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  #1  
Old 07-28-2007, 01:20 PM
Mondaychild Mondaychild is offline
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Default Question about People Photography

Do vendors (e.g. street vendors or vendors on markets) e.g. in Turkey (or other countries) expect you to buy something when you take their photo (not portrait shots - but photos together with their products)? Is it impolite to take a photo without buying something (I mean as a tourist, I could buy fruits and perhaps clothes, but not eggs or fresh fish or tables, ... - I simply can愒 need these things!)
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2007, 02:40 PM
Silke Silke is offline
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Default Re: Question about People Photography

I generally ask permission before taking a picture of anyone. If language is a problem, then I simply hold up the camera and make quizzical face. If they say "no" -- that's the end of it.
Whenever possible I get an email address so that I can send a copy of a picture, or I give them a calling card with my name and email address on it. Then it's up to them to contact me.
When I stay in a place for more than a couple of days, I look for a place to get my pictures printed and then I go back and give them a copy of their picture.
I did a lot of shooting in Damascus and made some life-long friends that way, and the word gets around a place like that. The only times I was eventually refused permission was by a few conservative Muslim women (and one of them eventually asked me to her wedding where I did take pictures, images that I will NEVER share with anyone but the bride, her husband and her female relatives.
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  #3  
Old 07-28-2007, 03:03 PM
siolaw siolaw is offline
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Default Re: Question about People Photography

Hi Gisi,
I take many vendors photos, but in India and specially Thailand they don't think negatively about it... people there even like it.. sometimes i also buy something from the vendor, before or after the photo! Then I often go and make a quick print and give it them...
If you ask permission to take a photo, they start stiffening and posing in a military posture!! ;D in the west... it is different, people don't like it mostly...they think about privacy and so on... and in most Muslim countries they may dislike it as there are some religious restrictions about pictures, specially of women...
Anyway the risk is quite limited... at most ,they will tell you not to shoot!
Everyone has different experiences about this , i suppose!
Just try.. and you'll see
Good luck!
Laurent
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  #4  
Old 07-28-2007, 07:46 PM
bpelvan bpelvan is offline
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Default Re: Question about People Photography

May be a couple of words and a little smile is sufficient enough in Turkiye to take either portrait or the other way... My experiences showed me that foreigners are more advantageous than the local photographers... It's because of our famous hospitality...

Of course someone can face with some exceptions from time to time (from both law, traditions and beliefs viewpoint) in Turkiye too as it's nearly all around the world...

I lived in Cairo/Egypt for 2.5 years... All of the people on the streets were extremely polite and welcomed while taking their photos especially if you're taking the photos of their kids... Egyptians are very warm people... But in the some areas like in Pyramids it was minimum 2-3 Egyptian Pounds even if you talk to the people...:))) No it's a joke... But taking photos of a rider and it's camel would cost to 10-20 Pounds at the beginning of the bargaining but the final price would be 3-4 Pounds minimum...

We do have a proverb here in my country; "soft/warm/mild words allure a serpent out of it's burrow"...

It's a matter of empathy you know...:)))
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  #5  
Old 07-30-2007, 05:53 PM
iamback iamback is offline
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Default Re: Question about People Photography

I never, ever pay for taking a photo. You make beggers out of people that way - next thing they'll start pestering people to have their photo taken. And the traveler will have to go somewhere else to be in peace. (I get really angry when I see travelers paying for pictures, and often let them know they should not do that.)

And in muslim areas, I always ask for permission - and no is no: I shrug, put my camera away, and smile. But if you do get permission - yes, people may stiffen up... you take your picture... and then usually relax, and you can still take a nice one.

Often, I even ask permission to photograph goods on sale as in some areas that's not appreciated either - you'll soon notice. (But in Yemen the opposite happened to me: when salesmen found I was taking pictures of their wares, they kept pointing me to more, and more! I could not go until I had taken a picture of each different kind of lentils...)

But I've never anywhere found people expected me to buy something - and I take a lot of pictures on markets! On the other hand, buying a piece of fruit or a little bag of nuts, or something starts a relationship, and it may be easier to get permission for a picture then. Are they offering you socks for sale? A big watermelon? They may just be joking! Just laugh.

The thing is simply this: be open and sensitive to people's culture and wishes. Always be polite - you're the guest!
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  #6  
Old 07-31-2007, 12:06 AM
kevinos kevinos is offline
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Default Re: Question about People Photography

It is very rare that a posed picture look natural. Asking people usually kills the photo stone dead, unless one is skilled and making them relax again. People posing for the camera are usually boring. You have to try to take the picture unnoticed, if possible. If anyone every objects, which is very rare, I delete the picture, at once, for them with lots of smiles. If someone is very poor, I sometimes give something. But generally not.
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2007, 07:25 PM
iamback iamback is offline
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Default Re: Question about People Photography

> You have to try to take the picture unnoticed, if possible.

Well, Kevin, in Muslim countries I just do not do that! Unless the person just happens to be in a street scene, and even then I'm careful.

Your "lots of smiles" won't do you any good (if they come at all) if people first throw stones at you, possibly smashing a car window, for having their picture taken. Some people just do NOT want to be photographed - unnoticed or not. So don't - keep the picture in your head!

The very first thing is: respect people! Don't make yourself merely tolerated, make yourself welcomed.
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2007, 08:01 PM
kevinos kevinos is offline
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Default Re: Question about People Photography

Good point Marjolein, It does depend on the culture that you are in. Unless I feel happy with people, I would not try to photograph them; photography is a seduction, not a rape. If people really don't want to be photographed, they have a right not to be. I have had no problems in the Muslim south.; in Morocco and Tunisia, generally people were O.K; in Malaysia also people are quite easy about it. If I were in a culture where people didn't like it, I think I would concentrate on buildings or landscapes.
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  #9  
Old 07-31-2007, 08:18 PM
kinginexile kinginexile is offline
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Default Re: Question about People Photography

I think I would concentrate on buildings or landscapes.
-----------------------------

Then, you should still ask for....Pierremission....:-)))

About this topic, I think a lot depends on the reason behind being there, wherever. As a tourist, no need to get oneself in trouble, I agree. But someone with a strong personal reason for a photographic series, maybe a professional assignment, or a need to bear witness, has my admiration for trying under harsh conditions. Often, he/she certainly wants to reproduce the tension of the uneasy encounters in his pictures. Photography is a rich world of behavioral differences, I am not sure there are so many unspoken rules about how to go about it, as it rather depends on the result wished.
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  #10  
Old 07-31-2007, 08:44 PM
Silke Silke is offline
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Default Re: Question about People Photography

Being allowed to take photographs is a privilege, not a right. If you can't read the language on the building, and there are people on guard -- assume that photography is NOT acceptable.
And for heaven's sake: do NOT do what I saw a group of tourists do in Damascus: do NOT poke your camera through a doorway and snap! That IS rape!
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