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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 21 Jul 2012 (Saturday) 21:07
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too polite?

it looks like im post #19,016
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Location: the farthest point east in michigan
Jul 21, 2012 21:07 |  #1

so i had the evening to myself while the family was out at some other family thing...

i went to dinner and then wandered around town. theres never much going on 'after hours' in my town but i looked at the architecture and did some window shopping...

walked by a guy who i think was probably a worker of some kind at a restaurant downtown, sitting on the window ledge getting ready to smoke...

i walked up to him and offered my card and asked if he minded if i shot a couple of pics of him. he kind of got all defensive as if he thought i was going to exploit the images for commercial gain but i was just looking to do some shooting...

he handed me back the card and said no thanks...

being perpetually tired (from 72 hour weeks) and fed up with an idiot boss, i ALMOST told him that as long as he was outside the building, he was fair game and that i could photograph him with no repercussions, until he reentered the building. i thought of shooting him from across the street as i wandered on but the lens was too short. i love the 70-200 f2.8 but DANG is it heavy for schlepping around!

as long as i was in the area i kept fighting the urge to go back over to him and start shooting just on general principles...

the lighting was getting pretty flat but i still think he would have been good material...

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Jul 21, 2012 21:13 |  #2

some people just dont want to be photographed.. move on, that is all.
If I was being photographed with out my consent despite telling you to not photograph me you might be walking away with a broken camera or worst a jaw.


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Joined Aug 2009
Location: East Texas
Jul 21, 2012 21:15 |  #3

Some people, like myself, do not like to have their picture taken. He could have just been being a jerk, but I am pretty sure he hasn't ever been asked that before and who knows, maybe he was having a bad day.

I would ask and if they say "no thanks", I would move along. I wouldn't expect a high percentage of people to agree to someone walking up and asking to take pictures.....not unless your on Bourbon Street ;)

I don't think you were too polite...I think you should have been polite and if someone doesn't want their picture taken, abide by their wishes.

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Joined Dec 2011
Jul 21, 2012 22:48 |  #4

I would do the same thing if someone came up to me like that. It's not being jerky at all... some people like myself just feel VERY UNCOMFORTABLE being photographed by strangers. In my experience, females accept photographers offers more often than male.

I always tell them, "It's strictly for my learning experience. If you contact me, I can send you the finished photos and if you give me permission, I will upload it to websites where fellow photographers can critique my work and provide advice. If you don't contact me at all or if you specifically tell me not to upload it... I will never upload it but you can still keep the images for yourself."

Works like a charm.

Gear List (5D3, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, Sigma 85mm f1.4, Sigma 35mm f1.4, 50 f1.8, 24-105L, Alien Bee lights, etc etc)

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Jul 21, 2012 23:21 as a reply to  @ fashionrider's post |  #5

Look at it this way , you DID THE RIGHT THING. You do not play the jerk today . None of us here have walked that mans shoes on this day and will never know the weight on his shoulders. Yep you could have snapped away . In this guys mind at that moment , you did the right thing....Yep we need more of that in many a way :lol:

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Location: Danville, Ky
Jul 22, 2012 04:59 |  #6

Let it go

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Joined Sep 2007
Location: Newcastle, NSW
Jul 22, 2012 05:35 |  #7

I'd say you did the right thing.

I think a significant minority of people might feel the same way as the fellow you encountered.

I've had my best shots (I'm not saying they are worth looking at! ;) ) when I'm in a wide open frequently populated places.

Some of it is being ubiquitous in the environment either because of your demographic (ie there's a bajillion other people wandering around with cameras) or because you are a frequent feature of that location (people see you down there a lot and so you become a part of the furniture).

If you are an ubiquitous feature then you are lost in plain sight.

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Jul 22, 2012 07:43 |  #8

Agree with the above posts. Got to leave the guy alone, and be respectful of his privacy. Too many weirdos running around these days, so most people are going to be suspicious and skeptical.

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Jul 22, 2012 10:06 |  #9

You asked...he said no...why would you then want to proceed and take his picture? If you're going to photograph on 'principle', then don't ask, unless you're prepared to respect someone saying "no."

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Location: Stralian - In Rhode IsIand
Jul 22, 2012 10:19 |  #10

As mentioned - you were nice enough to ask and he had the option to decline. Would not pursue it beyond that. I take countless pics but if I see a lens pointed my way I turn my head - just rather not be in a shot. Sure shooting from a distance will work for many - but realistically, being polite is never a bad thing.

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Joined May 2008
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Jul 22, 2012 11:15 |  #11

Agree with the others; you did right, but...

Personally I don't mind at all if people photograph me in the streets (it has happened several times) as long as it's not to make fun of me or something. However, when they ask first I get embarrassed, and sometimes also suspicious and wonder what the photo will be used for if they feel they need to ask first, so I often end up saying no.

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Jul 22, 2012 16:23 |  #12

No means no. I think you did right by asking his permission. When he told you no...thats what it means.
Move on...after all....its not like he was the only person on the street.

Cream of the Crop
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Location: Riverside,California
Jul 22, 2012 16:28 |  #13

paintballkidz wrote in post #14750345 (external link)
If I was being photographed with out my consent despite telling you to not photograph me you might be walking away with a broken camera or worst a jaw.

Same with me.

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Cream of the Crop
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Location: San Diego County, California, USA
Jul 22, 2012 17:03 as a reply to  @ maverick75's post |  #14

I never ask permission to shoot! Legally, you don't need permission in public areas (however you do need permission for certain uses).

If I ask permission to shoot, my subject will be aware of the camera and most likely will not act naturally.

I use a 70-200mm f/4L IS lens which is light enough not to weigh me down and with which I can stay off a distance and catch people unawares. I carry my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens everywhere and the comparative light weight is one reason I selected this lens over the f/2.8L (series) lenses...

Additionally, since I am very proficient in setting up my image and shooting quickly, my subjects seldom even notice me shooting.

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If they do notice me, the shot is already Fait Accompli.

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Cream of the Crop
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Joined Mar 2011
Location: Dallas TX
Jul 22, 2012 21:14 |  #15

Have we gotten to the point where people think they're being TOO polite by respecting a stranger's wishes? :rolleyes:

I thought you conducted yourself like an actual professional...and then you thought about ignoring someone's right to decline. Oh well, this is our world... ;)

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