Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Sell photographs to strangers on the street after taking photos?

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  • #999114
    gobear
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    My sister is a photographer (with professional Nikon gears) and most people praise her that her photos are really beautiful whether it is landscape, wedding, people, venue etc. She tried doing a few wedding, family portrait photographs but it is really difficult to do business as there are so many competition in Sydney, so she kinda have to create something more special

    Then suddenly, we came up an idea but not sure if this is OK to do. I am a salesperson so I am quite good at convincing people. We were thinking that she would go to some location and take some photos of the people maybe in the beach, park….I mean something very natural photograph which could be a mother holding the baby and baby smiling or a couple walking along the shore with sunset behind the background or even someone just sitting on the chair reading newspaper, enjoying coffee in the cafe. The photos will be taken without them knowing as they will be taken very natural rather than the typical “ready, smile, say cheers!”. Usually natural photos seems to be more beautiful

    Then we approach to them straight away after the moment and show them the photo that was just taken and praise how beautiful it is. Either they will love it or hate it. Then will intend to sell the photo to them via dropbox/email for JPG for like $5 or maybe $10 per photo. But I think the chance will be higher since this is something very personal plus my sister takes beautiful photographs which i think is hard for people to reject.

    The question is that is this legal? I mean we guess that there will be someone who will love it or someone who might be offended/annoyed but worse is that we will apologise or delete it. We just figure out that this has a huge potential market if it is something they fall in love instantly

    If anyone knows this before we do it or have any similar kind of experience will be appreciated!

    #1217859
    bb1
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    gobear, post: 262741, member: 112694 wrote:
    The photos will be taken without them knowing as they will be taken very natural rather than the typical “ready, smile, say cheers!”. Usually natural photos seems to be more beautiful

    !
    I don’t know if it is legal, but hopefully privacy laws would prevent it, in particular taking photo’s of children.

    But I know if you approached me in the street saying you had taken secretive photo’s of me, you would cop an ear full. I would also consider reporting you to the police as a suspicious loiterer, and even if it was legal, it would be difficult for you as they would come out and question you.

    Forget what the laws says, and consider peoples privacy.

    #1217860
    JacquiPryor
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    My understanding (noting this is information not advice) is in public spaces (e.g. beaches, parks etc) it’s not illegal to take pictures of people without their permission. This article is a good insight https://www.stacklaw.com.au/news/criminal-law/when-photos-break-the-law/

    BUT, I’d tread carefully, particularly on beaches and with children. It would be illegal (from my understanding reading up just now) to capture a child naked, or persons engaged in any sort of sexual act – I’m not sure the full definition within this law of ‘sexual act’ but you may need to be careful perhaps of photographing couples kissing at a beach, or parents with naked babies or small children playing around etc.

    Honestly, I’d do some research and get feedback on what people think. Whether legal or not, I must agree with Bert’s comments. Even if legal, I’d be horrified to be approached on a beach in my swimmers with my small daughter also in swimmers to be told a stranger had been photographing us! How could I trust you to actually delete and not use the photos if I asked you to delete, when you’ve just told me you’re secretly taking the pics in the first place? Don’t get me wrong, I get your idea and agree that the natural shots are often nicer than the cheesey ones, but I’m not sure this idea is the solution? I’d get some feedback, particularly from parents if your idea includes photographing children to see if this is a viable business model.

    #1217861
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    Hi And Welcome to Flying Solo [USER=112694]@gobear[/USER] . It is great to have you!

    Thank you for joining our community and posting today.

    Cheers

    #1217862
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
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    Hi [USER=112694]@gobear[/USER],

    I think it sounds like a good idea for certain niche situations that avoid most of the issues already discussed. The beach may not be a fit.

    Think about partnering with a venue where photos would be welcome. Say a putt-putt or bowling alley or go-karts. Give the venue half the takings.

    Dave

    P.S. Or do it for speakers speaking at a conferences add to their website.
    P.P.S. Another idea. Set up a booth at a business type conference offering headshots for $20. Everyone is dressed suitably and you could knock out a lot of shots per hour. Or go to co-working spaces and do the same. Or partner with workshops.

    #1217863
    ContentCreative
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    Hi [USER=112694]@gobear[/USER]

    It is not illegal to capture images of people in public areas. Australia has no right to privacy laws that prevent this. Having said this, you do need to be exceptionally careful when doing so, especially with regard to children. You are also not allowed to photograph in a privately owned space (such as shopping mall) without permission from the owners.

    Having been a professional photographer, my recommendation would be to;

    • be well presented.
    • carry a stack of business cards with you whilst doing this.
    • show them all the images you captured so that they understand what you are doing.
    • offer to delete the images from your camera if they are not comfortable with having been photographed.
    • consider setting up a web gallery that they can visit to view and purchase.
    • always smile.

    Where I completely disagree with [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] is that everyone has a camera nowadays (i.e. their smartphones). The person being obvious with a large SLR, approaching you and showing you the images, is the least likely person to be a loiterer. They should not be a target for abuse.

    Additionally, if street photography were not allowed, we would be culturally poorer of much of the amazing and iconic candid photographic work produced over the last 100 years or so.

    Good luck in your efforts.

    #1217864
    bb1
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    ContentCreative, post: 263239, member: 113115 wrote:
    Where I completely disagree with [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] is that everyone has a camera nowadays (i.e. their smartphones). The person being obvious with a large SLR, approaching you and showing you the images, is the least likely person to be a loiterer. They should not be a target for abuse.

    You obviously missed one important part in [USER=112694]@gobear[/USER] ‘s question, it said ”The photos will be taken without them knowing”, Thats not being obvious that’s being sneaky and therefore suspicious, I spoke to a friend who works in the police force after this was posted, and she was absolutely shocked that anyone would consider doing it that way, and basically said they receive a lot of complaints for this type of behaviour, and will follow them up if the ”sus loiterer” is still in the area.

    The type of camera makes no difference, as now a days some phones can take as good a quality as what may look like a professional SLR.

    I was chatting to a friend who had a knee replacement just yesterday, and she complained that the biggest problem was going through airport security, because they won’t put it on your passport that you have a replacement part, as if they did all the crooks and terrorists would suddenly start following suit.

    #1217865
    ContentCreative
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    bb1, post: 263245, member: 53375 wrote:
    You obviously missed one important part in [USER=112694]@gobear[/USER] ‘s question, it said ”The photos will be taken without them knowing”,

    Actually [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] , I did not miss that part of the question.

    The point is that she is approaching the people immediately after capturing the images and showing them. Definitely not the behaviour of your “sus loiterer”. And just because someone is not being obvious does not make it sneaky and suspicious.

    Additionally, regardless of how much you personally dislike this sort of thing, in Australia, it is not illegal. This is regardless of whether or not they approach the people afterwards. Furthermore, as a third party to the interaction between photographer and subjects, how do you even know that it wasn’t pre-organised? I know of instances where photographers were hired to capture surprise proposals or the subjects specifically wanted candid style shots.

    Yes, there are some circumstances where there is suspicious behaviour, however, I think people need to be a little savvier in their approach to what actually is suspicious. I know of photographers who have copped a lot of unwarranted abuse for just doing their jobs.

    I personally believe that many people would be receptive to this style of candid photos. In the end, if she has a go, she will find out what proportion of people are for/against it. And I suspect you are probably not her target market.

    #1217866
    Zava Design
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    I would NEVER even consider doing this, never mind what the law says it’s just not something I would do without asking someone’s permission, it’s just creepy. Hopefully you can come up with a more constructive, positive idea than this one.

    #1217867
    ContentCreative
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    Hi [USER=34615]@Zava Design[/USER]

    My main point is to highlight the level of paranoia and hostility around this sort of issue. We live in a society where we are being filmed or surveilled constantly, and almost everyone has smartphones where they can (and do) film others surreptitiously. Nobody blinks an eye at this. The last person you should be worried about is the one who approaches you openly and shows the images they have captured for your approval (or not).

    As a photographer, I was not typically comfortable with photographing people without their awareness, though I have done it from time to time. I always approached and showed the person or people what I captured, and the vast majority of times had a good reception. Many people like seeing their own image.

    There is also an entire photographic artform that does exactly this, called street photography. Additionally, I could almost guarantee there have been situations (perhaps whilst travelling or at a public event) where most people have captured an image of someone else without their awareness or prior permission. This action does not, per se, make it creepy. How you react afterwards and what you do with the images is what makes it creepy.

    For yourself and Bert, I am curious about what exactly (or why) you find creepy? I understand that some people just don’t like being photographed, and that is fair enough. Most people have been photographed candidly at events or conferences though, so honestly curious where you see the difference.

    #1217868
    Zava Design
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    The thing is, yes we are filmed or surveilled constantly, but who actually likes that? I certainly don’t, and I dare say many (most?) other don’t either, if given the choice.

    And yes, street photography is a thing, something I myself have done at time, but I have always felt slightly uncomfortable about it for the very reasons I outline above. For better of worse there are times it’s better not to be aware of something, whatever the legal situation around it is for mine.

    So legally, you can do this sure, but I would be very curious what the general reaction will be from those you walk up to and say, “Hey, I’ve been secretly photographing you for the last few minutes, would you like to see the photos?”

    #1217869
    Kittyzero
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    I think that it can be cautious, but how about going about this a different way, what about you approach other businesses to form a partnership. I was thinking like children entertainment businesses – the ones where families take their children to indoor funparks, indoor wallclimbing, gocarts etc…And ask them if they would be happy to form a partnership where you can spend the day there taking natural pictures which parents could then purchase if they choose to, and going in families would know that this would be available? This way privacy would be protected. Or you could approach local companies that do tours, or think music festivals or markets – things where you can put in place measures that your upfront about what your doing. Just think logistics though, how do you sell and print them when someone is wanting to buy. How do you track them later on going back through your files. You might need cards to hand out or a way to get their contact details. It could actually be a selling point for the business you partner with too. Might not work but just an option. For me…if someone approached me I’d be a bit weirded out but I would want the pictures because I value the capture of a moment. To know someone is doing it as a business I might however feel a bit odd to know that someone was capturing my private moments – but being the person I am I would pay if it captured something special to me. Other people however i could understand how they might be offended and unhappy. Start with something less invasive and get a feel for it.

    #1236495
    meghanlaning
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    to be honest, it seems to me that this can make strangers very angry.

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