Am I the only one this has happened to?

jdramirez

EOS 5D MK IV
May 31, 2011
2,944
0
42
mdrewpix said:
But the perception in the public that any person with a camera is a pervert in training - or in practice - is an unfortunate one. I don't know what we can do to change it.
I think a good first step is making sure that our flies are zipped.
 

mackguyver

Master of Pain
Interesting read - and I remember a few years back when I walked by a playground and the sign said that unaccompanied adults without children weren't allowed in the playground. That sure is backwards compared to what I remember as a child!

I had a urgent shoot for a client a few years back at a theme park and called to get permission the day before, but had to go without waiting for clearance as a tropical storm was coming and I had to get the shots. I saw the main security guy as I was shooting and instead of waiting for trouble, I went up to him and talked to him. I explained what I was doing and he was really cool about it and he only said one thing, "Don't take pictures of other people's kids."

The sad reality is that there are a number of people out there selling fear to parents. There really aren't 50,000 sexual predators online at any time, nor are there 50 kids abducted in the US each day, or razor blades in apples on Halloween. These and many other false statistics are used to coerce parents into buying things they don't need and have the side effect of making parents completely paranoid. I work with the law enforcement groups who track predators and missing persons, so I'm not just saying this off the cuff.

The second reality is that a lens like the 300 f/2.8 is going to attract a lot of attention, good and bad. Most of the time, mine has been okay, usually someone annoying asking me lots of questions.

I think AcutancePhotography's advice of not escalating the situation is good, and it also helps to understand that most parents are convinced that there's a kidnapper or pervert lurking behind every tree. Putting yourself in their shoes for a moment and helping to reassure them is usually a good strategy.

It sounds like the OP did try to do some of that, so in some cases people are just jerks and you can only do what you can do. The people that you really need to be wary of are police and security. Working with that group as well, many of them are convinced that anyone taking photos of a public building and especially anything deemed "critical infrastructure" is up to no good. Cooperate, but know your rights.
 

traingineer

EOS 80D
Feb 27, 2014
189
0
jdramirez said:
You can always wear a burka. They are fashionable, GREAT in the summer, and hide your face extremely well.
Well Burqas were useful, back in the early days of Islam, because if a woman were to cover herself completely. It meant that she was protected from all evil and such. Nowadays, most women usually wear the hijab, it just covers the hair and neck and it's usually used for fashion than protection. And then there are the shaylas (not sure how it's spelt in English) which only reveal the eyes and then the Burqa. Usually, most women who wear shaylas and burqas are forced to wear it by their husbands or someone else.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,190
1,770
Canada
Orangutan said:
jdramirez said:
You can always wear a burka. They are fashionable, GREAT in the summer, and hide your face extremely well.
jdramirez does an excellent job of using reductio ad absurdum to illustrate the fact that law has, perhaps, not kept up with modern society. In our world, one would have to go to extreme, even absurd, measures to be free of the intrusions of wannabe paparazzi with long telephoto lenses. The image of the burka, with its allusion to the disempowered, evokes the timeless argument that the law only protects those who are aware that their image has been misused, and have the resources to pursue remedy in the courts.

Thank you, jdramirez, for your concise and elegant contribution.
Photos are just the tip of the iceberg. Every time you use a credit card or a points card, the data collected is being used to track you and your habits. Go look for something on the web and you start seeing targeted adds appearing... You and your actions are being tracked.... For example, I visited a Newfoundland Tourism site and now my CR feed is littered with adds for things to do and places to stay in Newfoundland....

Perhaps some people feel threatened and have the need to lash out.... and we are the only visible target....
 

unfocused

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
5,049
1,433
66
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
Lots of good advice and comments here.

I recall reading an article about Garry Winogrand, possibly the greatest street photographer ever. The key point was the Winogrand was relentless but never hesitated to make eye-contact and smile after he took a shot.

The point being that body language can be extremely important. If your body language says you belong there and you have a clear purpose in what you are doing, you can often deter persons from even questioning you. Of course it doesn't work for everyone, but it does work in a lot of cases.

Although I have long since left the newspaper business, I find that if I put on my "news photographer persona" (friendly, but purposeful – it doesn't hurt to be carrying a shoulder bag with multiple lenses) few people question me. Unfortunately, many photographers feel a bit self-conscious with their cameras and that lack of confidence can easily be misread as "this person is up to something."

In this case, the individual may have just been a jerk and nothing might have stopped him. But, I guess the main point is that, if you are photographing with a DSLR and any reasonably sized lens (or unreasonably sized) it's impossible for people not to notice you. Recognize that you will draw attention and just try to send out some body language that says: "This person belongs here."
 

mackguyver

Master of Pain
Don Haines said:
You and your actions are being tracked.... For example, I visited a Newfoundland Tourism site and now my CR feed is littered with adds for things to do and places to stay in Newfoundland....
There are many ways to avoid this, but a simple one that at least prevents the ads from loading is AdBlock Plus, which is a free plug in for most browsers.
 

Joe M

EOS 80D
Aug 29, 2013
196
1
That's an irritating situation but unfortunately the best way to deal with it is to ignore the person. You owe him/her no explanation as to your presence there. Sadly, the irritation may bring up the urge to tell him/her off or worse but it's never worth it. Best thing to do is just shrug it off as part of being in public and realizing some people still don't know that once in public, there is no privacy. While I'm not a street photog, I do shoot on the street much of the time. I do my best to minimize having people in my shots in a recognizable way with the aim of giving my customers (brides and grooms) the impression they had the world to themselves, even when there are many tourists in the background (clone tools and the like also help). The problem is sometimes they want the Falls in the background so F2 isn't an option. I must say I've never had anyone approach me as it's obvious as to why I am there. That doesn't mean someone won't perceive he/she, his/her children is/are in the background even though they aren't and could approach me but it luckily hasn't been an issue. On the flipside, I've actually had to help brides from being photographed by the general public. It's funny how many people see a wedding and want to take shots. Some brides have actually been unnerved by it and I've had my assistants politely ask for privacy and so far it's gone well. I hope I haven't jixed myself.
 

jdramirez

EOS 5D MK IV
May 31, 2011
2,944
0
42
Yesterday I was hitting some softballs to my daughter and three boys came and joined us, two teens and one elementary age kid. Their parents were there, but it was fun. It reminded me of the reality of the movies like the sandlot.

It was actually more fun than coaching my little girls softball team. You hit one girl in the face with a softball... And then hit another the next practice... And I'm the bad guy.
 

surapon

80% BY HEART, 15% BY LENSES AND ONLY 5% BY CAMERA
Aug 2, 2013
2,957
2
70
APEX, NORTH CAROLINA, USA.
Dear Friends.
Sorry , I am not the Lawyer or an Attorney. It happen to me many times, And I have the copy of this page" The Photographer's Right" in my pocket and let the read, and I ask for they name and ask --If they are Lawyer or Attorney or not ?, and write their name on my notes book---After that No problem at all.
Enjoy.
Surapon.
PS, To all of my friends---Please copy and print " The Photographer's Right" and keep in your Camera bag, One day you will need them.

http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/tutorials/photography_law_rights.html
 

Attachments

tbrand

I'm New Here
I have to wade in here. I understand the fellow might have seemed like a jerk, but I highly recommend you steer clear of aggravating someone asking something like that.

If I found myself in that situation I would take Don's advice and attempt to diffuse the situation and engage the person in a positive manner. There is nothing wrong with telling him what you were up to in the same way you did in this thread. Go right ahead and show him the photos if it helps.

The truth is you don't know what experience he might have had that drew him to you. You don't know each other and falling on what you perceive as your rights is often a quick way to aggravate a situation. Being friendly and honest will take you much farther.

As a professional I frequently have to explain myself to different people. A large lens like yours draws attention and people have a right to be curious. In work environments where security staff or other concerned parties ask what I may be up to, it is important to remain professional, make your intentions clear and show ID if needed. In a public place and you do have a right to snap photos if someone asks what you are up to or makes a comment like that I think it is important to keep the same thoughts in mind, even if you aren't a professional. Never assume that you have more of a right to something then someone... even when the law is on your side.

What I can see here is that in a way your feelings were hurt (no one wants to be labeled a creep... even when its really unjustified) and that your defenses went up. That's natural. Keep in mind that being defensive and not opening up leaves other parties to interpret you and your intentions in any way they see fit. Talking it out in a friendly manner reduces the chance of that happening.

I don't mean to be all preachy here; I really do think this will take you farther then being aggressive with someone.
 

RustyTheGeek

EOR R
Apr 27, 2011
1,634
4
53
DFW
rustythegeek.zenfolio.com
surapon said:
Dear Friends.
Sorry , I am not the Lawyer or an Attorney. It happen to me many times, And I have the copy of this page" The Photographer's Right" in my pocket and let the read, and I ask for they name and ask --If they are Lawyer or Attorney or not ?, and write their name on my notes book---After that No problem at all.
Enjoy.
Surapon.
PS, To all of my friends---Please copy and print " The Photographer's Right" and keep in your Camera bag, One day you will need them.

http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/tutorials/photography_law_rights.html
Love it! Here dude, read this! (That's OK, you can keep it!) That should keep them busy for a while!! LOL! 8)
 

sdsr

EOS 6D MK II
Jul 14, 2012
912
7
Orangutan said:
It may be something else: if you take photos of public spaces, and people happen to be in those photos (e.g. museum) then it's OK. If you zoom in on individuals then it's not OK. Cell phones don't yet zoom well, and they're slow. I think people know that if you're in a cell phone photo it shouldn't be a surprise.
Some public spaces aren't quite as public as you may think. My office is a block from Independence Hall in Philadelphia and I like to take photos of and around it, partly because it's an attractive building, partly because it's a useful sort of thing to test lenses on thanks to all the fairly straight lines, bricks, symmetry etc. of buildings of that style and age, and, as it's a much-photographed tourist destination, photographers are expected and thus aren't the nuisance they can otherwise be in a city. I don't much like carrying around lots of camera equipment, so when I bought my Sony A7r a few months ago for several days in succession I visited it with different lenses and adapters to see how they behaved. On the fourth day, as I was leaving, a pair of federal police officers stopped me because guards outside Independence Hall thought I was taking photos of *them* (it's hard to take photos of that building that exclude them...). They were perfectly pleasant about it, and it probably helps that I don't look much like anyone's idea of a terrorist and was able to produce ID showing that I work for a federal appeals court, but still. At any rate, it's probably best not to make repeat visits to such destinations armed with a camera!

I also find it a bit odd that big cameras and big lenses, or even just clearly and openly taking a photo, look suspicious to so many. If you were trying to breach security or take a photo of children for nefarious purposes, wouldn't you do so furtively with as small a camera as possible?
 

tbrand

I'm New Here
surapon said:
Dear Friends.
Sorry , I am not the Lawyer or an Attorney. It happen to me many times, And I have the copy of this page" The Photographer's Right" in my pocket and let the read, and I ask for they name and ask --If they are Lawyer or Attorney or not ?, and write their name on my notes book---After that No problem at all.
Enjoy.
Surapon.
PS, To all of my friends---Please copy and print " The Photographer's Right" and keep in your Camera bag, One day you will need them.

http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/tutorials/photography_law_rights.html
One other note, its all well and good to know your rights, but do yourself a favour and don't whip this out without explaining yourself first... and keep in mind showing this to a fellow like the one mentioned in the original post is pointless, aggressive and will only make things worse.
 

IMG_0001

Amateur photon abductor
Nov 12, 2013
364
0
Come on guys, it is common knowledge that a man with a lens above 135mm is trying to compensate for a tiny weeny and anything above 200mm, you can't have enough confidence to try and date a woman your age. Then, you are a perv and will take photos of kids to put on the internet.

Jokes apart, I've never been bullied, even photographing around parks. It is true that recently, I've mostly been with my son while I was there so this probably acts in my favor. As a side note, I just spent the last 2 days at the park with my son and some friends who also have young kids and I was amazed at how many people had DSLRs, often with superzooms and taking pictures of the playgrounds. Often, it was not easy to tell they had a kid of their own there but I guess everyone did like I did and assumed they had. Possibly, the wind is changing in our favor... (although a fast 300 has to look suspicious doesn't it???)
 

RustyTheGeek

EOR R
Apr 27, 2011
1,634
4
53
DFW
rustythegeek.zenfolio.com
I know this might sound strange but... what exactly do pervert photographers do with up close 300mm action shots of children playing in a park that could be so bad?

I mean... the kids are fully clothed. Right? They're just playing or walking or running or sitting. What's the difference in what the picture means in someone's camera compared to what the live in-person action in the park means, right in front of everyone?

Don't even get me started on what girls wear in pre-school, kindergarten, elementary all the way up through high school that their parents see no problem with buying and dressing them in because it's in style. Many parents dress their kids (girls) like barbie dolls with things like "Juicy" shown across their pre-pubescent butts and then complain that other people are perverts. If you have had kids in school in the last 20 years, you probably know what I mean. Some boys aren't much better, dressed like thugs and gangsters. This explains why many schools went back to mandatory uniforms to keep the peace and stop fights and gang related violence.

I don't know about everyone here but if I'm going to shoot up-close shots of people that might get me in trouble, it will be of attractive women. Not kids. And in this day and age that should be OK, right? I mean, if you go by what we all see in the media, advertising, clothing ads, movies, etc. Or maybe not. Sorry, I'm just confused. And not necc in a good way. :(
 

Northstar

EOR R
Mar 31, 2012
1,673
0
105
US - Midwest
RustyTheGeek said:
surapon said:
Dear Friends.
Sorry , I am not the Lawyer or an Attorney. It happen to me many times, And I have the copy of this page" The Photographer's Right" in my pocket and let the read, and I ask for they name and ask --If they are Lawyer or Attorney or not ?, and write their name on my notes book---After that No problem at all.
Enjoy.
Surapon.
PS, To all of my friends---Please copy and print " The Photographer's Right" and keep in your Camera bag, One day you will need them.

http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/tutorials/photography_law_rights.html
Love it! Here dude, read this! (That's OK, you can keep it!) That should keep them busy for a while!! LOL! 8)
LOL...so funny.

thanks surapon!
 

kdw75

EOS M50
Feb 7, 2012
32
0
What do people like this do about the cameras the government and businesses have up all over the place? Do they go make a scene every time their kids are in view of one of these? :eek:
 

IMG_0001

Amateur photon abductor
Nov 12, 2013
364
0
kdw75 said:
What do people like this do about the cameras the government and businesses have up all over the place? Do they go make a scene every time their kids are in view of one of these? :eek:
Governments and businesses can't have ill intent, as opposed to that dangerous individual living next door...
 

jdramirez

EOS 5D MK IV
May 31, 2011
2,944
0
42
tbrand said:
surapon said:
Dear Friends.
Sorry , I am not the Lawyer or an Attorney. It happen to me many times, And I have the copy of this page" The Photographer's Right" in my pocket and let the read, and I ask for they name and ask --If they are Lawyer or Attorney or not ?, and write their name on my notes book---After that No problem at all.
Enjoy.
Surapon.
PS, To all of my friends---Please copy and print " The Photographer's Right" and keep in your Camera bag, One day you will need them.

http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/tutorials/photography_law_rights.html
One other note, its all well and good to know your rights, but do yourself a favour and don't whip this out without explaining yourself first... and keep in mind showing this to a fellow like the one mentioned in the original post is pointless, aggressive and will only make things worse.
Whatever happened to good ole... no speeka da engliss.
 
Sep 24, 2012
60
1
www.rudoffphoto.com
Quote from: johnrudoff@yahoo.com on April 21, 2014, 11:44:14 AM
Remember that you have every right to shoot whatever is publicly available

And they have the right to insult and berate you for it; neither is civil. If you wish to claim every millimeter of the law, you must concede to others the same.

Orangutang, I must respectfully disagree with you. It is correct that I have the right to shoot whatever is publicly available. And onlookers (including police or security guards) do have the right civilly and politely to ask me about my activities. But they do not have the right to threaten, harass, detain, intimidate, or in general cause fear or disruption to me. If I as a reasonable person (and I do NOT mean those professionally-offended professional victims) am intimidated or made fearful by an insulting or berating onlooker, I have the right to be free of that intimidation. (The handout on the adkins website is quite clear on this point.)