Link to weekend project in question: http://dphotographer.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=3977
Did you try to get to know who they were? Or how and why they ended up in their unfortunate situation? Did you ask for their permission to take their photo? Did you offer any aid? Did you even talk to them?
Photos of people in situations, conditions like these can be considered photos taken for the sake of journalism or raising awareness campaigns, yet if we are careless it can cause more harm than help.
For example, we've all heard about this photo:
(Source: http://listverse.com/2009/11/02/10-noto ... er-effect/)
Kevin Carter was a South African Photojournalist who, in March 1993, took the most infamous photograph, so far, of the brutality and disregard for human suffering in sub-Saharan Africa. The photo shows a female Sudanese toddler, alone and severely emaciated, attempting to crawl to an aid station for food. A vulture is standing on the ground behind her, waiting for her to die so it can eat her.
Carter claimed that he waited 20 minutes for the vulture to spread its wings, which he thought would make a better picture, and when it didn’t, he took the picture as is. For those 20 minutes, the toddler had to rest before resuming its trip. She whimpered and panted, and Carter did nothing to help her.
He took the picture, scared the vulture away, then left the girl to continue crawling on her own. No one knows what became of her, but it very likely that she starved to death. This account is denied by Joao Silva, a journalist friend of Carter, who stated that the child’s parents left for only a moment to take food from a plane. Either way, Carter claimed later that he just “didn’t want to get involved.” He killed himself the next year, after winning the Pulitzer for this photograph, by carbon monoxide poisoning, in his truck in Johannesburg.
Link to Wikipedia article about Kevin Carter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Carter
The old saying "A picture can tell a thousand words"; the camera we hold in our hands is the tool that easily enables us to tell those thousand words. I think there are some ethical and moral considerations to be made when taking photos of certain subjects and we must be careful how we approach the 'shot'.