British Legion

A little ill at ease.

I was out with my camera, I wanted to capture some street photography style images, maybe situational or environmental portraits.

As I was walking home from work I spotted this very pretty woman having some photos taken. I have no idea if this was a professional shoot for a product, magazine or if the model was paying the photographer to produce a portfolio.

I took a photo as I walked towards them because I liked the balance of the red poppies and her jacket. But I felt really very very uncomfortable taking the picture. Maybe this was because it felt a bit voyeuristic because of what she was pretty and what she was wearing but then if someone dresses like that in public I guess they should expect a few turned heads and a photo or two?

But I actually think it was the fact that she was posing on a war memorial that added to me feeling a little ill at ease? My intention was to take an image from the side and one from the front to see how the light was working. In any case, once it was clear this was a professional shoot I decided not to take anymore photos. After all, someones time was being paid for and I was not contributing.

I stopped and had a quick chat with the photographer and the model’s sister. They both seemed like nice folks and I got the impression that had I of asked to tag along and learn from them, I may have got lucky.

Erm, maybe I should expand on that and just clarify that I am happily married. Yeah yeah some of you out there will think those two words ‘Happily’ and ‘Married’ don’t belong in the same sentence but I do and am.

What I mean by “I might have got lucky” is that I think they might have said yes, carry some kit and they’d explain a bit about what and why they were doing certain things and I may have picked up some valuable tips on lighting, portraiture and fashion photography.

Perhaps they would have told me in no uncertain terms to “Foxtrot Oscar” (Polite way of saying….F@£* Off!!) I’m guessing Zack Arias  would say I missed an opportunity….. I think I missed an opportunity.

The reason I mentioned Zack Arias is because I discovered his blog. Well I was directed to it.

Questions and Answers.

Its very straight forward and massively helpful to read through. I emailed the man with a simple question and even though he had closed down the Q&A blog he got back to me. I say a simple question but its kind of simple if you already know the answer; I was looking for a bit of clarity which Mr. Arias kindly provided. So, Zack Arias is my newly found photographic hero. So much so that I will be buying his book  (Thats a subtle hint to anyone that might be thinking about buying me a christmas present).


Is it okay to gate crash a pro shoot?

Is it okay to take a slightly voyeuristic photo? Is that what street photography is??

If I felt a bit uncomfortable with them using the war memorial as a location should I have said something?

Maybe its okay to use this location because any images using poppies in this form highlights the work of the British Legion?

I’m really torn about the image and would like to know what you think?

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Jim Jimmy James.