When Is It OK To Photograph Teenagers In School Uniform Without Their Consent?

Umm…never?

Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh

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2014 photograph of my older daughter’s school drill display. These children are now in college. Photo by the author.

I went to pick up my 15-year-old daughter from school yesterday. She’s a smart and feisty kid. She gets along well with a good cross-section of her classmates and I’m assuming that her opinion is that of the class.

I don’t usually do the school run. My daughter’s class had a morning dismissal time after their mid-term examination yesterday. That was why I was there before work, to pick her up and drop her home before rushing to my dental clinic.

I thought it would be a good idea to get a few picture of the kids in uniform. They were calling out to each other, discussing the exam and generally emoting in a way they didn’t even know would be fascinating in a photograph.

The children didn’t like my photographing them candidly.

Even though I sent each kids’ picture to the kid themselves and then deleted it from my phone, they still didn’t like it.

These are kids who I know from my daughter’s birthday parties each year. Once a year, each of these kids comes to my place and on that day, they BEG to be photographed.

I have just one photograph at school from my years at school. It is a stiff “class picture”, where all my class mates and I have been sorted into levels, some on chairs, some standing behind the kids on chairs and some standing on chairs behind the kids who were standing so that each child was clearly visible to the camera’s lens.

I would have loved to have a parent of any kid in my class take a picture of me and my classmates after school.

But my daughter’s class isn’t mine.

This isn’t 1986.

They didn’t like being photographed candidly in their school uniforms.

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Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh

I don’t just create smiles, I inspire them! Dentist, mom—Jamshedpur, India.