Permission n., The act of permitting; consent; authorization.
It’s a good thing to ask for when you’re journalist, but when do you need to ask for it?
Most news organizations and colleges recognize different situations when it’s necessary to attain it. While asking for it before taping conversations and photographing people is common knowledge to most reporters, a dog owner in Midtown aptly said permission must be granted before photographing private property like his dog.
One photographer, a local freelancer, didn’t think asking this particular owner’s permission was necessary and snapped off a few. But after a couple of clicks she started apologizing profusely when the owner began, in her words, “a maniacal tirade so big that people passing were telling him to shut up.”
A fellow reporter at the news service, Liza Eckert, didn’t seem to have too much trouble when she photographed dogs during the Brooklyn Bridge Pup Crawl last weekend. But was she just warmly received because she had her own dog along for the trek?
For many photographers it’s easy to get permission to snap pictures of dogs and other pets in public places. Most of the time I find owners are aware of you and give unspoken approval. They see me taking out my camera, uncouple the lens cap, and as I crouch down to take the shot we make eye contact. They either smile, or don’t.
If they fail to notice me or don’t smile, I ask permission.
It’s always best to ask for permission as often as possible, but did this particular dog owner have to act how the freelancer alleges? What would you do?