There has been a lot of talk about Street Photography in the past months. What’s the legal situation? Can we? No? Why? Where?
In fact the situation changes from country to country. Not very helpful. Are you trespassing the law the you take a photo of a street scene in Paris? In Luxembourg?
Do you need to consult the local laws first when you want to travel? So not only you’ll be lugging around your tourist guide but also a nice volume of civil laws (can you get those on Kindle?).
In these days of global paranoia the life of the street photographer has become quite worrisome. Did you accidentally capture kids in your photo – you risk being called a paedohile. Did you make a photo of an official or architecturally noteworthy building? VERBOTEN without the written consent of the architect or owner here in Luxembourg. I just wonder where they built the jail for all those tourists flashing their cameras and phones at out beautiful city!
It’s so sad that in times when people accept surveillance cameras at every corner (for our security), the feelings towards photographers are becoming so hard. Everyone has a smartphone, everyone is snapping like mad with that contraption and no one gives a damn. Well, most of that stuff is silly selfies…
But as soon as you show a real camera, even small ones, you are in ‘danger’. People mistrust you. People who post their whole darn lives on facebook don’t want to have their photo appear online. I don’t understand this world any more!
So what is the solution? Stop Street Photography? Do Landscape?
Of course I agree that everyone has the right to decline being photographed, at least if he’s to be the main subject of the image. And if a photo of me is being used for commercial means, if I should appear as a main subject in an advert for example, I’m entitled to some compensation. No problem with that.
But to get the notion in the head of the people that any time they are being caught in a frame they are entitled to some sort of monetary compensation is just crazy. In our world where everything in deemed free (stealing photos from the internet is a nice sport), people become more and more wary, but of the wrong stuff.
So what are the solutions? Are there any, or are we to juts give up and stop doing our silly game?
Will we have to become sneaky? Perhaps buy those old ‘shooting-around-the-corner’ lens hoods from the seventies? Remember those, like a big lens hood with a 45° mirror and a hole in the side.
Do we have to ask for permission for each shot, a written one if possible? Sometimes it’s just not possible to do that, A situation comes up and you react. No time for questions!
Or shall we keep the human factor out of our photography? I tried to show with the photos in this post that it is possible. There are people in some photos, none in most and anyways they are never the main subject.
But is this Street Photography or just photography of streets?
Tell me! Give me your take on this please.
And thanks for visiting!