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[personal profile] kay_gmd
I'm late to the game, but there are rumblings on the Internet about picture taking at Folsom Street Fair. For reference, although I haven't been, my understanding is that Folsom is a street fair with a bondage/kink focus. My focus is that it is a place one might express parts of oneself that might not be freely expressed elsewhere somewhat like a gay pride event. I'm picking this example because it's closer to my experience. I'm sure it doesn't adequately express the wonderfulness that is Folsom.

It is a public location which is especially vital for groups that are outside of the mainstream. At a public event some people take pictures.

Some people are saying that the people in the pictures should have a say in whether or not they are in the pictures, and others are saying that no the photographer has a right to take the pictures regardless of the opinion af the subjects. It's important that photographers have this right in situations where the public needs to know about something. That does not absolve the photographer of responsibility. These photographs have consequences. In the case of events like Folsom not usually for the photographer.

So if someone doesn't want their picture taken, or asks you one delete it. Do your best to comply unless you feel like this picture being public will add to the greater public good because that person is in it.

You don't know why they're asking. It could be Thaler they don't like pictures, but it could be that they

fear a stalker

need their activities to stay closeted to maintain family relationships that may include financial support either for them, or support they're providing that might be refused if their activities were known

might be fired, or not considered for a position or promotion, or executed if the wrong person saw it

might be bullied or harassed because of it

There are other consequences but those are the ones that come to mind.

How would you feel if your photography lead Matthew Shepherd's tormentors and killers to him? Think about that when someone asks you to keep them out of your photographs, because it might be what they're worried about.

And this can be a conversation. You can express why you love a photograph that they're in, or talk about your process if that's a mutually enjoyable conversation. Maybe you'll find out that it's okay if their face doesn't show or something else may be the issue.

I'm a photographer. I know it's a pain when you get that great shot and can't use it, but I would be ashamed to use any picture that someone was upset about being a part of.

Also this isn't all about the photographer and the unwilling subject. If you know someone doesn't want pictures you can help by letting them know if a camera is out, or letting the photographer know that your friend needs to avoid pictures.

This has gone rambling because I have a lot of thoughts on it.

I was initially going to let this particular rumbling on the internet pass by, and then a good friend mentioned how incensed he was by it, and that made me think.

And like many a parent when I start thinking of something I thought about my sweet child. Kosh is 5 and happily tells people when it comes up that she was born with boy anatomy but is really a girl. I'd love it if she got to keep growing up safe in that and picked up in a history class that it used to be not so safe to be gender creative, but I don't anticipate it. I suspect even many years from now when she might want to go to this Folsom, rather than the Folsom Renn Faire with the trains in the playground, there will still be consequences to having pictures of having been around, and I hope it is a choice for her whether or not to chance them. I'm working on bringing her up so that she knows her family will support her and letting us know she's going, when she's old enough, will just get a request to make sure she's safe and kind. But I don't rule the world and can't make the rest of it follow those rules.
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