Taking photos of kids has just been off my radar screen. Parents are justifiably afraid of all kinds of creeps and weirdos, and I do not want to be one of them. There is a children's fountain two blocks from my house. I'd love to photograph kids running through the squirting nozzles, but I don't dare.
Every night on the local news, the first several minutes are taken up by stories about children kidnappings, neglect, and all kinds of strange abuse that I cannot understand. The word pedophile has become woven into our lexicon. I perversely find it refreshing to hear a story about someone robbing a liquor store, or gas station. They want money, I understand that. I do not condone it, but I understand it. But these strange crimes involving children are just creepy.
The 100 Strangers Flickr group has a simple rule; no photos of kids without a parent in the frame. A sorry state of affairs, but I think that is a wise approach.
Nevertheless, some photographers, more adventurous than I, do photograph children, and get very compelling images. Eric Kim has an essay outlining some common sense suggestions for approaching children – and parents. See it HERE.