Explainer: what are ‘creepshots’ and what can we do about them?

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Aushiker, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Is this a trend that photographers, street photographers in particular need to be concerned about (from a photography perspective that is)? Is it likely to impact on street photography across the board?

    (some links below are NSFW - Ed.)
    The full article can be found at the Conversation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2017
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  2. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi, I do fear being accused of such things when taking random street photos.
    I also fear being called a paedophile.

    Dress like a tourist.
     
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  3. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I think it's been going on for quite a while. There are photos on camera forums that creep me out because it's a shot of an attractive woman taken with a long focal length lens without her knowledge. It just feels vouyeuristic and objectifyng.

    And I've been to photo events where a bunch of photographers are huddled around a pretty model or two. The social dynamic of those situations just give me pause. I understand that there is a long and storied tradition around fashion and nudes and they should continue and be celebrated. But the line between art and creepy is sometimes blurry.
     
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  4. steveadams

    steveadams Mu-43 Veteran

    350
    Jun 16, 2016
    South Georgia
    Steve Adams
    I haven't seen anything close to what I would call a trend. Sure, there will always be some guys that are "creeps" and take shots like this but there are women that do it too. There are women that like to pose for such shots, just go to YouTube and look up "WeeklyImogen", or just type "female model" in the search bar. Most of these shots are no different than the "creepshots". You might try to argue that these women consented to the shots but how does that change anything? It proves there is are viewers, and therefore a market for these shots. People will fill the need just like the paparazzi do.

    And just to play devil's advocate, it's okay for advertisers to do it and put it in magazines, billboards, and television for all to see? How about the old Hawaiian Tropic photo of the dog pulling down the little girl's bottom? Wouldn't that be considered real creepy if the girl never consented? But isn't it creepy no matter what?
     
  5. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    976
    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Denny
    As one who has followed the Weekly Imogene series for a few years I was rather shocked that you would include what they do in this conversation. In fact they have dedicated numerous Youtube videos to discussing just this matter and how far or not some models will go. Imogene herself has stated numerous times what she is willing to do or not and how Mark deals with her restrictions. Apparently she did not want to do nudes etc and that was when Mark started including other models into the channel who are more expressive and a bit less shy. They have dealt with some nude or semi nude shoots but that is fully disclosed and explained and the models all know what is happening before hand. While his work might not be up to the standards of say a Damien Lovegrove who has numerous artistic nudes on his WEB site, it's not like Mark is sneaking around taking butt shots or up skirt shots. There is a big difference between Creep shots and what is considered artistic. Weekly Imogene is artistic. I totally disagree with you including them in this topic.

    Personally when someone asks me to do what I call a "Sluts are US" photo shoot with body parts hanging out all over I turn them down but that is what many of the young girls now want before their body goes to hell from all the fast food they eat. In fact one young lady called to postpone a scheduled photo shoot because as a high school graduation gift, "Mommy and Daddy" had given her the money to go to Mexico and get a boob job and she wanted to do the shoot after the operation. I told her not to call back.

    But I strongly agree with John. I have also witnessed men drooling when they get the opportunity to photograph certain women in a controlled environment. Watch at any car show when the girls are wearing tight fitting outfits. But it's not just the men. You should see some of the shots I have seen on women's cell phones.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
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  6. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Top Veteran

    971
    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    First let's remember that this site is primarily populated with men - so our opinions on the matter are going to be skewed with that lens. Let's also not try to make this political.

    But it seems to me quite easy to answer the question about what we, as photographers, can do - and that is don't be creeps (not that I'm suggesting any of us are). Think about your intention for taking a shot. Is it to objectify your subject? If so, don't do it. Next, think about how the image you've taken / are about to take can be perceived - is it possible that it might upset the subject, because of the way you are portraying them? If so, don't take the shot or don't use the shot.

    There is nothing wrong with taking pictures of people because they have an aesthetic quality you like when you have their consent. Models give you their consent, people randomnly on the street do not, whether it is legal in your country to take photos of the public. Just be human about it - if someone asks what you are doing, tell them. If someone asks to see the photo, show them. If someone really objects and wants you to delete it, what harm does it do you to comply? Be an ambassador for street togs everywhere.

    And let's be clear - there is a big difference between an advert that uses attractive models to sell something, and someone taking photos of ladies' bums on the street. There is a big difference between Weekly Imogen wearing suggestive tops in her youtube channel, and (for example) someone stalking her taking creepy photos.

    This is not a hard line to see - be a good person, don't be creepy, and you should have nothing to fear.
     
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  7. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    Jan 10, 2016
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Rob Campbell
    This.

    @steveadams@steveadams, You can't really compare advertising photos to "creepshots" taken without a subject's knowledge. Everyone in a professional advertisement has signed a model release form and posed for the photograph willingly.
     
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  8. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    A good rule of thumb is...

    If you would hesitate showing the subject the photo you just took of them then it's probably a creepshot.
     
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  9. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I'll start by not clicking on the link with the NSFW photos. Seems the least that can done.

    ^^ this

    But there is nothing that should be done, IMO. Please don't ask us to start policing everyone with a camera. Besides, the tech would just change to make the cameras unnoticeable, and meanwhile, every tourist will get a stop-and-frisk! (or, stop and view the camera shots)
     
  10. steveadams

    steveadams Mu-43 Veteran

    350
    Jun 16, 2016
    South Georgia
    Steve Adams
    Perhaps I didn't make my opinion clear. One of the links shows a woman's buttocks. There's no way to determine from a photo if the person/model agreed to that photo or not. So how can you tell if that linked photo is a creepshot or not?

    Here's another part of it. We know teenage boys, and many other people, duplicate what they see online, on television, at the movies, and on YouTube. As long as provocative photos/video exist, and there is fame or money to be made from it, boys will continue to try and copy it.

    WeeklyImogen, and the others, can pretend their videos are innocent but they know who their audience is and they are making money off of that audience. A portion of those horny teenage boys will go out and try to make similar videos. They will do it for the money or the possible fame. And these horny boys don't know how to talk to the opposite sex so they will have to find alternative ways to get these photos/videos.

    As I stated before, I don't see this as a widespread problem or a trend. But it does exist. As far as I know, YouTube is not filled with millions of video filled with creepshots, but I don't know because I don't go looking for it. I haven't even seen a photog acting creepy or taking creepshots.

    WT21 has the right attitude. Do you want to stop creepshots? Then quit clicking on NSFW links. When the money and fame dry up, the market will disappear.
     
  11. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    These aren't real creep shots. All these photos from the link are what you would see in public view. Taking an up-skirt shot or photographing someone changing in a private dressing area are true creep shots that do infringe on someone's privacy.

    Personally I don't really see the point. I live in LA and can just ask attractive people to pose for me. One of the perks of living in a city full of attention seekers. :eek:

    Just to clarify, in the US you don't need a model release to photograph someone in public. In fact you can even sell photos for editorial and corporate (internal) usage purposes without a person's consent.
     
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  12. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Hahahaha....too true!
     
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  13. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    If you go in public and expect to be seen,dress accordingly. We can't go around projecting our own emotional reactions onto others or things will get crazy. After all,if you get too worried the pictures someone else is taking are obscene you have already entered into their world.
     
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  14. noohoggin1

    noohoggin1 Instagram: @tomnguyenstudio

    373
    May 21, 2012
    MN
    Tom
    I kind of agree to a point; for instance, if one were to surreptitiously take upskirt photos, then that's obviously wrong since no sane woman would (normally) wear a dress in public with the intention or expectation of having photos taken up her skirt. But on the other hand, a Hooters waitress shouldn't complain if there are public photos floating around that proudly show off her curves.
     
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  15. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    So if an attractive woman is going out with friends on a Friday night and dresses attractively and in a way that makes her feel good about herself she's asking for it?
     
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  16. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    976
    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Denny
    John, the functional word in your question is "attractively". Who or what is she trying to attract and if it responds who's fault is it? The same goes for the guys wearing the "wife beater" t-Shirts in public. You really need to spend some time with members of the younger generation to understand what they are attempting to do. They want their 15 minutes and they will do anything to get it. There are tons of WEB sites where women post provocative selfies of themselves in an attempt to get attention. Many advertise right on Yahoo or Facebook. There is attractive, then there is "selling their wares" or as I like to call it "slut's are us". The courts have had difficulty with this issue for decades. If you can come up with the answer there are several Supreme Court Justices who might like to hear your justification.
     
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  17. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    If you do street photography and she looks so good and the scene is just right, and you decide to take a chance on getting a great shot,well that's street photography. That is a valid genre, but can be touchy situation. You always risk offence. I don't do much street photography but have gotten reactions from, from people diving out of the picture to obvious signs of being flattered. Especially in Scandinavia people are pretty sensitive. In the US a lot of people just love the attention.They may even thank you,especially if you take a picture of their pet. I just don't encounter the real creepy people who publish stuff in creepy clickbait websites,nor do I want to.
     
  18. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Denny, have you ever put on a nice shirt and crisp pair of slacks then looked in the mirror and thought, "I look sharp!" If so, then you understand the concept of dressing for yourself because it makes you feel good about yourself and boosts your self esteem. It's no different for women. Women like to dress attractively because it makes them feel good about themselves. It helps their self esteem.

    A teenage girl that buys something that she saw in a magazine or fashion blog is trying to feel good about herself based on the impossible standards of beauty established by the fashion world. Should some infamy come to her in the form of a creep shot, upskirt shot, or worse yet physical harm, to suggest that she was asking for it is pointing the finger in the wrong direction. The person holding the camera or physically harming her is squarely to blame.
     
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  19. Vheissu

    Vheissu Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    89
    Jul 30, 2016
    Joshua
    I strongly disagree with the sentiments expressed here that if someone is dressed in a certain way, or posts their own selfies online, then they deserve to be unknowingly photographed in a way that sexually objectifies them.

    I don't consider creep shots to be street or fashion photography. Fashion photography has its issues with objectifying women and the whole "sex sells" mentality but at least everyone there has given their consent and are being compensated. There is the flavour of street photography that attempts to capture candid moments by "firing from the hip" without using the camera's viewfinder or rear screen to compose the shot and I do question the ethics and artistic merit of that style of photography but creep shots are a whole other ballgame. Up skirt and dressing room photos are the worst examples but there are heaps of guys out there who try to take "butt shots" of any woman they see wearing tight leggings. I met enough guys that did this in university to know that it must be pretty widespread behaviour.

    @John M Flores@John M Flores nailed it with his rule of thumb about showing the photo to the subject.

    IMO this is primarily a smartphone problem. Smartphones are small, multi-functional and ubiquitous. There is no obvious sign when the camera app is running and recording; someone holding a smartphone could be sending a text or checking the weather, or they could be taking a creep shot of the person ahead of them. Using something like a mirrorless camera, with smaller lenses it is way too obvious what is going on and super telephoto lenses are bulky and expensive enough that they are not super common. Smart phones are also better tools for quickly sharing shots to other creeps online.

    So what's the solution? Aside from people not being creeps maybe we will have to go back to that brief time when it seemed like all cell phone cameras made a loud simulated shutter sound when a photo was taken (Motorola RAZR-era phones I think).
     
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  20. Petermfiore

    Petermfiore Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Jul 1, 2015
    And been compensated for their work...