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  • July 04, 2015, 12:13:08 PM

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Author Topic: Sharing a strangers special moment  (Read 2434 times)

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Two Ravens

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Re: Sharing a strangers special moment
« Reply #45 on: July 02, 2015, 03:22:00 PM »
I find the debate interesting.

When my husband and I got married, we had our after-ceremony photos taken at a popular historic home in our city. (We were members of the historic society that ran the place, and we'd been there on one of our first dates.)

As the photo session was in progress, we heard a lot of "Hey, somebody's getting married!" *Cue muppets song* and a lot of the tourists going through the house snapped a photo of us. Facebook was just for college students back then, but I am sure we made it into a few people's private photo albums.

I really didn't have any problems with it. Just part and parcel of having the scenic backdrop. And hey, we had plenty of strangers wishing us well, and telling me I looked beautiful  ;) I certainly didn't think they viewed us as their personal scenery. Just that they thought it added to their memories of their visit.


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Re: Sharing a strangers special moment
« Reply #46 on: July 02, 2015, 04:17:37 PM »
I don't know. I mean I can see how people would consider it rude/stange/creepy if a stranger took pictures of them and then posted them online without their knowledge.  At the same time, I think it's kind of a ridiculous expectation that you can do anything in a very crowded touristy location...especially something that people often are drawn to (like proposals, weddings, etc) and think that no one will notice, photograph you, or share your picture.  Of course, I would call someone who decided to follow me around and photograph me rude and creepy.  I might even get mad.  But, if I was getting engaged and that concerned about my privacy, I probably wouldn't choose to do it at the eiffel tower.  And I would also assume that the proposer knows the proposee well enough to understand her feelings on the subject. 

My conclusion is this: This woman noticed something and took a picture.  I'm sure she wasn't purposely seeking them out to invade their privacy, so it's likely that, as public proposals  often are, it was noticible.  I'm also sure she thinks she's doing something nice by posting the picture and trying to find the couple.  I also think it's a decent assumption that this couple isn't exactly expecting that their moment will be completely private and weren't seeking that out.  I think the whole thing is innocent.

I don't expect that my image is never snapped when I'm out in public.  Even if someone isn't taking a picture of me, I can still end up in a picture that ends up online and goes viral. I once ended up in the background of a picture that was used over and over again to advertise something I was working on.  The picture was candid and I wasn't the subject, but I was very recognizable.  I was also at a public event.  That's just part of the risk we take when we go outside. 

And while not the same as being the unknowing subject of the picture, I do think that if you want to ensure that your private moment is kept private, that you do it privately. By being out in public*, you are communicating to those around you that you are ok with the attention. 

*And that's being out in public sharing what some would consider a private getting engaged.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 04:19:54 PM by bah12 »


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Re: Sharing a strangers special moment
« Reply #47 on: Yesterday at 06:06:52 AM »
For the record: I think I saw a photo where the guy was on his kneel.

IMO proposing on top of the Eiffel Tower is a big romantic gesture even without flowers or balloons. That place is packed with people, so you should expect a little attention and photos. My dear friend was proposed to in a hotel room because his fiance is the most shy person.
I don't see the resemblance with the fountain accident/wardrobe malfunction because the proposal was intentional. The girl didn't have a say in the plan but she was clearly happy.
I don't see resemblance with cute kids photos because taking pictures of minors is illegal in my country so this could be a regional thing. However, if I dress up my adorable toddler with the cutest halloween costume someone might ask permission to take a picture and I wouldn't be appalled even if I deny permission.

I feel that proposing is not a standard "private moment in public" like holding hands or sharing a quick kiss.


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Re: Sharing a strangers special moment
« Reply #48 on: Yesterday at 12:37:34 PM »

The subject in the OP think she's being sweet, but there are many people who don't want their pictures splashed on the internet forever after, including me. If they want pictures, the guy would have asked a friend to capture the moment. I can't believe some people are saying if they want a private moment, they shouldn't go to the Eiffel Tower. Should we never go outdoors? I shudder to think of the person who think it's ok to take pictures of children because, hey, it's a public place and that's the risk you take. How about if your boob popped out by accident but, hey, you're in public? Or the old man who fell down and crying? Life happens, but it doesn't have to be captured on film whether a sweet or sad or embarrassing moment. Why are you taking pictures of strangers anyway? Why does a stranger's proposal matter to you? They mean nothing to you and you are nothing to them.

If I go to the Eiffel Tower or a public park and mind my business and behave normally I have a reasonable expectation that my picture will not be "splashed all over the Internet". If I go to the same park or tourist attraction with a giant sign around my neck that says, "Please look at me right now. I'm doing something abnormal and interesting," I don't have that same expectation.

Getting down on one knee and proposing in public is probably more attention seeking than a sign. If you want your private moments private, don't make a public spectacle of them.

It's like if the guy at the hockey game in full face paint with a batman costume got annoyed that he was on tv. I mean what did he expect?

Proposing at the Eifel tower is not unusual or attention seeking in my opinion. It's extremely common. It doesn't require a billboard to be lit up, doesn't require others to be unconvinced. Proposals at the restaurant atop,the Seattle space Needle used to be extremely common. Once the other diners were confident of a yes, they'd clap. Occasionally a bottle of champagne sent. But it would be inappropriate to decide to photograph and then post on FB while the couple is finishing their dessert.


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Re: Sharing a strangers special moment
« Reply #49 on: Yesterday at 01:27:37 PM »
IMO, people who take pictures of random strangers because they think it's interesting, are acting out the belief that the world is their personal scenery. It's a lack of respect for other people's autonomy.

I've wanted to take pictures of strangers I found interesting, twice, but I asked them beforehand each time (one was a woman's kid I thought was really cute -- this is way before FB, and I never would post a pic of someone's kid, even if I had permission to take the picture, unless they wanted me to post the pic).  The other was a group of nuns (actually, sisters as nuns are cloistered).  They were in their habits and eating McDonald's, which I found cute.  They declined me taking their picture so I accepted (I thought about taking their picture first, without asking, but thought that would be really rude of me; since they declined, it *would* have been really rude of me).

YoungerSis and I were once out and about as teens and in our goth-wannabe days (because we really were never goth -- we just dressed the part but listened to the pop-alternative bands).  Anyway, a woman stopped us on the street and asked us if she could take our picture for her photography class so we agreed.

I don't think there's anything wrong with taking pics of strangers -- just ask first and accept if they say no.

This reminds me of some wacko TLC special I once saw about a man who had this multi-pound growth on his face that he'd had for years (and couldn't have removed when his mother was alive because his mother was of a religion that didn't believe in going to the doctor).  He went to the US with his sister to have it removed and were outside in a park (or something like that) when a stranger walked by pulled out her phone and started taking a picture of him with her it.  His sister raced up the stranger and demanded she stop taking his picture so the stranger actually agreed (I did think it was rather rude of the girl to do that; the man was already suffering enough with this giant growth on his face without strangers benefiting from his suffering, even if just to photograph him without permission).  However, now that I think about it, the guy and his sister had to have had a camera crew following them so the stranger never would've known it wasn't okay to take his picture given a camera was recording him.


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Re: Sharing a strangers special moment
« Reply #50 on: Today at 11:51:24 AM »
I find it interesting that if the proposal is in a public place, people immediately jump to "attention seeking".  Often, the proposal location has some special meaning to the couple, which is why it is chosen.  Either it's a place they have visited before and love, or a place that they have been wanting to visit for a long time or has some other personal meaning to their relationship.  Some people are fine with a proposal in one's own kitchen and there's nothing wrong with that, but for others they really want the moment to be different from their everyday location.  I find it a little mean spirited to ignore all of those possible reasons and jump straight to "they obviously just wanted attention, that is the only reason to propose in public". 

No, it's really not.

I don't think it's fair to say "if you don't want your photo splashed across the internet without your consent, then you have to get engaged in your own house".  Those are the only two options in a polite society? 

Now, of course, several people would love to get those photos and wouldn't mind the means this woman took to find them. But etiquette is not based on "I wouldn't mind, so it's fine".  I think it's more polite and considerate to realize that a lot of people would mind, and to err on the side of caution since these people are complete strangers to you.  You are gambling on their reaction being a positive one.

I also agree with "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should".  Yeah, maybe it's foreseeable that someone would take your photo when you are getting engaged in public.  But that doesn't mean what this lady did was polite.  Those are two separate things.
« Last Edit: Today at 11:55:41 AM by miranova »