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I'm Really Upset

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gbenic, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. Today was my daughter's first day of basketball. I took all my gear to get a feel for what I needed to purchase for the games. The coach informed me that I can't take pictures! She said that it wasn't a good idea taking pictures of 5th and 6th grade girls! What a load of crap! My kid is pretty disappointed as well. What has this world come to? I know that I can take shots from the bleachers, but it's not the same. Argh!
  2. That makes no sense! What has this world come to?
  3. The phrase that immediately comes to mind is:

    "The Nanny State"

    Don't you know, EVERYBODY knows better than you, a parent, how to raise and deal with your children.

    Worst part is that if you push the issue, you are liable to be labeled, not a good idea for either you or your daughter. Perhaps you can get some pictures during tournament play?
  4. To hell with all this "correctness". We live in a very corrupt world, like it or not. Corruption is everywhere, starting from the TV and all the way up to our governments.
    You have the right to shoot pictures of your kids. I'd do it no matter if prison was next.
  5. Totally agree. At my daughters school everyone knows me, I give a CD of the pictures to the school for them to post on noticeboards. It seems to keep them happy. I've extended this to the Ballet and other clubs my daughter attends - so far no issues.

    I'd suggest getting in touch with the Headteacher / Principal and explaining what it is you are trying to achieve. Show them some samples, offer copies for them and you'll probably get what you're looking for.

    I doubt all the other parents of children go to these lengths, they just turn up with their P&S or Camcorder and fire away, but as soon as you take out that big lens and DSLR you are immediately a target.
  6. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Sounds like a load of bull to me. If I were you I'd go over the coach's head and find it if the school has an official policy on this, or if the coach was just on a power-trip. It might be one thing if you were just some guy off the street, but when your daughter's on the court playing I think it's totally out of line for her to indirectly accuse you of being a pedo.

    Was it a practice session, or an actual game? The coach might have some authority in restricting public access to practices, but if it's a game I can't imagine there wouldn't be other parents there with cameras. Unless they're going to strictly enforce a ban of all cameras, they have no right singling you out just because your camera is a bit nicer.
  7. Unfortunately, this is not something new and as another person said, if you walk around with other than a simple P&S camera, you are looked at in an entirely different light. Next time, give the camera to your wife and see if the response is the same; or an alternative would be to talk to the coach ahead of time. It is indeed a sad situation.
  8. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    What really gets me about this thinking, just as with the "terrorist" concerns about photographers, is that it is completely irrational. Think about it, if you were a pedophile/terrorist, would you be more likely to use big, obtrusive SLR gear and call attention to yourself, or a pocket-size megazoom point-n-shoot that could be used far more discreetly?

    This fear of "professional" cameras is irrational and the thinking behind it is completely backwards. Unfortunately I think it's partly due to Hollywood; the only people who use big SLR's in TV/movies are spies, "bad" guys, and papparazzi.
  9. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Maybe I'm reading this differently than it is meant, but you do say that you can take photos from the bleachers, correct? If so, then I don't see where you are being told that you can't take photos. Is the issue that the coach is not allowing you to photograph from the sidelines? If so, then I can see the logic behind that. If you are allowed to, then every parent with a P&S, camcorder or whatever should have the same opportunity, and I would agree that it's not appropriate to have parents on the sidelines, for a variety of reasons. (Alot of this comes as a result of several assaults by parents on coaches and refs in this state over the last year, with one coming way too close to a fatality). My 2 cents....
  10. huskey8


    Feb 22, 2005
    I agree with Jeff here you need to find out the offical policy then take it from their.
  11. If you can still shoot from the bleachers, why is that a problem? The coach didn't ban photography altogether, if you can still shoot from the bleachers. Perhaps the coach's experience is that a lot of 5th and 6th grade girls are uncomfortable being photographed from the sidelines and that it negatively impacts their ability to focus on their game....that is a rather awkward age where a lot of girls start to become very concerned about their appearance and camera-shy. Perhaps the coach is advocating for the kids who don't want to be photographed or the parents who don't want their kids photographed up-close-and-personal by someone unknown to them. Or maybe the sidelines are reserved for school newspaper photographers? Or maybe the coach doesn't want all of the parents down on the sidelines shooting pictures? While our big fancy cameras shouldn't limit our access, they also shouldn't give us advantage over everyone else.

    And while I'm by no means an expert on pedophiles, they're not all sneaky. I was contacted by one based solely on an ebay listing for girls soccer shoes. Some of them are quite bold in pursuing the material they want. Erring on the side of caution is prudent where kids are concerned. (Not that I think the OP is a pedophile or that I think the coach implied that he is....others raised the issue, so I'm tossing in my 2-cents' worth of experience!)

    The coach's response doesn't seem unreasonable to me at all...it sounds as though she's being appropriately cautious in looking out for her team.
  12. mcampos


    Apr 14, 2005
    Norwalk, CA

    I agree with the post that tells you that fighting this may label you in a negative light, but legally you may be entitled to shooting the pictures unless the school has a policy in place as a result of the grounds being private property, you may want to drop the coach a note to read the information on this site, specifically the contents of the PDF file:

  13. As a teacher of kids not much older than the ones you are talking about I run into the same problem. I have photographed a few school events (basketball, XC running) and turned all photos over to the parents, coaches or the yearbook sponcer. So far no issues, but I do feel somewhat uneasy when shooting these events. I am just waiting for the upset parent to complain or wonder what I am up to. It is too bad that this is what it has come to. I have fun taking the pics and the kids love to see the results posted up by the coach. I have even considered becoming somewhat "official" by volonteering for the yearbook. I just don't have the time to commit to make sure I get to all the events. I think your best course of action is speak with the school principal or activities coordinator to see what policies they may have. You may even ask talk to the coach about making your photos available to all the parents. This may put peoples minds at ease. Good luck.
  14. Wow!

    I didn't figure on so many replies. I appreciate them all, they all make perfect sense. The way I understand the situation is:

    The coach tells me I can be the "official" photographer, she just needs clearance from the school. She gets lazy and doesn't do it (determined by many follow-up phone calls to her). She learns that there will be someone there to take one team picture. She tells me that I am a pervert for wanting to take pictures of girls (well, in so many words, this is what I heard) and decides NO. The only way that I can take pictures from the sidelines is to get together with all of the parents and get their permission which would be next to impossible.

    The thing that angers me is she didn't do what she said she would do and instead of taking responsibility for her inaction, she calls me a perv.

    I am sure that I can argue since there is no school policy concerning this. I will not fight this one because my kid is having fun and I don't want to jeopardize that for her. I was not told that I can take pictures from the bleachers, I am making the assumption. A lot of parents take video and stills from the stands and I assume that I can be one of them. If I am singled out because I have a big camera, I will fight that.

    I took pictures of my kid's soccer class. I posted the images on the web for the parents to see. Most really appreciated it and I sent disks of pictures to those that wanted them. Heck, one parent gave me permission to use his son's picture in my local fair and it took first place. I planned on doing something similar with the basketball photos.

    I will see what happens on December 10th. That is her first game. Hopefully, I don't embarrass my daughter.
  15. JB


    May 27, 2005
    Washington, DC
    It is indeed sad that a parent would be prevented from photographing their child (or even feel uncomfortable about doing so) in a team sport because someone might think they were a pervert. The level of paranoia over people with cameras has reached unreasonable levels, be it concern over terrorists or pedophiles.
  16. One other thing to be aware of...

    I shoot a lot of Hgh School and Youth Sports, and the "permission" to shoot comes from the league or via the school, often through the Booster Club for the particular sport. But you do have to deal with the issue of a parent who does not want images posted, and this can be for various reasons. From a family who is in a witness-protection situation, to a messy divorce, to a simple "I don't want to". Most states have rules about this, and when a parent "opts out" you must either not post any images with their child recognizable or remove them from your web site in a specificed time, most times I have heard have been up to 72 hours from notice.

    In 3 years I have not run into this situation, knock on wood, but it is one to be aware of for anyone thinking of doing this. Be sure your permission to shoot comes from the body governing the sport, league/school, and you are then good to go.

    Oh, yeah, and most importantly shooting from the sideline, don't get in the way :biggrin: :biggrin: :wink:
  17. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Very interesting thread...it is obvious that there is a huge communications gap her, probably due to the coach dropping the ball and not getting the "official" approval from her supervisor. If shooting pictures of these girls competing is of importance, a meeting should be arranged with the school officials, the coach and the photographer to fully exchange all of the ideas...then a letter can be brought home by each athlete for their parent's approval and signature. I doubt that any parent has thoughts that their child's image is threatened by anyone by being on the internet. If there are concerns, then avoid the internet and only display images on cd or print form.

    I have only displayed a few images of some cheerleaders and pom pon team girls on my website and have yet to hear any negativity from them or their parents. I do pay attention not to post any images of male or females athletes on my sight that I consider may be compromising. If the lighting were better in the high school setting, I would probably avoid shooting gymnastics, just to stay clear of issues like these.

    At any rate...be patient with people who think that they are right even though you believe that they are mis-informed or over-reacting.
  18. Like Baywing, I'm not understanding this either. Where is it that you cannot stand, or kneel, or sit.. to take pictures? And what is the difference in shooting from the bleachers over the sidelines? Unless, too many people are crowding the sidelines. I've seen that happen before.
  19. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    People are very liberal about photography where I live. However, I would not post any pictures on the internet from boys and girls from school without restricting access. What I have done is that I post pictures on my pbase site with password protection and send the password to the parents so they can access the pictures. In some other cases, I prepared CDs to hand out to parents who might be interested. All parents were very happy about it, and there wasn't any objection.
    I think it would be good to talk to the school people to explain what exactly you do and intend to do with the pictures. If you feel like publishing some pics on the Internet, I would get the consent of the parents whose children are shown.
    Earlier this year I found that one picture of my daughter (then only 3 years of age) attracted way too much traffic on pbase. She was laying on the sand and had a provocative smile on her face. Also, she didn't wear a shirt. I never thought this could attract so much attention, but it did. Needless to say, I removed the picture.
    The only explanation I have for the high pbase traffic is that there are some real SICK people out there who do enjoy staring at little girls. I'm not going to give them more opportunities to satisfy their lust, definitely not on the account of my or anybodies child I happen to take pictures of.
    So I think there is reason to be concerned, but a parent taking pics for private use in a photo album or to share with other parents should be OK. Just watch out what you put on the Internet.

    Sorry for the long response. Good luck with your shooting!
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