Photographing children - or the sad world we're living in

Savas K

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I shot kid sports a couple times, but only when sanctioned by parents. The soccer shots were at an informal gathering and few, if any, knew of my relation to the parents of one of the children. I was all over the place with large camera gear. Eventually, I was questioned as to whose child was mine.


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fsuscotphoto

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Gary

You wouldn't / couldn't document your mother's battle against cancer, yet it's OK for you in your journalistic capacity to intrude on a family's grief? I don't get why you're the special case. The families in grief deserve the same respect you gave your mother and your feelings.

This thread started w/ a discussion on the appropriateness of photographing other people's children. That is just a subset [albeit a fraught one] of photographer's rights vs. the rights of the indivudual.

Does a photographer have the right to take any photograph he or she wants to? What gives the photographer that right? Do some people, because of the choices they have made in their lives necessarily give up their rights to privacy?

I believe that everyone has a right to their personal privacy, and that while photos of or including children, teens, and even adults can "tell a story" or "portray emotion", if those photos are taken without consent, they ARE an invasion of privacy.

Dragons4Mama
mother to 2 [grown] children - one boy, one girl; one ham for the camera, one camera-averse

Does that mean that you would never participate in street photography?
 

juangrande

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For an individual's code, yes, right and wrong can be subjective. In this country we have laws which tries to remove subjectivity from how one behaves in public. But, what is considered appropriate behavior and within the law in Times Square may not be considered appropriate in Des Moines, Iowa.

Actually, the question was "What gives the photographer that right?" ... in this case to photograph people in public places. The answer, based upon the United States Constitution, is the Supreme Court has clearly stated that one gives up their individual right to privacy the moment the individual steps onto public property. Hence, photographing anybody in public is acceptable under U.S. law.

To directly answer the question, The Constitution, the very basis of law and governance in this land, vis-a-vis The Supreme Court, has granted that right to photograph people without their consent in public.

Gary

I was refuting dragons4mama's post. I have no problem with your position!
 

Iansky

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Children in time

My wife was working at a vintage event last weekend where many people were in clothing from the 1940's, the events main focal point was the steam trains from the era as well as the evacuation of people from the towns to the countryside for their safety - especially the children.

I had no problem taking these images as they were clearly taken to depict the times, the family were happy for their children to be photographed and it is amazing the difference in attitude portrayed to and by photographers at events such as these - they are clearly trusted to take images that record the event with a trust that there are no untoward intentions!

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the_traveler

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Just because it's law doesn't make it right

You seem to have very strong feelings about photographers taking pictures of people because it invades their privacy.

Perhaps you might comment a bit on how you think a photographer should deal with other people's unexpressed wishes in a public space?
 

fsuscotphoto

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You seem to have very strong feelings about photographers taking pictures of people because it invades their privacy.

Perhaps you might comment a bit on how you think a photographer should deal with other people's unexpressed wishes in a public space?

I would like that as well.
 

Savas K

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I don't get the statement. "how a photographer should deal with other people's unexpressed wishes in a public space?" What does that mean?
 

the_traveler

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I don't get the statement. "how a photographer should deal with other people's unexpressed wishes in a public space?" What does that mean?

Everyone in a crowd would probably have an opinion, if asked, about being photographed.

Does that mean no one should photograph a street scene without asking everyone in the crowd how they feel?


Title: tourist, tourist, tourist, New Yorker, New Yorker, New Yorker

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woody112704

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I have a thick-skin, and I will not conform my life to the wishes of non-rational and ignorant behavior of others. I also feel strongly in the Edmund Burke quote, "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Hiding your pleasure of viewing children, with all their radiance and innocence bring warmth and light to a cold dark room ... is allowing the ignorance and darker aspects of society win. Next time when you're chewing on your pasta and you see a very nice photo of a child (BLX comes to mind here), invite a co-worker to share your viewing pleasure. Children and the joy children bring is something to be shared not hidden.

I have to say I love your work, and I totally agree with you. Children can express so much joy in pictures and that can be contagious, you never know who's day will be brightened by a great picture of a kid. I don't see an issue as long as it is tasteful.
 

GaryAyala

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I have to say I love your work, and I totally agree with you. Children can express so much joy in pictures and that can be contagious, you never know who's day will be brightened by a great picture of a kid. I don't see an issue as long as it is tasteful.

Thank you Jared:

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sinclair

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Thank you Jared:

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Love this photo. You can totally see in her face that she did something awesome that she may of not thought possible but worked hard to do and knows it. Plus she floating in the air because she's so happy.
 

Jay86

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First off I would like to thank the OP for making this thread... read the entire thing and some very interesting discussion in here contributed by several members. All in a really cool thoughtful way. Im starting to like this forum a lot :)

That aside I have to say I basically feel exactly the same way as the OP about photographing children. Over the years I have amassed quite the street photography collection but when I go through it I have zero, yes, ZERO pictures where its a singular shot/portrait of one child only in the frame. I feel very uncomfortable about taking a picture of a kid in public and its no doubt related to the social stigma attached to it.

Despite the comments and input I have read in this thread I personally don't think I will take a picture of a kid by themselves anywhere. I have shots of kids in a group setting but thats about it. And the funny thing is kids are indeed some of the best subjects out there to take pictures of, especially portraits as they have so much unhindered expression and feelings they will show without regard for repressing them as adults often do in public.
 

Robstar1963

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The problem with the current climate of near paranoia is that we will lose the chance to maintain the continuous running documentary on how children 'are' and are growing up through these times that we would normally generate as we go along
We have always historically (as long as photography has existed) recorded images of children growing up around us so that in years to come those children who by then will be adults themselves, along with everyone else and future generations can look back and remember the times
These 'moments in time' will be lost forever if the fear that many people feel about taking photos is allowed to rule - moments and images which might otherwise in years to come reveal a lot about the times we live in now and those of all ages that lived through those times
It is important for people like Gary to record what they can for posterity.
If people like him who have the confidence that the rest of us might lack do not continue to record what is around them then we will be devoid of any such memories and documentary to cherish
Regards
Rob
 

Petrochemist

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The problem with the current climate of near paranoia is that we will lose the chance to maintain the continuous running documentary on how children 'are' and are growing up through these times that we would normally generate as we go along
We have always historically (as long as photography has existed) recorded images of children growing up around us so that in years to come those children who by then will be adults themselves, along with everyone else and future generations can look back and remember the times
These 'moments in time' will be lost forever if the fear that many people feel about taking photos is allowed to rule - moments and images which might otherwise in years to come reveal a lot about the times we live in now and those of all ages that lived through those times
It is important for people like Gary to record what they can for posterity.
If people like him who have the confidence that the rest of us might lack do not continue to record what is around them then we will be devoid of any such memories and documentary to cherish
Regards
Rob

Exactly!

I've had a tilt/shift image rejected from a tilt shift group on Flikr because it included an image of a child - my son (~10) fully dressed in a closed stance.
I'm far more concerned on the effect this sort of paranoia will have on my kids than on the possibility that some pervert will have fantasies because of such images - surely he'd get as much of a thrill on just about any high street.

I can understand that it would be relatively easy to take photographs that could be of interest to perverts, but I can't see how the pictures shown on this thread, would fall into that category.
 

MizOre

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Dec 26, 2011
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I'm in Nicaragua where people are quite a bit more relaxed about this, but where many people expect to get a copy of the photograph. These were my neighbors in my first house here.
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"800" height="600" alt="NextDoorMotherAndChild"></a>[/IMG]

In general, since I'm an older woman, people aren't so suspicious of my intentions, but I tend to ask permission for photographs.

Some cultures have different attitudes about any photography, children or not. A friend was visiting Guatemala and found that the Mayans are quite hostile to being unpaid tourist attractions, but if approached respectfully, weren't adverse to having pictures made. The kids were quite happy to pose.

My impression is that most people in Nicaragua want to control how they present themselves -- bit more posed. I don't do candids that often, but try to make sure that being photographed is okay with the person. Here, most of the time, it is. In the US, I've had people expressly ask me not to post stuff on line.
 

Kingsfan

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demiro

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The problem with the current climate of near paranoia is that we will lose the chance to maintain the continuous running documentary on how children 'are' and are growing up through these times that we would normally generate as we go along
We have always historically (as long as photography has existed) recorded images of children growing up around us so that in years to come those children who by then will be adults themselves, along with everyone else and future generations can look back and remember the times
These 'moments in time' will be lost forever if the fear that many people feel about taking photos is allowed to rule - moments and images which might otherwise in years to come reveal a lot about the times we live in now and those of all ages that lived through those times
It is important for people like Gary to record what they can for posterity.
If people like him who have the confidence that the rest of us might lack do not continue to record what is around them then we will be devoid of any such memories and documentary to cherish
Regards
Rob

It may be more accurate to say that future generations will lack professionally photographed images of children, but I think it safe to say that kids today are photographed at a rate that is heretofore not been approached. How those photos are maintained over time is a separate question. Is Facebook forever?
 

NikkoExiledInSF

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My 11 year old goes to his local pool every week for diving club. He wanted me to record his first ever dive off the 5 meter board but, guess what? It's forbidden. I agree with the OP, sad world.
 

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