Photographing strangers

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by a1157814a, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,106
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If they see you doing it, grab your stuff and run. That usually works.


     
  2. viridari

    viridari TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Try shooting with a stealthy camera. People have a sixth sense about these things. Rangefinders are small and quiet. Many MF cameras, especially TLR's, use waist-level finders so it looks more like you're contemplating your navel than taking a photograph.

    I don't like to ask permission to take photographs. Then people pose. I take the photograph, then approach them and give them a card with my email address and Flickr URI on it and tell them I will give them a copy of their photo for free.

    The only person who ever gave me a hard time was a cop.
     
  3. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    3
    This is true, although it holds constant enough throughout the United States. As an somewhat of an amateur street photographer, I have to ask myself this question all the time, or, more often, "is this worth the argument with the individual, the individual's family/friends and/or the police that it may entail?" Often, the answer is yes. While one can shoot anything he or she wants in a public place (including anyone, even emergency first responders), this is not really all that well known. A good parallel is laws related to cycling: Even though legally I must ride my bike in traffic and in the lane of travel (not the shoulder), I still get buzzed, yelled at, and occasionally hit with things for doing so, sometimes even by cops. If you take a picture of a local police officer (especially doing something embarassing) and he or she sees you, you may be in for an interesting ride. The same goes for a child while a parent is watching.

    Ultimately, I don't think it's worth letting this stop you from shooting what you want to. I've never gotten more than a dirty look (except once from a girl who was legitimately wasted), and more often that not, people are so wrapped up in whatever mundane task (or three) they're performing that they won't even notice. However, just because something is completely legal doesn't mean it will never get you into some sort of conflict.

    Children are, for some reason involving paranoia and the general apprehension of the evil, evil Internet, the most obsessed-over group is small children. Somehow, as a photographer, there is some sort of evil act I can commit with my black and white negatives that will end up in the worst imaginable violations of the child being spread to every single person on Earth through this unimaginably vile transmission medium. For this reason, I ask when I can with children, mostly toddlers. It's not like they're going to pose for more than a second anyway. Sometimes, however, you just have to pull the trigger:

    [​IMG]



    This is a great idea. I am seriously considering doing this myself, although I would lose my Phantom-esque mystery.

    If you are not in the United States, this could all be invalid. Laws vary from country to country.
     
  4. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,275
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Just do it.

    You seriously think you're the first street photographer out there? Either they'll say something or they won't. Either way, ten minutes from then you'll forget about it and probably never see them again.
     
  5. Passion4Film

    Passion4Film TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    This might sound mean, but I could care less what people think when I'm legally allowed to photograph them. I just do it.
     
  6. stsinner

    stsinner No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,860
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'll second that....
     
  7. JKnobelock

    JKnobelock TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St.Peters, Missouri
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    i did something like this a while ago, was in a steak n shake and would randomly take pictures of people while i ate, i think some people noticed because they sheilded their face for a while lol
     
  8. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Madoc, Ontario Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    ahh the stake and shake... i ate there so many times when i went down to saint louis... it made me so sick, but it taste sooo good!! wish they had em here in canada
     
  9. mfares

    mfares TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    i think it is nice to ask first :) sometimes when i go to the mall or somewhere with our arabian tradiitional cloths i get some people ask me to take pictures and i let them :)
     
  10. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Madoc, Ontario Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    yes but the problem with asking is, people pose when they know, and you dont get the "natural" look... which is what "street photography" is all about
     
  11. SPL Tech1

    SPL Tech1 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I am under the understanding that you can pretty much photograph just about anything. When I asked, I was told there are no laws that say you can’t photograph any random person other than possibly a harassment law if you keep at it and they told you to stop. I would not really worry about it.
     
  12. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Madoc, Ontario Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    that may be, but this depends on where you are... some states are different, so are some countries
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

is it illegal to ask a stranger to photograph