The mystery of consent

1st October 2015

lkp purity 020

This image of the week is from a recent time I spent teaching a workshop in Berlin. We discussed how we approach people and when we decide to form a relationship with another. One thing that came up a few times was consent.
I find this topic really interesting. Whether my mind wanders to Kevin Carter of Phillip Lorca Di Corcia I question the morality, bravery and sensitivity of image makers. Is there a rule that we have to respect our subjects? Is there a law for consent? What happens if we cross that line in order to keep that sacred ‘real’ moment and document it in it’s beauty rather than intrude and demolish it?

When I first starting shooting I strolled Brick lane with a Pentax from the Xchange store and shot curiously without any permission. I shot people walking the streets, selling goods, deep in conversation and the general world around me. In black and white it felt alien and removed from reality and all I saw when I looked through eh viewfinder was shapes, shade and light. I had just watched James Hatchway war photographer and all I wanted to do was jump on a plane

Then at university my inspirations grew to a more staged and constructed approach and I began to question what I was shooting.

Now feels so far away from any of these thoughts or concerns. My approach seems too rehearsed and habitual. I always feel the need for consent but not always spoken or written; sometimes a nod of the head or some acknowledgement will do; either way I avoid hiding. I wish I could be invisible but it’s too obvious Im not. Im too slow.

I think one thing I also enjoy now is not only that interaction but the memory of it. The fact that the moment i share with my subject is private and not always revealed within the image; unintentional mystery.

My influences remain within Lorca Di Corcia, Crewsdon and Nachtway and I hope that as I learn my approach will evolve .One thing is for sure, I shall remain curious of strangers… oao x