Author Topic: Strangers Taking Photos  (Read 2248 times)

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Amoreade

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Strangers Taking Photos
« on: June 17, 2014, 06:51:49 PM »
Since I began dying my hair odd colours it's become a problem that complete strangers will take my photo without asking. For instance, I was going through customs at an airport and some people behind me snapped a photo. Is there any proper response to this other than silence?

Edited to add: Since I somehow managed to completely skip posting this part the first time, is there a polite way of getting the person to delete whatever photos they've already taken? My mother says that once it's been taken I have no right to a photo even if it's of me but I'm hoping that's not a generally agreed upon thing.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 08:16:42 PM by Amoreade »

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Strangers Taking Photos
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 07:10:03 PM »
If that were me, I'd ask them not to take me photo.

gramma dishes

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Re: Strangers Taking Photos
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 09:15:04 PM »
If the people at the airport were behind you, then how do you know they were taking pictures of you and not something/someone else?

I do think it's rude to take pictures of people without their permission, but I'm pretty sure you knew your hair color would attract attention and you are in a very public place, so the possibility of people finding your hair interesting enough to photograph should probably not be surprising to you.

If you see the camera pointed toward you you can say 'No pictures please' and even turn away.  If it's too late, you can ask them to stop.  I suppose you could even ask them to delete one they've already taken.  But I know of no way to force them to comply.

laughtermed

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Re: Strangers Taking Photos
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014, 09:26:35 PM »
I am glad someone brought this issue up. I have never tried to take a stranger's picture or even wanted to do it. To me it is a violation of privacy, no matter how interesting they might look. I am more interested in taking pictures of plants or scenery. I do not have any gardening skills, so I like to take a plant picture on my cell phone to the nursery so I can show the sales person what I want. If the plant is in a neighbor's yard, I always ask first before taking the photo. Nobody has turned me down.

Once saw an amazing customized car that a family member in another state would have loved to see.  Nobody was around. It was parked at the store and I went ahead and took the picture to send home. I guess the owner would know their car was photoworthy and may have even posted photos of it online somewhere, but I still felt weird taking its picture.

AvidReader

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Re: Strangers Taking Photos
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2014, 09:39:41 PM »
I believe that in a public setting, on the street for example, one does not have the expectation of privacy....meaning that someone can take your picture without your approval.    If you see someone aiming a camera at you, you of course can ask them not to take your picture or turn away.  What surprised me about this setting is that OP said the event took place in Customs.  In the US, photography in Customs is pretty much forbidden.  While waiting in line once, I saw a teen start snapping away with flash no less, irrespective of the signage posted all over prohibiting photography, and an agent all but leaped over the glass wall topping his service counter to confiscate the camera. 

Allyson

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Re: Strangers Taking Photos
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2014, 10:20:34 PM »
I think you can say "eek, no photos" or tell them you're not comfortable with it. As for deleting pictures already taken, I'm not sure that would end well; I suppose you can ask but I can think of a few ways it would end badly. What if they say no? Even if they say yes, you can't really check...and they could always fall back on "it wasn't you I was taking a picture of, it was *random other thing*"

TootsNYC

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Re: Strangers Taking Photos
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2014, 10:50:35 PM »
I believe that in a public setting, on the street for example, one does not have the expectation of privacy....meaning that someone can take your picture without your approval.    If you see someone aiming a camera at you, you of course can ask them not to take your picture or turn away.  What surprised me about this setting is that OP said the event took place in Customs.  In the US, photography in Customs is pretty much forbidden.  While waiting in line once, I saw a teen start snapping away with flash no less, irrespective of the signage posted all over prohibiting photography, and an agent all but leaped over the glass wall topping his service counter to confiscate the camera.

Well, there's legality, and there's etiquette. And the two are different.

I think it's rude to treat people like a curiosity.

And I think the OP can say, "Please, I am not a curiosity, like some scenery or something. I'm a person. Would you please delete the photo of me that you took?" And if they say, "no," you say, 'I'm sorry to hear that. Of course I can't force you. But I think it's pretty disrespectful." And then turn away.

Zizi-K

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Re: Strangers Taking Photos
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2014, 11:10:39 PM »
You might turn to the photographer and ask evenly but with concern, "Are you taking my photo?" That alone would get most people to back off.

You might also take out your smartphone and move as though you're going to take a photo of them too. Then when they protest, you can feign surprise - "Oh, you don't like having your photo taken by strangers? I'll delete mine if you delete yours!"

Margo

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Re: Strangers Taking Photos
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2014, 11:06:12 AM »
I believe that in a public setting, on the street for example, one does not have the expectation of privacy....meaning that someone can take your picture without your approval.    If you see someone aiming a camera at you, you of course can ask them not to take your picture or turn away.  What surprised me about this setting is that OP said the event took place in Customs.  In the US, photography in Customs is pretty much forbidden.  While waiting in line once, I saw a teen start snapping away with flash no less, irrespective of the signage posted all over prohibiting photography, and an agent all but leaped over the glass wall topping his service counter to confiscate the camera.

I think from an etiquette point of view it depends what the photo is of - it's unreasonable to object to the fact that you are caught in a photo someone is taking of something else. For instance, if you happen to be a passer by as someone takes a picture of street, or a view. But taking a picture of a person where the aim is to to photograph that individual is, in my view, rude if you do it without their consent. I think the exception might be if the photo is such that the person would not be identifiable/recognisable - for instance, if the person will simply be a silhouette, or in circumstances where they are very obviously doing something to invite attention to themselves (I think if you are effectively shouting 'Look at me!' then it is a little inconsistent to object if people look and take pictures. But having unusual clothing, hair colour, tattoos etc isn't saying 'Look at me'  (I'm thinking more of someone choosing to stand on a box and harangue passers by, or someone streaking at a football match, for instance)

For OP, I think a "What are you doing?" in an offended tone of voice would be an option, although taking a picture back is also an option, albeit one which is only going to work if they mind having their photo taken.

Yvaine

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Re: Strangers Taking Photos
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2014, 11:12:38 AM »
I believe that in a public setting, on the street for example, one does not have the expectation of privacy....meaning that someone can take your picture without your approval.    If you see someone aiming a camera at you, you of course can ask them not to take your picture or turn away.  What surprised me about this setting is that OP said the event took place in Customs.  In the US, photography in Customs is pretty much forbidden.  While waiting in line once, I saw a teen start snapping away with flash no less, irrespective of the signage posted all over prohibiting photography, and an agent all but leaped over the glass wall topping his service counter to confiscate the camera.

I think from an etiquette point of view it depends what the photo is of - it's unreasonable to object to the fact that you are caught in a photo someone is taking of something else. For instance, if you happen to be a passer by as someone takes a picture of street, or a view. But taking a picture of a person where the aim is to to photograph that individual is, in my view, rude if you do it without their consent. I think the exception might be if the photo is such that the person would not be identifiable/recognisable - for instance, if the person will simply be a silhouette, or in circumstances where they are very obviously doing something to invite attention to themselves (I think if you are effectively shouting 'Look at me!' then it is a little inconsistent to object if people look and take pictures. But having unusual clothing, hair colour, tattoos etc isn't saying 'Look at me'  (I'm thinking more of someone choosing to stand on a box and harangue passers by, or someone streaking at a football match, for instance)

For OP, I think a "What are you doing?" in an offended tone of voice would be an option, although taking a picture back is also an option, albeit one which is only going to work if they mind having their photo taken.

Agree.

Lynn2000

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Re: Strangers Taking Photos
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2014, 11:35:12 AM »
I like the idea of saying to someone, "Are you taking my photo?" or "Did you just take a photo of me?" The thing is that people could easily say they were taking a picture of something else, and that will actually be true some of the time. But mentioning it to them tells them that you noticed, and you're not in favor of it, even if they lie and say no.

If they happen to say yes, then you could say, "I don't appreciate that. Will you delete the photo now?" Again, they might refuse, or say they're complying but don't, but I think at that point you've done all you can do.
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BeagleMommy

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Re: Strangers Taking Photos
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2014, 03:30:07 PM »
POD to "Are you taking my photo?".  I think this would demonstrate how inappropriate it is to take someone's photo without permission.

If they say "Yes" you could say "I'm not a performer.  Please delete the picture".  You can't force them, but I imagine most people would be mortified.

Aquamarine

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Re: Strangers Taking Photos
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2014, 03:43:48 PM »
Since I began dying my hair odd colours it's become a problem that complete strangers will take my photo without asking. For instance, I was going through customs at an airport and some people behind me snapped a photo. Is there any proper response to this other than silence?

Edited to add: Since I somehow managed to completely skip posting this part the first time, is there a polite way of getting the person to delete whatever photos they've already taken? My mother says that once it's been taken I have no right to a photo even if it's of me but I'm hoping that's not a generally agreed upon thing.

There is no expectation of privacy in public and if your hair draws attention to itself people may take pictures.  Of course they are rude to take a picture without your permission but they are not doing anything technically wrong.  You can ask them to delete the picture but if they don't want to there is nothing you can do about it other than to call them out in public and draw attention to their behavior.  "Did you really just take a photo of me"?  Say it in a strong voice which will cause others to stare at them.  Being made uncomfortable by others is not always a bad thing.

For some people this is more of a safety issue than an etiquette issue, not everyone wants their photos splashed over social media.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.