I had a lot of fun sneakily (ok, unethically) taking photos of people in Birmingham. It’s always a dilemma as a photographer (or writer, or anything that entails earwigging, observing..) about do you ask permission. Of course as soon as you do, the whole demeana changes and you don’t get what you really want, the real thing. (see the photo of the spray painter below!) As a woman, I can probably get away with a lot more than a man can, but even so, and however much I want to photograph children, I now feel I really can’t, unless it was for a very good reason (eg if I ever get to do my trip to record refugees) It’s very sad, but we have to realistic about what is appropriate behaviour, that is socially acceptable behaviour, in the 21st century.
I was looking at some old family photos with a friend the other day, of her children, toddlers, (who are now adult!) playing naked in a paddling pool. She, wistfully commented that you couldn’t take photos like that any
more. It’s true.