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Just got back from taking pictures at my local shops. I've been questioned a few times over the years  and mostly it's been fine after I;ve explained what I'm doing. Today, taking a picture of what I found an interesting communal door to some flats above the shops, I was met with a torrent of abuse from one of the windows to the flats.The man was so agitated it was hard to make out everything he was saying. I explained what I was photographing, and was met with even more abuse.

 

The last time this happened to me it really knocked my confidence and I stopped putting any pictures on Alamy. I'm starting to think street photography is not for me, which is a shame as it rules out so much as I live in an urban environment.

 

Chris.

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You do need a thick skin. I have to say it's generally not for me, but if you want the material it's important not to allow the public realm to be closed off byb those with the loudest voices.

As long as you're behaving lawfully, and it's very difficult for street photography not to be, stick to your guns. If you're inclined to do so, explain that it's not only your right but your living. If threats are made consider calling  the police.

If things get sticky, I don't know where you are but these days the Met, at least, seem to know the law, but make sure you do.

Edited by spacecadet
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I've had similar experiences, perhaps not quite so dramatic as yours, makes me all the more determined to upload the shots. Clearly if someone is unhinged or looking for trouble then best to clear off, no sense in courting bother.

 

Last time for me was with a security guard from a national bank. He told me that the company took a dim view of people photographing their buildings, I told him that I would see what the Daily Mail thought of that. I left their territory, but uploaded shots of the building taken from a public road.

 

It's always a balancing act taking street shots, if you ask permission often people will agree, but you then you get a posed picture which will be quite different to a candid.

Edited by Bryan
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I recently got into street photography  probably about 3 months now and love it. I have had a few confrontations and just said fine and move on. Also stopped by police a few times asking what i am doing, One time photographing a road sign i suppose it is a bit weird but ha ho it sold. With regards your door photo Chris go back another day set camera settingsbefore hand then  take shot and move on

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I photographed someone whilst they were busking next to a no busking sign, and was told " hey you are not allowed to photograph me " I replied with.. and you are not allowed to busk here.. we both laughed and i got my picture, generally I dont like the pictures if they are posed, so try not to get noticed..

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I get some funny looks sometimes but I think I've only been challenged once, when I was photographing the front of an interesting shop and the owner came rushing out to remonstrate. Had he said politely "I'd prefer it if you didn't photograph my shop" I would probably have just said sorry and moved on, but he was aggressive so I told him it was on a public street, and then said "It's a nice shop - don't you want it to have wider exposure?" I think that threw him because he mumbled something about being able to do his own publicity thank you very much and quickly disappeared inside. I took the shot and it's on Alamy.

 

Alan

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Hmmmmm........ searched for bermuda shorts white socks >>>> 0 results!

 

I think I know what to do this afternoon ^_^  

 

Call the fashion police? !!!  :P

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I have photographed policemen in the street. Just pointed to the camera made a clicking motion and I usually get a nod. Have also conversed with one letting him know that I am not a terrorist.

 

Allan

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Chris, you didn't say where you were taking pics. 

 

It's usually security guards that cause trouble (in London). Recently one demanded I cross the road so he could talk to me. As if!!!! You need a thick skin. 

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I once had a company (multi national) man (security maybe) in a car catch up with me a quarter mile from where I had taken some pictures asking why I had done so. He had been instructed to do this by his bosses. I felt sorry for him because it was obvious he wasn't comfortable with his task but I didn't give him a reason as he wasn't entitled to one. I just told him I take pictures of lots of things. One of the pictures has sold a couple of times.

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I think I've related this story before but it's an example of the relaxed atmosphere we enjoy over here in Thailand.

 

A few years back I was driving home and came across a convoy of large blacked out utility type vehicles. They swung into the local gun club and shooting range. Curious I followed them in. The convoy was the Thai Special Forces Paramilitary and they were using the club for target practice.

 

As opposed to confrontation, I was invited in, given freedom to shoot (photographs) and supplied with body army and ear protectors.

 

At the end of practice everyone posed for photographs and then retired to the nearby club house for refreshments......... Including myself!

 

It sure is a more than a little different over here.

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To the OP:

 

If I were you I would not go back there, but if you must, I would not go the covert RX100 route.

Instead take your biggest tripod and wear one of these.

This one is mine. In the car are some security vests (in different colors with different texts), and I may carry one of those in my bag. They weigh almost nothing. Folded as big as a hanky it could replace padding under a lens.

Initially I carried these to be safe from cyclists hitting my back (Amsterdam!) but noticed I had become invisible to most of the public. Bricklayers sometimes offer you coffee though, when it's cold. Film crew once even brought me sandwiches.

On building sites they're mandatory of course along with helmets and steel work shoes.

Also in my car: short roll of road barricade tape. Helps against kids hitting your tripod.

 

wim

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Big white sneakers and pristine white socks are definitely essentials when it comes to camouflage wear. B)

 

I haven't had much trouble with street photography here in relatively relaxed Vancouver. However, with so many people now snapping and videoing everything in sight with their gadgets, I think it's only "natural" that there is more paranoia in the air. Personally, I now instinctively look the other way when I see someone pointing a phone, etc. in my general direction.

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"Just got back from taking pictures at my local shops. I've been questioned a few times over the years  and mostly it's been fine after I;ve explained what I'm doing. Today, taking a picture of what I found an interesting communal door to some flats above the shops, I was met with a torrent of abuse from one of the windows to the flats.The man was so agitated it was hard to make out everything he was saying. I explained what I was photographing, and was met with even more abuse.

 
The last time this happened to me it really knocked my confidence and I stopped putting any pictures on Alamy. I'm starting to think street photography is not for me, which is a shame as it rules out so much as I live in an urban environment." - Chris
 
You're misusing the term "street photography," Chris. Taking a picture of a door while you're in the street is not what, in the world of photography, is called "street photography" or "street." This activity used to be called by the more apt term "candid." Normally, it involves people in an urban environment doing things, but not posing. 
 
Take a look through some of the collections of these Magnum photographers, and you'll get the idea. 
 
 
Edo
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Hmmmmm........ searched for bermuda shorts white socks >>>> 0 results!

I think I know what to do this afternoon ^_^Call the fashion police? !!! :P

 

Jealous I'm a chick magnet in my outfit and you're not? B)

Cheers,

Philippe  ;)

Chick magnet? Chicks like socks and sandals? Do they think there is bird seed in them? Why do you want all those fluffy little birds anyway ? They are too small to eat....

 

;-)

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I've had many encounters whilst shooting in public places, mostly without any issues. But, I've consistently had problems with security guards who don't have a clue.

 

I recently took a shot of the brass plaque outside the Treasury in London. (My shot of the inland revenue plaque has sold loads of times, so I thought I'd add to my collection) Anyway, I was immediately stopped by one of the guards who said "deleted that, you're not allowed to take any photographs here", in a very aggressive manner. I replied, "I'm in a public place, taking a photo of a public building, I'm not going to delete anything". He got really irate with me and went to grab my camera, and blocked my exit when I tried to move away from him. I asked if I was being arrested and that he had better call the police, which really confused him. Anyway, after a few more unsuccessful attempts by him to get at my camera and grab hold of me, I managed to get away. I was aware that this encounter was being recorded on their security cameras.

 

Later that day I rang the head of security told him I was a freelance editorial photographer, photographing the plaque for the national newspapers, and he concurred that I should not have been interfered with. He was very embarrassed & apologetic by the guards behavior, saying that he would review the security video see what the guard had to say for himself and most probably sack him.

 

So whether he lost his job or not, hopefully others won't be jumped upon by halfwit guards outside the Treasury again. May I suggest if anything similar happens to you make a complaint, that way the message might get through, and we can go about our business without all this stupidness.

 

Tony

 

 

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. I asked if I was being arrested and that he had better call the police, which really confused him.

Tony

 

If that had happened to me I'd have been the one calling the police. Very alarming.

Edited by spacecadet
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Well, I am an ex police officer, so his behaviour wasn't that threatening to myself, but I could understand that others especially tourists being concerned. I think He was probably learnt his lesson.

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elderly-couple-enjoying-sunshine-on-the-

 

This is one I could not resist whilst on hols. on the Baltic coast in Germany last summer.

I could not ask as I did not want them to pose, just snatched a few shots when they were not looking.

A couple of days earlier I was about too photograph a very old house in a nearby town, when the owner who was sitting outside said "you are not going to take a picture of me, are you?"

Not being in the mood to say she could go back in the house, I decided to get a shot later on as I had to return, that one is on Alamy now!

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I photographed someone whilst they were busking next to a no busking sign, and was told " hey you are not allowed to photograph me " I replied with.. and you are not allowed to busk here.. we both laughed and i got my picture, generally I dont like the pictures if they are posed, so try not to get noticed..

What does busking mean? Begging?

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I photographed someone whilst they were busking next to a no busking sign, and was told " hey you are not allowed to photograph me " I replied with.. and you are not allowed to busk here.. we both laughed and i got my picture, generally I dont like the pictures if they are posed, so try not to get noticed..

What does busking mean? Begging?

 

Playing music for money. Usually a guitar.

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