I am now officially unemployed (or funemployed to steal a phrase from a friend)! Yesterday was my last day of work. I had been at this job for just under 16 months, which in my five and a half years working as a social worker is a record for me. For someone as restless as I am this is a testament to my wonderful team and the passion I have for the humanitarian need and human rights of asylum seekers.
One of the benefits of working with such a wonderful close knit team as I have, is the perfectly tailored farewell gifts I received. A bottle of red wine, and a voucher for a photographic day trip in Cambodia with Nathan Horton Photography. This includes a half day workshop and then an afternoon putting our new skills into practice. I have bought a beautiful new camera to take with me so I can document my travels and improve my skill. But what I loved the most about this gift, and what touched me with the realisation that my colleagues really do understand me, is the ethical photography component of this course.
While I do not expect that people who don’t know me will bother reading this blog, I am very aware of the public nature of blogs. In this age where everything is public, one has to be very careful of what photos they post online. I have been wondering for a while if it is OK for me to take photos of strangers and post them online. If I photograph interesting people and situations during my travels, am I exploiting them, particularly if I am photographing children or vulnerable persons? Do I need to obtain consent before photographing strangers, and if I do, are they really able to provide informed consent?
I had never voiced these concerns to my colleagues but they have been plaguing me for some time. So either I am very transparent, or they just know me extremely well. Actually, it doesn’t hurt that the individual responsible for this amazing gift is one of my best friends of nearly ten years.