Candids on the internet- Y or N?

Posted in art, art melbourne, culture, lomo, lomography, melbourne, photography, Uncategorized, writing by tarantulatrash on May 3, 2010

I’m interested to know what people think about taking candid photos.

I love candids, and I see a lot of them floating around on blogs; particularly on fashion blogs. I wouldn’t mind if someone posted a candid of me, but I know some people would. Is it OK to post them as long as their face isn’t showing? Or do you just post them regardless?  I don’t often find the opportunity to take a candid shot as I feel if people saw me, they would think I was some sort of creep and possibly chase me down the street.

This candid, for instance, is of a painfully cute little girl chasing seagulls with a stick. I feel it’s ok to post it on a blog because her face isn’t showing. If her face was showing, and for some reason her parents saw her posted on a 23 year old amateur photographer’s blog, I feel they would be totally pissed off.

I need opinions!!!

19 Responses

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  1. Kerry said, on May 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I remember you taking this photo!
    It was a quick under the arm type thing, trying to take a photo so the other people with her wouldn’t see you and chase after you with bigger sticks.

    LOL – it’s turned out quite good though!
    Candid photos are amazing, it captures people being real people, not posing for something that they will tag themselves on facebook, or a photo to show their bitchy friends because they look super skinny in. It’s real life, just like walking down the street, looking at the people around you, just in photo form.

    that’s my two cents.

  2. kitty said, on May 3, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    our photography teacher in highschool always said it was unethical to take someone’s picture without their permission, if it was a clear shot (if you could clearly make out their face).
    but i love candids, this is a cute photo ❤

    • tarantulatrash said, on May 4, 2010 at 6:25 pm

      I think it’s cute too! I sometimes wonder about those “Today Tonight” clips where they show footage of obese people walking down the street (from the back)- Surely if you were shown on one of those clips as an obese person, wouldn’t you be upset, even though your face wasn’t shown?

  3. ashlea said, on May 3, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    personally i don’t agree. personally whenever 99% of people tag me on a photo on facebook, i will untag and ask them to delete. i think that if i saw a photo of my child, even the back of my child somewhere without my permission i’d cut sick. but, in saying that. taking photos of children has been drummed into my head to be the most horrible thing you could do as it can lead to horrible things, such as being sued. but that’s coming from a childcare point of view. for example i was in a wedding recently and there were 3402829034 japanese people on the beach taking photos of the wedding. i would be pretty pissed that then in turn 21389712389127391 japanese people were seeing photos of me, even if it didnt show my face.

    in saying that. it’s a nice photo. & that is my opinion 🙂

    • tarantulatrash said, on May 4, 2010 at 6:29 pm

      I often untag myself in photos on facebook- but at least you have that option. I think if you are on a social networking site like facebook, you are on it with the knowledge that part of your life is exposed.
      I think people take candid photos are usually taken by people who see beauty in someone- not malicious at all. I know some people take photos of people they find amusing, too. That’s not on. I guess it doesn’t really matter why you are taking a photo of that person. The fact is, they are then on the internet without their permission.

  4. anwa said, on May 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    That’s something I’ve always wondered about. I always feel like such a creeper taking candid shots of people on the street, and then like even more of a creeper posting them online. But then, tons of the greatest photographers got famous with candid or semi-candid photos, so I dunno. At least, if it’s a picture of someone you don’t know, they can’t hunt you down and yell at you about it later 🙂

  5. tarantulatrash said, on May 3, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I guess the question is- can you forgo ethics in the name of art?

  6. Black Flag said, on May 4, 2010 at 1:16 am

    I do not believe it is an ethical issue – the subjects are in public after all!!

    However, we must also be aware of technology.

    Google has the ability to store and search graphics. Soon, you will be able to put in “dark hair, mid-length, female, white, 5’6″” and it will find across the web – in order of accuracy – all pictures of such.

    You will be able to click on, say, your photo – and ask Goggle for all the photo’s on the internet with you in the picture – even if you were in a crowd.

    Add to this: the internet NEVER FORGETS. If you post words or pictures, they can NEVER be deleted. They are stored and backed up and archived everywhere. The design of the internet makes it impossible to remove.

    Google adds a 1,000 Gigabytes of data storage a month….

    So I would humbly suggest:
    (1) innocent shots – like the child above. Don’t embarrass anyone without their permission – and then think twice even after that.
    (2) no faces without permission – and then think twice even after that!

    • tarantulatrash said, on May 4, 2010 at 6:31 pm

      I agree. We have to be careful of what we post on the net. Archives are being made constantly- even libraries are making internet archives, particularly of news sites and blogs.
      Would you be annoyed if you found a picture of the back of your child, like this one?

      • Black Flag said, on May 4, 2010 at 10:35 pm


        Nope. Innocent, playful pics like yours are wonderful.

        I’d probably copy it and print it and put it up on my wall 🙂

      • tarantulatrash said, on May 4, 2010 at 11:00 pm

        Nawwwwww. I’d be honoured. If only this was your child.

  7. futiledemocracy said, on May 4, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Candid shots, make for the most interesting photos.

  8. Carmen said, on May 4, 2010 at 3:04 am

    I’d say it’s fine to post them if the face isn’t showing, I wouldn’t want a picture of myself floating around on the internet that I didn’t approve myself though.

  9. Maddie said, on May 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I think you might have more of an issue in the fact that you have given this photo the title ‘asian’…

    • tarantulatrash said, on May 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm

      I have too, nicely picked up! I think children of asian descent are utterly adorable, which is why I took this particular photo. It’s certainly not meant in a derogatory way at all. If you look at the names of my other photos, it’s obvious that they don’t hold a lot of meaning. I would be quite happy for someone to label a photo of me “that Australian” or “That Caucasian girl we met”.- It’s not an insult. Nonetheless, I apologise if this offended you.

  10. Maddie said, on May 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Yeah I know what you mean. Race can be used descriptively. I’m not offended, but I do think people have to be careful because so often it is used descriptively with racial connotations. I just hear people say “that asian” with an obvious negative tone.

    Anyway – it’s a really sweet picture. It’s a shame that there are ethical issues with candid photos, because when you ask a person, you disrupt whatever they were doing and they never look as natural.

    Maybe you can take candid photos and then approach the person and tell them you took it (if it’s digital you could show them) and ask if they would mind you using it. Sneaky… but more ethical at least 🙂

    • tarantulatrash said, on May 6, 2010 at 8:32 am

      I’m glad I didn’t offend you 🙂
      You’re spot on when you say that telling someone you are going to take a photo of them strips the photo of that natural aspect- perhaps a solution could be to take candids of people you know?
      I think if I went up to someone with my little black plastic camera and said “hey, I just took a photo of you, do you mind if I put it on the internet” I might just end up in the river.

  11. Shawn Yates said, on May 28, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    If only I had a dollar for each time I came to tarantulatrash.wordpress.com.. Great writing.

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