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  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Press Photography

    If you were a press photographer, does anything go or would you have a code of conduct as to your M.O. I would like to think I would have respect for my subject and not invade beyond a point of personal privacy. Easy to say when it’s not how I earn a living, but what do others think?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #2
    ambaker's Avatar
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    I'm not a press photographer. However I do not believe that just because you make your living taking pictures gives you the right to invade privacy, any more than being a truck driver gives you the right to run other people off the road.

    Sent from my AT100 using Tapatalk 2

  3. #3
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    There are photographers employed by newspapers and there are photojournalists who are freelancers and there are paparazzi.

    Probably the ethics has to do with which you choose to work as.

    Newspaper photographers ethics are probably chosen for them by the editor.

    As for photojournalists, sentimentality probably is not a preferable trait, because a lot of shots you take are going to hurt someone but the greater good may be served by getting the message out. Tricky ethics.

    Paparazzi are bottom feeders who probably never heard of ethics. But they have a symbiotic relationship with publicists who need to get their clients picture out there. Sort of two bottom feeders working together to overwhelm the public with visual noise.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  4. #4
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    There are photographers employed by newspapers and there are photojournalists who are freelancers and there are paparazzi.

    Probably the ethics has to do with which you choose to work as.

    Newspaper photographers ethics are probably chosen for them by the editor.

    As for photojournalists, sentimentality probably is not a preferable trait, because a lot of shots you take are going to hurt someone but the greater good may be served by getting the message out. Tricky ethics.

    Paparazzi are bottom feeders who probably never heard of ethics. But they have a symbiotic relationship with publicists who need to get their clients picture out there. Sort of two bottom feeders working together to overwhelm the public with visual noise.
    How true.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  5. #5
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Excellent thoughts there Blansky.

  6. #6
    CGW
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    There are photographers employed by newspapers and there are photojournalists who are freelancers and there are paparazzi.

    All of them sell their images. None of them would exist without a ready market for their images. All are endangered.

    Print newspapers are fading and paywall papers aren't yet proven.

    Still PJ work is a harder sell today and probably more dangerous than ever.

    Paparazzi? Anyone with an iPhone is a paparazzi-in-waiting.

  7. #7

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    I am an art and journalism student. I have doing photojournalism for 3 years. In my work I try to strongly respect the privacy of the subject involved. Once I broke this and I felt awful afterwards. I felt like horrible scum seeking recognition for myself no matter what. This experience has strengthened my view on ethics.

    I belong to this organization and thus follow this code: http://www.nppa.org/professional_dev...es/ethics.html
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

    Canon A-1, Canon AE-1, Canon Canonet GIII 17, Argus 21, Rolleicord Va, Mamiya RB67, Voigtländer Bessa

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  8. #8
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    I just got home from photographing an event this evening. It was a meet and greet with a local U.S. Congressman.
    Mostly stand-ups and handshakes with muckety-mucks but I did a lot of grab shots as the opportunity presented.

    When the Congressman arrived, I grabbed a couple as he came in the door then, when the way was clear, I introduced myself and told him that I was the event photographer. I said he could call me over if he thought there was something that needed to be photographed but I also said that he could wave me off if necessary. (For instance, if he had a piece of food stuck in his teeth. )

    It worked out well because, once people knew who I was and that I wasn't trying to pull anything sleazy, they all relaxed and I was able to get several good shots. I was invited over to get a several group shots and, in one case, somebody asked me to retake a picture because he didn't like the way he looked in the picture. I was glad to do it and even trashed the bad one.

    In this case, I was hired to photograph a (semi)private event but, in the case of public events or news gathering, I think a similar principle applies.
    If people know who you are, what you are doing and that they can trust you not to act like a snake they'll loosen up and you'll get better results.

    I don't think you always have to spell it out for people. Your behavior can convey the same message. Are you hiding behind a potted plant and shooting from the shadows with a telephoto lens or are you interacting with people? In my case, I thought it was prudent because the Congressman didn't know who I was and I was not a person that he would recognize as a regular member of the press.

    In the end, I think it works the same for press photography and event photography as it does for portraits and candids. Your behavior conveys more than adherence to a set of rules or code of ethics. Just as a portrait portrait photographer's relationship to his subject can make or break a session a press or event photographer's relationship to the people around him can make all the difference in getting good results.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  9. #9

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    I did some pj work out of college in the mid 90's. At first I was reluctant to get in close and kept my distance, after a few months I stopped caring and did whatever I wanted. Although I didn't win any awards my editors were very happy. I was the only one who didn't have an issue breaking the law a little or getting up close to a grieving mother who's daughter was killed. Sure the family was mad at me, but it was on public land and there was nothing they could do. Either you take your job seriously or find a job at McDonald's and live off the system. That was my motto back then.

  10. #10
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shootar401 View Post
    ...getting up close to a grieving mother who's daughter was killed. Sure the family was mad at me, but it was on public land and there was nothing they could do.
    Tough call. Still, it was news. Right?
    So, they were mad at you. So what? How would anybody know whether that mother would end up forming a chapter of M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Driving Drunk) or something like that? That one photo that they thought they didn't like could end up being the poster picture for her whole crusade.

    Yes, I know. Grabbing at straws. The idea is valid, however.

    There were a couple of times when my Congressman stepped out of the room to take a phone call or moved over to a corner of the room to have a private conversation. I watched where he went but didn't follow. I figured it would be bad form. There's nothing wrong with keeping an eye out, though. Just as in the hypothetical above, "What if?"

    If an arguement broke out or something happened, I wouldn't hesitate to step in if I could. It would be news. Right?

    Here I go grabbing at straws again, making a hypothetical: What if that photo was of a guy crashing the party, making trouble and harrassing the Congressman? That could be evidence in the Congressman's favor. Couldn't it?

    Hypotheticals aside, my point is that, as a documentarian (an event photographer or a journalist) you never know what could happen. As long as you are polite, follow established rules of ethics and obey the law, it is your job to document what goes on.

    One of my other pass times is sleight of hand magic. Coin tricks and stuff.
    In learning magic, there is a concept called "The Honesty Hangup" that you have to get over.
    Some people have the tendency to look guilty when they are doing a trick. If they are palming a coin, they'll hold their hands too stiff or will hesitate in making the "steal." That telegraphs the move to the audience and spoils the trick. It takes time to get over that feeling of guilt when you are ostensibly saying, "My hand is empty," all the while, you've got a coin in your palm.

    I propose that there is a similar "honesty hangup" when people are learning documentary/journalistic photography. It just takes time to get used to the idea of photgraphing people who aren't asking you to take their picture.

    I'm a pretty good magician. Not great but I can hold my own. It would be easy for me to use my magical skills to rip off nearly any cashier if I wanted to. In fact, a couple of the schticks I do are about how to catch a crook and they highlight techniques that somebody could use to rip somebody off. However, I would NEVER try to pull a rip-off in real life. First, because I'm not a crook and, second, because I value my reputation as a magician. I want people to come up and ask me to show them "that trick where I steal a coin from somebody's pocket" and not shy away for fear I would try to pick their pockets.

    The same thing goes for photography. Your reputation is valuable. You want people to hire you for gigs or you want magazines and newspapers to pay you for your work. You don't want people running away from you every time you pick up a camera.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/



 

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