doesn’t take the bus, while multi billion dollar companies open more oil rigs and millionaires take their private jet for a joyride every other weekend. If you really want to help endangered species and save the planet, you should attack the root cause of these problems instead of focusing your attention on other insignificant factors. Yes its important to be weary of the ecosystems you’re photographing and recycle etc., but that won't make much of a difference in the long run while politicians and the super rich carelessly cause environmental catastrophes with little regard for anyone and everyone outside their money focused bubble. Once we eliminate the real problem, it will be appropriate to worry about these kind of issues. Right now, however, you're really just making up problems to cause a problem about instead of drawing attention to the actions we really need to take.

I agree with the sentiment of your comment. However, I write about photography because this is, after all, a photography forum. I do actually mention that we photographers are not the main cause of the destruction being done to the planet. I've also written another article about the damage camera manufacturers do.

But that is no excuse for photographers to act as they like with no respect for the welfare of out planet's ecosystems.

I could write a similar themed article in pet, automobile, cycling, painting, business, or cooking forums if they were my writing specialty. Addressing the environmental issues is everyone's concern.

By raising the awareness here, and this article has been read my many thousands of people, perhaps it, and similar articles elsewhere, will have a knock on effect into other areas including pressuring big corporations to tidy up their act.

Thanks for commenting.

You are quite right, Cameron. Every little thing we can do does NOT make a differnece. That is an unintelligent assumption that many people make, that millions and millions of people all doing a tiny little good thing will add up to make a positive difference. Not true at all because, as you say, one corporation doing something destructive can literally wipe out the tiny little actions of hundreds of millions of nobodys in just a few hours. Case in point, there'sa ll this legislation about emissions and air quality, yet we allow bulldozers to clear huge swaths of habitat for more roads and homes. And we allow those horrid wind farms to be built that destroy thousands upon thousands of acres of prime nesting and grazing habitat. Yet some people think that re-using their plastic straw is actually doing some good. Foolishness.

The Boy Scouts had it right : Leave No Trace. If you have this mentality, you would respect the animals and the environment enough not to artificially bait and lure and disrupt.

Absolutely. Someone said, "Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but photos," which is a similar sentiment. Thanks Jake.

Its almost a surprise to get a substantial article in Fstoppers these days. Very thought provoking Ivor. I think photography for "raising awareness of conservation issues" almost has a complete and opposite effect. National Geographic inadvertently is probably responsible for alot of environmental damage. Some place in that magazine that catches they eye makes people go there in droves. Same for particular birds or animals, everyone wants to see them. It's great from a tourism perspective but not from a nature perspective. There's no easy solution, we can only all behave as best we can and limit our own impact. Treating everything, nature, people, the environment, animals with respect and with the least impact possible is all we can do,

Thank you, Hector.

Very good article, thanks for putting this together. Over many years, I've seen all kinds of bad behavior by photographers raging from stalking animals to trampling habitat. One suggestion is for camera clubs to start inviting professional wildlife photographers or other experts to come and discuss better ways to interact with wildlife particualrily. Hopefully this can help amatuer photographers develop better practices in the field.

Thanks Ian. That is an excellent thought.

I strongly recommend getting to know the Nature First organization.

Someone above recommended the same. I am giving them a look.

Another great one Ivor. Thought-provoking and you have many stellar shots in there. I particularly love the ones with the reflections and use of minimalism. Cheers!

Thank you, Michelle.

The woman who scared the flock of birds is not part of the “we” of amateur photographers I consider myself part of. She is a member of the same category of people who would let their dog off the lead to worry sheep in a farmers field. Totally lacking any common sense (and that is being kind). I had also never heard of anyone playing bird song to attract birds until I read this article either.

As to taking shortcuts that harm wildlife to get great photos because we all aren’t Andy Rouse that is a sweeping generalisation that underpins the entire article. It assumes ignorance in that the majority don’t know how to behave and uses anecdotal evidence to support this.

There are unfortunately morons around who behave badly but and that no doubt includes some photographers. However in the U.K where the author is based there is in my opinion a high level of awareness of how to behave correctly with respect to wildlife and the environment in general. This is thanks to organisations like the RSPB, wildlife documentaries the author mentions and programs like the BBC’s Springwatch.

An article on how to photograph wildlife without disturbing them would always be a useful read for anyone who is interested in doing so but it doesn’t need to be prefaced by an assumption we are all going around behaving irresponsibly in the first place. It’s sensationalist and doesn’t reflect reality in the U.K. in my opinion. Yes I am sure there are morons around who will do anything to get the shot but they won’t pay any attention to articles like this anyway. They are in the same bracket as egg collectors.

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