Got approached by an irrate bystander today

Joined
Dec 26, 2010
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Annapolis
I don't wear a uniform, and despite being a big guy, I'm not interested in a confrontation over street photography. In similar circumstances, I'd just show him the pics on my camera. And if I had taken a picture of his little girl, I'd erase it. I don't see this as an issue about photographer's rights. The guy in your scenario was misguided, but his primary interest was in protecting his little girl. Nothing wrong with that at all. I want to enjoy taking pictures, but not at the expense of making someone else uncomfortable.

Have to agree! I personally don't feel comfortable pointing a camera at a stranger without their permission. I guess I always tend to put myself in their shoes and how I would feel. If you are going to do street photography just be sensitive to the person on the othee side of the lens. It might save you an embarrassing confrontation.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
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NYC
This is why image number 1 on any person's camera that does street shooting should be an image that displays the default message it gives right after it has been formatted. That way you can just show them that, and they won't be the wiser. Not that it will solve all the crazy antics of some people who think they are more important to the word than they really are, but at least it could be a start.

HAHA!!! That's a great idea!!

I couldn't even imagine what would go through my head if I was accused of THAT!!! That sucks!! Glad it didn't turn even uglier for you.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
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Australia
short of a fast moving 'spot news' scenario, i seldom, if ever, take a picture of any child without checking with their parents first.

that said, there have been several occasions where i've shot a pic, then asked the kid where their parents were, introduced myself to them and told them who i was and where i'm from.

thankfully at the paper i work at these days, i know 99% of the kids i usually take pix of and their parents are happy for me to do so. the odd ones who don't, well, i just don't take pix of their kids.

nicely handled all the same. personally, i'd have called the cops up the instant they reached for my kit. mind you, i may well have applied a D3s with considerable force to the side of their heads (another, less well known and talked about, advantage of the Pro line bodies).
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
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Nowhereland
If he wanted to protect his little girl he should have stayed home.
Now that was exactly my thinking. Why does he have his daughter living in a tent in a public park? Seems his mindset is the one that needs help. I know if I had kids they wouldnt be at an occupy anyplace event.
 
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Well done. Got to figure the kind of AH he was to have his 5 year old daughter with him at an event like that.
 
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I agree in general of all the above comments. The guy is was in a mood and was out cruising for a victim to unleash his only remaining IQ points. But I will add one question; where can I buy a security badge and uniform?
I was camping alone in the good old USA this summer. I started growing a nasty beard before leaving Canada and wore my steel toe hiking boots the whole time, to scare away any camp-ground axe murderers. Next trip I want to add a security uniform...do they come in short pants?
But seriously dude, way to keep your kool!
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
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S. WI
Well done. Got to figure the kind of AH he was to have his 5 year old daughter with him at an event like that.

My thoughts exactly. Far as I'm concerned, anyone who takes children to ANY protest should be charged with child endangerment. In Rockford, IL they had anti-abortion protestors who have small children (ie 4-8) standing right next to the curb of a MAJOR STREET holding very graphic signs.

Bandit just remember someone standing with a straight leg it only takes around 20-30ish lbs of pressure to break the knee.:biggrin:
 

Rob Zijlstra

A Koffie Drinker
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Netherlands
I wonder what that guy would do if he went to Disney Land with his girl and then saw all these people taking pictures:biggrin:
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
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Miami, Florida, USA.
Kinda makes me think you should have had him arrested - his aggressive attack was based on assumptions and false accusations - if it had been someone else and not you an innocent person could have been hurt by his actions .
I can understand people being concerned about the wrong type of people but that doesn't give them the right to take action based on jumping to the wrong conclusion .

I am in full agreement with Desmond statement. Only God knows what cold have happened to an innocent bystander.
Although, at least in Miami-Dade County, it is illegal to photograph children in public places, that is not the way to approach someone that seems to be photographing. I have been approached at public parks by security personnel and they have been very kind and respectful when asking about my activities. Never ever have I been confronted by a civilian with such an aggressive attitude. I am sure nobody question the example he is giving to his daughter.
I honestly believe that if you do not show him your uniform your story could have been different.

William Rodriguez
Miami, Florida.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2011
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NJ
Somehow I think there has to be more to this story. What else was near the sign you spoke of? Was it by the bathrooms or anything?
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
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chicago area
It is too easy to jump to conclusions. My conclusions are right more often than not, but wrong often enough to give me plenty of pause. Unless I'm 100+ % sure, and even then sometimes wrong, I give the benefit of doubt. But, if my life is in danger, my camera would have been in his mouth, and his knee would have followed soon after. I don't believe in giving the first bite.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
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Minnesota/Vanderbilt
Wow, I understand some people are just trying to be protective, but jeez, he just assumed the worst in you.

I just wonder what would have happened if you didn't have your uniform on....worries me thinking about it
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
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3,559
Location
Northern VA
I don't wear a uniform, and despite being a big guy, I'm not interested in a confrontation over street photography. In similar circumstances, I'd just show him the pics on my camera. And if I had taken a picture of his little girl, I'd erase it. I don't see this as an issue about photographer's rights. The guy in your scenario was misguided, but his primary interest was in protecting his little girl. Nothing wrong with that at all. I want to enjoy taking pictures, but not at the expense of making someone else uncomfortable.

While your way sounds nice, I can't say that I would be able to follow it. I simply hate having to explain or justify myself to anybody. And I think I am well within my rights to have an attitude about it.
Sure many will want me to "represent" all photographers while out there, and I do think I respect people and I don't even shoot children just because I don't want to get in any of those "he's a pervert" situations, but if I get ****** off at someone for asking me to justify myself needlessly, then all bets as far as being kind and turning the other cheek and stuff, are OFF.
that's just who I am. If they don't like it, then just leave me the EFFF alone.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
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897
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Vermont
I've been watching this post over the past several days, and have seen some interesting responses. Now I would like to post another encounter that I had immediately following this one.

I had decided after the first altercation that I would just leave the park, and go back over on the other side of City Hall to Church Street to see if I could find anything interesting over there to photograph. As I emerged from the alleyway to my right sitting on the corner of the marble wall of City Hall is a gentleman, another gentleman with a Camera on a monopod is standing in front of him getting ready to photograph him. He spots me coming out of the alley with my two cameras around my neck, and waves to me, and motions me to come over. Always willing to meet and speak with another photographer I happily oblige and go over to meet them. He asks me if I would mind holding the reflector for him as his subject was unable to do so due to a rather stiff breeze that had suddenly come up. I said no problem, and held the reflector for him, and we started talking a bit, and I mentioned my encounter that I had a few minutes prior, and he started asking me very specific questions about what he looked like, If I got his name, etc. I told him that I had not, and he then introduces himself with his card, and tells me that he is the organizer of the protest. :eek:

He then says to me that He is sure the guy didn't mean any harm, and that they (the protesters) just don't want to be viewed like animals or exploited by the media. I then asked him "If that is there feelings then why are they putting themselves out here for public display?" He then starts to go in to the politics of why they are there, and starts to try to get me to follow his beliefs. I just said have a nice day, turned around, and left as quickly as I could :667:
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
3,541
Location
Portage, IN
I've been watching this post over the past several days, and have seen some interesting responses. Now I would like to post another encounter that I had immediately following this one.

I had decided after the first altercation that I would just leave the park, and go back over on the other side of City Hall to Church Street to see if I could find anything interesting over there to photograph. As I emerged from the alleyway to my right sitting on the corner of the marble wall of City Hall is a gentleman, another gentleman with a Camera on a monopod is standing in front of him getting ready to photograph him. He spots me coming out of the alley with my two cameras around my neck, and waves to me, and motions me to come over. Always willing to meet and speak with another photographer I happily oblige and go over to meet them. He asks me if I would mind holding the reflector for him as his subject was unable to do so due to a rather stiff breeze that had suddenly come up. I said no problem, and held the reflector for him, and we started talking a bit, and I mentioned my encounter that I had a few minutes prior, and he started asking me very specific questions about what he looked like, If I got his name, etc. I told him that I had not, and he then introduces himself with his card, and tells me that he is the organizer of the protest. :eek:

He then says to me that He is sure the guy didn't mean any harm, and that they (the protesters) just don't want to be viewed like animals or exploited by the media. I then asked him "If that is there feelings then why are they putting themselves out here for public display?" He then starts to go in to the politics of why they are there, and starts to try to get me to follow his beliefs. I just said have a nice day, turned around, and left as quickly as I could :667:


I may be wrong but isn't the point of a protest media/people attention?
 

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