Lady in Red; Street Photography in Madrid

Lady in Red; Madrid Spain
Lady in Red; Madrid Spain

There is so many great opportunities to practise my street photography here in Madrid, something I don’t do a lot of. Photographing people I don’t know, I am not yet comfortable with approaching people I don’t know. I might grab a shot from across the street that I find interesting, as I did here. Then there is the language barrier, well at least that is the excuse I am using. I have occasionally asked to take someone’s picture, and almost every time I have had a positive outcome. Still I find once I have asked someone it I can take their photo I get a posed photo, not the one that originally attracted me to take the scene.

So I am still finding my way, doing street photography, taking photos of people who are unaware of me seems to be the best fit right now. Maybe I need to find a way of approaching people after I have taken their photograph, to ask permission to share the image of them on my blog. This would give me the candid image I envisioned yet allow people the opportunity to decide if they want to share the image.

Tell me, how would you feel, if you were approached by a total stranger, who showed you a picture of yourself. then asked to share it on the blog. Keeping in mind the photo was a beautiful as this lady sketching in Madrid. I still think it would be hard, even if we both spoke English to get people to understand I wanted nothing more than to share the photo with the world on my blog.

Help me through this process, let me hear your thoughts on the subject.



9 thoughts on “Lady in Red; Street Photography in Madrid

  1. Hi Janice, Great photo. love the muted background colors then the bright red jumping out at you!
    As for your musings about street photography…. I share all your thoughts on that, been there, had those. I caught a few in Ecuador, some street people who were selling little things to raise money, I made it worth their while. I also got a release translated into Spanish (after the fact 😦 . Next time I go to a foreign country, I’m going to take releases in their language and a ‘postcard’ with my “ask” on it, in their language. Now I’ll just have to dig deep to have the nerve. BTW: always identify yourself as Canadian, especially in France but NOT in Spain LOL


  2. Great shot Janice. As far as asking permission to share a specific photo of someone, to me, the dividing line is whether or not the picture is of ‘that’ person, or of ‘a’ person. For portraits, I generally ask (unless they are doing something that clearly says they are aware of being in the public eye- buskers/street performers, for example), but for a picture like this, I probably wouldn’t think it was necessary – she is one element of a scene (an important one, granted), her face is mostly obscured, and she isn’t clearly recognizable. Does that make sense?

    That said, the one absolute rule I have is that I won’t post anything I think is demeaning, embarrassing, or even just unflattering – fundamentally, if I wouldn’t be happy if someone else posted a similar picture of me, I won’t do it to someone else, regardless of how photographically ‘good’ a picture may be. I want people to enjoy my photography, not be upset or insulted by it! (Not that I am suggesting you would, it’s just this is probably the biggest factor of whether or not I share people-related pictures.)


    1. Hi Journey, I feel the same, and won’t post pictures that are demeaning, embarrassing or even unflattering, and your ideas in the first paragraph about “a” person and “that” person seems like a good guideline as well. thanks for your input.


  3. i quite agree with Journey Photographic. if it is a general scene, where there are many people milling about in a public place, or an image such as this one here – which is actually a brilliant click, by the way – where the person is not easily identifiable, and it is an image which is not embarrassing or demeaning or a situation i wouldn’t mind myself being found in, then i feel free to click and post without permission. however when it comes to posting portraits where people are identifiable, and especially in the case of children, i do ask for permission first. some people happily say yes.
    but not always. there have been times i asked permission to post photos and wasn’t granted it, so i have respected that, even though they were moments i would have loved to have shared.
    for example a number of years ago i was asked to capture some images for someone’s family event, and one of the family members was a fairly well-known musician who performed a few numbers for everyone at the celebration, and i got some unique shots. however. when i asked later if i could publish the musician’s photo on my blog, my request was declined. it happens.
    enjoying your travel adventures. thanks for sharing.


  4. HI PIx, you make some good points. I am pretty careful with children, whether on the street (almost never) and with portrait clients, I always ask permission for posting. As for strangers on the street, I am going to have to screw up my courage and start asking some of those brilliant face I see for permission! thanks for you input, it is appreciated.


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