candid portraits - dont's

Started Jul 14, 2004 | Discussions thread
Andy Williams
Andy Williams Forum Pro • Posts: 24,506
just to clarify

here, in the us, when in public, you don't need permission to take a photograph of someone who is in a public place. nor, for that matter, do you require permission to publish it. if you wish to use it for commercial purposes (i.e. to promote a book etc), then you need a model release.

now, this is a subject oft debated here on dpreview, and this type of photography is for some, and not others, that's for sure!

oh: i'm not a lawyer and not giving legal advice
end disclaimer

i prefer to be up close and personal, in the scene, with as wide a focal length as possible.



Ted B. wrote:
get used to the idea of getting into a confrontation now and then,
if you continue to intrude into peoples lives and privacy and only
get permission after the fact. Just plain common sense.

The only way to avoid it is to stand WAY back and use a long
telephoto to get your shots. This makes you less noticable to the
subject at least, and gives you a better head start should
hostility occur! It also lessens DOF, so your shots isolate the
subject better than with shorter lenses.


nzegwhua wrote:

hi there:

i love candid portraiture. i don't do it as often as i need to in
order to get very good at it, but i love it nonetheless.

question: how to avoid someone beating you up?

check out this image below. i had actually taken a few shots of
this pair at an outside festival (w/ many camera's about) but when
one of the guys noticed i was doing it he looked like he was about
to kill me!

how do i avoid possible confrontations like this? any tips?

i know i can go to them beforehand and request a photo, but then
the moment is lost. whenever someone knows their picture is being
taken, they get this horrible forced grin and... most posed shots
of strangers do not make very compelling photographs.

here's the shot (i did get permission to shoot after the fact
actually. but his initial reaction scared me a bit):

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-- andy

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