Rude to photograph people?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Becky, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. Becky

    Becky TPF Noob!

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    This is something which has been bugging me for quite a while...

    I rarely take pictures of people, as I feel sort've rude without asking first? And generally I'm not the sort of person who goes around asking others can they let me take a shot. Also I prefer natural rather than posey shots, and once someone knows your taking their photo, vanity tends to strike and the essence of the shot is lost.

    I've missed loads of good shots of children too, through fear of snapping and getting whacked by their mothers handbag... ok so I'm a 19year old female... so I could look more perverted.... but still... :pirate:

    I see a lot of shots on here where the subject doesn't seem to realise theyre being taken... how do you go about this?

    I feel really uncomfortable about pointing my camera at someone in case they come over and belt me one :lol:... all jokes aside though... whats the best approach? Where I'm from I'd probably get a funny look if I did ask to take someones picture... so I'm a bit stuck as to how to get around this?

    Whatsmore, I really want to get some practice at photographing people! I mean if I take someones picture and post it on here without them knowing is that wrong? Or is it perfectly my right to take pictures and do what I like with them?

    Comments/suggestions/similar thoughts?
     
  2. Artemis

    Artemis Just Punked Himself

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    Similar thought here...I have exactly the same diffictulty.
    Think you have to ask tbh, but your in the best position...a 19 year old female is probs the least likely suspect of a weirdo...plus if you maybe offer to give them the pictures?
     
  3. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    In the United States, I'm pretty sure they're fair game as long as they're in a public place. The best technique to overcome your shyness is a nice long telephoto lens and a pair of running shoes, although my photos never come out looking quite right.
     
  4. loopy

    loopy Brave little froggy...

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    I would love to get more into street photography, but I have the same problem, I feel uncomfortable photographing someone without permission...

    I was thinking of getting some business cards to hand out, if someone asks.
     
  5. Scurra

    Scurra TPF Noob!

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    As far as I can gather from the photo magazines that I read the situation in the UK is similar to that described by tr0gd0o0r. Providing your subject is in a public space they are fair game.

    The times I have tried this kind of photography I have used longer than average lenses just so I have a bit of a head start over anyone that might have a problem with it but for the most part if your prey spots you they just smile and let you get on with it.
     
  6. montresor

    montresor TPF Noob!

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    When photographing on the street, I've found that people seem to mind less than I do. Sometimes an unusual camera can help -- I had a Speed Graphic 2x3 out once and it functioned partly as a conversation piece. Other possibilities include using a TLR with a waist-level finder -- Rolleicords are fairly affordable, or you could try the massive Mamiya TLRs. Somehow looking down at the glass is less threatening to people than holding a camera up to your eye and aiming, which is kind of aggressive.

    But it's true, people are more sensitive to privacy and security nowadays, and cameras, whether mounted on street corners or toted around by people who are plainly just photographers with no surveillance or perversion agendas, are objects of suspicion. Maybe we never got over the idea that they could steal your soul....!
     
  7. ozman

    ozman TPF Noob!

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    It's understandable that you feel a bit awkward about taking shots of unsuspecting passers by but at the end of the day thats what makes the shot. Like you say, if they know they are being photographed then the moment will probably be lost. Me personally, I wouldn't feel like I am on par with the paparazzi in this situation. I write articles for a fishing mag here in Oz so I quite often take photos of people fishing on a jetty or what have you.
    If for some reason they question me, i simply tell them what I do and most people are happy. In your situation just tell them you're doing something arty and you thought they looked worthy.... If they still get agro then take a shot of the nasty face, run like the wind and don't look back :mrgreen:
     
  8. RickyN29

    RickyN29 TPF Noob!

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    Hahahaha..... oh and post it here for all of us to see!
     
  9. Artemis

    Artemis Just Punked Himself

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    And then get sued.

    I thought it was if the person was in more than 33% of the subject of the photo...so triplets are fine...:p
     
  10. JonMikal

    JonMikal TPF Noob!

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    you will get varied responses depending on where you're shooting. here in DC, my experience has been people don't really care what i'm doing as long as i'm not in their face. when i confront, no-one has ever denied me shooting them. i generally approach with a reason for their capture and they're always willing.

    i always approach the homeless, help them monetarily or treat them to food from a nearby food cart. i'm always respectful of their situation and never take cheap shots. taking the time to get to know them or anyone on the street will make you and them more at ease. works for me. ;)

    get out there and see how it goes. don't be nervous, people take street shots all the time. if you look nervous and try to hide your activity, you will draw attention to yourself. relax and feel confident that street photography is legal and you do not need anyones approval...but don't be blatant in your attempts. always use tact. remember, you represent all of us photogs when you're out there....so don't make us look bad :greenpbl:

    good luck!!!!!
     
  11. Mansi

    Mansi TPF Noob!

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    telephoto isnt really the best way to do it...
    its nicer if you go upclose... exchange a few pleasantries and tell then youd like a shot or two... and if its ok youd like to shoot them while theyre working or whatever it was that they were doing before you asked them.
    offer the pic if you think you can get it to them or just say a nice thank you :D
    thats the way i do it :D everyone has different comfort levels.. but yeh it's taken me a while to get to this
    just feel comfortable and try get over your inhibitions.. make the subject comfy by your approach.
    good luck Becky :thumbsup:
     
  12. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Do you pay attention to the tourists snapping away at every nook and corner?

    Be a tourist. :)
     

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