Tuesday, June 17, 2008

You will be in trouble

Recently someone said to me.

"I didn't know you were a photographer"

My mind immediately thought something along the lines of, well I'm not, I am just a guy who takes a lot of pictures. I have only on a couple of occasions recorded images that I think could really be considered photography. Or at least photography as my idealist minds template of what is required in the medium to be considered photographic. This template is probably a bit too elitist and I have been trying to relax it to allow myself into it's fold. In reality anyone who ever depresses a shutter button becomes a photographer, therefor most in the modern world are also photographers.

As an aspiring photographer I can say if you carry a camera around long enough you are sure to get some real treasures and I do not mean pictures, I mean people. It is funny how some people will react to a "photographer" Here are some recent examples.

A while back on dank spring day I approached a very large man in a yellow hoodie pumping gas at a station down cape. At the time I was thinking it would be nice to photograph some real blue collar codders, from a far this gentleman fit the bill. I politely introduced myself and asked if he minded if I shot some pic's of him at work. He politely offered to break my lens in half if I took any pictures.

If you have been paying attention at the site you will have also notice a series of photographs of beer. I shoot pints almost every time I drink them. At one recent bar I was busy shooting and admiring my pint, at some point I looked up and another bar patron seemed to be glaring at me. So I uttered a cordial how you doing? He responded with an angry "Do me a favor, do not turn that camera on again." The tone was one that left it clear that it was going to be a real problem if it the camera turned on again. Later I realized that the gentleman was in the background of the pint shots. I guess he did not want any pictures of him as the sole patron at the pub in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday.

Yesterday, I had been asked to take some photos at a local landfill. I again politely introduced myself at the gate. The gentleman there expressed ambivalence about a photographer shooting at the dump. I started off to looking for some good ones. Shortly later, while shooting the stack of dead monitors the gateman called me back. He asked if I had permission from the town to be there. I did not. I asked if he could give me a number to get permission, as I could tell he just got off the phone with a supervisor. He gave me the town literature and said that town hall would be open weekdays 9-5. I asked if that would be when they handed out day permits for landfill photographs? He apparently did not see the humor behind this statement and went on to ask what pictures I had already shot. I told him. He said well you better not use them, if you do, you will be in trouble! Can you imagine! The dump photography authorities are sure to be at my door any second! I have not been threatened with being in trouble since I was in my teens.

It is strange the reactions people have to photography and photographers. The good far out weights the bizarre and inappropriate, but I am still left amazed at the reactions. The first photo in this post I will be in trouble for, so I leave you with a the example of some pleasant subjects, a photo of Frisbee golf players discussing their game who happily let me photograph them for 3 holes at Burgess park yesterday.

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