Ethics are indeispensable to me. I need a framework to my life, with values I hold dear.
I like honesty in the broades sense: keeping one's word, acting responsible, being accountable... Simple principles, really pretty basic stuff, but crucial.
In the eigthies particulary, photography was a fairly easy profession, fairly exciting too in so far as getting published was no big deal, and you could earn money from it... Hence the risk of dubious behaviour.
Since I've been in this trade, I have tried my best to be honest, to be respectful of those I photograph and I remain true to those I work with. (For instance, I have stayed with the same two publishers for the last twenty five years.)
The trust we build over the years if of tremendous help to me when I start in a new project and need to find associates.