Have you ever also found yourself observing fascinated at other people sleeping in public in front of you? Or have you ever awoken from a quick nap yourself in the subway, train or plane, or at the beach or park, and wondered if anyone could have been looking at you? One of the few things in life that makes us all equal is our need and appreciation for the act of sleeping. When we fall asleep in public surrounded by strangers, we enter in a particularly interesting and vulnerable space, that makes for a fascinating observation.
They started as strangers, subjects photographed on the street as candid images without permission asked or interaction had, taken for artistic purpose. But for different reasons, and with social media often playing a key role, I eventually got to meet the people in the photographs and established human connections with them. Often over coffee, we shared great conversation and I got to learn more about their lives. In addition, I gifted each of them a print of their original photograph, and captured them holding it. Strangers no more, indeed…and proof that street photography has a positive side you seldom hear about.
When we go to the streets of the cities to capture Street Photography for an artistic or documentary purpose, are we allowed to photograph strangers without their explicit consent? Is it ok to do so? Can it lead to conflict? This article is a personal view on the issue of photographers rights while also strongly advocating for an ethical and empathic approach when taking candid images.