In my last slide show of Central Park North, I'd mentioned that the last shot of the day was this:
But I should tell you why it happened to be the last one. Right after I'd snapped this dude walks over:
Dude: You a photographer or something?
Me: You can say that.
Dude: For who? Who you taking photos for?
Me: For myself.
Dude: For yourself...well you gotta be careful cuz you taking pictures of kids and all.
Me: (nod) (and?)
Dude: Nah, I'm just saying cuz the world we're living in, you know, so I'm just saying you gotta be careful, that's all.
Me: I don't understand. I'm taking photos and it's a park.
Dude: No that's cool. I'm just saying the world we're living in. Not safe, you know. Just be careful, that's all.
No point stretching this along.
Me: Thanks, man!
Later, on the bus, I couldn't help but ask myself why I let some fucker make me feel like a pervert? What was the problem here - I had a point-and-shoot camera and not a fucking Nikon? I was taking photos by myself and not with a bunch of people - or a female partner - that would have made it harmless? Was I wrong in taking pictures of others without their consent, esp. if there are children in it? It didn't feel right at first to have simply walked away without confronting the prick properly but chances are he could've caused a scene. So I did right by walking away. Was he related to the kid(s)? I don't know. Kids!? Plural? There was another pic of a giant Elmo dancing in the middle of a bunch of kids. I didn't put that on Flickr because it's not particularly good. Oh, alright here it is.
Anything objectionable there? You see, I am at fault here. I didn't go out prepared with the knowledge of my rights. I did know about photographers' rights at a public place i.e parks, streets etc. I just didn't know if there were exceptions. I looked up ACLU's Bust Card (for when you get busted by the police) as well as a free document by Attorney Bert Krages . I've also read Andrew Kantor's document. I suggest having a print-out of these documents and carrying it with you when you photograph in public places.
Now I've had a bit of time to think about the above incident since it happened. What would I have done if someone was taking a picture of my kid(s), (if I had any)? What would you have done? What would a Bust Card or some rules printed out do for me if I don't want someone snapping pics of my kid?
What's your opinion on this in general? How do you deal with taking pictures of people, esp. kids, in public places? Have you encountered any incident similar to this? Then tell me where I'm wrong.
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