How do these laws affect and why do I now suddenly develop a guilty conscience when there are children in the shot or when I want to do street photography?
Since the advent of the remarkable and ingenious mobile phone camera, there have been ever increasing reports of misguided people either being arrested or at least forced to move on from areas such as children's playgrounds, sporting events, swimming carnivals, beaches, etc.
And I must say, rightly so, if they don't have a legitimate enough reason for being there in the first place. But where does that leave the well-intentioned, budding amateur, or professional photographer, or even just a parent or grandparent, who is merely endeavouring to get a nice record shot of the little loved one as he or she streaks across the finish line, amidst the shrieks and cries of their school mates cheering them on?
It is so unfortunate, that because of a demented few, we who have always enjoyed the freedom and pleasure, and the liberty, of taking candid shots of kids just being kids, with their totally innocent ways, their ever-grinning faces smeared with chocolate birthday cake, taking their first steps, riding a bicycle for the first time and kids who are carefree and just love life and show it eagerly in their mischievous demeanor.
I loved attending the birthday parties of my grandchildren and took as many candid shots as I could, but what about the other children included in the scene, do I now need to get written permission from parents, if a child should stray into the shot?
Isn't it a great pity now, that when we are out photographing a street parade or civic ceremony, we are going to have to be aware that at any moment, someone in uniform could approach us and force us to stop doing something we love to do and have always taken so much for granted. They may even have plain-clothed people patrolling such events just for that one particular reason.
What is this world coming too?
Perhaps it's just paranoia on my part, but I suppose one we will just have to be more careful and aware of what we are doing and of the possible consequences when we point our lenses towards groups of people and especially innocent children.
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