Stranger Danger


On Saturday I took this photo of two fancy vehicles which looked a little out of place beside a vacant lot. I took this from the footpath across the street.  Then I decided to get a bit closer and stepped off the footpath onto the road and just as I was lining it up again a head popped up from the back seat of the rear car.  I'm pretty sure that people who drive these vehicles in my neighbourhood do not want their photos taken.  

This guy on the other hand would be pleased to see me out advertising his business -  though I kept a watchful eye for unfriendly photo-shy dogs!

So, when is it okay to take photos of strangers and when is it acceptable to plaster them on the web?

 These little girls were so cute that I asked the mother (or guardian) if I could take their photo as I would've felt awkward taking them without permission.  But then,  what did she think I was going to do with the photos?


This girl was carrying her little dog when I asked her if I could take a photo – she posed it on the wall.

  I couldn't resist asking this girl if I could take a photo of her hair – she happily agreed to the photo: 

This guy was such a character -  his dreads touched his ankles -  he did a half turn for a back shot but sadly it did not turn out well.   I love the beer in his hand: 

This guy was reaching across me to get something -  he tolerated me taking his photo:  

All these people were very good-natured about a stranger taking their photo and were willing to pose with no idea what I intended to do with the photos. Living in DC I do expect to turn up in people's vacation shots but  I'm not sure that I would be so obliging if someone asked me!  I would assume they were intending something nefarious.

If you are any of these people and object  – please let me know and I will take you down  (metaphorically speaking).


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20 responses

  1. "please let me know and I will take you down (metaphorically speaking)" – good that you made that clear, you may not want that folk in the back seat knocking at your door at 2 a.m. demanding to know your url.

  2. People are strange some love posing in front of the camera others shy away you got some great photos there, (but you remind me of a story of a kid on a photo shooting school trip and was wondering why all these people chased him off or put there hands up during him taking a photo, he went to the back streets of New York city catching people doing things they did not want photographed) You never know who your going to meet or what you might see but love your photos of around the city it is hard to just point and shoot without peoples permission it is like you are doing something devious so you will never make a Paparazzi

  3. Great street shots! What is the proper thing to do, anyway? Should you always ask, or is it just necessary when you are going to try to sell the shot? Glad they weren't offended. I always enjoy a little insight into your world.

  4. I really like your photos. A lot of beautiful people, where you live.I'm still struggling with my shyness, asking people to take their picture in the street. Maybe, I should do it like a boy, I once took care of. He just got his pocket camera and we went out. He planted himself in front of a bench with a group of elderly, saying: "Today I decided to take a picture of everthing I think is beautiful."I bet, that line would work all the time, haha.

  5. I would make a very bad paparazzi… I am too conscious of how people might feel and not wanting to upset anyone. I hate having my photo taken and do everything to avoid it, especially now it could end up all over the web. Your New York story is funny – that probably happens to a lot of tourists there.

  6. Yes I got a giggle out of the idea of a pet taxi but I suppose it shouldn't be surprising considering all the other things dedicated to pets.It just seems a little strange to me that people are so willing to have their photos taken without knowing how we are going to use the photos. I've noticed being photographed in tourist areas and although I don't really want to be, I've never approached anyone and asked them to delete their holiday shot. I just try not to stand in front of the statue or museum! 🙂

  7. Thank you CBD. I would not sell an image without getting some sort of release – as I think that would be the right thing to do. I think if I was going to try to sell shots I would take my DSLR out and look a little more professional. Perhaps that is the trick and why everyone is so willing….. my little point & shoot looks so inoffensive.

  8. Thank you Nikki – yes there is beauty on my streets. "Today I decided to take a picture of everything I think is beautiful." OH – that is wonderful!! I think I might borrow that. It took me a long time to ask the girl with the crimped hair if I could take her photo. I kept looking at her but she was a little aloof. Eventually I caught her eye and smiled and then just blurted out something about her hair and could I photograph it.

  9. Hahahaha…that's a good idea, not standing in front of the statue or museum. If it's a very public event or location people are going to have cameras, and we're among that lot.

  10. Oh – how funny to find your relatives on the Group site! That's exactly what I want to avoid with myself. There is a guy here in DC doing a series of shots in the metro stations. His photos are great black & white ones of commuters in the trains – I would hate to see myself as I'm sure I look really grizzly and unpleasant after a day at work.

  11. Good question …. I think "famous" people expect to be photographed though I think there is a line that shouldn't be crossed there too (there should be some expectation of privacy no matter how famous). On the other hand, I am really of no interest to anyone except my family and friends.

  12. The dreadlocks were really impressive! I loved that he was so dressed up and then was walking along drinking a bottle of beer. I'm sure he has some wonderful stories to tell.

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