The Voyeur in Photography as it Relates to the Photographer’s Intentions

The idea of the voyeur in photography is one that is romanticized but never discussed in fuller length.

We talk about street photography, street portraiture, and intentions often on this site, but I feel that the idea of the voyeur is something we genuinely need to bring up again. I’m not one to say that voyeurs should be berated, but I think one’s intentions should be put into perspective. To get right to the meat of the problem, I want to tackle the issue of photographing children–an issue often brought up. Many photographers will say “No, that’s wrong and you’re going to get in trouble.” And they’re right–in today’s society, it’s easy to be labeled as a predator of some sort. While taking pictures of people in public is 100% within your legal rights, I believe street photographers should check their intentions in an effort to move street photography forward beyond the casual snapshot and the emulation of all those who came before us. That’s not to say there isn’t good work out there–the street photography world has some fantastic work. But there is a lot of the same and the images of many people look the same.

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