Photography in North Korea

The DPRK has a reputation internationally for being very strict when it comes to taking photos. People often wonder if it is even possible to take photos on a North Korea Tour, so what exactly are the rules on photography in North Korea?

The reality is very different to the perception. In today’s North Korea, one can bring as many cameras as they like and take as many photos with them as memory cards will allow. There are, however, some easy-to-follow rules:

You cannot photograph the military. That goes for all checkpoints and construction sites.

You cannot photograph anything that portrays the country ‘negatively’, such as broken infrastructure or homeless people.

There are also special rules about photographing statues and images of the leaders. You are not allowed to crop the frame, as this is seen as disrespectful. 

Professional Photography in North Korea

If you wanted to take photos there professionally, you would need to apply to travel as a journalist. Rules are a little more strict if you are a photojournalist and a closer eye will be kept on you. Normal tourists are treated very well and given a lot of leeway. On your way out of the country, nothing will be checked, so you don’t need to worry about hiding any photos. If you’re thought to have disobeyed one of the photography rules, your guide will have a discreet and polite word with you. That’s it!

Rocky Road Travel organises an annual VIP Photography tour to North Korea. If you are looking to travel there for the best photo opportunities, then this is the tour for you. A group size of just six people allows you the time and flexibility to get the perfect shot. It’s an itinerary we have perfected just for photographers like you. Get in touch with us by emailing and start planning your next photo adventure. We have tours to North Korea all year round!

Air Koryo staff at Pyongyang airport on a North Korea tour
Check in girl at Pyongyang Airport, North Korea.