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Getting away with candids

Discussion in 'Photojournalism, Candids and Street Photography' started by adr3naline, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. I just wanted to check your experience with candid shots... I'm sure lots of the time they're of people you've never met... Are they ever mad that you took a picture of them, their child, their dog? How do you respond?
  2. Once. I had a person yell at me ONCE. And that was only because I was caught as I was taking the picture.
    And I was in a car. And I shouldn't have taken her picture from my car. But we were driving and I saw her and we couldn't stop. I thought I was not able to be seen, but she saw me and yelled after me.
  3. paradiddle


    Jun 1, 2007
    I was in a skating rink about 1 year ago. Leting my son skate. I sat there playing around with WB and exposure settings. I kept pointing my camera without even putting it to my face and taking pictures. Then I would check the histogram and delete the picture.

    All of the sudden this guy started just walking around staring at me. I asked him what was wrong and he said I was a pervert. Taking pictures of other peoples wives and children. I tried to explain and offered to show him all the pictures in my camera, and that none were of anyone except my son. He was a jerk and kept accussing me , etc, etc. It made me very mad! I don't even enjoy the thought of taking pictures of other people I don't know. It makes me mad today thinking about it! He actually threatened me. If I were in that situation again I would call the police with him standing there. If my son had not been with me I would have questioned him further and seen how far he would have actually gone. But my son means much more than just proving a point. Did I mention he was a real jerk!
  4. paradiddle,
    I took my son to the park the other day and I brought my camera with. I did NOT know that so many children would be at this park. I brought the camera because I wanted to get shots of my son (and of my son ONLY) and of some birds and the river.
    I kept getting odd looks, but I was as careful as possible NOT to get other children in my pictures.
    I soon took my son across the street to get pictures of birds because I didn't want people to get the impression that I'm some weirdo taking pictures of random children.

    It's a sad day and age that we have to worry about stuff like that.
  5. Gary, I would have told the jerk to kiss my ***.

    This crap has to stop sometime. Since 9/11, I can't begin to tell you how many times I have been questioned by authorities, by concerned parents, etc, about what I am taking pictures of. I used to be very nice and polite. Nowdays, my patience is growing thin and if someone is really a PITA, I tell them basically to get lost.

    They are like sheep- following orders, following the latest fad in what they should be afraid of. They are like mindless zombies- marching to the edge of a cliff, happy to jump, when told. It is disgusting what has happened to our sense of freedom in this country.

    And the answer to the problem is not to just take it. The answer is to stand up for our rights. If we do not, who will?
  6. Johnny Yuma

    Johnny Yuma

    Jun 27, 2007
    SE MI
  7. When I'm in really crowded places... people tend not to care.
    I love taken pictures are large venues and events. Most of my subjects are college students who tend not to mind as much.

    Unfortunate that we have to be extra careful when children, women, etc.. are present.

    I'd keep my emotions out of it. You're not doing anything wrong. Just explain to him/her and show the pictures if you want. I'd try to keep cool to avoid a scene and further negativity towards street/candid photographers.
  8. dan1son


    Sep 24, 2007
    Actually most of my candids are of people I know or are friends of friends. I take a lot of candids are parties, weddings, and other events. I do take candids of people I don't know as well, but not nearly as often. Most of the larger events with random people I've taken candids at are filled with people and photographers and everybody already knows they could be in pictures.

    Once you get past the fear you'll realize most people just don't care. If they are concerned about it, I feel the best response is to be sincere and just explain why you're interested in taking pictures of them. Make them feel at ease and chances are people won't get any more worried about it then their first "what the heck" response. If you freak out they're going to elevate the situation and you're not solving anything.

    I haven't had a situation where the other person didn't respond positively to a little explanation... I don't know what I'd do if they kept pursuing things... Hopefully I'll be able to just walk away.
  9. Agreed. There are far too many sheeple out there who never get challenged because theirs is the 'prevailing view' -- foisted upon them by those whose agendas never include drawing attention to what the majority actually need fear... them.
  10. I was asked to stopped taking pictures twice this past week of a window display by security guards, rudely - not even people. I asked if there was a law preventing me from taking the pictures - Then I told them they could not stop me from taking pictures of a display from a public place - I was outside on a sidewalk ... I simply told them to call the cops if they did not like it, nicely. What are you gonna do? Yes - call the police if someone threatens you in any way shape or form.

    How to handle such situations? It did happen to me yesterday: Had not happened in a long time - good thing I could run faster than she did - she did not catch me... not!

    Actually she wanted me to delete the image - when I explained the reason why I took it and showed it to her - she said I could keep it. So yes it does happen but once a year and I either delete the image or not - I do take the time to explain the law to them and they can't stop me as well as they can't force me to delete the image, in France I can publish the image without their consent doesn't mean I can't take it.

    This said it is all about respect and if an image does not show the best side of a person - or is demeaning in any way - I do not post it - I delete those - respect is key and if a person do not want their privacy violated even in a public space well that's a choice I have to respect.

    I once had a guy ask me to delete the picture I took of him with two scantily clad wimmin and insisted on it, a few years back in Toronto - he had a wedding band - neither of those wimmin did - my guess is that his wife didn't know he was in Toronto Partying it up ...

    It does happen and how you handle it make or break the deal - doing street photography one has to be able to deal with these issues and rejection nicely and not take it personally cause it cam wreck one's day if you do.

    You can get more info here: Street Photography 101

    Well said and quite accurate

    Rick, you are correct about standing up for one's right but there is a gentler way to go about it... :wink:
  11. That street photography 101 was fantastic, thanks for sharing...

    Does anybody know where to find photography laws? Like it says in that article: "Just make sure the laws in your corner of paradise allows you to take pictures of people without their consent."
  12. When i make a candid,i never work sneeky,but do my job in wide open,when people notice that i`m taking pictures i make eyecontact and give a big smile.Never avoid eyecontact by looking away!.Most the time people walk on.When they aprouce me,i show them my work telling i just made a lovely pic of him/her.if they want i`ll give my card for a copy of the shot.When they have problems,i just remove the pic whit no questions.
    I think its that once a photographer is asked for his intentions,and he feel himself driven in a corner (do i say this right?) he clearly showes this by acting a bit panicly.What makes the conclusion for the one questioning :" ah..panic! He is a perv alright!" more obvious.I know for one person its easier to handle "perv" questions than one other,.The only tip i can give is to keep eyecontact,never move back.
    when i`m at our skateparck,i allways ask the kids from who i want to make a shot if its okay.When they ask why,I`ll explain there action would look great with 6 frames per sec or with super wideangle.most the time that`s enough for a okay,and for some extra spectecular work.Sure i`ll get a snappy remark about little boys and so know and than.I`ll just show them i`m a bigger wise ***.
    When i`m at a event like a LARP i see people dressed up like free game.They want to be shot.i`ll just smile say thank you or give a thumbs up.

  13. Had a similar experience--and all I was doing was playing with the dof preview button--not taking any pictures at all, and this musclehead "dad" tells me to point the camera away from him and his family. I tried to explain, but in the end I just moved away--probably confirming in his mind that I was indeed a pervert!:mad: :Angry:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2008
  14. This may not ring well with some people but does anyone here think that a parent shouldn't be concerned by someone taking photographs of their children they don't know and have no clue as to what they are going to do with the photographs?

    My kids are grown but when they were little I would have asked a stranger with a camera why he was taking photographs of my kids and what he was going to do with them.

    Some of you must be parents. How would you handle some guy taking photos at the playground snapping photos of your little girl or boy who isn't there with their own kids?
  15. jamesd3rd


    May 4, 2007
    So. Cal
    I caught an old comedy bit last night and the comedian (Doug Stanhope who's a bit abrasive but funny) made the point that there are really no more wierdos in the world today than in the past. The internet didn't all of a sudden spawn all these people. It's just that we have access to more information faster and it reaches more people than ever before. Not talking to strangers applies to IM as well as out on the street. For some reason that little lesson got lost somewhere. So now everyone is gun shy whenever they see anyone with a camera because they have been watching too much SVU or Dateline Predator episodes. Not to mention how the papparazzi get in the news because our news media focuses more on entertainment rather than sticking to actual news stories.

    Personally, I have never been questioned but if I were, I'd tell people to feel free to hire a security team but you would be wasting your money if you think I'm a threat.
  16. Taylor


    May 21, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    Just tell them that you weren't taking a photo of them... another bonus when shooting film, they can't ask you to show them the image!

    I've been called a perv twice, once for taking a photo of a lesbian couple during the Gay Pride parade (and by a gay guy too...) and once taking a photo of a woman on the street and it was by a guy walking down the street with his buddy. They just walk on while muttering the word just loud enough for me to hear. They can think whatever they want of me, since they're strangers. But if they had the guts to stop and approach me about it, then I'd give em a piece of my mind!

    If you're afraid of confrontation so much, you won't be able to take good candids/street shots.
  17. Spectre


    Feb 20, 2008
    I was on the street taking photos and had a homeless guy throw his coffee cup at me because he demanded that I give him $20.00 for the right to take his picture. When I refused he threw the cup at me. It really wasn't too succesful for him, it was an empty styrofoam cup... anyway, he then asked me for a cigarette and when I gave him one, he granted me full access.

  18. Sometimes i got the idea that most of you are afraid of people.Its a fact that there are lots of sickoos around.So sure parents are concerned about strangers taking pictures of their kids.So when a parent ask for your intentions,just interact on the question,and dont go in to defensecode red.When its someone who doesnt have a thing with what you are doing,just ignore the sorry bas....In Holland we have a saying:
    "Ik heb liever dat ze over m`n fiets lullen,dan dat ze over m`n lul fietsen" Hard to translate in propper english,but lets keep it on something like: I dont mind when you wanck /gossip about my bike.As long as you dont ride over my ***** with it.
    SORRY for the rude words.
    Meaning: I dont care when people gossip about me as long they dont physicaly hurt me.
  19. the_traveler


    Mar 22, 2007
    Manhattan, NY
    Lewis Lorton
    I do a lot of street shooting in slightly seedier sections of Baltimore and often get the opposite. People waiting for me to take the shot before entering my target zone, people walking over to ask me what I'm shooting. In a pleasant, interested way. On a quiet city street in Greektown, I was shooting across the street and cars were slowing until I obviously had made the shot before they crossed my shooting lane.

    Maybe because I'm an older guy with shorts, t-shirt and Tevas so I don't look like your common variety of perv - whatever that is.
  20. BagOfBones


    Apr 28, 2008
    Dayton, OH

    i totally agree, im not a parent but if i saw a stranger just taking shots of my family i would be a little concerned. its sad but you cant trust anybody these days.

    The majority of people do not see what you see through the lens, they dont see the art work, or beauty of the picture. They just see a random person sitting in a park (or wherever) taking pictures of their kids, wives, husbands etc...

    I mean i also agree with you guys on here, you do have a right to take pictures of whatever and whoever you want, but sometimes you have to see it from there point of view. they dont know you, they have no clue what you will be doing with the picture, where you will be posting it, printing it etc. nobody thinks thats a little scary for them?
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