Basic courtesy.Hi lynchmob
I agree with u on your sentiments with regards to photographing subjects, such as children. Parents will tend to be a bit sensitive about such photos, and being a parent myself, it is no exception.
For my submission for Playtime, I went to United Square and wanted to shoot some photos of children. For one which I wanted to shoot while he was at a kiddie ride, I actually asked his parents for permission and even sponsored the kiddie ride. I think it was the least I can do.
On my way out back , I saw this cute girl who was near the entrance at the carousel. I approach her parents for permission and asked if they could accompany their daughter out into the open (better lighting), and engaged in a play session where I could capture her exuberence and smiles.
The mother was extremely pleasant and surprised, and agreed. That short 15 mins was really an enjoyable shoot for myself, my father and my friend, as we engaged in a play session with the girl, Emily. I must have shot at least 30 photos of her. We took down her parents contacts, and I will be sending to her printed shots of her daughter as a way of showing my thanks.
My first shot for Passion was also done the same way with me asking permission from the owner of the shop prior to shooting him at work. I must have asked at least 5 subjects yesterday for permission before proceeding with my shots, ranging from an old gentleman playing chess to the parents of young children.
I think photographers have to realise that most subjects, if asked appropriately, are more than happy to have their photos taken. They just want to know the purposes behind the photos. It is a small gesture to show our sincerity and respect in asking first before shooting.