It seems that in this day and age everyone is their own personal photographer; phones, laptops and tablets, if you have a device you most likely have a camera. All in all this makes documenting a special moment or memory quick and easy, although what about those times when you simply must catch a moment…that isn’t quite yours? Is it ethical?
My position on this matter is at times gray, as I feel that as long as the photographs are not being used in and damaging or demeaning ways it shouldn’t be a problem although feel confronted by images such as these.
Although street photography such as this can be used to raise awareness of the poverty and harsh conditions many live through it does little to provide a way in which to help and support these people or a information on how to make a difference at all. At times it seems there is an overflow of images such as these that do nothing but gain attention for the photographer and create a discussion amongst passive activists.
If I were to have my own code of ethics some things that would be included are:
- Getting permission from parents or guardians when photographing minors
- Do not record without permission
- Ask individuals for permission to take photos of them
- Do not take photos out of context or use them for negative purposes
Aside from being able to capture memories I believe that the ethical standard may vary depending on the circumstances and the reasons behind the photograph, for example photographs can be used to relay information or evidence to authoritative figures in situations that may call for attention.
In saying this, I myself feel awkward enough as it is taking a photo of someone without their knowledge and even more so asking their permission, #stalker comes to mind in all honesty.
Kim, E (2011). Are There Any Ethics in Street Photography?. [online] Eric Kim Blog, viewed 2nd september 2015 <http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2011/01/26/are-there-any-ethics-in-street-photography/>.