warning: creep with camera!

So, a few discussions this weekend got my gears turning: one, a conversation with a friend about a picture of a pretty girl, and a weird/creepy experience newscoma had with some pictures on flickr.

The former revolved around a great picture of a very pretty girl taken by my friend Karen (who is a great photographer, check out her stuff). I just mentioned how I think that picture is funny because it represents to me how much the photographer impacts the portrait being taken as much as the subject. (For more on this subject, read this very interesting post over on the online photographer.) That is, I have a feeling that this picture, taken by Karen, who is, herself, a very pretty, friendly and approachable woman (who may or may not know the subject, I don’t know) would have turned out much differently had it been taken by me, a .. dude she doesn’t know. Probably less relaxed, more awkward, and more guarded. Possibly a “why the fuck are you taking my picture” expression. This is what I like to call the “creep with cam” (CwC) effect.

I mean, those of you that know me know that I’m not a creep. Those of you that REALLY know me know that I sorta am. But, those of you that really REALLY know me, know that, deep down, I’m not. But the creep-with-cam stereotype exists for a reason. They’re out there – oh man are they ever out there. You know the type. The sex-deprived nerd that long ago, at the first viewing of a porno mag, realized the potential of a camera as an avenue into the world of Real Actual Naked Women. They are not always such a harmful bunch, usually just the lovable but preverted socially dysfunctional nerd type. But they can get weird.

Anyways, I don’t know that I had a larger point here, except that the extreme CwCs sorta ruin it for the rest of us. Being a Standard Issue White Male, I am constantly racked with self-consciousness when I am out taking pictures of anything that can be misconstrued as Creepy. There’s a public fountain near here that is basically on any given summer night a bonanza of families with kids playing in the water.. But, you know, I have my doubts about taking random candids of random girls – this goes double for someone’s kids. You could ask permission, but that sorta ruins the whole “candid” thing. I even felt a little weird taking my camera to roller derby… I wasn’t, you know, thinking . o O ( GIRLS!! ), I was thinking . o O ( SUBJECTS!! ).. (okay, I was thinking girls, but not insofar as photography goes).

And then there are people who post pics to flickr of, you know, their 8 year old niece or whatever to flickr and having to subsequently take it down when they realize that some fucktard found it sexually stimulating.. I have this awesome picture of my friend Vernon’s daughter and her friend richard at a swimming pool that I photoshopped (well, GIMPed) to make them wearing superhero costumes. It’s fucking awesome. But I’ve never posted it, because I had doubts about even that. Which is just a damn shame.

Creepy dudes: ruining it for the rest of us.