Confronted by a Photo Journalist...

Joined
May 12, 2006
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Norwalk, CT
This weekend I decided to shoot a couple of events for myself. The first was a memorial service at our local Police Department on Friday. Then on Saturday I attended a memorial service at a local cemetery to place flags on the graves of deceased veterans.

When I arrived at the event on Friday I noticed a photographer for the local paper talking with some of the other media people and they were all looking at me. It was obvious the were talking about me and wondering who i was.

So after the memorial this photographer approaches me and strikes up a conversation. Basically asking who I was shooting for. I told I was shooting for myself. We then chit chatted for a bit and headed out. Funny thing is, we met the year before, but he didn't remember. I even tried to reach out to him on Linkedin and he never responded to me.

The next day he sees me at cemetery and doesn't say much to me. When it was over he came over to me and expressed his concern for seeing me two days in a row at events he was assigned to cover. He went on to explain how photographers like myself are under-mining things for the working photographers.

He asked if I submit my work to his paper or anyone else. I told him no. The only tine I have submitted anything was at the request of the event organizer and that's usually for my daughter's school or some type of fund raiser or events for veterans. Those are the types of events I usually shoot and I shoot them as my way of contributing to the event.

He thought I was submitting my work in a sort of "backdoor" deal with the editor and I told him I have no contacts at his paper and the few times I did try emailing them I did not get a reply.

He even went so far to tell me he didn't feel "comfortable" with me posting images on the news papers FB page. Then he went on to say that if I want to shoot assignments I need to get in line and pay my dues, because he went to school for this and he paid his dues.

After all this he tells me if I am interested I should stop in to see him with my portfolio and he will see about getting me freelance work. I don't know how to take that, being that he just got finished telling me how there were less staff photographers working and now you want to offer me work?

I emailed a couple of friends I have in the local media business and I didn't tell them who I was talking about yet the both guessed his name and knew who it was. One said she had a similar problem with him too. He's pretty arrogant in my opinion and thinks he's the most important person at the event. Funny things is when I went through my photos from the second day there were a few shots where he was watching me.

I can understand his concern over his job in the age of digital cameras every where, but I just don't like the way he approached me. One minute you're telling me I'm taking work from you and next minute you want to give me work?

My feeling is he is somewhat intimidated by me and I know he has seen my work. He mentioned seeing some of my stuff in print and I'm sure he looked me up. I'm not hard to find online.

I felt like telling him to worry about his photography and work to make himself stand out amongst the crowd, then he wouldn't need to worry about me. But then again, I'm not to shabby of a photographer myself.

Just curious if anyone else has had a similar problem and your opinions.

Thanks for taking time to read my post.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
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Nashua, NH
A friend of mine is a landscape shooter. HE did not like it when so many new photographers were trying to copy his location shots and sell them throughout town. However, he would never think of saying anything to them. I like my friend. This guy you encounter is being abusive.
 
Joined
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Chicago, IL
Don't let this person bother you, he is likely just a good person making bad decisions. He wants to work, doesn't want others giving their images away that may in some small way decrease his future assignments. Photographers without solid work opportunities are plentiful these days, I can understand his concerns, sounds to me as though he has an uphill battle if he is going to confront shooters who he doesn't know about his concerns.
 
Joined
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Norwalk, CT
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A friend of mine is a landscape shooter. HE did not like it when so many new photographers were trying to copy his location shots and sell them throughout town. However, he would never think of saying anything to them. I like my friend. This guy you encounter is being abusive.
I can understand that, I wouldn't want someone trying to copy my work either. At these events I shoot it the way I see it from where I want to shoot. I don't try and get the same shots as anyone else. Although, it does happen, but I try to be different.

Thanks for your input Allan!
 
Joined
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Don't let this person bother you, he is likely just a good person making bad decisions. He wants to work, doesn't want others giving their images away that may in some small way decrease his future assignments. Photographers without solid work opportunities are plentiful these days, I can understand his concerns, sounds to me as though he has an uphill battle if he is going to confront shooters who he doesn't know about his concerns.
You're right Frank, I'd like to believe he is a good person, but maybe he could have approached me a little different. But I'm not in his shoes either, so I can't relate to whatever stress he may be going through.

Thanks for your thoughts!
 
Joined
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Cental New Jersey USA
I have attended high level events in a sport my grandson participates in as the family photographer.. There have been lots of media people there. I have chatted with some of them and never had a problem. I would say you met a very insecure person. Keep doing what you enjoy as this person will always be insecure.
 
Joined
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Annapolis
There's a simple solution. Just laugh and tell him to have a pleasant day and walk away and go about your business shooting. I'm sure if you are breaking any laws or infringing on someone's rights he will get the proper authorities involved to sort it out. Ain't worth giving these type of people the time of day or the satisfaction of getting on your nerves. Take control of the situation and walk away.
 
Joined
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I have attended high level events in a sport my grandson participates in as the family photographer.. There have been lots of media people there. I have chatted with some of them and never had a problem. I would say you met a very insecure person. Keep doing what you enjoy as this person will always be insecure.
Yep! Insecurity is a bitter pill to swallow if you can't compete. The problem is on his end. He will go away one way or another.
 
Joined
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NYC
I'd like to believe he is a good person
Doesn't sound it to me one bit. Especially with the fact that 2 other people you spoke to about this WITHOUT mentioning names, guessed who this person was that confronted you.

Sounds like he gets around and is trying to intimidate people he's sees with camera's at events that the press is covering.
 
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I have attended high level events in a sport my grandson participates in as the family photographer.. There have been lots of media people there. I have chatted with some of them and never had a problem. I would say you met a very insecure person. Keep doing what you enjoy as this person will always be insecure.
Same thing my friend told me, laugh him off. lol...

There's a simple solution. Just laugh and tell him to have a pleasant day and walk away and go about your business shooting. I'm sure if you are breaking any laws or infringing on someone's rights he will get the proper authorities involved to sort it out. Ain't worth giving these type of people the time of day or the satisfaction of getting on your nerves. Take control of the situation and walk away.
Good advice.

Yep! Insecurity is a bitter pill to swallow if you can't compete. The problem is on his end. He will go away one way or another.
I agree.

Doesn't sound it to me one bit. Especially with the fact that 2 other people you spoke to about this WITHOUT mentioning names, guessed who this person was that confronted you.

Sounds like he gets around and is trying to intimidate people he's sees with camera's at events that the press is covering.
Well, I wanted to give him the benefit of doubt, but you're probably right.
 
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Collecchio, northern Italy
The only time it happened, during a wedding or so, the other photog was a friend of mine, actually her really running a business, while I was there just for the sake of it. I told her not to worry that I'd have shot without interfering with her flash stands, and even offered her to check some of the pics I took later. So did I. Everything was fine.
She was more worried by the couple's relatives, able to trigger her flashes by p/s flashes.
 
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London
I would tell him to get lost. He obviously doesn't have much faith in his own abilities. I would also be tempted to turn up at the next event with a dozen other photographer friends :biggrin:
 
Joined
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British Columbia
Sounds like the subject photographer is insecure in his position to see you as a threat to his livelihood, and you are role playing a photojournalist.

Either way, if the venue was deemed restricted, you would require proper accreditation for access with only real photojournalists allowed entry.
 
Joined
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SW FL
I've had the opposite happen. I was at a festival, 2 bodies (1 long 1 wide) and the paid shooter came and got me a few times to let me know where the action was.

It's not like we're pulling cars into an auto shop and working on them ourselves...
 
Joined
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Famington Hills, MI
Invite him to join the Cafe.

He must be having problems. In my experience, pro photographers don't approach other photographers and talk like that. He may be looking at having a situation where his job is in jeopardy and it's nothing that is in his control.
 
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This is why I would never shoot news! It sounds like you are not even shooting really high level stuff. I don't see why the guy is tripping out?
Definitely not high level stuff, just public events.

I would tell him to get lost. He obviously doesn't have much faith in his own abilities. I would also be tempted to turn up at the next event with a dozen other photographer friends :biggrin:
That's a funny idea. LOL...

Sounds like the subject photographer is insecure in his position to see you as a threat to his livelihood, and you are role playing a photojournalist.

Either way, if the venue was deemed restricted, you would require proper accreditation for access with only real photojournalists allowed entry.
All community events, open to the public. So I would say I have just as much a right to shoot as he does.


I've had the opposite happen. I was at a festival, 2 bodies (1 long 1 wide) and the paid shooter came and got me a few times to let me know where the action was.

It's not like we're pulling cars into an auto shop and working on them ourselves...

I was told some of the other photographers for this paper are much nicer. Guess there are all types out there.


Invite him to join the Cafe.

He must be having problems. In my experience, pro photographers don't approach other photographers and talk like that. He may be looking at having a situation where his job is in jeopardy and it's nothing that is in his control.

He must be having some issues to approach me the way he did.
 
Joined
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Indiana
Tell him to pound sand. The bottom line is you have every right to shoot at a public event and do whatever you want with the photos. If you sell to his employer, so be it.
 

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