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Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by ChangshaNotes, Jun 20, 2013.
Woman Stabbed to Death After Photographing Panhandlers
Holy crap. However sometimes we need to use our better judgment.
Truly tragic. I've often wondered whether those of you that photograph people on the street have had confrontations with people who didn't like having their photo taken, especially if done at close distances.
I rarely photograph vagrants but when I do, I mask the shot.
There is usually a history of addiction and/or mental illness in these cases, which is a good reason to avoid confrontation.
Tony, I have never had a confrontation with a street subject. There are techniques for avoiding to disturb people.
The NEX is however on the noisy side for candid street, so I use my quiter Samsung NX11.
I usually give them something - food, money, cigarettes, whatever first then ask to photograph them. If they say no. I move on. Sometimes if I have a longer lens, I may mask the shot but that's seriously difficult as I stand out in a crowd in my city.
What a tragedy!
a sad thing. cant quite grasp it.
This is more about homeless people than it is about photography. People who are homeless often have very complex health and behavioural issues - often including substance abuse, and a very unsettled and/or traumatic life experience. It's the ultimate in unhealthy lifestyles. They tend not to live very long.
Recently, I decided to 'sponsor' a 33 year old homeless woman, who begged outside I shop I frequent. I had spoken to her a couple of times, and she had arrived in the situation she was in after running away from a very violent and abusive partner. She'd been living rough for a year and a half. She was chronically malnourished, underweight, and hungry looking.
I decided to provide her with a sandwich or salad, fruit, and a smoothy every day. After a couple of weeks, she started to look better. Much better.
I helped her fill out application forms for social housing, spoke to the relevant government departments on her behalf, and she is now off the street and doing OK in an assisted housing situation.
I bumped into her the other day, and she's now looking for a job.
"Nice not to see you very often" I said.
She appreciated the irony.
Sometimes there is a happy ending.
Well, I think maybe in a way it is both? To me the article speaks of not just unhealthy lifestile, but also a desperation and a certain 'nothing left to lose anyway' feeling.
It is more than a warning about shooting photos of people, but this kind of does demonstrate the root of the problem - that homeless people are a 'decoration', a 'motif for a meaningful' picture.
I once read a blog of a photographer who spent a few years photographing homeless people - what alwatys struck is that he managed to treat them as human beings, and they treated him as one in return., often allowing him to take pictures even. I think I found the link on the forums here, but not sure.
I agree with all you say. I'm always respectful when I shoot anybody on the street. In the UK anybody in a public place can be photographed, because in a public place there is no 'expectation of privacy' but there should be an expectation of polite respect, and I carry that with me. I don't personally shoot homeless people, because it doesn't appeal to me.
Thats sad man...
This is a very sad story indeed. This girl wasn't a photographer it would seem, but just someone who "innocently" took a picture on her mobile phone of the wrong people at the wrong time in the wrong place. Unfortunately it ended in an unnecessarily tragic way.
I cant help thinking that there is a lesson to be learnt here. The danger is always there, increasingly so in this day and age perhaps. Whilst a lot of my pictures come from the "street", I am acutely aware that things could turn nasty and conduct myself, and choose my subjects accordingly. Street shooters beware!
Remember, there but for the grace of God go I.
This poor girls death should, and must, serve as a reminder. Think twice before raising the camera!