Above: Raging Fun at Late Night Party (Adobe Stock: 124128604). Credit: Pressmaster.

Someone Took a Photo of You

Someone took a photo of you ... at a party, or messing about round at someone's house. It was taken as a joke, and looks like you are bagging-up quantities of white powder/groping somebody/handling a gun. It was just light-hearted, but the next thing you hear is that you are getting suspended from Uni, and you lost your job. People thought it was real, and offensive. Now they are getting the police involved.

This is why people are mostly very nervous about getting their photo taken these days. You never know where a photo will end up--in what context it will pop up. It is very easy for a photo to misrepresent a person's actions, intentions, behaviour.

For this reason, if you try to take a photo of someone, they usually want to know what it's for before they will let you. At this point, replying that you are just taking photos for yourself, because you are a photographer (or a student photographer) probably won't cover off the anxieties that the subject has.

These days it's not the photo that is the problem, it's the context: where will the photo be posted? Who is going to see it? Will they take it the wrong way? This is the power that the photographer has today: the power to misrepresent. (And with power comes responsibility.)

(23 January 2019)