Taking Photos, Marrakesh
People in Morocco often don't like having their picture taken, although as long as you don't stick your camera in someone's face you probably won't have a problem in Marrakech. There are some people who expect money, even if you accidentally take their picture. Most of them are hanging around Djemaa el Fna, like the colourful water Sellers, the snake charmers and fire eaters. Don't get too mad - it's their job. Just pay them the small fee - about ten dirhams usually - and take more photographs.
One thing you definitely should not take any pictures of is anything official, like police stations and the Royal Residence in the south of the Medina. Basically if it has uniformed guards outside you probably shouldn't be taking photographs. And you shouldn't photograph anyone in a uniform either.
This advice isn't unique to Morocco, but it's the first time I've been brave enough to try it and it worked a treat:
I always look in travel magazines and books and am amazed at the magnificent photos - my travel photos always kind of looked like the typical "this is me on the balcony" "this is me on the beach" kind of thing, and I always read that you were supposed to ask someone if you could photograph them and then show them the picture and offer to send them a copy. Language barriers have always been my excuse before hand (although really it's because I'm totally shy!) but in Marrakech I was supposed to be practising my French.... so off I trotted into the souks and there were all these really great displays and I just thought - "well, why not?!".
Whispering a nervous "Vous permettez?" and gesturing with my camera at the vendor pictured earned me a cracking shot AND a free pastry!!! And that was before I even showed him the snap :)
That was me off snapping for England after that and I got talking to some lovely people and got some wonderful shots to boot.
Check them out!