Getting lots of wierd looks and attention from taking pics in public

Started Jan 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Greg Nold
Regular MemberPosts: 178
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Re: Getting lots of wierd looks and attention from taking pics in public
In reply to peevee1, Jan 14, 2013

peevee1 wrote:

Greg Nold wrote:

I am fascinated with shooting folks in the street or at events, and I therefore do this all the time. I'm not an expert or a pro, and my photos are not always keepers, but I'll tell you what seems to work for me, at least in the 'people-handling' sense.

The best approach I've found is to be open about what you are doing. If you look like you're a photographer on an assignment, people will assume you are and think nothing of it. For the folks that do ask,"Where will these photos be published?" I suggest you have a previously thought-out answer. What I usually say is, "These photos will end up in any publication that wants to use them" (which is a total a fib) "I'm a free-lance photographer covering this event, and they may end up in The Post, The Gazette or wherever... or maybe nobody will want them at all." What I do NOT say is that they will end up in my personal gallery or on my Facebook page. Yes I have a right to shoot in

A rule of thumb: if you have to lie to good people about something you are doing, this something is bad.

Yes, I guess you could think that, but in reality, there really is no good way to tell a stranger in this strange world that, "I enjoy photographing little children."  It's one of those things where the more you try to explain yourself, the more suspicious you appear.

You could have a conversation which is pretty much once you say, "I'm covering this event and hope to submit my photos for publication, but if you wish me to delete your child's photos, I'll be happy to",  or you can have a conversation which leads to statements like this:  'No lady, I DO have the right to photograph your child... she is part of the public scene and I have the perfect right to photograph anything I want, since it is a public place!"  or, escalated... "Officer, I was simply trying to tell this hysterical woman that, as a photographer, I have a perfect legal right to take photos of her child if her child is in a public place.  You can't arrest me or confiscate my camera!  Look it up!  Here, I'll google it for you in my smart phone, 'Photographer's Rights'!"

OR you can make a harmless little fib which avoids that all together.  That's what I choose to do because firstly, my photographic intentions with children are squeaky-clean and completely honorable plus I know that I'm not breaking any laws by taking photos in a public place (though I do recognize that this is hard for some folks to accept.)  Secondly, I am offering to immediately to delete any photo I have taken to ameliorate the situation and set their minds at ease.  I'm friendly while photographing, I smile, wave and converse with the parents and usually ask for permission and / or approval any time there is a dialogue between us... so...  a little fib?  A bad thing here?  Not in my opinion, because the truth is, I COULD always try to submit to The Post or the Gazette or whatever.... they are actual local papers in my area that cover county fairs, 4H events, etc. and they do take submissions from freelancers.

My personal rule of thumb is 'KISS'...  'Keep It Simple, Stupid!'  More of a motto I try to live by, whenever possible!    Usually it works!

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