What Does It Mean When A Guy Secretly Takes A Picture Of You

Nowadays, smartphones make capturing a moment on camera simple today. These can also create cause for alarm depending on where the lens is aimed. When you notice a guy secretly taking a picture of you, whether someone familiar like a boyfriend, girlfriend, or a stranger, there is awkwardness and a sense of being perplexed.

It begs the question, what is mobile photo etiquette, and shouldn’t everyone be following it. Let’s look at mobile camera social rules and what applies when posting to social media.

Mobile cameras and proper etiquette

Many people document their adventures and life experiences via their cameras. Since mobiles were established, our lives revolve around this one little device. There’s no fear when a photo opportunity presents itself; the mobile will come through with a perfect result.

Where there is a benefit, there will almost always be drawbacks. That is most certainly the case with the ability to take photos so readily and discreetly. It can mean you’re out experiencing a most embarrassing moment when someone watching finds the experience inappropriately humorous. 

The individual thus decides to snap photographic evidence of your fumbles to share with their social circle or even on the social network, making you a laughing stock virtually. Is this okay?

Rules suggest that the moment you go into a public setting, you’re fair game for those who wish to snap your picture. Of course, the image must meet decency guidelines. But what about the photographer’s manners and general camera etiquette? 

Whatever happened to asking someone permission to take their picture? Let’s look at the rules of etiquette. So you know how to respond when you notice a man secretly taking your picture when you haven’t agreed. In the meantime, people can use that picture for web search to see your name, details, and more.

When someone takes a picture of you in public places without you knowing, that’s called a candid. On the other hand, if that person is your crush, things are not the same. When your boyfriend takes pictures of you, that depends on many things. If he loves you, he won’t take nude pictures, and if he does that, immediately try to remove them as no good guy will try to do that unless he has a bad will.

A mobile camera “photographer” needs to know that not everyone wants their photo taken

If a gentleman takes your picture without your permission and you catch them, it’s okay to confront the individual. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been made illegal to take a picture when someone is in a public setting. But you can certainly request the image be deleted.

In today’s digital world, there’s no guarantee that the photo won’t find its way to the social platform or be shared among a group of friends. Who knows if a stranger creates fake accounts on your name and picture?

These amateur photographers must be aware that some people prefer not to have their pictures taken for numerous reasons—none of these need to be expressed for the benefit of the guy taking the photos. 

It’s merely considerate and respectful to recognize it’s not anyone’s privilege to snap a picture at will and do with it whatever the person decides. And if a man asks and you deny the request, he should not take the picture, simple as that. There might not be specific rules and regulations governing the behavior. But common courtesy should exist even by your partner or someone you started dating in the previous days.

Don’t post other people’s pictures on social media

As an amateur mobile photographer, it’s essential to recognize that even if someone gives the okay to take their photo, that’s all you have permission for.  

Even if they pose with a group of people or with you in a “selfie” sort of picture, it isn’t permitting you to paste their likeness all over the social networks. 

Sadly, today everyone wants to document their everyday details. They go moment-by-moment on social sites for the entire world to know what’s happening in their life. 

When you take a secret photo of another person for whatever reason and choose to post that on a social site, you’re infringing on their rights. 

Whether that’s illegal or not is irrelevant; you need to look at it from an ethical standpoint. Sometimes that means more. Snapping photos and posting them for the world does not consider the other person’s privacy preference. 

When you take the shot, it’s vital to ask if that person minds if you share it on a site or with others. It is their picture; they own it. Often people are pretty cool about group photos being shared for whatever occasion. 

Still, they will appreciate the respect of you asking the question. That’s especially true of someone who might be struggling with self-confidence and not necessarily feel good about how they look in photos.

Delete unappealing photos

Everyone should realize when someone is having a bad moment, or they don’t look necessarily their best, don’t snap a photo. Still, people watching a situation will often take pictures to have something “newsworthy” to post online. It doesn’t matter that it’s at someone else’s expense.

As a creative subject to critiques and a person with the potential for being the subject of fodder with many embarrassing moments, I understand self-consciousness when something is public that you wish would simply disintegrate into nothingness.

On the other hand, when there is lovely exposure, it can elevate a mood, boost confidence, and create joy in the same vein that the bad one diminishes a person. 

In saying that, if you’re an amateur photographer (to say the least) with no understanding of taking a good photo or realize that mobiles tend to bring people in their worst light, you have an obligation to show your audience their picture before you do anything with it. 

They have a right to select the best option. You can choose any photo of yourself. As far as other people go, don’t use one where they closed their eyes, smiled weirdly, or merely looked less attractive than usual. 

Avoid the shot where you were at your best, and everyone else was awful. No one wants to be splashed across the internet when they’re having the very worst possible hair day.

Not every occasion needs to be publicized

In the not-so-distant past, people could have a pleasant brunch together, head out to the cinema, or maybe go for a cocktail without a single need to grab a camera to capture the occasion. 

Everyone kept the memories deep in their heart and private except, of course, if it were a milestone moment. That would include a wedding or birthday where everyone would expect there to be cameras flashing.

Now every single second has to be documented. Someone is waiting if you walk outside to get the newspaper or the mail to snap a photo and paste a clever headline for the world to view. 

Why can’t we enjoy a lovely dinner or go to a new club without having to snap a photo before we can take a bite or sample our drink? Worse still is shooting you as you’ve just taken a giant bite of your entree with your cheeks swollen.

What have you accomplished lately?

Many times people prefer to have their accomplishments acknowledged instead of having their likeness spread across social media for everyone to “compliment” or “critique” how they “look.”  No one, at least let’s hope, wants to be defined by their appearance but more so by what they achieve.

When people switch their profile pictures on social sites, there is one comment after the other as to how incredible or even not so, for those daring enough, it is.  This is why I use a cartoon and choose to write anonymously for most of my clients, so no one knows if I’m male, female, my age, my race, or what I look like. 

Opinions should be based not on what people see but on what they learn about you through your accomplishments. An amateur mobile camera operator can choose to secretly snap a photo of you at an embarrassing or inopportune moment and then paste that across the internet for the world to see. 

They decide to allow this picture to define to the masses who you are as a person; what right do they have to do that? Do they have a right to do that? Where are the rights for those who are being secretly photographed?

When a guy secretly shows his friends your picture

We’ve covered this relatively well. Simply taking the photo in secret is an invasion. Permission must be requested, and the person being photographed must be able to say yes or no. 

Even a yes is not an indication the picture can be spread around with everyone you encounter, nor does it mean you can paste it across social media. As technology has become advanced and with the creation of smartphones and their many features, there comes added responsibility. It’s no different than expecting to have privacy from hackers and identity thieves when using your internet. 

People anticipate that others will be considerate and thoughtful when approaching with a mobile camera and then deciding to publish those photos. And really, that expectation is genuinely not asking too much.

Sometimes, when a guy friend secretly takes pictures of you, that could mean he’s into you. Thus, that person tries to remember you through that picture he took without your knowledge. But of course, not everyone who takes pictures of you secretly is doing that and has goodwill even at the workplace.

If someone took a picture of you without your consent, try to approach him and ask to remove it as you don’t want that. Then, search for yourself on Google and just put your headshot to see if someone posted a picture of you on their social media, Facebook posts, or the entire web, if possible.

Next, when you see those photos on a specific page, contact the site behind it and ask to remove them because you never allowed the photographer to post them. But keep in mind that in most cases, there are legal issues when people take pictures in public places. So, it may need advice from a legal expert. That’s the best way to know for sure if you can sue someone just for taking a picture of you without your permission.


When you have any sort of platform, and we all do if we register for a social site, you are obligated to be responsible and get permission before posting people’s likenesses. 

It goes beyond an obligation to the point of common courtesy and respect. There’s little privacy in the world. Most people hold onto the bit they have tight. 

When people choose to run around snapping secret photos and publishing them, they decide to take that little bit. We need more stringent privacy regulations if that’s how people will handle digital responsibilities.

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