The Ethics of Digital Photography: Part 1
Before I jump into today’s post, I want to extend my thanks to guest blogger Jessica Sweeney for her contribution yesterday! Thank you, Jessica, for offering a challenge to us all with the first guest post of the year. Sometimes we just need to stop thinking too much and just get out there and shoot! I think there’s something we can all take away from that!
I’ll be having one of my guest bloggers share a post with you all every other Monday – give or take – throughout the year until they revolt and tell me they can’t take it anymore! Look for a post by Kevin Halliburton on Monday the 25th!
Now, on to the content…
Last week, one of my readers sent me a couple of questions for us to consider when looking at what is and what is not “ok” when approaching the photos we take and process every day, which we will be exploring over the next couple of days.
I’ll start off my admitting that I am no expert on any of these topics and I am eager to learn from those of you who may have more experience with some of these areas. So please share your thoughts in the comments below.
The first question, which we will be discussing today, has to do with photographing the homeless. I’ve not done this, personally, but I know a number of people who have and they seem to have a pretty good method.
First and foremost, the homeless are people too. Approach them with the same level of respect as you would with anyone else you want to photograph. Treat them like the human beings they are. Talk to them for a few minutes, get a sense of who they are.
Make sure that they would be comfortable with you photographing them before you just jump right in and shoot. They have the same rights to their likeness as we do. If they don’t want you shooting them, don’t. Thank them for their time and move on.
If you are fortunate enough to do some shooting, however, stay a couple of extra minutes to continue the conversation. Show them what you took. In any case, whether you photograph them or not, offer them some money. Not just some spare change but maybe a couple of bucks. They are, after all, providing you a service.
Like I said, I don’t have much experience with this, myself, but I think that’s a fair and just way of going about it. What have you done in similar situations? Would you go so far as to use a model release?