Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
Dear Helen,

Can't quite see your argument.

First, would you dismiss Cartier-Bresson as shallow? Because I can't believe he always 'engaged with' his subjects in the sense of talking to them first, etc. Likewise Brandt, Bourke-White, Brassai, Rai, most of the staff of Picture Post...

Second, who decides what is 'shallow'?

Third, even if it is 'shallow', what do you lose by being in it?



Hi Roger,

"How do others feel about this? And how do they feel about people who feel they have some sort of right not to be photographed?"

You originally asked questions about feelings, not about rational arguments, so I wrote about my feelings.

A lot of people take pictures of me. I live in a tourist-filled city and I look rather odd. One of my main reactions to being photographed is mild amusement. Maybe you didn't see the smile on my face as I wrote my response, and ended with "That's what I don't like: being a part of a shallow photo." It's a feeling, you know. It's part of what I find amusing about being a photographer photographed, and there is the associated implication that a photograph that has me as the subject is necessarily shallow. You missed that one, didn't you? Does that put a different perspective on my definition of shallow? I'm not going to use one of those damned smiley faces forgoodnesssake. I'm British, dammit. Standards to keep and all that.

I was referring to the gutless. An analogy with Weegee is clearly inappropriate. I see plenty of guts in Weegee's photographs.

Engaging or connecting with the subject does not imply talking to them, of course, and wouldn't always be appropriate.

Bourke-White? A dilettante*.


*Just my opinion.