Street Photography. Is it right? Is it legal?
I recently started shooting street photography, much to my kids chagrin. I would come home showing an image, and one of them would inevitably say something like, "Dad! You can't do that, it isn't legal." I would assure them that it was legal, or I wouldn't be doing it! This got me to thinking though, and I thought it might be good to start a dialogue to hear other's thoughts. Why are we so afraid to make images of strangers in this society? Are we afraid that others might be offended? Why did he take my picture? What are his motives? What dark and menacing behaviors does he have? These are fears i struggled with when I first pointed a camera in another person's direction. What about other photographers?
In the image here, I was standing in line to get a coffee, when I turned and saw this young lady's hair. The whole image caught my eye compositionally, so I made the picture. I knew that she and her friend were aware that I had done so, and since there was a same sex marriage going on in the back of the store, I played it off as I was taking pictures of that event. I did a quick edit of the image on my phone, and after getting my coffee, I sat down next to the women and started a conversation. I told her that I had taken the shot, and offered to let her see it. I then told her that, out of respect, if she wished I would delete it. She looked at it, and said,"No, it's ok." I then went on to show her my website, and explain to her that I was a serious photographer, and not just some dirty old man with a camera, out taking pictures of young ladies. After breaking the ice, she actually wrote down my url, and I told her that I would be happy to put it online, if she wanted to grab it for her gallery of images. With that I moved on, and the whole fear issue didn't look quite so big anymore.
What do you think? Would you have made the image? How would you handle getting caught taking someone's picture?