Creepshot or Not?

Paleo Retiree writes:

This young lady was walking along the sidewalk in front of me … Her sundress was hiking up … Does my snap of her qualify as a Creepshot?


Some arguments pro and con, or so it seems to me:

  • Yes, it’s a Creepshot. I did sneak my snapshot off, and I have posted the photo online. None of that needed to happen. Plus: cute butt.
  • No, it’s not a Creepshot. It genuinely wasn’t lust that motivated me to take the snap. Candid in-public photography has been considered legit for, like, forever. You can’t see the woman’s face, so what harm is done? And in a world where 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook alone every day, how likely is it that she’s ever going to run across this photo anyway?


About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff and very glad to have left that mess behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
This entry was posted in Art, Personal reflections, Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Creepshot or Not?

  1. Fenster says:

    Once again you have set up the debate with an image that sits unsettlingly at the divide between creepshot or not. Me: not. But that’s just my call. These things are based on a reasonable man standard (and, given these photos it is likely to be a reasonable man), and these things are evolving in the digital age, courtesy of social media.

    I am absolutely not an absolutist on this, or pretty much all else. Too many problems and exceptions. And no straight thing was ever made from mankind’s crooked timber.

    This photo is not upskirting, now illegal in Massachusetts. Another several feet closer and a several degrees more in camera angle along with an intent not to be observed by the subject–yeah, creepshot and illegal.

    I think the recent Massachusetts law is a silly over-reaction to a non-crisis. But it does in my mind indicate that Massachusetts lawmakers are sensitive to the fact that most of their constituency would find upskirting objectionable and not justifiable by a resort to absolutism. And that’s as it should be. “The life of the law is not logic but experience”. The law requires distinctions to be made. People need to make those distinctions before the legislators do. What counts as an important distinction–children in playground, upskirting, remote audio recordings of people in a park, photos of a couple snuggling on a nude beach– that’s the rub.


  2. j3morecharacters says:

    “You can’t see the woman’s face, so what harm is done?”

    I’d recognize that face… sorry, butt in a million. But harm? No, no harm.


  3. James Taylor says:

    Creepshot or not, it’s rather louche behavior to snap such a shot. I certainly would keep it to myself.


    • fenster says:


      Louche: disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way (rhymes with douche).

      I’d been waiting for an opportunity to use that word. Dang, you found a context.


  4. Thra says:

    Uh. Would she by any chance be heading into the Adult bookshop to her left? Maybe she is just getting in the mood. Hang a left, sext her that shot, and tell her to meet you by the S and M DVD section.


  5. Fenster says:

    More on the law of it in Massachusetts.

    What happened was that a guy named Robertson was snapping pix on the transit system. Sitting across from women wearing a skirt, he could surely kind of espy up there, but by secretly fixing his cell phone camera at the right elevation he made for a better, and a permanent, image, all without ogling. Secret like that’s the ticket! The Mass court said it was legal under current law; the legislature went into overdrive and changed in the law in a day or so.

    Volokh on the court ruling that prompted the immediate drafting, passage and signing of the anti-upskirt law in Massachusetts.

    and a legal review of where things stand since passage

    I think the second commentator is right to say that “the lightning response of the legislature is good evidence, if evidence is needed, that Robertson’s behavior was a violation of strongly-held social norms and understandings.”

    That part seems to me clear. I don’t see this as a concession to harpies. While Massachusetts has a deserved liberal reputation, the guys in the legislature have their noses to the ground in places like Dohchesta and Woosta, and I will bet the concept of upskirting is an equal opportunity offender even outside the People’s Republics of Cambridge and Brookline.

    Of course, the law here isn’t the half of it. There’s the taste question posed by James. There are other non-legal ways of considering the matter as well, such as:

    1. the “your sister”, “your daughter” , “your wife” or “your mother” rules. How would you feel if?
    2. the “do only what you’d be comfortable seeing on the front page of a newspaper” rule . . . . would a story about your photographic habits trouble you?
    3. the Golden Rule. Would you be OK if done unto you?


    • Glynn Marshes says:

      Agree w/ you Fenster.

      Also, re the “hardcore free-speech view of photographing in public” link @

      Those of you that understand the 1st amendment? Will get why this sucked me in. Photography is not a crime.

      Geekheart is the one who doesn’t understand the First Amendment. It says “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.”

      A mother freaking out because some guy was photographing her kids is not the same as Congress passing laws to control people politically.

      This really *is* about “social norms and understandings” IMO, not 1st amendment protected speech.


  6. Prytaneumfreefood says:

    Exhibit B: at 1:06 to 1:09 from the recent movie About Time.


  7. Y’all did take a look at PrytaneumFreeFood’s Buzzfeed link, I hope. Inadvertent semi naked butts in public, sneakily shot … and then, unlike my shot, exposed to ridicule. Creepshots or not?


    • Fenster says:

      Answer: the Massachusetts law has a carve out for fat guy butt cracks.

      Subection 3.2. The provisions of Subsection 3.1 shall not apply in the event of fat guy butt cracks, which are deemed to be the responsiblity of the fat guy to keep hidden. Pull up those pants, big guy!


  8. josh says:

    This is an easy one. You posted a picture of a girls butt that she clearly did not intend to show in public, ya creep.


  9. Pingback: Fashion Do or Fashion Don’t? | Uncouth Reflections

  10. Pingback: Creepshot or Not: Bikinis in the Park | Uncouth Reflections

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