Positions and Practice – Power and Responsability


This week it was discussed the Power and responsibilities that the photographer faces. As discussed on Jeff Mitchell’s photo of the refugees moving from Croatia to Slovenia, the image itself does not give a poor representation of the situation. He took it as an employee of Getty images, where the image went afterwards. The problem is that anyone can buy this image, and it was actually legally used by Ukip’s Farage, on his political campaign against immigration. Should images with such an impact end in easy to use platforms such as Getty? Should a photographer be responsible for the use of the image, should he be able to investigate first where is the image will be used, in order to approve its use? In todays’ world the use of fake images and media has increased quite significantly, and the distribution of images should be taken more seriously.

A photographer should raise moral and ethical questions when producing work, such as not to mis-portrait perfection, if it should affect the society’s mental health and should avoid being part of a mis-information chain. According to Susan Bright, there is a moral triangle, in which there is the Image maker> the Subject> and Audience. The image maker should have in mind that people from different backgrounds could reach the image and interpret it in different ways. Therefore, it should be taken into consideration when producing the material. Subjects such as children and vulnerable people should be taken extra care.

When photographing people, you invade and violate them, so ethical values should be put into practice. It could have a huge impact on how you present them. Another situation mentioned was Corby’s body and the use of images. It was spread though many newspapers and used in different ways. The mainstream media has a responsibility to show what is really going on at the conflict, but the use of narcissism, when no compassion is shown, may cause too many of these images on the eye of the public. This could create a problem named “compassion fatigue”, it is when it becomes mundane and not a matter of urgency anymore. The mainstream media has this responsibility.

My responsibility as a photographer is to make sure the person’s privacy is respected. When working with children, I have to make sure not to make them look in an age inappropriate way and to respect privacy depending on what the parents desire. I am answerable to the parents in this case. On the other hand, when talking about my other projects, I have to answer to ethic’s analysis, justify my choices accordingly, because I might be dealing with something quite personal and private.



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