Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A 'Vivian' Moment

I always feel a little like 'Vivian Maier' when I photograph people from afar.
(If you don't know about this very illusive photographer
you can learn about her here: http://www.vivianmaier.com/)

Hers is a very interesting story.

I don't usually take photos of people I don't know.
If I do, I usually 'mask' their face if I can.
However, I have learned that there is nothing illegal
about photographing people when outdoors in public places.
It's common ground and therefore if we decide to be there
then we must accept the fact that this could happen....
along with with a number of other things these days, I'm afraid.

So, I occasionally see people in interesting settings
or wearing bright/interesting clothes and snap away.
I have at times asked for permission and will continue to do so
if it is deemed appropriate at the time.

Case in point was yesterday afternoon......
we were sitting in the car outside our favourite Starbucks.
I glanced across the street and saw this woman wearing
'dying-to-be-photographed' brightly coloured clothing
that matched her hair!
What was I to do!?
The man, the dog and the rear-end of the car just completed the picture,
in my mind anyway.

What are your thoughts about taking photos of strangers
or being photographed by strangers?


  1. If I am close, I pass them a card I have printed with my blog name, own name and email address, and ask. If too far away< I take a photo .If the photo is to be published in a magazine, they would need to give written permission, and probably ask fees!!! On the Ugly Hedgehog forum, there is a lot of info on this. Love the way you did some PP, by the way, what took your eye best? Car, Lady, man or dog? So many thanks for all your loving words, all OK down here, Hugh has been up, walked a little way, and had a full proper dinner tonight. He thinks he might get discharged tomorrow... depends on what the physio thinks...I want some more days R&R..

    1. Hi Jean. Happy that Hugh is getting along well and that you are resting.
      The lady in the photo got my attention with all the colour she was wearing. She was 'put together' very well and one could tell she enjoyed the moment meeting the dog and its owner.
      I was not close at all to them and I usually do my best to 'edit out' any features of the face so that they are not easily identifiable.

  2. I try to draw a distinction between people in the picture and pictures of people. I live in a city, and people are going to end up in my pictures unless I only take photographs in the middle of the night. People in the picture I am very comfortable with as long as the image is not embarrassing or does not make someone look bad. Taking pictures of people, I won't post if I can see their face, unless I know the person. I don't think I have ever asked for permission.

    I know I end up in other people photographs in the city. The only time one freaked me out, was when someone I don't know photographed me, taking a photograph, then found my blog and posted the image of me taking a picture as a comment on my blog,

    We are surprisingly easy to find.

    1. I agree with this comment-taking a photo and there are people in it-that would be ok with me, but to take a photo of a specific person I would want to be asked permission if it were me in the photo

      that would be a total surprise is see me in a photo on my own blog-scary

    2. Good points raised here, Travel. I appreciate the distinction that you have made.

    3. Hi Kathy. Yes it would be weird to see a photo of oneself on your blog!!!

  3. i am so photo phobic i would freak out.

    1. And the funny thing, Joyce, is that we are all 'photographed' on a daily basis when we are out and about a town or city.....all those web-cams/video surveillance that are everywhere.

  4. I don't photograph strangers unless I'm in a restaurant and people are trying to take a family photo. I volunteer to take the shot so everyone can be in the photo. I don't like to be photographed, but if I don't know, then it doesn't matter. I watched a documentary about Vivian Maier. It was interesting and the photos were great, but she was one strange woman.


    1. VM was certainly a unique individual, Janie.....all the mystery and accumulation of all those photos. Maybe she did realize/hope that they would all be 'found' some day so that we could enjoy them. Almost like a time-capsule.
      I suspect she was aware of her talent but for her own reasons she had no desire to share her talent while she was alive.

    2. It bothers me a great deal that she abused some of the children in her care as a nanny.

  5. Great thoughts indeed. I don't usually photograph strangers either. Same way I wouldn't want my photo taken by random people without having a clue. To take random photos of people is fine, but if its an individual then I might have to ask for permission. Greetings!

  6. You've raised an interesting point, Jim. I have noticed how careful you are with photos of people and the different ways you handle them.

    I take a lot of scenes in my photos. Rarely do I focus on an individual, unless a surfer on the waves in Waikiki, a performer, or someone in a parade (things like that). If I put a photo on my blog with strangers in it, I make sure that it is a kind/flattering photo of those strangers.

    Open season on my family though, LOL! I've been known to edit out blemishes on family faces and to crop to make them look slimmer or less awkward. I do everything to make the best photo of them I can.

    If I know someone doesn't like to be photographed, I don't take his or her photo. If I know they don't want their photo published online, I don't do that. If appropriate, I ask.

    As for me ~ well I'm used to my snap happy nieces and nephews who'll post anything of me they want to, even if it's not the most flattering shot (In my critical opinion!). I just get over it! I assume I'm on camera most anywhere and don't worry about it. Fair's fair!

    Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

  7. She is very stylish and crying out to be photographed, even if she doesn't know it. I go out of my way to exclude people for privacy reasons, but it's a pity as they are often the most interesting subject of all.

  8. She is very stylish and crying out to be photographed, even if she doesn't know it. I go out of my way to exclude people for privacy reasons, but it's a pity as they are often the most interesting subject of all.


Hey, I really like your comments and appreciate the time you took to do so.

Related Posts with Thumbnails