I took the above photograph in the women's section of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
I think it is a touching and beautiful photograph. I especially like the little boy sitting in the window waiting for his mom. I posted it to one of my Flickr groups and a sister left the following comment:
"I think it is a speacial connection between the person and alaha we should not inteuup this realtionship"
I felt hurt when I read her comment. To be more accurate, it pushed my shame button.
When I take photographs of this nature, I usually stand a distance off, and bring the photograph nearer in the editing process. I also turn off my flash, and put my camera on "museum mode" so that no shutter click is heard. Unless someone physically sees me take the picture, no one knows it is being taken. Therefore, I don't think I was interrupting anything.
I am not a papperatzi (spelling, lol?) who sticks my camera in the faces of people. As a matter of fact, I do frequently ask people if I may photograph them in certain instances (like when I photographed the Turkish police, lol).
I believe the camera is like another "eye" in the room. It capture what I see with my own set of eyes.
Is the masjid "hands off" for picture taking?
Is it in bad taste to photograph someone while they're in prayer with their Rabb?
I think the sister's comment pushed a button in me because it reminds me of some of the criticism I have received in my writing.
I feel the same way when someone tells me what I should write or not write.
Photojournalism has always been my strength, Masha Allah. When I first became a Muslim, I gave up photojournalism until later in my deen when I became convinced that there is nothing wrong with photographing people. I came to this conclusion after examining all of the evidence from respected Muslims.
But, why not photograph Muslims in the beautiful act of communication with Allah swt?
There are so many images of Muslims involved in violence and other haraam. I think my Istanbul street photography is a refreshing change.