Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pictures of Strangers

Last night we made a late run to Wal-Mart to procure Season One of The Office. (We've only just started watching. Hilarious. However, Season One does leave quite a bit to be desired when compared with the more recent re-runs on TBS that I THINK are from Season Three. Some things really do get better as they age. We've started tagging people with who they might be. Nate's a Jim. I must be a Pam. But wouldn't everyone say that? We have a friend who is a TOTAL Dwight, which makes us laugh. Hard. But if you were to ask him, he'd probably say he was a Jim. Which would be wrong. Which means maybe I'm wrong about us being Jim and Pam.)

I just got totally off track here.

So, yesterday we made a late night run to Wal-Mart. Walking out of the store, Nate nudges me, "Is that what you're talking about?" I look just ahead of us to see, from behind, a woman in light khaki pants that are quite baggy, which she has attempted to tuck into her black boots. Now, given, the boots were of a fur-lined sort. I wouldn't call them Uggs, but not a dressy boot by any means. When wearing boots of this type you can be a little more lenient with pant style. Surfer Beach Chic can pull on her sheep skin boots and go. HowEVer... this woman was definitely not Surfer Beach Chic, and was obviously using her fur-lined footwear to dress up her khaki pants, which did not like the idea and were blatantly trying to escape the confines of said boot. A large puff of pant had been created at the top of each boot, and for all I know she was stealing things from the store and hiding them in her fashion mistake.

Now, this brings me to my dilemma. I wanted so badly to take a picture and post it. A clear example of a definite no-no. But I couldn't just whip out the camera in Wal-Mart and aim it at this poor woman's backside! Well, I could have, but I wouldn't want someone doing that to me, so I shouldn't subject her to it, either.

In Costco on Thursday there was a girl with the cutest Scottish Plaid pointy-toe slingbacks eating pizza a few tables away. A great example of Everyday Sassy Shoes, and her pants were even the right length. I started to reach for the camera, but thought, "What are the ethics of this?"

Seriously! I mean, they always have fashion no-no's in magazines. They blur the faces, and everyone can see how NOT to wear 80's shoulder pads. (I maintain there is no correct way to do this. Ever. Unless you're Gwen Stefani. Then I'll love it and wish I had the guts to copy the outfit.) But, what happens to those photographers when they get caught? When the subject turns around and sees them snapping the photo? And do bystanders ever notice and point out the photographer to the subject? (Maybe I should say victim.) Is there any attacking that goes on? Scratching out of the eyeballs?

What do you do about pictures of strangers? Are they morally and ethically okay to take... without permission?

I do have certain friends that have been known to chase a stranger's car for miles just to get a clear shot of their license plate, but that's not a woman's backside in Wal-Mart at nine o'clock at night.

And now, back to the aforementioned fashion dilemma. I told Nate that was exACTly what I was taking about, but I hadn't mentioned that specific no-no in my post.
(There were actually quite a few things I didn't mention. I didn't want to make my post three miles long, which it easily could have been.)

For starters, this woman was wearing a dark black top and boots with very light khaki pants, which were baggy... but not on her rear. Light things when placed next to dark things tend to stand out, so where she should have been focusing on emphasizing her top half, her bottom is what called out to people saying, "hello! I'm right here!"

As for the boot, you need to wear pants that are somewhat fitted. Skinny, slim, or straight leg work the best. You can get away with a smaller bootcut, as long as they aren't leaving the telltale lumps. Wide legs just aren't a tucking-in option. Ever. Like 80's shoulder pads. This woman hadn't ever been told that.

And if I could have resolved my moral dilemma right there on the spot in a way that favored my camera, you would have a picture to see this for yourself.
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MomOfDudes said...

I totally miss my shoulder pads!!!

Do you compliment the fashion do's? I just cant help but compliment the cute purse. I would have walked up and said "Cute shoes" to the gal at Costco and I am sure she would have looked at me probably fresh from the kitchen with hairnet hair and think. EWWWWW I so forget I am not Stacey London!

Let's just face it pal, some people (like me) have no BUSINESS entering the tuck the pants in the boots game.

Love ya pal

Thany said...

Maybe Google can be your friend and you can find examples of what to do or what NOT to do through pictures that have already been posted.

And that friend of yours? She must be crazy.

Susie said...

Here's my own personal rule on taking pictures and posting- unless I ASK them and they say OKAY, then people I don't know personally get blurred out faces. Or if I haven't asked permission but need the picture, then blur out face. If it's a backside, it's a backside and no blurring out needed. Of course, it's STILL their backside and it was good call not to take a photo.

Alysun said...

I loved this post. Sometimes, your words just have to paint the description of the severe fashion mistakes (and you do a good job).
My sister and I observed a picture worthy event while out shopping awhile ago. 2 teeny-boppers were sitting inside a GAP store, on the floor, backs to the window. Their low rise pants exposed a few inches of crack on each of them. The "gap" was so obvious. We tried to get a picture with a phone, but it didn't turn out. It is hard to be discrete.

The Adventure said...

There have been so many times here that I wanted to take pictures of people. One time the lady saw me with my camera and actually lifted her hat over her face, so all I caught was her eyes...then I felt bad and invasive :)

Sorry we made Nate cry :) He could try for this job...Justin has his next replacement but it will be open again in July 09?? Thankfully we have benefitted from it too - although the boys and I will be on our own again in March.

How do you put the link in your text?


Karen said...

Good question, for which I have no good answer. I wouldn't take photos from other people's websites...take your own, because then you own them. Just because it's on the WWW doesn't mean it's okay to take. I'd have issues if people came to my blog and started taking my pictures for their own personal use.

So I guess I say...take the photo and pretend you are taking it of something else and then blur their face. And pray to God you never meet them in a dark alley. :)

*emmy said...

I say you ask your child to pose for a picture..... riiight in front of your victim (muuu-aahahaha!) ;^) . And wa-la you got yourself your picture!