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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 25 Nov 2013 (Monday) 07:32
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Asking people for permission to take photos of them

 
MattPharmD
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Dec 18, 2013 10:21 |  #76

I think it is a little unfair to compare street photography to rape. However, I understand the point of the hyperbole.

That being said... I think that there are two things being discussed here that might be at odds...

First is a perceived right to privacy or control over ones image. Which (at least in the US) has no basis of support in the law while you are in a public place. If I take your picture on the street, I cannot be charged with a crime, and you cannot take me to civil court as long as I use the photo appropriately.

Second, is a right to safety and personal security. This does have a basis in law. If you assault a photographer or his camera you would be guilty of a crime (possibly a felony). In fact, in some states all you would have to do is threaten a photographer (got something that could be construed as a weapon... aggravated assault).

That being said... My street style is not the "camera in the face" style. So if you threaten or assault me, you better believe I am pressing charges. So is "defending" your (not supported by the law) right to privacy in a public place worth getting a year (or more) in prison for violating my right to safety?


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jptsr1
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Dec 18, 2013 10:29 |  #77

I take whatever photos I want when I'm out in public. If people ask me to stop, I stop immediately. Don't know how some random person I shot would come across any of my pages but if they did and they asked me to take the photo down I would remove it immediately.


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edge100
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Dec 18, 2013 10:42 |  #78

jptsr1 wrote in post #16536886 (external link)
I take whatever photos I want when I'm out in public. If people ask me to stop, I stop immediately. Don't know how some random person I shot would come across any of my pages but if they did and they asked me to take the photo down I would remove it immediately.

And that's absolutely your prerogative to do so. Nothing whatsoever wrong with that.

But you don't HAVE to do any of this, and that is the crucial point that needs to be made. And anyone who threatens you with physical violence for either taking a photograph or refusing to stop displaying a photograph is 100% in the wrong, with you sharing none of the blame.


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jptsr1
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Dec 18, 2013 10:48 |  #79

edge100 wrote in post #16536920 (external link)
And that's absolutely your prerogative to do so. Nothing whatsoever wrong with that.

But you don't HAVE to do any of this, and that is the crucial point that needs to be made. And anyone who threatens you with physical violence for either taking a photograph or refusing to stop displaying a photograph is 100% in the wrong, with you sharing none of the blame.

I'm assuming your comment is in reference to something other than the OP's question. I saw no mention of anything regarding violence.

Edit:
Never mind. I read the rest of the thread and see the dime store lawyers have taken it over.


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20droger
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Dec 18, 2013 10:53 as a reply to  @ jptsr1's post |  #80

All this brouhaha about having an absolute right to take a picture so makes me wish I had a short-range directional EMP device (Coming soon to a spy shop near you!). You'd point and click at me, and I'd point and click at you. That'd be fair, wouldn't it?

Meanwhile, I'll have to settle for my current point and click device, the blue steel one.




  
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edge100
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Dec 18, 2013 11:07 |  #81

20droger wrote in post #16536941 (external link)
All this brouhaha about having an absolute right to take a picture so makes me wish I had a short-range directional EMP device (Coming soon to a spy shop near you!). You'd point and click at me, and I'd point and click at you. That'd be fair, wouldn't it?

Meanwhile, I'll have to settle for my current point and click device, the blue steel one.

There's no brouhaha. I have an absolute right to take a photograph, wherever a reasonable expectation of privacy does not exist, and so long as it's not used for commercial purposes. It begins and ends there.

Anything else - including your decision to use violence because someone pointed a camera at you - is your business.


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hairy_moth
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Dec 18, 2013 11:32 |  #82

The main point here, is: be responsible and use common sense; just because "you can" doesn't mean "you should."

The posts stating that, in the US, in public, you can legally take picture of whatever and whomever you please are spot on. And you can do what you want with them except use them commercially (e.g., in advertising). You can post them to the internet and publish them in newspapers. But if you start taking pictures of, for example, kids on the beach, you should not be surprised when the father assaults you or by the lack of cooperation you receive from the police in identifying him and pursuing legal action against him.

This really isn't rocket science. You live in a society, don't be a sociopath. Even if the behavior is technically legal, sometimes it is wrong, or at least rude, and, as a member of society: you should refrain.


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edge100
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Dec 18, 2013 11:39 |  #83

hairy_moth wrote in post #16537026 (external link)
The main point here, is: be responsible and use common sense; just because "you can" doesn't mean "you should."

The posts stating that, in the US, in public, you can legally take picture of whatever and whomever you please are spot on. But if you start taking pictures of, for example, kids on the beach, you should not be surprised when the father assaults you or by the lack of cooperation you receive from the police in identifying him and pursuing legal action against him.

This really isn't rocket science. You live in a society, don't be a sociopath. Even if the behavior is technically legal, sometimes it is wrong and you should refrain.

I get what you're saying, and I personally would not take photos of other people's kids at the beach.

But if I choose to do so and you react with violence, that's on you, not me.

Again, one could easily recompose this argument thus:

"But if you start wear provocative clothing, for example, short skirts and high heels, you should not be surprised when someone rapes you or by the lack of cooperation you receive from the police in identifying and pursuing legal action against your rapist."

There literally is no difference. In both cases, a person has a legal right to act in a certain way. In both cases, another person responds to that action with violence. But in one case, you're arguing that the photographer is partly to blame for the violence, whereas I'm sure I'm not hearing you blaming the rape victim, right? Right?


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OhLook
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Dec 18, 2013 11:44 |  #84

MattPharmD wrote in post #16536871 (external link)
I think that there are two things being discussed here that might be at odds...

First is a perceived right to privacy or control over ones image. Which (at least in the US) has no basis of support in the law while you are in a public place.

I think something besides a sense of loss of control over one's image, something more primitive, contributes to a feeling that being photographed is threatening. People get uncomfortable when they're stared at; this discomfort seems to be an adaptation to an evolutionary history that included predation by carnivores. The most common phobia is fear of public speaking, which has to do with being looked at by a crowd. Even in ordinary conversation, a norm dictates that you periodically turn your gaze away from a speaker, and people don't have to be taught this, they just do it. So subjects on the street may react with fear, and not know why, first when a stranger looks at them long enough to decide to shoot and then when the stranger's camera's big eye points at them.


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OhLook
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Dec 18, 2013 11:53 |  #85

hairy_moth wrote in post #16537026 (external link)
But if you start taking pictures of, for example, kids on the beach, you should not be surprised when the father assaults you or by the lack of cooperation you receive from the police in identifying him and pursuing legal action against him.

Why? Does taking pictures harm the kids? This argument has come up before, and no one has given a reason that the father of a photographed child should turn violent. The parents probably take pictures of their kids at home and maybe even on the beach. I should think a child would be confused if Dad decked a photographer for doing what he himself often does.


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edge100
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Dec 18, 2013 11:55 |  #86

OhLook wrote in post #16537067 (external link)
I should think a child would be confused if Dad decked a photographer for doing what he himself often does.

This is key. Showing your kid that violence is an appropriate response to photography (or almost anything else) is much, much worse than anything I or anyone else could conceivably do with the pictures.


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Dec 18, 2013 13:04 |  #87

hairy_moth wrote in post #16537026 (external link)
The main point here, is: be responsible and use common sense.

This.

I am by no means a street photographer and I totally suck at it but I do love shooting the streets sometimes and I take pictures without asking permission, although there is always the odd exception. However, there are times when it's prudent or just good taste to not take that picture. One rule I have is to not photograph vulnerable people, like the homeless or people with a disability. Not if the only reason to photograph them is their condition. For instance, the photograph of the very large woman from a few pages back I would never have taken.

As to children. I see no reason to not photograph them. Frankly I don't get it. What on earth is so wrong about photographing children?


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hairy_moth
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Dec 18, 2013 14:16 |  #88

OhLook wrote in post #16537067 (external link)
Why? Does taking pictures harm the kids?


Are you really that out of touch with the real world (outside of the SF Bay Area) that this needs to be explained to you?


Parents are inundated daily with news about people that intend to harm children. I could list examples and evidence of why parents would, even should, be suspicious of anyone paying an inordinate amount of attention to their child; but, if you think about it, you can do it yourself.

In my example, I purposely mentioned taking pictures of children at the beach, because many times it is appropriate to take pictures children: even when you don't know them. I take pictures of kids all the time. My kids are on the swim team and I take pictures of them, their team mates and their opponents (that I don't know) -- no worries. I've occasionally gotten some of kids cheering that turned out to be inappropriate, which I deleted (the word "camel" comes to mind, I didn't notice when I was taking the shot).

The problem is that, if you are taking pictures of kids, where you don't appear to have a legitimate reason for the pictures, right or wrong, people are going to assume that you are, in fact, looking for those shots that I deleted, and you plan to post them on the internet. I did not say the the father was justified in assaulting you if/when you were doing this, just that it ought not surprise you and that others are more likely to sympathize with him than you.


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OhLook
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Dec 18, 2013 15:50 |  #89

hairy_moth wrote in post #16537481 (external link)
Are you really that out of touch with the real world (outside of the SF Bay Area) that this needs to be explained to you?

Parents are inundated daily with news about people that intend to harm children.

I'm enough in touch with the real world to understand that some people intend to harm children. Furthermore, I'm enough in touch with reality to understand that people might harm children by grabbing them and kidnapping them but not by converting their image to pixels.

As for photos at the beach, are you seriously suggesting that a photo of little Johnny building a sand castle will probably end up adorning the cover of a coffee-table book for pedophiles or that Johnny's father is justified in believing that it will? Suppose the photo were used that way (and this is a stretch). Would it hurt Johnny? Look, women have to accept that men we hardly know, and may even dislike, may call up their mental images of us during their very private moments, without our permission. I was well into adulthood before I knew this about men. It seemed creepy. I had to remind myself that what someone else thinks isn't my business. Of course, lewd thoughts about a child are genuinely creepy, but thoughts at a distance won't reach the child.

I've occasionally gotten some of kids cheering that turned out to be inappropriate, which I deleted (the word "camel" comes to mind, I didn't notice when I was taking the shot).

I don't understand the camel reference. The kids were riding camels? They were smoking Camels? ???

The problem is that, if you are taking pictures of kids, where you don't appear to have a legitimate reason for the pictures, right or wrong, people are going to assume . . .

The "legitimate reason" is the same reason that street photographers take pictures of adults. I have to wonder how many people will assume evil intentions in the absence of any evidence.


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20droger
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Dec 18, 2013 17:00 |  #90

OhLook wrote in post #16537747 (external link)
I don't understand the camel reference. The kids were riding camels? They were smoking Camels? ???

See here: http://en.wikipedia.or​g/wiki/Camel_toe (external link). Blame the designers of girls' swimsuits and the parents stupid enough to buy them and/or let their daughters wear them.

The "legitimate reason" is the same reason that street photographers take pictures of adults. I have to wonder how many people will assume evil intentions in the absence of any evidence.

Far too many, especially if the photographer is male.




  
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Asking people for permission to take photos of them
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