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Social Media Has Tainted Street Photography

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the author's experiences with street photography and the changing attitudes towards it, particularly in the age of social media. It explores the increasing paranoia and suspicion around being photographed in public, as well as the negative consequences of people using photos and videos to shame or mock strangers online.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Changing Attitudes Towards Street Photography

1. What changes has the author noticed in people's attitudes towards street photography over the years?

  • In the earlier days, few people paid attention to the author's camera when shooting street photography.
  • Now, more people approach the author to ask what they are shooting and why, often suspecting nefarious reasons for photographing strangers.
  • The author has noticed a rise in paranoia around street photography, particularly around the time that social media became more prevalent.

2. What are some of the concerns people have expressed about the author's street photography?

  • Some subjects are paranoid about how the author will use their image, even when the author has permission to take their portrait.
  • The author has had people threaten to sue them if they share the "camera-aware" portrait with anyone else.
  • The author has also had people threaten them just for holding a camera in public, as if the author is going to steal their identity.

3. How has the rise of social media impacted people's attitudes towards street photography?

  • The author believes the paranoia around street photography has risen in tandem with the rise of social media, as more people are concerned about having their image recorded and potentially used or mocked online.
  • There is a trend of people being mean to strangers on social media, with some accounts trying to "go viral" at the expense of others, which has raised collective concern.

[02] The Author's Approach to Street Photography

1. How does the author choose their subjects for street photography?

  • The author chooses subjects based on how interesting they find them, whether it's their personal style, body language, or how they're interacting with their surroundings.
  • The author is not looking for people that will become "punching bags" online.

2. How does the author handle negative reactions from subjects?

  • If the author notices an image is garnering negative comments towards someone, they remove it.
  • The author explains what they're doing and offers to send the subject a copy of the image or delete it if they don't want it shared.

3. What is the author's perspective on the future of street photography?

  • The author believes that street photography, which is as old as photography itself, will always have a place in the fine arts.
  • However, the author acknowledges that due to social media, there may be more negative interactions with subjects who question what the author is doing.

[03] The Author's Stance on Street Photography Ethics

1. What is the author's view on the ethical considerations of street photography?

  • The author does not set out with the intention of showing people in a negative light, and believes intention is the key.
  • The author acknowledges that while their intentions are not bad, many people do have bad intentions when recording in public, such as using photos and videos to shame or mock strangers online.

2. How does the author approach the use of street photography images?

  • The author shows their street photos online and in galleries, but is not trying to make money off them.
  • The author complies if a subject requests the removal of a photo from their feed, without requiring the subject to justify their reasoning.

3. What is the author's overall perspective on the role of street photography in society?

  • The author believes that street photography celebrates the diversity of life and culture, and that the problem is not candid photography itself, but taking pictures with a "mean spirit" that can come back to haunt the photographer.
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