Cameras and travel photography forum
Taking photos of children
British travel writer David Whitley, fresh off a trip to Laos has just published a piece titled "Is it ever ok to take photos of third world villagers?" that delves into the discussion of should tourists really be tramping around villages taking pics of the locals, and their children, in a "traditional" setting.
David rightly asks, how would you feel if a bunch of complete strangers wandered into your front yard and took photos of your household behaving "traditionally". You know, you raking up the leaves (pointless western tradition), your sister watching TV (western religious activity) and Mum doing the ironing (just pointless across all cultures but goes well with the religious experience pumping out of the box against the far wall).
Like David, I wouldn't be too impressed.
Here in Bali, we spend a lot of time at the beach, and with two young blond children, they get photographed a lot. Sometimes it doesn't bother me, especially if it's just a passing shot (and hey, they are gorgeous!) but other times, when people squat right near them, taking dozens of pics, I get really annoyed. At times I'll go and sit between them and the photographer, spoiling the shot (I'm not nearly as photogenic!) but never once, has a stranger walked up to me and said:
"Excuse me, do you mind if I take a picture of your children?"
So I'd say this isn't just a problem of third world villagers, but rather a more general question of why do so many people not bother to ask? I know in asking, the "natural" state of the photo may be lost, but surely, it is more important to ask?
What do you think?
#1 Posted: 15/1/2013 - 02:38
I always ask before taking personal photos, (as distinct from general crowd shots), and if refused, desist.
Usually, permission is given, and the adult also wants to be in the shot.
#2 Posted: 15/1/2013 - 05:01
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