Friday, September 01, 2006


I believe that people should have the right to take photos in public places without any restrictions from the government. But some states have laws about it. I don't know, but they might have to do with consent forms and whether the image is used for profit. I don't know.

But I do know that if you take someone's picture in public without their permission, you should understand that you run the risk of being assaulted.

Back when I was almost 30 I used to run every day. I would finish the run with a massive sprint up a very slight grade to my apartment building. There were some artist types around and one of them must have noticed me and decided to get a picture. I have an interesting, handsome face with lots of angles and planes, great jaw and cheekbones, dark, strong eyebrows. At the end of the sprint I must have looked dramatic, as if in extremis.

He hid behind a bush and got the shot. I flashed on grabbing his camera and ripping the film out. All I did was look at him in disgust and walk away.

Then there was the old guy at the mall a few years ago, with the 'unused' camera on a strap and with the big lens that just happened to jut out level from his hip. This is a favorite method of cowards who want candid shots. The shutter trigger is in his hand in his pocket. That lens just by chance happened to wind up pointing at me several times. Each time I would turn my back. I bet he got his shot, though.

Then, a few months ago, my beautiful wife and I were at the park. I was in the wheelchair. Some guy with an enormous lens took position a hundred yards away and focused on us. Without my kind and accommodating wife noticing, I gave him the finger and kept holding it up. To his credit, he got the message and put the camera down.

You should be free to take pictures in public. But understand that you look like a jerk of you don't get permission.
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