After attempting to take a sneaky picture of a girl this week, I got caught and was given a death stare so I didn’t attempt again.
But it really made me wonder what was going through her head, what is that girl looking at? Stalker? I wonder how I look?
What are the circumstances we accept being randomly photographed in and the ones we are not? So I decided to post on tumblr and these are some of anonymous the responses I got:
- “If i’m out for the night and all glammed up, I don’t care take pictures left right and centre.”
- “I can’t take a selfie, what makes a random think they can take a photo of me?”
- “I judge others, so its only fair if they judge me.”
- “If he/she are attractive snap away, if you look stalkerish i’ll call the cops.”
Unfortunately the answers just got worse, but it did help me to understand how some people think.
There is a different between taking a photo of someone or something in private and in public. You would assume that privately the subject of the photograph or object have given consent to allow this act to pursue. Whereas in a public space, it is again assumed that no consent needs to be given as you are in a ‘public space’. Arts Law states supports that photographers are able to take photographs without permission, however how it is used and if the subject wishes for it to be deleted, legal and ethical implications should be put into place.
An example of unethical photography is the latest issue of “Online schoolgirls pornography ring“. “On the foreign-hosted forum, users post requests for people to share pornographic images of girls at schools or universities in exchange for other images.” Although it was not only photos that had been sent around, they were photos that were taken out in public. These photos firstly should not be on public display, and secondly they highlight how they can be used and/or sold to humiliate and expose their subject(s). Yes these sorts of photos should not have been taken in the first place, however the activity they have been put towards crosses all ethical and legal boundaries.
Further reading into the issue it became evident that stalkers were trading photos to shortly be rewarded by their ‘desired’, “a user offered to trade up to 300 nude images of other victims in exchange for a single pornographic photo of one girl he was tracking. Another user said he had been trying to unearth nude images of a particular victim for more than five years“.
I do agree that yes girls should not have allowed anyone to take explicit photos or have sent them. However the environment of schools and universities are supposed to be places where students are safe, and not be seen as a stalkers ‘prey’.
To control photography in the public space would be nearly impossible to do, living in a time where basically all devices have a built in camera and the internet is so easily accessible. Apps such as Snapchat, have changed the game of stalkers. Once the photo is snapped and a time is set – the receiver will open it and shortly after it becomes unretrievable.
Public photography targets both ends of the spectrum, you can be the subject of or witness the bad side as stated above. OR. You can witness the beauty of someone or the world around us.
Have you ever had a stranger take a photo of you? Comment your experiences!