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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk
Thread started 02 Oct 2016 (Sunday) 19:52
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Ask First (PetalPixel article)

 
gossamer88
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Joined Aug 2014
NYC
Oct 02, 2016 19:52 |  #1

http://petapixel.com ...-bdsm-folsom-street-fair/ (external link)

I do not do Street Photography. I'm not too familiar with the right to photograph someone in a public place. But from what I gather from the article and Sharkey's podcast (which I listen to regularly), you do not have to ask. Although you should.

I bring this up because I'm going to the NY Comic Con this Friday. I've been before but have always asked. But I remember one time a person being upset that I took their picture. I said fine and deleted it. It upset me afterwards and I said to myself "WTF did you come here dressed like that? What did you expect?"

So what are the rules? Is Jacob Javits a private place because you have to pay to get in? Am I in my right "not to ask" if I don't feel like asking?


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WaterBoy2090
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Oct 03, 2016 04:42 |  #2

I just watched this episode from the B&H channel;

https://youtu.be/lyJgu​S0Chy0 (external link)

Which has a great philosophy for street photography.


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nathancarter
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Oct 03, 2016 14:11 |  #3

gossamer88 wrote in post #18146601 (external link)
So what are the rules? Is Jacob Javits a private place because you have to pay to get in? Am I in my right "not to ask" if I don't feel like asking?

If you bought a pass to the convention, the specifics will be laid out in the T&C of the pass. Every con has slightly different language.

Regarding your question that I bolded: The petapixel article covers it well enough.

You likely have the legal right to take a photo without asking. Otherwise, use your best judgment as to whether you need to ask to take a photo. If the subject is obviously standing and posing, and there's a throng of other photographers around, then snap away without the need to ask. If the subject is obviously rushing to get somewhere, or their costume is falling apart, or they're resting and half-dressed, then don't.

Note that you have the legal right to do a lot of things that will get you branded as a jerk and blacklisted in the community. The subject has the legal right to yell at you for taking photos even though they asked you not to. If you persist in being a jerk, word gets around. If enough people complain about you, the convention and/or the convention center have the legal right to kick you out without refund, and trespass you from the premises. However, none have the legal right to demand you delete images that you've already taken.

The number one rule is Wheaton's Law: "Don't be a dick."

Here's a copy-n-paste from a previous thing that I wrote on cosplay photo etiquette:
---------------
May 23, 2016 15:55 | #239
Quick run-down on cosplay photo etiquette.

You got three different scenarios:

1) Hallway snapshots, when you just see someone and want to take a quick picture.
Smile and ASK, nicely. You don't even have to verbally ask, just hold up your camera and flash a big friendly smile, and if the cosplayer is OK with it, they'll stop and pose. Don't be bashful, people worked hard on their costumes and love to have their picture taken. Then SAY THANKS, and if you have a business card or calling card, pass it to them.
1a) Sure, you CAN just take a candid snapshot without asking first, but [Unless you're a skilled candid/street photographer] it'll invariably be better if they stop and pose.
1b) If the cosplayer is obviously not "ready" to have their picture taken - they're resting, eating, fixing costume, in a hurry to get somewhere, visibly upset, etc - be kind and don't bug them, there'll be someone else in a great costume 15 seconds later.
1c) If you ask but the cosplayer says "No," don't take it personally; smile and say thanks anyway. They might be in a hurry or just grumpy or tired or whatever. While you're [probably] within your legal rights to take their picture even if they say "no," please don't be THAT GUY. There'll be someone else to photograph 15 seconds later.
1d) Sometimes when someone in a GREAT costume stops for a single photo, there will immediately be a crowd of cameras surrounding them. Use your best social skills to fit in and get a shot or two, while being mindful not to ruin anyone else's shot.


2) Pre-arranged group shoots.
You can sometimes find a schedule of these on the social media surrounding the con. These will be anywhere from a half-dozen up to several hundred cosplayers from the same genre/universe/game. Show up and take as many pictures as you like. However, if there's obviously a "lead" photographer or an organizer, try not to get underfoot or detract from their directions. A skilled photo group organizer will be able to ensure that all the cosplayers and photographers get some good photos. If you have what it takes to be that organizer or lead photographer, watch and learn, and organize/run a group shoot next time.
2a) before and after the big group-shoot, you can probably get lots of individual and small-group shots. Again, be polite and ask and say thanks. Be mindful of other photographers and cosplayers around you, don't monopolize anyone's time.


3) "Private" or pre-arranged shoots. In this case, you have a dedicated shoot with one cosplayer or a small group. You can arrange for these beforehand (Facebook, instagram, forum boards are a good way to get in touch), or sometimes find people at the con and arrange a shoot later in the day. Like any other non-cosplay shoot, do your best to set expectations beforehand: How much to charge*, how many photos the cosplayer should expect to receive, what's the timeframe for receiving the results, how much editing they can expect, what's their usage license after the fact.
* 3a) On charging for photo sessions. You're not going to get the same rates as you would for a family portrait session or a corporate session. The cosplay community just doesn't support that kind of rate yet. If you're skilled and have a good reputation and portfolio, you can get anywhere from $20-100 for a portrait session. If you're new and don't have a portfolio, anything more than "free" likely won't get you many takers.
3b) Some cons expressly prohibit photographers from charging for photos. (no comment as to whether they're actually able to enforce it)
3c) DON'T be creepy. Allow (or encourage) them to bring a friend or escort. Don't touch the subject. Photographers already get a bad enough rap as creeper GWCs, and if you're THAT GUY, word will spread fast.


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gossamer88
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Oct 03, 2016 19:49 |  #4

nathancarter wrote in post #18147213 (external link)
If you bought a pass to the convention, the specifics will be laid out in the T&C of the pass. Every con has slightly different language.

Regarding your question that I bolded: The petapixel article covers it well enough.

You likely have the legal right to take a photo without asking. Otherwise, use your best judgment as to whether you need to ask to take a photo. If the subject is obviously standing and posing, and there's a throng of other photographers around, then snap away without the need to ask. If the subject is obviously rushing to get somewhere, or their costume is falling apart, or they're resting and half-dressed, then don't.

Note that you have the legal right to do a lot of things that will get you branded as a jerk and blacklisted in the community. The subject has the legal right to yell at you for taking photos even though they asked you not to. If you persist in being a jerk, word gets around. If enough people complain about you, the convention and/or the convention center have the legal right to kick you out without refund, and trespass you from the premises. However, none have the legal right to demand you delete images that you've already taken.

The number one rule is Wheaton's Law: "Don't be a dick."

LOL...I've never heard of Wheaton's Law!

Rest assure, I've never been "a dick" at these events. I have always asked. And I've never taken a pic of someone when they're not at their best.

It was that one incident that has me questioning myself. I did oblige her and deleted the photo. Just annoyed me that I felt I was in my right. Especially since the photo was a very flattering one if I say so myself.

Looking back at it now, I think she was one of those that wanted to get paid for taking her photo.


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aezoss
Senior Member
Joined Nov 2013
Oct 04, 2016 02:29 |  #5

Never been to a con but I'll occasionally browse galleries as there are some exceptional event photographers creating amazing images.

As a viewer, cosplay/renfaire/etc shots where the subject is engaged, in character, and making eye contact with the camera are 1000x better than stuff that looks like it was taken by someone just sniping for boobs and butts from behind a potted plant. So yeah, be considerate, ask permission and get better shots.

$0.02 CAD, ymmv.

Lee




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gossamer88
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Oct 04, 2016 06:02 |  #6

Here are my pics from last year. Nothing "dickish" about them.

https://www.flickr.com .../albums/72157659283​511430 (external link)


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nathancarter
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by nathancarter.
Oct 04, 2016 08:17 |  #7

gossamer88 wrote in post #18147516 (external link)
Looking back at it now, I think she was one of those that wanted to get paid for taking her photo.

There are those. They rarely get far, and they're not worth spending any time worrying about - it's exceedingly likely that they don't understand how right of publicity and right to privacy actually work.

It's not worth arguing with them, even if they're in the wrong. Just roll your eyes and move on, there'll be someone even better to photograph a few minutes later. :)


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nathancarter
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Oct 05, 2016 11:09 |  #8

gossamer88 wrote in post #18147516 (external link)
LOL...I've never heard of Wheaton's Law!

Rest assure, I've never been "a dick" at these events. I have always asked. And I've never taken a pic of someone when they're not at their best.

I didn't mean to say that you were :)


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chauncey
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Oct 06, 2016 11:41 |  #9

I do so enjoy being a Dick...when I shoot seagulls at the beach and am accused of taking pictures of scantly clad women,
my usual response, after looking them up and down, Madam, you have absolutely nothing that I would want in a picture.


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aezoss
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Joined Nov 2013
Oct 06, 2016 11:43 |  #10

chauncey wrote in post #18149914 (external link)
I do so enjoy being a Dick...when I shoot seagulls at the beach and am accused of taking pictures of scantly clad women,
my usual response, after looking them up and down, Madam, you have absolutely nothing that I would want in a picture.

Thanks man. Coffee everywhere.

Lee




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RDKirk
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Jan 25, 2017 08:57 |  #11

I'm not particularly a "street photographer," but I'm old enough to have been an admirer of the old-school street photographers like Winogrand.

As such, I'm immediately hostile to an "ask first" philosophy.

Holloway attempts to make this point:

2.Street photography has changed since the days of Gary Winnogrand taking photos on the streets of NYC in the 60’s. The internet, cell phone cameras, and facial recognition technology is a game changer when it comes to ethics and standards of street photography. The repercussions of someone being identified on the internet at the Folsom Street Fair versus being identified at a music festival, and where that image can travel, deserves a more nuanced conversation. As culture changes, the ‘how and why’ we capture people’s image is necessary discourse.


I don't buy it. In fact, I'd argue that the way "internet, cell phone cameras, and facial recognition technology" changes the game is that they all eliminate any pretense of an "expectation of privacy" in public, particularly when a person is participating in a public event.

My personal means of operating is not to snipe, but to hang around--spend some time (most of which with the camera at my side, not on my face) with and around the subjects. Maybe conversing, maybe not, but enough that they gain a bit of comfort with my presence.

Of course, that's not always possible and not always desirable, but it's most comfortable for me.




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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post has been edited 8 months ago by Tom Reichner.
Jan 29, 2017 22:52 |  #12

.

I you ask, isn't the subject's behavior or expression going to in some way be modified because they now know you are going to be photographing them?

How in the world can you ever capture completely candid images of people if you make them aware of the fact that their picture is about to be taken?

Asking seems ridiculous to me, as applied to candid street photography.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "peace of mind", NOT "piece of mind".

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Gungnir
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Jan 30, 2017 09:56 |  #13

Read an article somewhere I can't recall about comicon photography, might have been a post on here. The fanatics don't just dress up, they practice a specific pose or sequence of poses specific to their character. So when approached for a photo they expect to be given a moment to strike the pose.

Sort of understand them getting a little peeved by people grabbing candids :-)


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RDKirk
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Jan 30, 2017 10:15 |  #14

Gungnir wrote in post #18259551 (external link)
Read an article somewhere I can't recall about comicon photography, might have been a post on here. The fanatics don't just dress up, they practice a specific pose or sequence of poses specific to their character. So when approached for a photo they expect to be given a moment to strike the pose.

Sort of understand them getting a little peeved by people grabbing candids :-)

Not much different from most people.

But if my intention was to "document the comicon event," getting nothing but pictures of practiced poses would not meet my goal. By definition, cosplay poses are not the reality of the event or the persons involved.




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nathancarter
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Jan 30, 2017 11:17 |  #15

RDKirk wrote in post #18259564 (external link)
Not much different from most people.

But if my intention was to "document the comicon event," getting nothing but pictures of practiced poses would not meet my goal. By definition, cosplay poses are not the reality of the event or the persons involved.

A reasonable point. I guess it depends on whether your goal is to get photos that the photographer likes, or photos that the subjects like.

For example, my wife is a great model and skilled at posing, but it's very rare that a candid photo is flattering to her.


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