While making portraits on street, most of us are generally caught between two approaches – pre-approval from the subject or post click approval. The school of thought batting for the former, bases its argument upon ethics. That it is poor manners and bad social behaviour to intrude into one’s personal space or simply claim one’s private moments as your own. That the subject must be well aware that he is or she is being stored in one’s camera memory.
However, we cannot capture candid moments with this approach, can we? For my maximum works, I take the latter one. This is because I like to click candid. Imagine taking prior approval for the above shot! 😀 (With a nod, a post click approval from the fellow male family member was taken.)
Most of the times, I simply walk to my subject and show him or her the end result on my camera screen. So far, 9 out of every 10 of my subjects have watched in fascination and given a go ahead with a happy nod. Those who didn’t, never entered into a spat but only made a polite request to delete the pictures.
Now, approval – whether before or after – need not necessarily be a verbal request made to the subject; even a simple gesture of a smile from both the parties involved does the trick. There are cases when there is no exchange of smiles, rather an acknowledgement of the presence of a camera at work. Absence of a protest? Can be considered an approval too.
P.S.: An approval is a must. For commercial use, you must get the model release signed as well.