A few weeks ago I had a conversation on this podcast with Valérie Jardin. Most of the discussion we had was centered around an article published on the New York Daily News and titled When your photograph harms me: New York should look to curb unconsensual photography of women.
It would have been easy to discount the article as yet another rant about street photography and its purported invasion of privacy, but the fact that it was written by an Asian woman got me thinking.
It made me think that photography is mostly a white guys’ club. Women are a minority and people of color, especially black, are an even smaller minority. Black women photographers? I don’t know any, personally.
We white guys often tend to overlook this fact and can become race-blind and gender-blind. When I look at the issue of photographing strangers in the street, it’s easy for me to think that I should apply a sort of golden rule: I am not going to treat others in ways that I wouldn’t want to be treated, but is that enough?
The problem with that attitude is that I try to imagine how I would feel if I were in front of the camera, but I’m a white guy, not a woman of color, for example. Maybe I should try to imagine what it feels like to be in front of the camera as a woman of color. It might not be exactly the same.
In order to get a different perspective on this issue, I invited Ibarionex Perello to the show. Ibarionex is not only a great street photographer, and educator, and a podcast host (his show, The Candid Frame, has published 560 episodes as of today) but he’s also a black person. I thought it would be interesting to hear how it feels to be both in front and behind a camera as a person of color, in today’s world and especially in the USA.
Music for this episode: “Zanzibar” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/