Don't be a Creepy Photographer

Don’t be a Creepy Photographer

Do you feel what other people thinking about us photographer when we are out shooting? I don’t, I mostly don’t give a damn. But it just occurred to me that if someone can misunderstood me. Instead of being your typical photographer, they can think that I’m some creep, or worse. And that’s what I want to talk to you today of being a “friendly neighbourhood” and don’t be a creepy photographer.

Couple from behind street photography | Don't be a Creepy Photographer

The idea just came to me a few days ago, when read an article about how to not being considered as a creepy model photographer. Then I just thinking that it can happen to anyone. Not just a model photographer, but also street photographer. Shooting stranger, who knows what people think about us. It can happen…it did happen. It did happen to me actually and it’s pretty funny story.

So it happen few years ago, I just bought Sony A58 with kit lens. So of course the first thing I want to do is to test it out. Back then what I mostly did was street photography. So I rode my bicycle to the nearest park near the riverbank. It was in evening near sunset, so the color pretty good. There’s a lot of people street vendor, joggers, family, and couple, and more interesting object to shot at. So there I was, still on my bicycle, began shooting. Just shot a lot of everything. Until a mom called me out and asked, what I was doing. So I told her the truth, I was hunting street photography.

The good thing is, back then, I look like a high school kid (face clean). So they believe me. If I happen to have mustache, it probably another story. She probably think that I want to kidnap her child.

Three children street photography | Don't be a Creepy Photographer

But I pretty understand that way of thinking. If I’m a parent and someone pointing a camera to my child, I probably begin to suspicious and confronted that person. I probably thinking that it could be a murderer, kidnapper, or sexual predator. Who knows? That way of paranoid thinking is what probably happen to that women and it is normal for any good parent.

So there you have it. My experience is one of many thing that happen in my photography life. It’s weird, but it did happen. I’m hoping for you who read this can at least understand that this kind of situation do happen and it best to avoid if you could. Or not if you want the risk.


15 thoughts on “Don’t be a Creepy Photographer

  1. I’ve avoided photographing people in part for this reason (but also because I tend to gravitate to architecture and mundane objects, minilmalism). I like to take shots of interesting windows and doors, and so I’m always afraid someone is going to come running out the house or apartment thinking I was taking some kind of peeping tom photo. Twice I have had business owners come out into the alley way asking me what I was up to, thinking I was casing the joint for a break-in. Luckily, being the anxiety-prone individual I am, I had my phone ready to show them my blog, but as soon as started yammering they seemed to guess I was on the up and up.

    1. Well, I never thought about it….
      Now that I think about it, I think I have a similar experience. When I was photograph a interesting architecture structure and right next to it is a bank. Even though I didn’t point my camera to the bank, the security still came to me and ask me. So I just show him my photography and it end well. I think he kinda irritated by me, because I over-explain my photography. Which I’m sure he has no idea what I was talking about.

      1. That reminds me of incident i had forgotten, where i taking this photo and a security guard came up to me and said “you know this is a federal government building,” so I was “oh gawd, he thinks i’m a terrortist” so the over-explaining and the irriated look.

        maybe get a t-shirt printed on it “i’m just an artist taking photographs.” 🙂

  2. Great read. I can relate as a street photographer. As a rule I don’t photograph children or teens when on the street. And I smile and make eye contact with my subjects.

  3. Really good points. Now I’m studying photography I have a student card which is useful. If anyone asks questions I can show them my card. I try and get consent from individuals as well. Gaining consent does limit some of my photography but it eases my anxiety.

  4. I so much enjoy reading your posts. They”re so natural, honest, out of real life situations which most of us experience too.

  5. I had a strange experiment myself. I’m not a professionell photographer but I love to make photos. My focus is nature like flowers, insects … I went with a new camera to a park near my home. I have been there before but havent seen all places yet. I found a “new” place there with lots of insects. Perfect for me. I just was wondering why people always asked me if I have something or if I want something. Later I found out my “new” perfect place has been a meeting point for junkies and dealers LOL.

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