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Question About Street Stuff.

Discussion in 'Philosophy of Photography' started by HeatherTheVet, May 26, 2011.

  1. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    Scotland
    Heather
    I have been working at the PDSA for the last three weeks in the centre of Glasgow. PDSA is a charity which provides veterinary treatment for people who can't afford to take their pets to a regular vet - they need to prove this by showing that they are claiming benefits. This attracts a certain clientele, shall we say. Lots of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, German Shepherds, American Bulldogs, Rottweilers... you get the picture. The doors open at 8.30am. Just before then there tends to be a queue/crowd of interesting looking people with a variety of dogs hanging around outside the door. It would make a great photo, black and white, slightly grainy. The thing is that many of these folk are a bit scary. And usually when someone points a camera at them it is to catch them cheating on their benefits, so they tend to be pretty cagey. Also, having worked there and being likely to work there again, I don't want to rub anybody up the wrong way.

    So for all you veteran street photography types, what's the best way around these sorts of problems? Is it to be brazen? Or sneaky? Or pretend to be a tourist and take pictures of other stuff you're not interested in, then happen to take the shot you want, as if by accident?

    (PS most of the clients are good people, it's just some that cause trouble)
     
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  2. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    you are HeatherTheVet - animals are your business and photography is your hobby - just ask if you can take a photo of them (with their animal)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Heather,
    Your biggest issue is that you work there.
    That can be a disadvantage. It could also become a great advantage.
    1st off, don't think street.

    If it were me, I'd make some portraits of some patients and their owners.
    Maybe carry a few small prints.
    Then start asking about doing portraits of the couples you find interesting.
    You should be able to earn their trust as your the vet.

    Of course the portraits don't have to be traditional...right.

    Working there puts you in a position of trust with your patients. You have to make that the 1st priority. Sneaking around making photos could cross a line. Being right out front could yeild a wonderful body of work.
    As always, honesty is the best policy.

    Save Street fir when your really on the street.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  4. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Karen
    Hi Heather

    I agree with Don. The problem is, of course, that you are working there, or are likely to work there again. I would first check with the PDSA to find out their views about you photographing their clientele. Obviously they wouldn't want your actions to discourage clients from bringing their pets in for treatment. If they gave approval, I would then approach the clients to get their approval before taking any pictures. From a professional standing point of view, I don''t think these people are as fair game for you, as they would be for me if I was passing by and taking a snap so best to keep everything above board.
     
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  5. Country Parson

    Country Parson SC Top Veteran

    682
    Apr 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    Dan
    I agree with Bill, Don and Briar.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    I agree with Bill, Briar, Dan & Don.

    Good night John Boy.
     
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  7. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I know who John Boy is but Heather may well not. He's the oldest son in an old TV series called The Walton's and every episode with everyone in their whole family calling out "Goodnight" and the last words of the show were "Goodnight John Boy". :wink:

    So now that it's morning, I'll add that I think you've gotten excellent advice.
     
  8. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Is that what that means.....? I thought it meant Good Night John Boy, the owner of John's Pub in Hawick. If one can say that at nights end, well, ya didn't drink enough.....
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
  10. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    Scotland
    Heather
    I typed a great big reply and then somehow it got lost. Don't have time to redo it but the jist was - thanks for all your advice, good points made. Also planning Edinburgh trip next week I think. And the last bit was that I'm off to work in Paisley.
    I'll expand later!
     
    • Like Like x 2