A photo a day – is this ethical?

Clive’s house – just opposite to me – has been bought and currently in the process of being renovated for its new owners. I call it Clive’s house because I don’t know the new neighbours yet as they haven’t moved in. It’s nice to see the house get a new life with a young family moving in soon but it will take me a while to stop thinking of it as Clive’s house as he’d lived in it since before we moved in in January 1986.

The builders have been working since the new year and appear to be carrying out  major refurbishment. Me being a nosy neighbour means I watch the progress with interest. But is it legal or ethical for me to take such an intrusive photo?


Clearly there is no legal or ethical issues of taking an image of the house as its visible from a public place. But I think I have crossed a line by photographing a person inside the house as this is private space. However I think this particular image is ethically okay because I have not compromised the subject.

This image isn’t quite a portrait through a window as Shizuka Yokomizo’s Stranger series was (link) and it much more akin to street photography like that of Bruce Davidson (link).


About Pete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
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1 Response to A photo a day – is this ethical?

  1. Catherine says:

    Can it be counted as private when someone is working there rather than living there? The viewer doesn’t know the addess and can’t really see the person. I guess in the end we have to work out our own code of ethics and then discuss them with other photographers to see where all the boundaries lie. Iremember the series that Sharon did where she knocked on doors and asked the people if she could photograph them.


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