Response to James Windsor's Why You Shouldn't Do Street Photography

James Windsor via Youtube addresses the Inside/Outside perspective. He touches on the ethical problems with street photography, in particular shooting strangers on the street.

Having an outside perspective isn't wrong, it's another perspective. I don't think Martin Parr is 'making fun' of his subjects as Windsor possible implies in the video, he's documenting human experience.

I recently had issue with work of a photographer from a white upper class background subjectively shooting black working class women, posed and with a strong narrative within the series. I think the differentiation comes in at how subjective/objective is the work? Are they, as an artist, directing their subjects to suit their own agenda? Or are they simply capturing what is there at that moment in time. I would rather a great street photographer document everything around them rather than pick and choose those they feel comfortable shooting. A street photographer is also a documentary photographer.

Bill Cunningham has said before that he later refused work with a certain magazine for portraying his work under the headline 'fashion dos and don'ts' when he photographed every subject purely because he admired their style. So how much of the criticism is coming from what you, the audience, don't feel comfortable with? To a point a photographer can put work out there and how the public receives it is entirely out of her/his control.

It would be a shame to not capture decisive moments, candid human behaviour or interaction because you're getting to know your subject.

But on the whole I agree with you - tired of seeing photographers photographing the homeless for their website without any thought about the cultural consequences of their work.

Link to the video on James Windsor’s video

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