Can I take your picture?

So on friday afternoon I had a rather strange thing happen to me. It was a gorgeous spring day, around 80 degrees F and sunny, which for this city is *incredible* considering spring is usually grey and rainy. We went into the city for the day to see friends, attend Jummah and basically hang out in the city (alhamdullah we are moving back in June…dh and I are NOT “Burbs” types at all).

I was dressed exactly like the Turkish woman in the above picture, same exact overhead overgarment and all except for a cream floral shaylah wrapped under the overhead. Nothing too “exotic” or off the hook. LOL

Anywho, the day went wonderfully and then I had to run into the public library to get a few items I had ordered a few days ago and my husband took our son and walked to the garage to get our car. I guess they walked there in a very slow meander because after I came out of the Library I waited for almost 15 minutes for them to come and get me.

So, I’m standing there, admiring the flowers and trees that were blooming all around me when I notice out of the corner of my eye this East Asian man with a large Nikon around his neck snapping pictures here and there of the scenery. As Ive mentioned before, I’m ghetto…I notice EVERYTHING going on around me, even if I dont overtly look like I’m noticing it, I am. Its both a blessing and a curse. Anyway I get hyper aware when someone has a camera out in my vicinity and I turned around to see what exactly he was doing when I saw him raise his Nikon towards me!  I immedietly turned around with my back to him and was like, he better NOT take a picture of me. So then a few seconds later he came over to me and asked if he could take my picture. Obviously I said No way but was still kind of freaked out by the whole thing and hoped he hadnt done some sneaky snap anyway.

So yes I get paranoid around cameras…I think this is a rational considering how common place covert picture taking has become and how its generally done without the subject even knowing that it is occuring. Yes I know shops and streets have cameras…those I dont mind as they generally are for public safety or to prevent theft…but for someone to take a covert picture of someone without their permission is seriously wrong. With how common place cell phone cameras are now adays this is definitely a cause for concern and its no less wonderful for someone with a Nikon to be taking an unauthorized picture. The only difference is its hard to miss someone aiming their Nikon at you. LOL

Has this ever happened to any of you and what did you do?


13 thoughts on “Can I take your picture?

  1. Asalaamu Alaikum

    Lol, yes. I was at a museum and a woman snapped my pic. I think she thought I was dressed up in a period costume or something. I was so surprised I said nothing.

  2. Assalaamu alaikum 🙂

    Nope, not that I know of, lol 🙂

    That’s too creepy though……I guess people think that anyone is up for public consumption without boundaries!

  3. Salam aleykum

    Well…yes. Sort of. A few years ago I went to Tunisia and although I was all wrapped up (I really don’t understand why on earth would a woman wear revealing clothesing in an arabic country and expect people to leave her alone, plus my skin is *super* white) EVERY SINGLE vendor,local and an occasional tourist photographed me, or asked my mother to let them take my photo. I felt like a touristic objet. UGH! Is it that surprising for a Western woman to observ a given countries dress code / wear a hijab?

  4. Yeah 😦 I was in a hotel once and (and East Asian man, actually!) came up to me,, asked if i was Muslim, told me I was beautiful and then asked to take my photo. He really did seem surprised when I said no lol!!
    But I don’t get it. We’re not a tourist attraction, we’re just women. Hm. 😐

  5. In Korea, I just figure anyone may take my picture any time. I really don’t have any control because everyone has phone cameras and take pictures of everything all the time. I have never met a Korean who wasn’t a dedicated shutter bug. Most of the time they probably think I I’m a tourist and fair game.

  6. Salaam sis. I had only been Muslim a short while and had went to a restaurant with a couple of friends. We were in a real country area where I am sure a muhajabat hasn’t been seen before.

    Anyhoo it was really busy and we are all sitting around and I see this dude sureptitiously pointing his cell phone at me (holding it down low) and I hear a click.

    F’real dawg? lol I tell my friends and we are all just kinda aghast. I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t 100% positive but I was pretty sure. 🙂

    Of course, as you know from my blog, I don’t stress too much about those kind of things. For one, where would we be if there weren’t so many awesome pictures of hijaabis on the net to love on their clothes? 🙂

    I do hope they assented to having their photos taken but realistically I am sure many of them were done from a distance with a high-powered lens. I wouldn’t want my pic to be taken by Joe Blow however just because I would doubt his intentions.

    Sorry such a long post. Ma salaama!

  7. And when I do, I try to let it be a bit of dawah/reaching out to make Muslims more human and less scary/other/terrorist.

  8. Never happened to me, I just get alot of LOOKS- you know, not just normal looking, but LOOKING, hehe! The nicest thing to happen so far was a comment I got from a little boy, about 4 years old, riding on his Dad’s shoulders ( I was wearing abaya/hijab)- he said ” I like your dress”! So not all kids are frightened by the sight of us!

  9. Assalaamu Alaikum,

    I totally see what you are saying subhanAllah.

    However, when we post pictures of Muslimah’s that are rather clearly covertly taken, aren’t we playing into this ourselves?

    • Yes but…such is life…there are pictures everywhere and we really cant do anything about most of them. I just try to be alert and see whats going on around me.

  10. Happened to me lots… thats becuase when i go to tourist hotspots you cant help but get in the photo.

    But if its like you mentioned above i do just turn my back or jump behind something. I have never had someone come ask me for a photo…. if they did i think my husband would break their legs and arms and head. looool.
    Alhamdulillah i love that protection from my zawaji 😀

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