Why I don’t put up pictures of humans on my Instagram

Lot of Instagrammers are doing fantastic work in this domain but I feel it is something I won’t do.

But I personally think it is a very tricky space to get into. While many photojournalists and street photographers cannot avoid clicking people, I refrain from it due to ethical and privacy issues.

I am not a professional photographer and I guess I would never become one. My only purpose to open Instagram account was to document my travels. Most wonderful pictures of humans I have come across on Instagram made wonder about the consent of the subject.

Does the sweeper on the street even know that his photo is being broadcast for likes and comments of around millions of active users? Even if you are telling him that the photo is being clicked, does he know that the photograph will be used for generating traffic on multiple pages as a 'feature’ which in return get paid for product placements and impressions?

Most of the street photographs I have seen on Instagram are nothing but poverty porn for growing number of Indian hipsters.

Things get even complicated when you are photographing minors ( yes, those balloon selling children on streets which you thought would make perfect frame with an emotional caption.) These photographs are mostly not taken with any kind of parental consent before clicking or publishing. Let’s not even talk about thousands of 'candid' photos where photographer are not even bothered to show pictures to the subjects.

In terms of the Instagram economics, will any of these ‘influencers’ be willing to share some amount of revenue with these photo subjects? Considering professional photographers do pay heavy amount of money to their 'models’, street photography subjects should get paid too. Or photographs of the poor are cheap for you?


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