OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This blog post was syndicated from Chris Gouge. It and the images here are used with permission.

I wrote in last weeks blog post about conquering fears, how photographing people in the street isn’t as scary as most people think and how usually people won’t even notice you.  In my time of doing street photography, while although a relatively short time, the vast majority have either not noticed or ignored it, assuming I was taking a photo of something else, a few people have played up to the camera and a very small number have very politely asked me not to take their photo.  However, while I was in Madrid I encountered my first confrontation and angry subject.

I usually always try to avoid photographing Children as I know how sensitive people can be about this, however while walking around a market in Madrid I noticed this very sweet girl helping out her Father at their stall, and soon later when another smaller child arrived she then started talking to and trying to entertain this younger girl.  The whole time, both helping out her Father and playing with the younger girl there was so much genuine warmth and willingness to help in her eyes I simply had to take a photo.

Living in London where I find most people to be stuck in their own little bubble, not caring about anyone around them, not wanting to talk to anyone, and far too much rudeness for my liking, this girl’s, genuine warmth and kindness was obvious and stood out to me so I wanted to capture it.  (A contrast which can perhaps be noticed in the photo below).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Annoyingly I couldn’t capture the moment that I wanted, without people either getting in the way or myself getting noticed, thus ruining my chances of photographing a real, authentic and candid moment – which is what I aspire to in all my photography; so I stayed around slightly longer than I would have liked to.

I took very few photos, I simply just watched, waiting for the right moment to take a photo, for what was only 2 or 3 minutes.  Yet sure enough the girls father soon noticed me with my camera and ran over to start shouting at me.

He started shouting ‘No pictures, no pictures!’ and then his friend also came over and started shouting at me in Spanish.  I tried talking to them but it was clear they didn’t really speak English so I simply said ‘Ok’ and walked away and that was the end of it.

I completely understand the father being protective of his daughter, but at the end of the day, no one got hurt and 2 minutes later we were back to our own thing again.

The point is, that although confrontation is never nice, you shouldn’t allow it to stop you from taking photos.  Confrontation is very rare, this is the only time I’ve had someone angry at me and at the end of the day, what is the worst thing that can happen?  So someone, might get angry with you briefly, but it isn’t going to kill you.  Usually it is only someone’s own paranoia that causes them to get angry.  In the rare times that it does happen, simply smile and walk away and that will usually be the end of it.

Please enjoy the rest of my photos from Madrid and if you would like to keep up to date with all of my blog posts then Like my Facebook page.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Like what you read? Share

Follow us on

  • johnny durham
    Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
    Disqus/1.1(2.84):2563550217

    I think you are being incredibly naïve. The father had every right to be upset. You need to get out of London more often. Go to some of the more provincial areas of the UK and point a camera at kids and you’ll end up in A&E.

  • Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
    Disqus/1.1(2.84):2562686914

    If you are out and about in plain view, you cannot expect total privacy. However if he were standing for minutes, following someone around, sure that’d be different.

    This was not the case. Someone getting upset is their own business. Personally I ask when if comes to kids %90 of the time.

    If these guys get upset over these photos being online, again, that’s on them. This is a reflective sort of post, he didn’t put them on a billboard for Fisher-Price…

  • SF_Observer
    Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
    Disqus/1.1(2.84):2562083544

    You said no one was hurt- well, this father now has photos of his kids widely circulating the Internet, against his clear wishes. I think you were out of line, a father should have the right to take his kids out without them being the subject of a story on a public blog. Why didn’t you simply ask him first, and respect his wishes for the privacy of his young daughter? I find this style of photography creepily close to voyeurism, I don’t get it.

  • Hypoxia
    Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
    Disqus/1.1(2.84):2561730567

    Where I live it’s legal to take a picture of anyone at anytime in a public setting but as a parent I never take pictures of kids. As harmless as it probably is 99% of the time, it is still very disturbing and uncomfortable to the parent.

  • Bewar3them00n
    Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
    Disqus/1.1(2.84):2561597497

    HDEeeeerch!

  • Claudia Muster
    Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
    Disqus/1.1(2.84):2561464508

    So the guy asked you not to take pictures, and you not only still take them but even publish them on the internet! Now if that’s not rude, I don’t know what rude is. (Besides, in many countries such behaviour is just plain illegal. I don’t know the regulations of Spain.)

    • Pakorro
      Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
      Disqus/1.1(2.84):2561656071

      First, sorry for my bad english. I’m spanish and in my country the law is very restrictive in this topic. It’s forbidden to photograph a person without his express permission, and of course to publish too. If it’s a public place it doesn’t care. I love the street photography and i take a lot of candid photographs but the law is very clear. However I’d NEVER, NEVER, NEVER take photos of children. it’s more restrictive and people is very worried about pederastry and other risks.
      “what is the worst thing that can happen?” Chris Gouge, you are a unconscious guy.

      • Kevin McGee
        Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
        Disqus/1.1(2.84):2562945172

        So your saying that all candid street photography is illegal in Spain? Wow, that’s a lot of law-breaking I’ve seen.

      • Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
        Disqus/1.1(2.84):2572566437

        This is quite definitely not the case in Spain. There are restrictions on photographing the police (thanks to some appalling new laws enacted by the last government), but not for people in general.

        As with all things, treat people with respect. It will help if you have a coherent project, where you can explain the intent behind the photograph to the subject – and if they still object then do not post it without a very very good reason.

        • Pakorro
          Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
          Disqus/1.1(2.84):2576239169

          Mark, definitely, you are mistaken in this item and YES, that is the case in Spain:
          1) Ley Orgánica 1/82 de Protección Civil del Derecho al Honor, a la Intimidad
          personal y familiar y a la Propia Imagen. This is a absolutly excessive law that prohibits to photograph a recognizable person without his express permission (to take or publish a photo). The exceptions: photos of photojournalists as a support for specific news, portraits of celebrities and other relevant people, the photo is about a public event (a mass meeting for example) and that person is a very secondary element in the whole image. These exceptions are not concerned about the police to safeguard the needful anonymity.
          2) I don’t know any street photographer accused or reported for this law. But the law exist.
          3) Mark, I agree with you, It’s a overriding priority to treat people with respect.

          • Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
            Disqus/1.1(2.84):2576395217

            Wow – article 7.5 is astonishing (no photography permitted in private or elsewhere). This law seems to be a real mess. If I read it correctly pretty much any photograph of a person is potentially illegal. If you are not a professional, perhaps you can just claim that you intend to project the photographs publicly… (article 8.2).

            I have been spending a lot of time photographing some fairly bad (criminal) people lately. In one particularly entertaining encounter, they complained to the police but were clearly told that they had no right to stop me taking pictures in public. At least for me, the local Mossos d’Esquadra have been quite sane and helpful.

            One of the problems in Spain is that it seems that almost everything is criminalised but almost nothing is enforced.

google dfp advertising operations