Etiquette for Candids

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#1 GE3ZER on 5 years ago

I posted a critique thread (should be up soon) of several candids I took at Emerand City Comic Con. There was one person who stopped me and said what I was doing is rude because cosplayers work hard on their costumes and want to look their best...which makes sense. For regular street shooting the consensus seems to be that candids are OK though. Are the rules really different for conventions?

I did set a few rules for myself though. Don't take photos of people eating, etc. Enjoying things non-con related. Don't take unflattering shots on purpose. It all seems fair to me. What do you think?

#2 Ashurachan on 5 years ago

I think that refusing candids altogether is kinda dumb ; if the photographer only publishes flattering shots I don't see any problem with them.
The rules you set for yourself make sense and would be the ones I adopt would I shoot candids myself (I don't though, I'm not comfortable shooting people that way, unless I know them already and can ask them afterwards if they're okay with me publishing a given shot).
One rule I've always had, candid or not : always remove a photo when asked by the person on it. Even if you don't see what's wrong with the shot, and like it a lot as is.

#3 brucer007 on 5 years ago

Whoever told you candid shots are rude, gave you a blanket statement that depends on the situation.

There are many situations when candid photos is somewhat expected, as a cosplayer poses for a group of photographers. Photographers can take photos even when the cosplayer is not looking at their camera.

If the issue is cosplayers looking their best, a candid shot does not inherently mean the cosplayer will not look good their best. Sometimes, candid shots can make them look better than posed shots.

You seem to have a good set of rules for yourself, with much common sense.

#4 TheWillBox on 5 years ago

What I've heard from cosplaying friends is that they lump creeper shots and candid shots together. People shooting without the cosplayer's consent so they can get butt shots and other "creepy" photos.

I think if you shoot candids of someone you should at least walk up to them and show them it on the spot to make sure they are ok with it. If you shoot from super far away sniping people I think there's a general assumption that they aren't flattering and without consent.

#5 TitanSlayer000 on 5 years ago

I never really understood candid shots that much. Photographers own their pictures and the people in it don't. But what if the picture was taken without their permission? Can they still do whatever they want with the picture, and the person in it doesn't have a say?

My opinion is if a picture is taken it should be shown to the person later.

#6 Patcave on 5 years ago

The type of candids I usually take at cons involve people having fun, enjoying themselves, sharing laughs or an unexpected moment, like when they see something really awesome, or an old friend in-person followed by effusive hugs and greetings. "Candids" shouldn't be thought of as a bad thing, it's literally a non-posed moment revealing a more documentary feel to attending conventions and capturing the spirit and comraderie fostered by such gatherings of like-minded folks.

#7 TitanSlayer000 on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=Patcave;4857401] "Candids" shouldn't be thought of as a bad thing[/QUOTE]

I think the problem is that people associate them with "creeper shots", although they're two different things. Creeper shots are just purely inappropriate.

#8 nathancarter on 5 years ago

It's important to make the distinction between what's LEGAL and what's nice/ethical/creepy/etc. When it comes to copyright and usage, they are rarely the same, and what makes "common sense" to some people simply isn't the same as what's legal.


[QUOTE=TitanSlayer000;4857351]I never really understood candid shots that much. Photographers own their pictures and the people in it don't. But what if the picture was taken without their permission? Can they still do whatever they want with the picture, and the person in it doesn't have a say?[/QUOTE]

Legally, the person taking the photograph can use the photo in many ways. They can display it in a journalistic nature (including posting on Facebook or other social media sites) or sell it as art. They can NOT use it in a commercial manner without the written consent of all identifiable subjects - specifically, using it to advertise a company, product or service. Note that the exchange of money is not a deciding factor as to whether the use is commercial.

There are some exceptions to this, for instance if the subject has a "reasonable expectation of privacy." But, this exception is not very broad - if you're at home with the curtains closed, or in a closed bathroom stall, then you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. If you're at a convention with a thousand people with cameras all around, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy (even though it could be considered a private event on private property). There's a [URL="http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/photography-blog/2013/aug/19/art-peeping-photography-privacy-arne-svenson"][U]recent case law in New York[/U][/URL] that sets an interesting precedent: If you've left the curtains open, you can't expect privacy even in your own home.

[QUOTE=TitanSlayer000;4857351]My opinion is if a picture is taken it should be shown to the person later.[/QUOTE]

That is a good and valid opinion. Unfortunately, it's an opinion with no legal basis.


[QUOTE=Patcave;4857401]The type of candids I usually take at cons involve people having fun, enjoying themselves, sharing laughs or an unexpected moment, like when they see something really awesome, or an old friend in-person followed by effusive hugs and greetings. "Candids" shouldn't be thought of as a bad thing, it's literally a non-posed moment revealing a more documentary feel to attending conventions and capturing the spirit and comraderie fostered by such gatherings of like-minded folks.[/QUOTE]

Agreed.

Most reputable photographers will do their best make/keep/display photos in which the subjects look their best. Generally, candids of people having fun, laughing, hugging - those will cast the subjects in a great light. (OK, sometimes they don't - people who talk animatedly will often look derpy in photos, but decent photographers generally will delete those).

On the bright side, photographers who repeatedly take/display unflattering photos without the subject's consent will quickly develop a reputation, especially within this sort of community. But since the vast majority of PEOPLE have cameras of some sort, unflattering photos are bound to surface - not necessarily from "photographers" but from people carrying point-n-shoots and cellphone cameras.

#9 Optical Prime on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=nathancarter;4857487]
Legally, the person taking the photograph can use the photo in many ways. They can display it in a journalistic nature (including posting on Facebook or other social media sites) or sell it as art. They can NOT use it in a commercial manner without the written consent of all identifiable subjects - specifically, using it to advertise a company, product or service. Note that the exchange of money is not a deciding factor as to whether the use is commercial.
[/QUOTE]

This brings up a question for me as a newbie in the COSplay world of photography, I don't think it needs its own thread, do any of you bring consent forms or contacts to Cons? Do any of you use an app instead? Is it really even necessary. I am not looking to gouge subjects or do anything shady with my work, but I do want to have usage on both sides rather clear and most certainly don't want them selling my work without my share or consent.

#10 Chikkijet on 5 years ago

I dont have a problem with candids IF they are in the con setting, and not of someone eating etc... I've had some really nice candids sent to me. However, it varies between people. Tbh if someone came up to me and said they'd taken a candid pic and is it okay, I'd be more likely to let them keep it since they at least showed it to me. Unless it was SUPER unflattering then I'd just say look, can you maybe just not post it online??

#11 nathancarter on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=Optical Prime;4858344]This brings up a question for me as a newbie in the COSplay world of photography, I don't think it needs its own thread, do any of you bring consent forms or contacts to Cons? Do any of you use an app instead? Is it really even necessary. I am not looking to gouge subjects or do anything shady with my work, but I do want to have usage on both sides rather clear and most certainly don't want them selling my work without my share or consent.[/QUOTE]

I do now, after the unfortunate usage scandals in 2013: The instances of SyFy/Heroes of Cosplay just helping themselves to whatever photos they wanted, and the "pillowgate" scandal where the photographer printed images of cosplayers on body pillows, without the cosplayers' consent.

It's important for all parties to be clear on copyright ownership and usage rights. This doesn't mean you can't be very generous with your usage licensing, it simply helps keep things clear so that neither party is (knowingly or not) taken advantage of by the other.

#12 skuggi on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=Optical Prime;4858344]This brings up a question for me as a newbie in the COSplay world of photography, I don't think it needs its own thread, do any of you bring consent forms or contacts to Cons? Do any of you use an app instead? Is it really even necessary. I am not looking to gouge subjects or do anything shady with my work, but I do want to have usage on both sides rather clear and most certainly don't want them selling my work without my share or consent.[/QUOTE]

I keep a few on my laptop and have a travel printer I bring with me anywhere I go. But the only time I really use contracts is if something is setup before hand. For regular con shooting I used to always use flickr and would just license them under CC Attribution, No Deriv, Non-Commerical and if someone wanted to buy a set of commercial rights for example, I could deal with that later. Now that I'm using FB as well to try and make it easier on people, I haven't figured out a good way yet.

#13 Patcave on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=Optical Prime;4858344]This brings up a question for me as a newbie in the COSplay world of photography, I don't think it needs its own thread, do any of you bring consent forms or contacts to Cons? Do any of you use an app instead? Is it really even necessary. I am not looking to gouge subjects or do anything shady with my work, but I do want to have usage on both sides rather clear and most certainly don't want them selling my work without my share or consent.[/QUOTE]

In general photography, only if it involved nudity. LOL! So, no, I don't really worry about getting releases from cosplayers at conventions. No one is making a mint off my photos, when that day happens, perhaps I'll change my tune, but I just hate that conversation when I'm at a convention just enjoying the atmosphere and taking photos of cosplayers (and anything else that catches my eye). To me, it just gives off a weird dynamic if I brought up the subject of having cosplayers sign releases, plus it just seems like such a one-sided affair in favor of the photographer anyway, the release just makes it moreso, mainly pouring salt in the wound.

Plus, I have no plans for making body pillows from any of my photos of cosplayers shot at cons... :D

#14 Optical Prime on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=nathancarter;4858395]"pillowgate" scandal where the photographer printed images of cosplayers on body pillows, without the cosplayers' consent.
[/QUOTE]
Creeper butt shots in another thread and body pillows in this one. Good god what am I getting myself into? I just don't know what to think about that.

Anyway, thanks for the responses on releases. For today I am going to opt out of using them. Its really last minute that I am able to even make it to the Con, naturally nothing is arranged. I won't know until I really start shooting COSplay more but I am leaning to only bothering with a release until I'm arranging shoots out of con shoots through out a given year.

#15 nathancarter on 5 years ago

Oh, and to clarify: I only use releases for pre-scheduled shoots, not for hallway snapshots or other ad-hoc stuff.

[QUOTE=Optical Prime;4858547]Creeper butt shots in another thread and body pillows in this one. Good god what am I getting myself into? I just don't know what to think about that. [/QUOTE]

There are jerks in all walks of life. Just try hard not to be "that guy" and you'll do fine.

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