Permission for Clicking

A wayside salon

While taking the pictures of people during photowalks, it is a good idea to request their permission. The request may be explicit but more often it is through subtle body language – a smile, a nod or a finger pointing to the camera. In most cases, people love to have their pictures taken. Only a few deny us the pleasure.

Last Sunday, in Kannagi Nagar, we had taken the tacit approval of this hairdresser and his client. While we were shooting, a tough-looking guy challenged us. We told him that we have the approval of the subjects. He said that he is the owner of the shop (a tattered lean-to shed) and he doesn’t want pictures taken. Suspecting something, we took a tough stand. Finally, he softened and admitted that he was not the owner but was only trying to protect an old man who had put up the shed without authorisation. Any media publicity would adversely affect the old man. We assured him that no such harm will come to the owner because of us and walked away. In any case, the shed had enough photos of the CM and party leaders for protection.

From The Chennai Photowalk Retrowalk #75

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