Photographing people

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Photographing people

Postby sinecure » Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:40 pm

Always a topic I'm leery about, some countries they try to solicit money for you taking they picture. Do others pay this 'tourist' fee? Or do you have a way around it or just go with out?

We're off to Cuba, and the standard post card photo seems to be the old woman smoking the novelty sized cigar, but every book I've read advise that they will ask for money to have their photo taken....

Thoughts from other photographers?

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Re: Photographing people

Postby kangaa » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:15 am

My GAP guide in Ecuador asked us to:

Ask if we want to take a specific photo of somebody (as opposed to a general crowd area).
If they ask for money then decline and not take a photo.

As a matter of respect then, I would also not do what some do - a "sneaky zoom" photo of that person. But if I am taking photos in general and I see something interesting I zoom in but more to catch a situation rather than a person (eg a transaction in the market, a ceremony etc)

Our guide asked us to take this approach because:
as yet it is not a normal expectation in Ecuador to get money, and he thought it was better that way. He had travelled and led tours in areas in Latin America where posing is "income" for some and he didn't regard it as sustainable or desirable.
as a matter of courtesy - how would we like it if people came to our country and came up to take pictures of us in our "costume" - that was food for thought for all of the group

Any request for money or gifts that is not related to "goods and services" (the photos, begging etc) is a challenge. Even giving things to children can create problems further down the track (sweets rot teeth, it gets competitive between people etc) and once I was asked for balloons - it turned out family planning had been doing the rounds and the message was missed!

Generally if I watch a crafts person make something or somebody preparing food and I make some small purchase I ask for a photo then.
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Re: Photographing people

Postby ballu » Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:23 pm

Personally, I don't mind paying a small fee. I'd rather give someone money in exchange for a picture then just giving to someone begging (unless it's obvious the person has no means of other income...missing limbs etc).
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Re: Photographing people

Postby thetravelingbee » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:42 pm

I agree and don't mind giving a small amount of money as a "thank you" - particularly if they're posing for me. However, in Cusco, I was taking a general photo of a street in the middle of the day and a woman came up to me and asked for money because she had apparently been walking on the street when I took the picture (she wasn't the only one on the street). I declined feeling that my photo was not of her specifically, but the surrounding (which she happened to be a part of). But when I took the train to Lake Titicaca and we had a stop along the way, there was a woman selling her weaving and happily posed for a nice picture for me and I did give her some money. I think it the moral of the story is to just use your best judgment, and be kind. :)
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Re: Photographing people

Postby DmitriMarkine » Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:44 pm

You can check my profile to a link to my website. I have 3 images from Cuba with the cigars. I didn't pay them,because people usually pay me :roll: :lol: BUT I still took a few images the way I wanted and not while the cheesy ones when they stare at the cameras. Those ladies been there for years!! They are almost as famous as those old cars of theirs. In some countries you should not take images if children. That's when you should ask. Other than that you shouldn't really ask or pay anyone if it's in a public place.
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Re: Photographing people

Postby Reditor » Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:41 pm

I'm not one to take many people pictures, I much prefer landscapes and wildlife, but the link below cracked me up. Check out the video of the girl taking photos of people on the street!

http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/candid-photography-spy-lens/
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Re: Photographing people

Postby PaulTeolis » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:11 pm

on my recent trip to india and bhutan, ( ok nepal as well, i was in the neighbourhood), i noticed that taking people pictures varied drastically for each region.

In Bhutan, land of Gross National Happiness, I found that everyone I bumped into
was very happy to have their picture taken. The younger monks, mostly the
children loved letting you take their photo. I got a handful of addresses as well
to mail photos back to the monasteries. But is was a real change from what I have been use to. Elders as well were more than happy to pose.

But yes you ran into the odd person wanting money, especially in India. And
in some instances I paid, other times I passed by.

The simple rule is always "just ask"
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