Is it okay to post/publish unflattering photos of strangers without their permission?

Is it okay to post/publish unflattering photos of strangers without their permission?


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snappist

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Sep 2, 2003
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#3
lavenderlilz said:
goodness! u just won't give it a rest eh? :bsmilie:
I am giving it a rest.
I have said enough on this issue.
Now I leave it to the other forumers to poll and make their stand.

This is a basic fundamental for photographers and it warrants attention, correction and adherence.
 

Zplus

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Mar 16, 2002
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#5
Might as well ask if its OK to watch "COPS" where the crimnals are in unflattering position. Or any "Funniest Home Video" which shows someone in unflattering position. Or any "Zhong Yi Shao Nu Zhu" where people in the streets kenna sabo.....

Guess if you don't get sued, you are fine.
;)
 

Larry

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Apr 25, 2002
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#6
just a comment - do bear in mind that "unflattering" is a subjective term. what may be acceptable to some would be out of the question to others.
 

Jun 2, 2002
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#7
snappist said:
I am giving it a rest.
I have said enough on this issue.
Now I leave it to the other forumers to poll and make their stand.

This is a basic fundamental for photographers and it warrants attention, correction and adherence.
Really? It does look like an attempt on your part to garner support from others here for the stand that you have chosen to take.
 

leebl

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Sep 17, 2003
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#8
Flattering is a subjective term yes.. But i for one would not want to have a photo taken unknowingly and then posted on a public forum for all to see without prior permission from me. Think it is basic courtesy as the subject did not ask to be shot.
 

Gunjack

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Jul 6, 2002
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#9
If you are refering to that particular picture (Singaporean eating) by Azure, I wouldn't post that up, because I too find it unflattering(my opinion only). But I guess its not an offence to do so. That does not mean it is ok, coz it is not a nice thing to do so. Also, flattering or not, its subjective.
 

Snowcrash

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#10
Larry said:
just a comment - do bear in mind that "unflattering" is a subjective term. what may be acceptable to some would be out of the question to others.
I agree with Larry.

There are photos where I thing shot the subject well (classic expression, decisive moments etc) but when show to the subject, the subject don't like it cos it is 'unflattering' :think:
 

snappist

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Sep 2, 2003
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#11
Larry said:
just a comment - do bear in mind that "unflattering" is a subjective term. what may be acceptable to some would be out of the question to others.
Simple question.
Is a photo of strangers with distorted lips/jaws and tongue sticking out while having a meal any flattering? Drifting a bit farther, are the photos of the late Princess Diana in a bloodied state inside her wrecked car flattering and respectful? Yes or no? If you think it is flattering, pls post more of such photos, including other unflattering variations. This is a free forum. No one stops you. But people will be disgusted, especially the subjects. If you post a photo that is flattering to you but actually very unflattering to the known/unknown subject, other viewers/forumers/people will comment. Already there are a few who expressed that they can tell what is an unflattering photo.

It is not an offence. No one is gonna jail you or fine you. But it is just not courteous to post such photos of strangers. I cannot say whether you will be sued off your arse for posting if it is a prominent figure that is pictured.

Yes, I am not just garnering support for a stand I made. I want to publicise this to make sure it doesn't happen again. If Clubsnap, Offstone or any other forum has more of such photos, the repute and standards will only suffer with the unwitting subjects of the photos.

This is different from the public prank/"Just Kidding" TV shows. These TV shows are filtered, screened edited before transmission. I am sure the public caught unaware are asked for their permission after seeing the footage. And if the subjects caught unaware on the TV shows are reasonably upset after filming, the footage would not have seen the light of day to avoid conflicts and to be accountable to the subject.

For this type of street photography, I am referring to "clear-cut unflattering" photos of strangers in unflattering poses, mannerisms, acts or gestures. Shooting strangers in public eating with tongue sticking out plus distorted lips and subsequently publishing them is a definite no-no. I am not referring to unflattering studio shots or portraits where the paid/unpaid models are asked for their opinions to determine whether we, the artists, will exhibit our works or not.

You do not need to go to university to understand this, just some common sense is enough.

This is not directed at any individual or to slam anybody for past actions.

This poll is directed at what is right and what needs to be corrected to improve.
 

StreetShooter

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Jan 17, 2002
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#12
1. I think the guiding principle should be "Do unto others as you would have others do to you". Don't post a picture where, if you substituted the subject with yourself, you would be unhappy with the photo being posted.

2. As pointed out, "unflattering" can be subjective. A secure person with a well developed sense of humour can appreciate a shot of himself in a funny situation, while another person may take offence.

3. I think it's OK if the person cannot be clearly identified ie the back is to the camera, or the face is partially obscured.

4. Always be prepared to take down a picture if someone has raised an objection.

5. If a picture of a person (flattering or unflattering) has no redeeming value ie not interesting or good-looking or funny or making a point, it should not be posted in the first place. Then again, all these qualifying factors are highly subjective, aren't they?
 

snappist

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Sep 2, 2003
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#13
StreetShooter said:
1. I think the guiding principle should be "Do unto others as you would have others do to you". Don't post a picture where, if you substituted the subject with yourself, you would be unhappy with the photo being posted.

2. As pointed out, "unflattering" can be subjective. A secure person with a well developed sense of humour can appreciate a shot of himself in a funny situation, while another person may take offence.

3. I think it's OK if the person cannot be clearly identified ie the back is to the camera, or the face is partially obscured.

4. Always be prepared to take down a picture if someone has raised an objection.

5. If a picture of a person (flattering or unflattering) has no redeeming value ie not interesting or good-looking or funny or making a point, it should not be posted in the first place. Then again, all these qualifying factors are highly subjective, aren't they?
Amen. wo tong yi.
 

V

vince123123

Guest
#14
the simple answer is, if the publication of your photos do not contravene any existing laws, e.g. obscene publications, photos are defamatory etc, it is OKAY to post, whether flattering or unflattering.
 

snappist

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Sep 2, 2003
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#15
vince123123 said:
the simple answer is, if the publication of your photos do not contravene any existing laws, e.g. obscene publications, photos are defamatory etc, it is OKAY to post, whether flattering or unflattering.
This is a photographer's forum. We are not lawyers, though some are. We are artists who paint with light on life. And there there are unwritten laws on life and acceptable behaviors. And some of these are on how a photographer should use a camera and the output it produces?

We are not just talking about the judicial law here.

This poll involved other variables like socially acceptable norms, basic courtesy, common sense and mutual respect.

In most cases, judicial law does not give fair weightage to these factors.

Photography is not all about law. Pls do not just put the dimension of law to answer this poll.
 

roygoh

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#16
vince123123 said:
the simple answer is, if the publication of your photos do not contravene any existing laws, e.g. obscene publications, photos are defamatory etc, it is OKAY to post, whether flattering or unflattering.
I can understand and agree that it is not illegal to post such photos, but the point snappist is trying to make here is not about legal obligations.

He is raising the question on photographer's etiquette.

If you receive a sincere favour from someone else you are not legally required to feel thankful towards other party. Do you think it is morally OK to simply take things for granted? There is no law against that right?
 

V

vince123123

Guest
#17
Well you asked if it was "okay", that in itself is ambiguios. ok by whose standards or perspective? i only answered from the legal perspective.

as for the moral perspective, how are you going to judge what is or is not considered unflattering. that word alone begs definition. take the recent example. azure & camp says that its not unflattering. snappist & camp says that it is. so whose word or judgement prevails?

snappist said:
This is a photographer's forum. We are not lawyers, though some are. We are artists who paint with light on life. And there there are unwritten laws on life and acceptable behaviors. And some of these are on how a photographer should use a camera and the output it produces?

We are not just talking about the judicial law here.

This poll involved other variables like socially acceptable norms, basic courtesy, common sense and mutual respect.

In most cases, judicial law does not give fair weightage to these factors.

Photography is not all about law. Pls do not just put the dimension of law to answer this poll.
 

meng

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Apr 19, 2003
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#18
I guess the thread will end up with no definite answer. A poll after all is just a poll, especially in this scenario. Unless the admin and moderators come up with guidelines to restrict the types of photos to be posted in this forum, most of us will still be exercising our own discretion and rights in posting the photos we have taken.
Only my own opinions. Last post here. Period.
 

snappist

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Sep 2, 2003
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#19
vince123123 said:
Well you asked if it was "okay", that in itself is ambiguios. ok by whose standards or perspective? i only answered from the legal perspective.

as for the moral perspective, how are you going to judge what is or is not considered unflattering. that word alone begs definition. take the recent example. azure & camp says that its not unflattering. snappist & camp says that it is. so whose word or judgement prevails?
I do not have to set up another poll to ask for feedback whether I asked for the legal definition, moral definition, common sense definition or multi-evaluative definition, right?

Doing so will be splitting ends and going off topic. If you want to answer this poll using the legal perspective alone, you have all the right to vote okay with a "Yes".

Anyway, let the results of the poll speak for itself.
 

Jun 2, 2002
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hErE lAh
#20
snappist said:
Simple question.
Yes, I am not just garnering support for a stand I made.
Not intending to slam u here - so you are actually not giving it a rest as opposed to your earlier answer to my question.

Anyway I posted "yes" because I don't think its wrong to do so - but if the stranger had seen the shot & didn't like it, then I am prepared to take it down simply because he or she requested.

As for that "offending" photo in question, like what others have said, "unflattering" is a subjective word. To you the picture is unflattering while I don't think so.
 

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