Sunday, February 5, 2012
0/100 - The 1 that got away
Yep, this was the 1 that would never be. After all the necessary material arrived, camera and mini cards, I decided it was time to get started on this new project. I chose to begin close to home. On the return trip from work we stopped at a quaint boutique that we go to quite regularly. We know the store and the products but not the people. I thought a portrait there would make an interesting beginning.
I brought my camera in and we started looking around for the purchases we planned on making. After chatting a minute or two with the young lady who served us, I told her about my project and asked if I could take her picture. She said sure but she'd have to ask her boss first. When she came back downstairs she said it wasn't a problem but her boss told her she'd like the picture to be taken in the other part of the boutique. Fortunately, the other part actually made a better backdrop. Anyway, I was about to start taking pictures when I realized I had forgotten to put my battery in the camera. DUH! I asked Peg if she would go out to the car and get it for me.
While we were waiting I thought it would be a good time to get to know a little bit about my subject. I asked her how long she'd been working there and what made her decide to work there. As she was answering the questions her boss came down the stairs. She asked me if I was doing an interview. I told her I was just asking her some questions. She then wanted to know what I was doing so I explained the 100 strangers project to her. She started asking things like if I had a license, where were the pictures going. She said she would rather I contact the owners and get their permission. I said, no problem.
However, she continued talking about how I could get into trouble and how they got into trouble letting a friend of theirs take pictures there. I have to admit, this was about the time I was wishing my French was a bit stronger. She stayed polite, as did I, but she then mentioned that I could get into trouble because Quebec was a village and word would get around fast that someone, me, was taking pictures. In the end, we payed for our purchase, thanked the young lady and left. I do hope she didn't experience any downfall from this incident.
Needless to say, I was disappointed, confused and a little frustrated. As soon as I arrived at home I started researching photography laws in Quebec to try to understand how she felt I was somehow doing something wrong. I was discouraged by her reaction and was even rethinking the project. After all, if this was the reaction I was going to get I wasn't sure I wanted to continue. From what I read all I need to take and post the pictures is spoken permission from the subject. Since we were in a boutique she did have the right to refuse having the picture taken there. While I completely understand and respect that right I still don't fully understand why she felt I would get into trouble.
After doing some research, talking to people and reflecting, I decided to accept the challenge and continue with the project. I'd be interested if anyone has some information that would shed some light on my understanding. Thanks.