Street Photography Etiquette

Every month or so my friend and I get on a train somewhere with our cameras to hopefully take some interesting shots and have a general chat. The last couple of evenings out though have been dark, cold and miserable which doesn’t make it easy to wander the streets looking for interesting things to take photos of. We usually end up saying “I’m too cold now, let’s go the the pub then get a curry”, which is all very well and enjoyable but we usually end up going home with a empty memory cards.

Of course what defines an “interesting” photo is very subjective and wherever you go there will always be people walking around who of course make great subjects. But the fact is that neither of us really have the bottle to stand in the street taking photos as strangers walk past, I feel fairly self-conscious just taking a photo of anything in the street because people will look around wondering what is so interesting. My friend said that someone on his photography course simply walked into a launderette and starting snapping aways at anyone and everyone, nobody batted an eyelid.

So what is the etiquette for street photography? Should you always ask people’s permission before taking shots or should you if they are ok with it ask afterwards? Do people generally mind or care if a stranger takes a photo of them? Obviously if someone objects you can delete the photo but I would be interested to hear from anyone who does this regularly what their approach is. Thanks in advance.

One thought on “Street Photography Etiquette

  1. Just go with the flow, if it looks good, take it. After all it’s on public property. If they make a big fuss about it then delete it besides I don’t think you want photos of self conscious jerks.

    But if you must, the do this, take the shot in a huge crowd. Most people won’t pay much attention in the western world. Although its quite different here but that is another topic.

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