Chicago and Photographic boundaries

We drove to Chicago for Easter weekend to see my oldest sister and her family. I hadn’t been to Chicago since 2010, so it was nice to go back. It was a really quick trip, filled with mostly lounging around the house, playing Just Dance 4 with my nieces, eating lots of food, and shopping. We did go downtown because my nieces hadn’t seen some of the touristy places. It was a pretty relaxing and fun trip.

While we were at “the bean” though, I had an aggressive interaction with some random dude taking a picture of myself and my nieces (who are all minors) and sister without our permission. This is what bothers me and makes me feel conflicted when it comes to street and candid photography. It made me think about what the freedoms and limits are and what they should be. It makes me angry when photographers do not have boundaries when it comes to getting the shot they want, especially when it comes to children, vulnerable people and amatuer photography. It annoys me when photographers feel they are entitled and have allowance into any situation. I know technically they do (in public spaces especially when they are white males), but  personal boundaries should be considered, especially to those who are in vulnerable situations. Hell, I even ask dog-owners permission before taking a picture of their dog (well, unless they are left on their own tied up outside a store).

I just think photographers should reflect on the places and people they can have access to, and situations and people that maybe they shouldn’t have access to.

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