Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/12/03

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Photographing people in public
From: Francesco <>
Date: Thu, 03 Dec 1998 23:31:37 -0800

Now if the lady had said NO, she did not want you shooting her at
her stall, then what?  How do you go about getting a release after 
you just gave her a line about shooting some building behind her?


At 09:21 PM 12/1/98 , Ted Grant wrote:
>Harrison wrote:
>>No,  It  was  probably the fact that YOU were not self conscious about
>>what  you  were doing. If you feel uncomfortable and you feel like you
>>are  doing  something  wrong  then who ever you are photographing will
>>probably feel the same way.>>>>>>
>Right on the mark!!!!!! I've done like you and Jim Brick on many an
>occasion, stand your ground and just go on shooting or implying you are
>shooting and folks just go on with their life.  But if you give any hint
>that you are doing something nefarious or you give any feeling of
>insecurity, you are going to have people on your case!
>Yep sometimes there are other things as this comment from Chandos:
><<I tried to photograph an extraordinary head of red hair in a So Ho flea
>market.  Just wanted the hair.  The subject turned as I depressed the
>shutter, glared, and instructed her boyfriend to beat me up.>>>>>>
>Sure you are going to run into this and the best thing to do is stay cool!
>And quickly engage them in conversation and try sweet talking them into
>letting you take the picture. But do not become embroiled in verbal
>Be nice, smile, be humble and if that doesn't work, just say, "Sorry, I
>didn't mean to upset you, maybe another time." And walk away. Hopefully the
>"boy friend" doesn't want to beat you on the head.
>That being the case, he does want to, "YOU SHOULD ALWAYS OBEY RULE NO.
>" Always wear very good running shoes and never carry more gear than you
>can run as fast as you can!" :)
>Besides the M6 looks like a P&S and if you do not look like a serious
>threat or anything untoward threatening to the subject, it's amazing how
>close you can work.  Of course if you stand right there in their face and
>"YOU" become as annoying as a fly, folks are going to get on you.
>Know your gear better than you know your name, work quickly and quietly and
>if you are caught taking the picture do not duck away like you were doing
>something wrong.
>Stand right there and put the camera up again and maybe again, but each
>time you do.....completely avoid eye contact!!!!!  And look beyond the
>subject and only at them when the camera is at your eye.
>Why you can even walk a little closer and kinda look past them or use body
>language indicating that you are looking past them. This makes them think
>even though the camera is pointed at them, you are actually shooting
>something behind them. Some will even turn around sometimes and look to see
>what's behind them.
>Hell I've had people come over to me after I've been standing there
>shooting them and yet never looked at them in real eye contact, asking what
>I was taking their picture for. I calmly respond with, "Oh sorry I wasn't
>taking your picture, but if you look right over there, here look through
>the camera and you can see the building I was shooting, cool isn't it?"
>And before they realize it say, "Oh by the way seeing you are here would
>you mind if I snapped a couple of you at your stall?"  Smile and kind of
>indicate a move in the direction of where you would like to do a "happy
>snap" if nothing else.
> Man but you have to be "COOL BIG TIME!" Give off any scent you are lying
>or putting them on and you are in big time s....t!
>So I've never felt that I needed to hang the camera around my neck with
>wide angle lens and do Hail Mary's at any time. I very nearly always had
>confidence in myself that I  could do much better standing there and doing
>my thing with camera to my one good eye!. :)
>You have to really like other human beings and make them feel comfortable
>at what you are doing, trust me it works. Smile a lot and exude friendly!
>Ted Grant
>This is Our Work. The Legacy of Sir William Osler.