It’s Personal |Week 5: Power and Responsibilities| Positions and Practice

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Power and Responsibility

As an image maker or author, what moral dilemmas do I encounter in my own practice, or more broadly, around the medium of photography?

When shooting my event photography, such as a party, I have to fire a large amount of shots, especially in a dark environment like the dance floor. Occasionally I will be left with photos that display someone mid way through an expression e.g talking, laughing or dancing, which can sometimes leave someone looking unintentionally unappealing. Further more, at rare times there may be times where I come across an indecent display of flesh by accident. With this being of course being a violation of the persons image, I delete the photos immediately, and move on to the more flattering and suitable photos. Also, In some cases, I have had experiences where my models have offered a change of clothing admitting before hand that their body will be more revealed if so. Whilst I have nothing wrong with photographers who wish to take more unveiled images of their subjects, I am yet to go down this route and I respectfully decline. Thirdly I have unfortunately been in situations where either myself or someone close to me has had image made public that was not agreed to, and cannot reason with the author or corporation to have it removed.

Do I have any models of my own to assess the appropriateness of an image or how it is used?

I disagree with anyone who thinks it is okay and is carless enough to release an image that is either unflattering, indecently exposing or is a moment that wishes to be forgotten, to the public, if the subject was not consulted and it was not approved by the subject before hand. If I were to release an image, and the subject at hand where to come to me and ask for it to be removed, I would do so immediately without a second thought, as it is their image and they own it.

Exploring Impact –  Alan Kurdi

Do I recall any memories or experiences at the time of the publication of the photographers and footage of Alan Kurdi’s death?

I do not pay any of my attention to news, nor any kind of media that surrounds it for reasons that are unrelated to the course, therefor I was unaware at the time this image was released.

What are my own views on the appropriateness of the publication of these, or similar kinds of images?

I was originally going to go into this question with a response along the lines of – I think if an event, wether it be traumatic or appealing, it should be the photographers duty to shed light to the matter at hand and bring an awareness to the wronging or gifts in life. However, judging from my own response to my own model of assessment on appropriateness, had that been my family, or dare I say it child.. I don’t know how I would feel about this image going public.

What is your own assessment of the impact of these images?

I think that these kind of images are of course shocking, hard to view to say the least, but I believe, and naively hope it will serve as some kind of justice by having awareness brought to the issues.


What is my purpose as a photographer?

To capture and display the beauty of my subject. To reflect my creative vision and mirror the subjects characteristics and personality into a photograph and doing so with respect for my subject.

Power and Responsibilities

When I use photography, what do I feel are my responsibilities?

To overall ensure my subject feels comfortable. To ensure they are happy with the images and with them going public. When editing, I will remove any visual blemishes off a subject (unless asked not to). I have to also make sure I am happy with my images and that I am satisfied I have performed with my best of efforts.


What has challenged me?

Viewing and talking about Alan’s image and previous experiences with people using images with out permission.

What has surprised me?

I have never really questioned the ‘triangle’ or ‘photographers moral code’, it came as second natural to me, so it was interesting to acknowledge, think and discuss it.

What do I feel I have learned?

To question my own opinions.


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