Should yu approach a person and ask to take their photograph

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by jeremy rundle, Sep 9, 2016.

Ask before photographing or photograph without asking

  1. ask

    71.4%
  2. don't ask

    45.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. jeremy rundle

    jeremy rundle Member

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    or in a public place just take it

    I asked.....................

    She was VERY shy, but so nice, personally I hate ALL tattoos but couldn't resist her in Londons Oakley store tattoo.jpg
     
  2. Wallendo

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    I voted "ask", but the real answer is it depends. If you are doing an impromptu portrait, then it is reasonable to ask. Very few people enjoyed having a camera directly in the face unannounced. If the person is part of a larger scene it is not as important to ask.

    In your case, asking was the right thing to do.
     
  3. Sirius Glass

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    My father would ask and then I would watch in horror as the subject's face also reacted in horror as my father would get so close with his Mamiya C330 that he would practically shove a lens up each nostril. And that is why I do not to street portraits.
     
  4. Ko.Fe.

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    Just take it or ask depends on some obvious factors.
    For pictures like this how else you are going to take it? Do you seriously think it is possible to get it more less OK like in OP without asking? With long tele lens for birding?

    Read "Dialogues" book with Henri Cartier-Bresson interviews to receive complete guidance from real expert on this topic and from humanist PoV perspective.
    Also educate yourself on local regulations for public place photography to find out what is allowed to be taken without asking and how it is allowed to be used.

    I made person fully aware what I'm taking it and he cooperated.

    [​IMG]

    and talked to this:

    [​IMG]

    but this one was quick encounter, strait, eye to viewfinder.

    [​IMG]

    and in situations like this you are taking it as candid.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. blockend

    blockend Member
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    The problem with asking is people smile for the camera, which turns the shot into a portrait. Which is fine if you like portraits, but history won't look kindly on grinning heads, especially when they're grinning at the photographer. If I ask, which I don't often, I tell them this isn't Facebook or Instagram and I'll wait till they stop smiling. We're dealing with posterity.
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member
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    You asked and captured a really nice portrait. I'm sure that she appreciated both your interaction and photographic skill.
     
  7. Theo Sulphate

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    I voted ask / don't ask : -) because it depends. If I see someone whose photo I'd like, I do ask. However, I'm glad Garry Winogrand didn't ask here:

    Garry-winogrand-1.jpg
     
  8. bvy

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    It's a flawed poll. It's not one or the other because they're two different kinds of photography. One falls under the category of street photography, the other under portraiture. So it depends on the picture you want. I guess that's been said already.

    As far as "grinning heads," that's not a problem with the subject, it's a problem with the photographer. Some people have warm wonderful smiles no matter who asks. Others make you have to work harder. You can't blame a bad picture on the subject.
     
  9. Terry Breedlove

    Terry Breedlove Member

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    I've asked only a handful of times in my life. The first time I ever did was when I was in Vietnam (thanks Terry, for reminding me with your own lovely photo) - I came across this old man sitting on the bench and indicated with my camera if it was okay to take photos. He nodded yes and I managed to take about 3 or 4 - he posed in different ways! This is my favourite of the bunch, although unfortunately I missed focus because I was so nervous.

    Old-man_web.jpg

    I used to work in a living history museum (in full costume) so ended up in hundreds, if not thousands of photos. I would stop and pose for the p&s tourists, but if I saw someone with a more serious camera I would ask if they wanted me to pose or to continue doing what I was doing. They didn't always want the unposed shot. Here's a self-portrait I took when I still worked there - I always loved the afternoon light in this building.
    Me at the wheel.jpg

    Now I'm part of a street photography group - I'm not sure why, as I am not a street photographer in any way - and now I struggle with this question - when to ask, and when to just shoot. There's another photographer in our group who often asks his subjects for photos, and he gets great candids from them. But I think he has the right personality to pull it off - I sure don't!
     
  11. MattKing

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    You almost never have to ask, but it can be generous and sensitive to do so.

    It is very important to have a clear idea what you are trying to do. If you seek to capture a slice of life that to the greatest extent reflects a reality where the camera isn't a meaningful part, you need to do your best to either surprise people with your photography or maybe even be effectively invisible yourself.

    If, however, you wish to engage others in your photographic plans, you need to get them to do what you need - that requires you to approach and ask.
     
  12. MattKing

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    And to serve as an example, the first photograph was taken by me during a visit to a local fisher's wharf (Steveston). The boat, the scene and the woman appeared both generally and photographically interesting to me, I struck up a conversation with the woman and I asked if she was okay with my photographing her. You can see the result.

    I haven't shot much candid work recently, and have digitized even less, but the second photograph is an example of a shot taken while the subject knew I was there photographing, but not that I was photographing him. He is on APUG - I wonder if he will recognize it. Sablefish_IS_Black Cod.jpg 04d-2014-06-29-resized.jpg
     
  13. TheRook

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    If you're planning to ask, sometimes the best way is to first strike up a conversation with the subject. Make the subject feel that you are not a threat. At some point, mention what you are doing with the camera. Then politely ask to take a quick picture. The better your people skills, the less likely your request will be met with rejection.
     
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  15. LAG

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    Excuse me

    I do both. I've voted for both options
     
  16. OP
    OP
    jeremy rundle

    jeremy rundle Member

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    It is not intended to be a BBC TV Poll with Jeremy Paxman, it is intended to be a small club poll to answer a question I put for myself, you have the ability to add to it
     
  17. OP
    OP
    jeremy rundle

    jeremy rundle Member

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    The reason I asked is because in Carmarthen (Wales) yesterday a photographer :wink:.... was taking photos of people, he asked a woman sitting if he could take her photo but he was SOOOOOOOO) long winded, took so long to take it, pratted about she became uncomfortable and I believe wished she had never said yes, he would have been better if he had asked and "got on with it", so familiarity with your camera gear is a must, he was focusing...s l o w l y with the camera screen on a bridge camera and handing out a card with a long winded explanation.

    I don't do street photography but, 1. I would shoot children but ask the parent first or not do it, 2. Ask if I saw a person I did want to shoot like the one I posted, or in his case shoot at 300mm from a distance
     
  18. bvy

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    Is he a photographer? For my own part, I ask, but just because those are the kinds of pictures I'm making lately. A candid, long lens or otherwise surreptitiously taken for doesn't substitute. So I guess it's not one or the other for me.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    jeremy rundle

    jeremy rundle Member

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    Is WHO a photographer
     
  20. Luminousoctaves

    Luminousoctaves Member

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    Asking or not asking, this is the big question.
    Two different methods that give very different results.
    (A third option could be asking after the shot has been made.)

    Generally speaking I prefer shots were the photographer isn't part of the scene. I vote "don't ask".

    Left: Ask Right: Don't ask
    askin.jpg
     
  21. bvy

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    Jeremy Paxman. It was a joke.
     
  22. OP
    OP
    jeremy rundle

    jeremy rundle Member

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  23. Jeff Bradford

    Jeff Bradford Member

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    If the person is the subject, I ask. If the situation is the subject, I do not ask. How can you ask permission from a situation?
     
  24. OP
    OP
    jeremy rundle

    jeremy rundle Member

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    If the person is in the situation ?????
     
  25. Luminousoctaves

    Luminousoctaves Member

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    Don't ask... or ask first, and manipulate the situation. I think it's a simple choice (with some exceptions).
     
  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser
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    some may argue if you approach someone
    it is staged ... and people aren't themselves
    caught up in their own head/mind &c ..
    i always ask, and it is always a lead into something
    that might be more than just a snapshot.
     
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