Would you please move?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Wayne, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    So, I'm sitting in a public place, a gazebo. I have gone to this place specifically because it is shaded, has an electric outlet for my computer
    and is a public place. I am away from home, camping, writing for a writing project and I have finally discovered a good place I can write and watch my dog at the same time. I have my computer plugged in and my notebooks out in front of me, my dog tied up beside me, and I'm typing away. A woman walks up and asks me to move, but it's clear she isn't really asking. I'm appalled by her nerve, because I'm pretty well ensconced in this spot, and I'm finally getting some writing done. I ask her how far? Just to the other side of the gazebo? No, she wants me out of the gazebo entirely so she can photograph a young couple. I make it very clear that I am not pleased, but I decide not to make a scene (I'm very good at making them) for the sake of the young couple who are innocent in this. I shut down my computer, pack it up, untie my dog, and grumbling, move 100 feet away, into the sun where I can't see my computer screen, and watch her take a bunch of pictures of the couple. Ten minutes later she clears me to move back, and thanks me, to which I grumble "are you a professional photographer"? and she replies Yes sir. I resist the urge to say "You need to work on the professional part", and don't say anything at all.

    She was never blatantly rude, but it was obvious from her demeanor that she fully expected me to comply. I found her asking me to move at all rude, even if it was done in ac pseudo-courteous way.

    Professional photographer? Discuss.
     
  2. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    Crikey!

    With architectural photography, I've waited for aaages for a scene to be clear to photograph, whilst the light changes and I freeze or boil to death. I think in that circumstance, if the shot were critical and you looked like you were settled in, I'd come over and have a chat and try to "engage" you with what I was up to - discuss it like a human being (you may have more 'right' to be there than I do - who knows 'till there's a dialogue?). I reckon if I was you in your situation, I'd be grumpy too!!

    Marc!
     
  3. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Unpofessional photographer

    She should have engaged, "Hi sir (smiling), I have been hired to photograph this lovely couple who is soon to be married, and this is a special place to them, I would like....."
     
  4. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

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    sounds like the place was pretty scenic. Not suprised a couple would want some photo's there. I think since the place is public, she was as right to ask you to move as you were to be sitting there. I think she could have handled it better, though.

    But then, It's possible that she was dealing with a hard to deal with couple who were giving her a hard time, or she was in a not so plesant mood, or something. But then, if I was in your situation, I'd probably be a little grumy imwardly, as well.

    But anyway, on a different note, I hope your project is going well
     
  5. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Obviously none of us were there to witness the exchange.

    But I disagree with the suggestion she was unreasonable. Many professional photographers (several I know personally in corporate and wedding work) would be a lot more forthright in their directions. I think she's fairly good in her capacity to communicate subtly, even assertively. We all have our own ways of communicating based on experience. I have had my moments ushering stragglers out of my organised landscape shoot, and by and large, they are very happy to oblige, to which I make my appreciation very well known, to the point of thanking them personally after the shoot. A family enjoying a wonderful early autumn evening on the beach put down smack-bang in a scene I had been framing for 1 hour. I approached the husband and explained what I was doing. He, wife,three kids and dog happily moved away. Afterward, I thanked him and he responded, "no worried, mate" (well, this is typically Australian!). Diplomacy is much better than making a scene, and if somebody doesn't move, then the professional should just let it rest and scoot for another set up. Weddings elevate the photographer assigned to move people, members of the public, around and about so as his imaging is not impinged. In public places, people are not obliged to move for anybody, certainly not photographers and again, diplomacy wins the day even if you must go to lengths to qualify and assert the necessity for the person/s to move. Accept refusal gracefully and move on; it's only a photo. I've not had the frosty exchange that you had, but many times have issued a pointed finger to indicate "out of frame please!" (if people are distant), or just move elsewhere if people are clear they are not going to move (and some people want to be very clear).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2012
  6. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I agree. If this woman had just come over and talked to you first, I wouldn't have been peeved off.
    In fact, if she got on my good side, I'd run interference for her, too.

    But, if she gets on my bad side, I'm just as likely to tell her to piss off.

    If you really want to have some fun, next time somebody approaches you like that, put your hand up to your ear and talk into your wristwatch, "Code green! Hold your positions!" :D :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2012
  7. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Move to the background of all her shots. Proceed to take off shirt in slow mo for a time lapse effect. Carry dog in arms or on head. Aim shiny laptop to reflect light/flare into lens. Smile devilishly.
     
  8. fotch

    fotch Member

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    You could just say, I will when I am done. Right now I am busy.
     
  9. c.d.ewen

    c.d.ewen Subscriber

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    Doesn't work in NYC.

    Some years ago, I was catching a late - 2 AM - train home from Grand Central Terminal. GCT, usually fairly empty at that time, was full of people, all standing around at discrete distances from one another. They were extras in a feature film being shot there, all standing at their "places" marks. Since I was early for the train, I stood at the entrance to the track, to see if some famous Hollywood stars would appear. A scruffy-looking 20-something (I was in my dark 3-piece custom-made pin-striped Brooks Brothers suit, 7-eyelet Allen Edmonds shoes, etc - you get the picture) approached me and brusquely ordered me to get down the track. I politely replied with a firm, "No", while the gentleman standing next to me (also in business attire), said something immeasureably more impolite. The roughian switched to diplomatic mode, explained the situation, and asked us to move. We engaged him with questions about the film for a minute or two, just to demonstrate our manhood. When he asked a second time, we immediately complied. He could have saved himself a lot of time.

    We figured he wasn't from New York.

    Charley
     
  10. urbantarzan

    urbantarzan Member

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    Did you have an APUG jersy on?.... most digtal photographers don't like us :sad:
     
  11. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I've been in the same position, waiting patiently while mentally cursing people to "get out of the way"!! Last week I spent nearly an hour waiting unsuccessfully for an architecutural scene to be clear of people (too open a view to ask them individually)!

    If it were really necessary (and practical), I would chat to someone pleasantly, explain what I was trying to do, and ask politely if they could just spare a moment and move for me. I've never had any trouble, and often the person has shown interest in what I was doing, and even apologised for not realising! BUT, if I were a professional photographer or film-maker, I would consider it appropriate to get any permits or authorities necessary in a public place, and, even then, use common sense and decency rather than being heavy-handed.
    Or just choose a time and day when the place was quiet.
     
  12. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    This is not true. I encountered more than a few such scenes when I worked in New York (a hazard of living there), and it was pretty clear that once the movie people get their permits and set up, they feel they completely own the space and are quite comfortable ordering people around rudely, usually because it's a matter of herd control, not just one or two people. I did have to get kind of rude with one guy blocking a restaurant doorway where I was trying to pick up an order for takeout. I'm not going to wait while my dinner gets cold.
     
  13. thegman

    thegman Member

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    If asked nicely, I'll gladly move. If rude, then I'd stay, even if I had somewhere else to be, just to be annoying. It's a small pleasure.
     
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  15. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Having not been there, I can't know for sure the woman's precise approach.

    But I have worked as a professional, both at a newspaper and for portrait/wedding work...it's hard work and keep in mind there's 2 other people besides who are involved.

    Being polite and diplomatic is a given (or should be) but I'd give the shooter a break -- it's hard work and there's more than enough stress as it is. I don't get enough pleasure from being a dick to somebody else that it makes up for the stress involved.
     
  16. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    No offense, but I think the grumbling attitude was un-necessary. Was it really inconvenient to move for 10 mintues?
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    "Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, you're a mile away and you've got their shoes."
    I like that, Colin. Empathy. Goes both ways.
     
  18. CGW

    CGW Member

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    My city sells dated and timed permits for "professional" (sic) photographers to shoot at city-owned parks and properties. The permits are also specific about location within public spaces, which limits the likelihood of this sort of scene. I've had hacks try to push me, friends and family out of spots that are not designated; few when asked have permits and out themselves usually with the old "it's a public park, dude." Very few pros in my area bother with this sort of lowball engagement, wedding, portrait work which is now the realm of self-important poseurs. They're making it rough for everyone, so I'm often guilty of telling them to f-off till I'm done. As for their clients' innocence, it's often a look-in on what sort of schlock they'll be asked to pay for. Not my worry.
     
  19. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    My city does the same, and for movie/TV/commercial advertizement shoots it can shut down entire city blocks for days. The production companies even hire off-duty cops and/or thugs to protect their turf... most of which is being occupied but not utilized 70% of the time.
     
  20. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    In the NYC subway, I think it would have been acceptable for that assistant to just walk up and say, "Excuse me. We're trying to shoot a movie, here. Would you mind backing off, please."

    Minding every "P and Q", and trying to be perfectly polite isn't always necessary, especially in a place like the NYC subway. In some cases, being TOO polite could set a person against you just as much as if you were totally rude. The perception of politeness varies with the location and situation.

    Construction workers on a job site would probably be justified in shouting, "Hey! Out of the way!" but the same thing said in the public library would probably get you tossed out.

    If that woman would have approached you at the gazebo in the park and said that she was a photographer and that her clients wanted to have their wedding pictures taken at that location, I'd expect your reaction would have been completely different.

    It doesn't matter whether the photographer is using the most complex, 8x10 large format camera or a digi-snapper. More than half of the photographer's job has nothing to do with the camera, the film, the computer or any other kind of equipment. It has everything to do with how you relate to people. A gruff photographer is probably not going to get a flattering wedding portrait out of a newlywed couple, especially when he runs around ordering people out of his way. It takes somebody who knows how to talk to people and make them feel good about doing what they are asked.

    It's not what you say but how you say it.
     
  21. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    What?

    Any real photographer would have just photoshopped you out. Must have been some antiquated analog type.

    Seriously, though I've run into this many many times. I politely ask them to move and explain the reason and they always kindly move. Often I offer them a gift certificate for a portrait session and 8x10 that I carry with me.

    Never once had a problem and to the OP, Wayne, thanks for moving.

    Certain locations are so important to us.
     
  22. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    I should retirtle this thread, but I don't know how. Her actual words were "Can I get you to move"? in a very expectant manner. Its hard to transmit body language and demeanor over the internet. She was not polite, despite not being obviously rude.

    If she had started by explaining politely "Sir, I've been asked to photograph this recently engaged couple in this lovely gazebo. Would you mind moving just for a few minutes? If not, we'll come back later". Then I would probably have gladly moved.
     
  23. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    The problem with that is getting their shoes away from them in the first place.
     
  24. mark

    mark Member

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    As someone who used to write and who knows how hard it is to find a place to do it where you can use the space you need, I completely sympathize. I would not have moved. As it is a public spot, first come first dibs. As a professional she should know this. Would she have packed all her crap up and moved for you? Seriously doubt it. The amount of time I am asked to move is not important.

    So, let me ask, as photographers would you pack up all of your stuff and move when someone "asked" you to so they could use the space, or would you say no and keep shooting until you were done?
     
  25. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Done this way? OK. Done with a air of entitlement? Find another spot.
     
  26. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    :laugh::laugh: