Sunday, February 17, 2008

Photograhper's Rights in Public spaces

Last night while we where having dinner in a resturant in Dallas I was confronted by another patron because he said I ruined their family outing by taking a picture of his children.
We where sitting in a booth and a family of five children and two adults where at the table across from us.
It's true, I took a picture of the family group. I must add that it was very dark in the resturant and the family was back lit by a large group of white "christmas lights" behind them on the wall. I should add that I didn't frame, focus or other wise appear to be "taking a picture", I simply rested the camera on the table and guessed at the exposure.
The father told his server that I had taken their picture and the manager came to my table to tell me about the father's upset with my doing so.
As the father came back to their table I grabed his sleeve and pulled him over to tell him I was sorry I had up set them.
He was visabley shaken with the encounter and went on and on about what he was afraid I was going to do with the pictures of his children, ie. post them on the internet and how upset his choldren where. He wanted me to show the children the pictures and then "delet" them from the camera. I told him that they where "film" and he seemed shaken. By the way the youngest of the three boys soon pulled out his CAMERA cellphone and started to take a picture. His mother told him not to, "not in the resturant".
Long story short, the guy is paranoid and it sounds to me like his kids are in charge of the "family". He was greatly over reacting to the incident. He could have been smarter about the whole thing and simply asked me to not photograph his kids. I would have said " sure, no problem".
As it turns out, when I look at the internet, it appears that I have every right to photograph anything I want in a public space, like a resturant. Obviously as long as I'm not violating someone's personal privacy, and if the subject objects, I stop.
The father in this case was clearly paranoid and making something out of nothing. It seems to me that he is raising his kids with a large helping of fear. Poor kids!
Here's a site that I found that talks about "photographer's rights".
Sounds to me like I was not doing anything wrong.
Maybe I should have told the "dad" to bug off or at the very least to "get a grip".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you are lucky to still have an intact camera...if it had been me, that camera would have been in pieces if it had been me and my is very obvious that you 'don't know what you are doing'...(as you say on your own website..