Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hit and Run

One-year-old Vixita Maribel Garcia was killed in a hit-and-run accident in the curb of the street during a family party on Superior Peak Drive in Taylorsville. The suspect may or may not know she ran over the small child.

Ironic this happened the day after discussing the ethics of taking photos of families who have lost someone/had their house burn down. I usually choose shoot over not shoot unless they say something or it's obvious they are upset with me. This family seemed fine with my presence and some of them ever talked to me after I had been there an hour.


Octavian Cantilli said...

It's not always fun... but you did well. How did you handle getting names?

Sarah A. Miller said...

I talked to one of the family members that wasn't hysterical to get the names of everyone. i basically casually asked her to point out the immediate family members so I knew who to shoot then she was fine giving me names

Anonymous said...

Would you be "calm" or "hysterical" if this happened to you or one of your little girl? How could you be so cruel? I think that you should ask the immediate family if it is ok to publish, nobody else!!!

Sarah A. Miller said...

anonymous- I wish I knew if you were a journalist, member of this family, or just random.

I took these photos because it was my job. I was called off another assignment by my boss and sent to take these photos.

There were 4-5 TV camera crews there. I am sure they recorded the same things I did. Are they cruel too? They also interviewed some of the people in my photographs on camera.

In the photo news world, you do not need permission to publish anything newsworthy unless you are on private property, which this was not.

The woman I talked to was an aunt.

Shooting situations like this are always tricky because some people will always be upset over the photos, but my point to this entry was that I was able to take them without being overly invasive and rude.

It would be very rude to take and publish these photos if I was not a news photographer and not working for a newspaper/tv station.

If I was an art photographer I WOULD need permission from the subjects.

I think it would be "cruel" or at least inappropriate for me to take these and post them all over facebook or youtube something like that or to sell them for profit, but this is my photojournalism blog and this is where I post my work, most of which has already run in a newspaper.

there is a saying in photojournalism, "shoot first, ask later." no matter if the subject is serious like this or if it is a fun, happy photo, when you give people the option of saying no they will often say it not because they have really thought about it, but because they feel like they are not in charge and don't want to say yes for other people.

anyway, sorry for the rambling and thanks for the comment as I mentioned in the beginning of the post I spend a lot of time thinking about ethics and what is ethical to shoot, but this time I left that up to my boss to decide and these are the photos we published.