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Shop owner asks people in Toronto neighbourhood to stop taking photos of strangers

If you've noticed people in Kensington Market asking strangers to pose for photos and thought it was weird, you're not the only one.

Sanagan's Meat Locker owner Peter Sanagan, whose butcher shop is located in Kensington Market, was told by several people coming into his store (mostly women) that a supposed "street photographer" had been harrassing them, wanting them to pose for pictures on the streets.

This led him to message the photographer directly, screenshotting the DM and posting it to the Sanagan's Meat Locker Instagram account as a note to everyone who considers themselves a practictioner of street photography.

"So many of you do fabulous work, and are respectful of the privacy of the people who you want to photograph. But please, if you ask someone to model for you (which you should always do), and they turn you down, just move on," reads the caption to the Instagram post.

"Don't continuously pester them, as it is borderline harassment. This has happened to a number of people (especially women) in our Kensington community and we won't stand for it. Ask for permission, get consent, and happy instagramming!"

Speaking to blogTO, Sanagan wouldn't name the photographer he had messaged in the screenshot, but did say he was speaking on behalf of people who had told him about the situation from their perspective.

"It was mainly women who reached out to me, and one man speaking on behalf of another woman. I'm not on the streets of Kensington enough to witness it firsthand, but it's Kensington, and I've seen hundreds of people photographing the neighbourhood over the years," Sanagan said.

"The vast majority of them are great, but there are a few who badger their subjects. In this case, the number of complaints was enough for me to reach out to that particular photographer. I posted it on Instagram because I believe it's a good message for everyone."

The message follows a flurry of hate crimes, as well as reports of women being openly attacked in certain Toronto neighbourhoods. 

Now, it seems people have to worry about street photographers harrassing them as well. 

Lead photo by

blogTO


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