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What do you do when people gets mad for taking pictures of them?

What do you do when people gets mad at you for taking pictures of them? (In public places, of course).

They are some times when you don't have the chance to ask for permission or walk around to let them see that you are just a photographer working and that won't threate them... Sometimes you just shoot...
Some just turn around or go away... but some... get really mad, push you, block you, etc., what do you do? How do you handle the situation?

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You should read HCB's book on just this matter. Maybe you have, in which case, fast foward to the last para.

Granted he was doing his work in another time when the world was less cynical, but his technique to avoid confrontation is well known and just as applicable today.

He would prefocus on a spot and shoot at f8 giving himself plenty of DOF, then when a subect came into his zone, he would shoot so quickly everything had to be preset, and then immediately walk off in the opposite direction to that indicated by the subject. Most of the time they would not even know their picture was taken, and thats what you are after.

If he wanted to shoot a subject that was in the crowd walking along he would walk faster than the rest and then quickly turn and shoot and keep on walking.

As for how to deal with people who strongly object, just be nice and give them your card with thanks. Its hard for nasty people to be so to someone who is really nice.

Hi Stephen!


I will check the book, thank you very much! And thank you also for the post!




Depending on what im doing. If im getting paid to do work, well, fuck them, its my job, get out of my way.

Otherwise if im just out on the street and someone starts yelling at me like a fuck hole, id either one ignore them and give them the finger, or if i wasn't in the position to do that - id approach them straight up and ask them what the problem is and crush them in the argument. muhaha

One thing i love doing though, is starting arguments with other photographers on the streets for pointing a camera at me. Its good practice, not just for me, but just as much for them.

Hi Kevin,

I hope I never encounter you on the street.

Yes, we are allowed to take photos freely on the street, but I would draw the line above your threatened behaviour.

If you tried that level of uncivil rudeness down here, you would find yourself in casualty with the medical team trying to figure out how to extract your 24-70 from your throat.


We are allowed to shoot publically, but we do not have the right to do so. If you don't understand the difference then back to school for you.

well im quite polite to those who are more frail to an argument, but in my experience more times ive been aggressively verbally assaulted to which i happily stand my ground as a photographer.

the majority of the time people dont seem to care about being photographed. i dont have time for people who question me with the whys of it all, or why i had to take that photo of them or her or him.

i really hope you dont encounter me on a street, im a real prick.  ;)

relax i understand the difference, but honestly, when it comes down to it, thats one of those rules i love playing with on the street. ;)

But if i was to suggest anything, walk away from an argument but when they follow you up, stand your ground and know your rights.

You live in a country where you have a Bill of Rights. We don't need one.

Civil order is based on concensus and has things like manners and respect governing the public behaviour of people. We also have very low street crime due to outright bans on guns and knives, so people feel safe. There are no no-go areas so long as you show respect.

The most dangerous areas are those dominated by Muslims, but I learned early on that if you stop and buy a snack or a coffee from a local shop, you will be allowed to do your work. You also might get tips on where a good subect or scene might be found.

As with your city, we don't have an issue down here in Australia with public photography per se, but with common sense prevailing, it all seems to be a non-issue. We are used to hordes of tourists flat out taking photos, an extra one is not noticed.

However, there are some ethno-religious minorities here which object strongly to having their photo taken. Its up to us to know which ones and why, so we don't cause trouble. Its not hard to do that.


Good luck and I understand where you re coming from.

Kevin, you are much more part of the problem than any solution.

Attitude like yours gets others killed or injured.

maybe you misunderstand where im coming from Pete but we all have our own experiences with paranoid people.
I Said Them Remove Their Clothes, for Their original photos.

By the way, here is a very good info that Peta Pixel just published. The article it's called: "Court Upholds Citizens’ Right to Turn Cameras on Police Officers" and i recommend it.

The direct link it's here.

Thanks Carlos!

=) ¡De nada!


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