Sol Marrades posted ...

Keyword search
Login to start new topic
Help topics

Subject: Dignity, respect for people and photography.

Category: General Discussion

Posted: 05-26-13 1:38 AM - Views: 1235

By: Sol Marrades

Back to post list

Share this topic with your colleagues

Start of discussion

I would like to know your opinion.

Personally, I think it is not necessary to damage the dignity of disadvantaged people to make good photography.

1)Do they ask you permission to beggars to shoot?

I personally do not need to show me misery. I know perfectly well that there. Every day I see the observed, I know and I try help whenever I can.

I accept these images when it comes to documenting a specific situation:
Reports showing places unknown information. Reports that show information in a situation "critical" of a disadvantaged group.
I mean ... documents for private and general move consciences!
This is acceptable.

But the rest?

But I do not accept photographers seeking misery and become the "hunters"
It's a mediocre attitude!

Would you like others to take ownership of your privacy without your permission?

All opinions are valid and try to compare views.
Good luck in your shots!
Was this topic helpful? Give it a thumbs up or down.   0 Likes


Reply from Glen Charles on 06-5-13 3:42 PM

There is a difference between making a picture to remind ourselves of something we consider to be important, and the posting of that picture on the web. If, in the first place we are moved to compassion, and then do something good, because we are touched by our own sudden emotional experience towards the person which we have captured in the picture, then surely the taking of the picture is an inspiration from God. To follow up and do something for the person, or for the next person we meet who is suffering, is enough. Taking the picture has brought us into an understanding of something we might ordinarily have passed by. - This is a good thing.

But, we do not post this picture on the WEB - that ruins the dignity of the person, and cheapens the experience for us. Instead of helping, we are exploiting the picture for no good end. How does the person benefit?

Reply from Sol Marrades on 06-3-13 11:14 PM

Okay, Ninni!
Thank you for contributing your opinion.
This topic is a very personal decision of each ...
It is not "look the other way"
It's about looking and help
It is put in the place of another.

As I said before: This is not a criticism. It is a general reflection.

If there is financial compensation or otherwise ... I think not bad!
If there is an agreement ... nothing happens, is also. (in my opinion)
Ethics is a personal attitude of each.
Morals are the rules set by society to decide what is right or wrong.
Here intervenes personal ethics of each. And this ethics will be different according to the experiences everyone has had in life.

Probably just understand what I mean when you have suffered a situation "critical" has forced you to live in poor conditions.

I like the debates "polemic"

It's okay if you do not agree ... it is very difficult to agree on everything! (But I want to continue to have as a friend ... :))

Good luck in your shots!
Reply from Ninni on 06-3-13 9:44 AM

While I took a picture of a woman who was begging in Via Montenapoleone in Milan in front of the jewelry "Bulgari", I have been criticized by a guy who passed and asked me: do you think it's correct to take a picture of this woman?
I answered: ...and do you think it's correct to pass away and to ignore it? it feels right to look at it and not see it at the same time?
Why we consider a picture more violent respect the fact of looking the other way?
I didn't not want to disrespect that woman, nor do I want an easy photo of a disadvantaged person, but I do not like to photograph the flowers, the mountains, the sunsets or something. I like the street, I like to remember everything that strikes me in the street.
Not a photo but it is the reality to be unjust and I want to show and remember it.

P.S. there is no a different ethics between amateur and professional photographer; privacy can be violated even by taking a picture of a beautiful girl eating an ice cream
P.S.2: sometimes, but rarely, and only maybe I do not think exactly the same way with my friend Sol :))))))

Reply from Carlos Goncalves on 05-31-13 4:06 AM

This is a sensitive issue. Obviously, exploitation of states of misery for self contentement, (good shot) or political exploitation is to be criticised. However, when in the street , the photographer may encouter situations of great social drama that may induce the desire to document with view to raise public awareness. Urban photography, by its nature absorbs a multitude of scenes: of comedy, misery, beauty, tragedy.
Obviously, much discretion and sensibility is required from the photographer: above all, the subject of the image must never be humiliated in the photographic action.
Reply from Glen Charles on 05-29-13 10:07 AM

I have never made a picture which might embarrass someone. I make pictures to lift people's spirits. If I were to make a picture of someone who is "down on their luck," they would be smiling because I had just given them something they asked for. "Give to him who asks," is the NT teaching, and there is to be no condemnation nor judgement of that person.

As far as privacy is concerned: the laws are different in every Country. In the USA they are quite strict. In any case a photographer can be sued in court for showing pictures that embarrass the subject. Private people expect to keep their privacy even in what we might consider to be a public place. For instance in the USA you cannot photograph in shopping malls without permission.

The reason that so many journalists go abroad is that the laws in those Countries do not protect the rights of its citizens to privacy, so they can take dramatic pictures of people who have been badly treated by society. I do not like these types of pictures. Not all foreign travelers do this - some make a point of maintaining the dignity of the locals, and I think this is a good thing.

Street photography here in the USA who violate the privacy of poor individuals, do this knowing that these people will not be able sue them when the picture is posted on the WEB.
No one takes pictures of business men or women doing something amusing or embarrassing because on the first publication, they will be in trouble.
News events are the exception. But poor people on the street are not news. "the poor are always with you." said the great philosopher of the first century.

If you feel compelled to photograph someone who is destitute, do it with compassion. Take time to talk to them and get their trust. Give them money - not for the shot, but because they are in need. AFter they have settled down, walk around looking for that shot that brings out the dignity in the person - see "the Christ" within the person. Then thank them before you leave, and tip them - everybody likes money.

This is how HCB made his portraits. They share a bottle of wine, a cigarette, stories, sometimes a meal, before he walked on.

Perhaps photographers should write a by-line with every shot and post it with the picture. HCB did this for every shot.

I put on my "Rev" hat for this post.

Reply from Sol Marrades on 05-26-13 11:30 AM

Indeed, Jorge!
We are full of flaws!
Everyday I'm wrong about something!
And sometimes ... I like to let me know of my mistake, to try not to make the same mistake!
The forums are to share opinions. All opinions are valid.
All "photographic genres" are valid.
Some like more than others. But there they are!

Personally I believe that:
"The reader of the play" always has the last word

Good luck in your shots!
Reply from Jt on 05-26-13 11:18 AM

Understood. I would also like to clarify that I am not a judge of these people. There is only one judge. But as a human our nature is to feel like judges and cast our opinions. So we have our faults as well.
Reply from Sol Marrades on 05-26-13 11:12 AM

I've seen the image:
Obviously I do not mean to these people!...
We need to apply common sense ...
Reply from Jt on 05-26-13 11:06 AM

Following up on my post. Have a look at this and make sure you look at the crops I posted in the coments.
Reply from Sol Marrades on 05-26-13 11:02 AM

O.K., Jorge.
I try not to judge anyone. I am not a judge
I also occasionally shooting people on the street (public place) all do. All we have ever shot. No problem, in principle.
But then ... what we make using of those shots?

This is a general reflection ... nothing more.
I think it's interesting to hear different opinions.

If there is a prior agreement ... is correct.
If there is help and compensation is correct.
I usually talk to people. I inform you of what I do. I inform you of my intentions. If I they ask for money ... I pay what they ask.
It's funny ... most do not want money, but want to know what I do with these photos.
I refer to the shots "stolen" without authorization.
Probably, these people may never know that their image flowing through the network.
Perhaps not mind.
Maybe if.
But one way or another ... have a right to know the use and dissemination that makes its own image ... no?
Reply from Jt on 05-26-13 10:17 AM

I think this is a sensitive subject. Depicting a hard life with a series of images is a story in itself.

I for one have many photos of people that seem homeless. In fact, I would say that 90% of the homeless subjects I photograph are not homeless. They are young people who chose a lifestyle of asking for money and think they are victims of the wealthy. I see ost of them holding signs and asking for money. I see them in many different locations of Portland and they recognize me. I see them in Cafe's surfing the internet on their I-pads or on the streets checking a bus schedule on their smart phones. Clearly a homeless person does not afford these electronics. 99% of the time I ask their permission to before photographing. Sometimes they are happy to be in front of the camera and sometimes they say, Sure for a buck. At which point, I give them a dollar or two and they let me photograph them. I like to photograph them because I think they make good photos. They are grungy looking, have dogs with them most of the times, lots of details in their clothing, their hygiene ads interest to the photo and many other reasons. I think these subjects are well aware of what they are doing and how they are viewed.

A turning point for me in regards to the people that seem homeless or are begging was when one day I was at an outdoor cafe having lunch. An older woman approached me and said to me,"could you help me? I have not eaten in days" My first reaction was to say no, I can't now. She walked away and I continued eating. I saw her approaching others and I would guess she telling them the same thing she told me. At this point, the guilt feeling started setting in on me. I ordered and nice hot Gyro to go from where I was eating. I followed the woman and approached her to offer her the sandwich. She then said to me, "no thank you. I am not hungry now" with a smile on her face.

There are those that are truly homeless and in need. These are the one where respecting their dignity comes into play. I see many of these subjects as well and rarely photograph them. However when I do it is with respect and because I want to show their difficulties in life. I give them food and they are very thankful for it.

If you look at this collection you will clearly be able to tell the difference bewtween the two subject types I have described.

Reply from Sol Marrades on 05-26-13 9:23 AM

Okay, Herman ...
Places, indeed, in general, are public. People, no.
The right to protection of self-image and the right to control its spread is an exclusive right that only belongs to yourself.
This right is not public.
(Except for some characters with public career)
Reply from Sol Marrades on 05-26-13 5:04 AM

You must use your imagination to show situations "critical" without damaging the dignity of persons.
You can:
1) Using the angle of the light
2) No direct photographing the face of sadness and misery (unless it has been authorized)
3) Trying to be shot or semi-lateral side
4) Trying to be shot where no face is shown explicitly.
5) Trying to get the person a "mere accessory" of the scene, but not the main reason.

If you are documenting special situations we should know ... the approach is different!

I hope to explain well, I would like you to understand me!

Personally, I think the attitude in life is very important, always!
If your attitude is honest ... your work shine by itself!
Reply from Charles on 05-26-13 4:45 AM

Agree 1000%!
Recently ones posted found extremely depressing and
wondered if they were `paid to pose' like seen on TV?
Well stated Sol!
Please login to post or reply