Some photographers especially in documentary or street photography have their work widely criticized for being ethically and morally wrong. As the subject matter can be found offensive to the viewers of the work being displayed, however how are photographers in documentary meant to do new and interesting projects if they can’t explore deeper, “The deeper you go the better picture you will take” (Boogie, Everybody Street 2013). My understanding of this quote is the deeper you go on the subject matter, the more powerful the photographs will be.
A first subject to discuss is the photographic series Boogie has done was on drug addicts, who included photographs of people on Heroin or Crack, which created quite disturbing but powerful photographs, as these photographs were rare and not many photographers have been able to venture or even dare to do so. The photographs could be seen as morally wrong as what gave him the right to photograph these people who may have been at the time none the wiser, however it was they who gave Boogie permission to photograph their lives, so looking at his work at an ethical perspective, the photographs are in that sense right, however the series looked upon by some could cause them to feel uneasy or even offended.
The photography by Boogie isn’t ethically wrong due to having permission to photograph them as, he isn’t invading any of the subject’s privacy, as he has stated in the documentary Everybody Street they allowed him to come into their homes to photograph. However some people may see Boogies project to have been morally wrong as the subject matter he had explored during this project could be found offensive. So within documentary or street photography, it can be difficult to find a project which is pleasing and accepted by everyone, as they do not agree with the photographer’s morals or even ethics when photographing dark but impactful matters.
Drugs have made an impact on so many peoples lives from the decisions they have made, “this whole life is a bunch of choices you make and they just made a couple of wrong ones”, sadly this is a growing problem all around the world, which effects society largely a problem for the poorer communities, something I may look into photographing when undergoing my practical work for this project as I will be able to capture a side of society in a deep and impacting way, but I will see how I go about through the duration of the project.
Boogie has delved so deep into the darker side of society not only has he had the drug addicts as a subject he has also photographed gangs, which also took place in Brooklyn as they also featured in his photo book “it’s all good”. He was even asked to photograph the gangs, they approached him, and one which stands out from Everybody Street is when “gang kids” said “Boogie, you want to take some photos of us with guns”. This just shows how dedicated he must have been for this project, to have the impact his photographs have had, almost outrageous settings. Emphasised by the fact that these kids have asked him, this just depicts how much time he spent in Brooklyn to achieve his project.
Gangs are another subject which I may look into when photographing my project as this is a growing problem in the UK, again largely effecting the poorer regions in estates, so this is something which will add another interesting concept to the photography. The comparison I’m finding between this is that the US and the UK have the same issues, emphasizing how all societies have similar issues in different cultures and countries which makes this project I am venturing on interesting and intriguing on what I am going to find.