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Photography subjects - Off Limits

This is a discussion on Photography subjects - Off Limits within the General photography forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; What do you consider Off Limits in your photography and why? Now I imagine we don't really need to go ...

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    Mad Aussie's Avatar
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    Smile Photography subjects - Off Limits

    What do you consider Off Limits in your photography and why?

    Now I imagine we don't really need to go into the blatantly obvious fields within the pornography industry so lets ignore anything within that realm for starters.

    I'm also not talking about specific shots such as a cats ass or dog danglers but more along the lines of say Tasteful Nude or Children, Animals or anything else you might care to share with us.

    What are the things you specifically steer away from shooting?

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    When I shoot MTB events I don't like to shoot people walking, and gumby stacks.
    I used to be extra careful shooting my boys soccer games and go ask all the parents if they minded...but they all thought I was strange for asking, so now I just snap away. I'm never comfortable shooting people in the street, which is a comfort zone thing that I would like to expand through practice. In general I like to respect people's privacy(I'll never make the paparazzi!)

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    I am very nervous of my shooting. It's not that I don't want to do it it's just either I'm to shy/scared to ask.

    Tasteful nudes is high up on my list for when I get a studio. I love the body and how it can be beautiful without being,,for lack of better term, "pornish". I would also like to do lingerie shots. Being a woman there is nothing better than feeling great about yourself and I would love to do that for people.
    There are also many homeless natives around here. Many with such great character in their faces. I would love to get shots of them but really don't know how to ask.

    One thing I don't think I would be able to do is work as a photo journalist working in the most inhuman conditions. I'm a very emotional person and I know my heart would get the better of me. Heck, I see some work and I cry just looking at the photos. If I could do it I would but I really don't think I could.
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    Personally, gory stuff like accidents and other tragedies. I don't like to have those images in my brain. I'd make a terrible photojournalist.
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    jellotranz is offline Senior Member
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    As strange as it sounds (And no offense to all you wedding photographers) I would rather photograph a bunch of large naked people going at it than do a wedding.. But thats just me.

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    I have difficulty with shooting kids I don't know...I did some shots of my niece at her ballet class and was very careful to not show the kids faces and even then I really was uncomfortable with taking pictures...that's one of the reasons why they didn't turn out very good I think.

    I remember I was in Banff once and we took the Sulphur Mountain Gondola up to the top. There was a Japanese tourist with a camera taking pictures and he started shooting pictures of a little kid...or in the direction of a little kid...I'm not sure as it was a while ago. Anyhow, I remember the father walked right up to him and told him to stop taking photos of his child immediately...and he was very stern about it too.
    I guess that affected me cuz I sure am uncomfortable about it now.
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    I've been fighting with a lot of the questions you are all posing. I'm very much an amateur photographer, however I have thought a lot about my passion for photographing people and in other public situations. Being a shy person, I would find it difficult to deal with the rejection of my photography out in the street. I have my rights printed out and stored in my camera bag, however being an artform I find it really unfortunate (I have more frustrating words in mind!) that we have to deal with such things.

    Does anyone have tips on how to deal with such situations? This may be a good place to share it.

    I totally understand the fears people have, such as those which parents may have about little children. However it's probably more a reflection on our society nowadays than something illegal. I have spoken to police personally about rights (in Australia anyway) and we as photographers definitely have them... though it is important to know them AND to deal with people (parents, policepeople, etc) with grace and respect, otherwise you are likely to get waved off regardless of the legality of a given situation.

    Hopefully I haven't strayed too off topic!

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    The top of my list for "Out of bounds" is people who don't want to be photographed. I very much enjoy photojournalism, BUT the idea of photographing someone who genuninely doesn't want to be photographed is repugnant to me. Now, if they don't know they're being photographed and don't say anything, that's a different story. Aside from that, gore, accidents, and those things already mentioned as not needing to be mentioned.

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    People is a common and reoccuring subject when it comes to things that are off limits or at least frightening in some to many of us. I'm the same. I don't photograph many people at all if you exclude those athletes in the sports I shoot.

    So how do we go about finding a way to be comfortable shooting people? In Australia no one has the rights to their own image in terms of restricting a photographer from taking their photo. But I'm not comfortable with taking the photo of someone who doesn't want it taken either. I'm also not really keen to pay every person I shoot for the privilege of feeling easy about it either.

    I'm thinking that at least having a business card to hand to them that shows you to be a serious photographer, even if you are just a hobbyist, is probably a good idea.
    You could offer anyone who rejects the chance to view the photo on your website or Flickr album etc and perhaps, if they wish, you could send them a hi-res copy. That doesn't cost you and might encourage some people to be more relaxed with your presence after a while. Some will ham it up too I expect and others may not act natural.

    Anyone else have any ideas or thoughts on this?

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    I think it is a good idea, and something I have thought of doing. I'd be happy to give someone their hi-res photo in payment for a nice image. I basically do that every time I take pics at my kids soccer games. And by giving them your contact details rather than taking theirs, you put the onus on them to chase you down, not visa-versa. Of course that's not as good as a model release if you ever thought you wanted to use it commercially.

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