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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 10 Dec 2008 (Wednesday) 14:17
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Accused of being a paedophile!!!

 
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Karl ­ Johnston
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Dec 12, 2008 03:20 |  #241
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Hold up just one second.

You were at the park, a public park or a private park?

The mother objected. Asked to delete the images, I would've probably have done the same thing.

The skipped beat here is - what you're doing is journalism. You're in public, and according to law you have a right to shoot whatever you want whenever you want - as long as it isn't from private, to private or privacy protected property/items/people.

The hint here is she stopped freaking out when you got out your phone. What you should've done is called the police and reported her for harassment, and calling someone a pedophile is criminal slander - she could've been charged and you would've walked away. It's a knob thing to do but technically she would've been ****ed in that situation.

HOWEVER

If you take a photo in public propety it has to be a group shot involving more elements than the kids. If you take a shot of a playground, the subject is the playground. If you take a shot of a 100 % crop of a kid's face - yeah that's problematic. It's a shame the moderator took the photo down, because it has everything to do with deciding if you were in the wrong or not. If it was a kid, and the central subject was the kid, then you'd have an issue. If you are photographing a person under 16 you need a release to display commercially or in print, granted by the guardian of the person.

That said, taking a picture of them and doing nothing with the photo isn't illegal, strangely. It's when you print/reproduce it (and maybe post it online im not sure about that) you have the issue.

Does anyone think that a journalist goes up to everyone in the frame they shoot ? Or just even one person? A journalist asks for permission before submitting photos of the president and the president grants him a release? Doesn't happen.


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AndreaBFS
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Dec 12, 2008 03:26 |  #242

At least the mother didn't have a picture she took of her kid on her keychain... because then she would have been totally justified in protecting her copyright after he illegally photographed the keychain. What a mess *that* would have been. ;)




  
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Mystery ­ Machine
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Dec 12, 2008 03:41 |  #243

weka2000 wrote in post #6860628 (external link)
I guess we all have rights. Rights to photograph in a public place, and rights as parents to object to you photographing our kids in a public place.

I couldn't agree with your comment more.

The difficulty for me is that the 'objection' wasn't one that was easy to respond to without risk of damage to myself or my equipment. It was an unexpected and aggressive attack in which the objection was hidden/lost behind accusations against me that had quite serious implications.

As I have said at every stage in this thread, if I had been approached calmly and asked to remove the image - even without a reason, this would have been done immediately. I have no intention of upsetting people and this would always be the case - I'm that kind of person.

The shot was a 'spontaneous' opportunity that didn't give me chance to go and seek permission initially due to being a long way from the subject, but I certainly wasn't trying to 'sneak' any images of the kids....and likewise I had no issue with removing the image. The only reason I chose not to remove the image was because it was my one and only 'defence' against the accusation of being branded a paedophile had the situation escalated. Anyone (like the police or heaven forbid - a court judge!) viewing the image would immediately be able to see that there was nothing untoward with it that could justify the accusation.

weka2000 wrote in post #6862684 (external link)
Surely a photo like this is not worth all the aggravation just to prove a point esp to a mother who will not really be rational. They are only words.

Yes I to would be offended to be accused but no point throwing petrol on to a match.

As I have said in each stage of the this thread, I was not trying to prove any point to the mother. I did not stand there and argue about photographing in public places or try and aggravate the situation in any way. I managed to convince her the photo was deleted which immediately had an effect and only then did the physical aggression from her stop.

Pacifying her was my one and only concern at that moment (even if the majority disagree and think I should have argued - easier said than done from behind the safety of a keyboard and not faced with this woman) and I'll say again - the only reason I didn't actually delete the image there & then was because it was my only defence. This was also the only reason it was posted here originally.....to pose the question "was it unreasonable to be called a paedophile for taking this shot"

Just to clarify again - I have no problem with the moderators removing this image if there was any question or doubt over it.


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TeeJay
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Dec 12, 2008 04:44 |  #244

I cannot imagine what it must have felt like to have this woman screaming the "P" word at the top of her voice. I think you did absolutely the right thing in NOT deleting your only evidence of the photographs you were actualy taking. You shouldn't delete the image even if requested to do so by a police officer for this very reason. Nor do they (the police) have the authority to take your camera from you (not unless they arrest you and take you to a police station)

I would have been extremly tempted to have used the phone and called the police myself (but how do you do this while fending off an "attacker"). I think the only thing that would have stopped me is the extremely unclear guidance that the police have on these matters. Yes, you may have been in the right in taking the photograph in the first place; and Yes, you probably did have a case against HER for assualt (or whatever) but hey, it's more than likely that the police would have taken her side of things, at least initially. I cannot see them just saying to you "Ok, Sir, just move on" - they are more likely to arrest you (which they can do under section 5 of the Public Order Act - and before people jump on me saying that it should be HER that gets arrested under this act, I agree, but which one do YOU think appears more guilty in the officers eyes of causing the disturbance?)

And besides, is it actualy worth taking the risk of being hauled down the local police station and spending several hours "at their pleasure" discussing the finer points of photography? Not sure I would want to take the chance.

Having this woman advancing towards you and screaming like a wailing banshee (no offence intended to banshees) is a difficult call. If you run, you appear guilty, if you stand your ground and argue - it causes more disturbance and more people get interested in what is happening. If there were other people nearby I might have been tempted to "enlist" their help in mediating - but I guess you don't exactly have much time to consider all the options - and they make take her side and turn on you!

However, I have to say that you maybe you should have been a little more aware of what was likely to happen given the subject you were photographing and the possible proximity of their mother/guardian. If I was looking to take photo's of some kids I would look for whoever was minding them and go out of my way to ask permission.

It might have saved you from an awfull lot of agro.

TJ


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Metalstrm
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Dec 12, 2008 05:29 |  #245

I can't understand why some people are siding with the woman here. There was a similar thread where someone took a photograph of a man dressed all funny in silver and stuff. The guy objected and did pretty much the same thing, yelling at the photographer to delete the photo. And the photographer did the same thing by not deleting the offending photograph.

Everyone seemed to agree that he was doing right, and I think that case should extend to this one. I can't understand why that person was allowed to post the "offending" picture while Mystery Machine here couldn't. Please someone enlighten me.


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Mystery ­ Machine
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Dec 12, 2008 05:30 |  #246

Many thanks TJ - I really appreciate your input.

You're certainly right about my fear of what the police would have done in this situation. I have no doubt that they would have taken the accusation of paedophile far more seriously than any alleged 'assault' from the woman. Not a risk I was going to take especially in the few seconds I had to weigh up the situation.

I still feel I made the right choices regarding diffusing the situation and would do the same again if (heaven forbid) anything like this ever happens again!

TeeJay wrote in post #6863122 (external link)
However, I have to say that you maybe you should have been a little more aware of what was likely to happen given the subject you were photographing and the possible proximity of their mother/guardian. If I was looking to take photo's of some kids I would look for whoever was minding them and go out of my way to ask permission.

It might have saved you from an awful lot of agro.

This is something that has become so true upon reflection. I am now a lot more AWARE.

I am new to photography and freely admit that I don't know all the rules/laws and regulations. Had I ever felt that taking this photo would have been deemed inappropriate in any way then I would never have pointed the camera that way. My eyes saw a cool photo op and it never crossed my mind that it was in any way, shape or form something that I shouldn't be considering capturing. One very steep learning curve later I will be far more conscious about what I shoot, and how I go about shooting it.

It would never previously have occurred to me to ask myself the question in every frame I shoot "is this appropriate?" but in this case, it would seem that this naive approach has opened up a whole new world of questions about what is right and wrong - not in just my eyes, but in the eyes of those around me.

Despite all the accusation and attack, I might never have taken a shot of her kids, I might have been shooting something completely different next to them - but she never gave me the chance or opportunity to speak or explain before she made her decision. It was just assumed on her behalf and her attack was based purely on the this assumption that I was some kind of pervert!

This awareness will certainly see me being a lot more cautious about what I shoot from now on (and how I go about getting those shots: permission etc...) but I have a feeling that my shots for quite some time will be devoid of people in general. A hard lesson learnt, but one that now makes me feel almost ashamed for taking a camera out in public places no matter how innocent or genuine my motives. It's that feeling which may take some time to subside.


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jamesb84
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Dec 12, 2008 05:35 |  #247

TeeJay wrote in post #6863122 (external link)
I cannot imagine what it must have felt like to have this woman screaming the "P" word at the top of her voice. I think you did absolutely the right thing in NOT deleting your only evidence of the photographs you were actualy taking. You shouldn't delete the image even if requested to do so by a police officer for this very reason. Nor do they (the police) have the authority to take your camera from you (not unless they arrest you and take you to a police station)

While they do have the authority to take your camera away, they cannot look at the images stored on it or even touch it to turn it on...not without an explicit warrant from a judge. Photos are (for the time being) still considered "Special Procedure Material".

I would have been extremly tempted to have used the phone and called the police myself (but how do you do this while fending off an "attacker"). I think the only thing that would have stopped me is the extremely unclear guidance that the police have on these matters. Yes, you may have been in the right in taking the photograph in the first place; and Yes, you probably did have a case against HER for assualt (or whatever) but hey, it's more than likely that the police would have taken her side of things, at least initially. I cannot see them just saying to you "Ok, Sir, just move on" - they are more likely to arrest you (which they can do under section 5 of the Public Order Act - and before people jump on me saying that it should be HER that gets arrested under this act, I agree, but which one do YOU think appears more guilty in the officers eyes of causing the disturbance?)

Unfortunately this is a sad reflection of the state of the police in this country. Remember the Met's "photographers are terrorists" poster?

And besides, is it actualy worth taking the risk of being hauled down the local police station and spending several hours "at their pleasure" discussing the finer points of photography? Not sure I would want to take the chance.

Having this woman advancing towards you and screaming like a wailing banshee (no offence intended to banshees) is a difficult call. If you run, you appear guilty, if you stand your ground and argue - it causes more disturbance and more people get interested in what is happening. If there were other people nearby I might have been tempted to "enlist" their help in mediating - but I guess you don't exactly have much time to consider all the options - and they make take her side and turn on you!

Yeah, I've been called a paedophile a paparrazi, scum, pervert, diana killer (inventive that one) and i've been in plenty of confrontations...if i can find it i'll show you the photo of my black eye caused by a BNP member pushing my camera into my face...and they aren't pleasant. I guess you have to get used to it and develop a thick skin or follow the advice TJ gives below...

However, I have to say that you maybe you should have been a little more aware of what was likely to happen given the subject you were photographing and the possible proximity of their mother/guardian. If I was looking to take photo's of some kids I would look for whoever was minding them and go out of my way to ask permission.

It might have saved you from an awfull lot of agro.

James.


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M5Man
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Dec 12, 2008 05:38 |  #248

A very sad situation but this is the society we now live in.

I remember going to my childrens christmas school plays with video and camera but now you cant take either.

My wife is a dancer and she did a charity event the other day from the dance school she atttends before the show began someone said no photography of any kind as there was children as young as 3 in it. And adults up to aged 60( Obviosly they were protecting the children). I was upset as I dont normally see my wife dance and wanted to record and take pics for her mum.

Conclusion

The world we live in has now gone mad !!


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S.Horton
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Dec 12, 2008 05:51 as a reply to  @ post 6857742 |  #249

@OP -

When she approached you and started acting crazy, you could have simply reacted to that, pure and simple. If she's grabbing at you and yelling, that's assault. If she's touching you, that's battery.

The only reason to start walking (or running) away is when you feel that your safety is threatened.

Now, in the lady's defense -- Nobody knows why she was acting that way.

If the mother had had recent exposure to a real criminal, or knows someone who did, then she may simply be terrified.

In the end, no matter what was driving the mother's behavior, there's probably nothing you could have done to avoid this situation.

I think if it ever happens again, you'll now know what to do.


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Mystery ­ Machine
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Dec 12, 2008 06:26 |  #250

S.Horton wrote in post #6863251 (external link)
When she approached you and started acting crazy, you could have simply reacted to that, pure and simple. If she's grabbing at you and yelling, that's assault. If she's touching you, that's battery.

I'm not sure I get you - I did react to the situation....I took the course of action I felt most appropriate at the time in a situation that occurred unexpectedly. It must have worked because the attack stopped.

S.Horton wrote in post #6863251 (external link)
The only reason to start walking (or running) away is when you feel that your safety is threatened.

I only walked away (home) after she had gone....I wasn't going to pursue the matter - I couldn't see the point, I was so shocked and upset by it all and didn't want to then make the matter worse by involving the police who would have to take the accusation of paedophile as the immediate threat over any accusation I might have to offer against the woman (who would probably have been a sweet, nice and victimised lady once the law was there if you get my drift)

I don't want to fuel the growing trend in this country that anyone that touches me or shouts at me can be sued for assault. If I had been injured then that's a different matter, but diffusing a volatile situation is far more important an issue to me than chasing some charge of assault. Even if the woman was still convinced I was a pervert, I walked away unharmed, my equipment was in one piece and I wasn't hauled down to a police cell to argue/justify for hours why I was in the park in the first place.

S.Horton wrote in post #6863251 (external link)
If the mother had had recent exposure to a real criminal, or knows someone who did, then she may simply be terrified.

Now this is one possible (slim but possible) reason, but I reckon if this had been the case, she would probably have just called the police there & then rather than kicking off and making a scene. I was no where near her kids (probably a god 150m away) so there was certainly no physical 'threat' as such. If the kids had possibly been subject to some previous ordeal, then drawing a massive amount of attention with her display wasn't going to help them really, only fuel any feelings they have about the 'outside world'.

Her reasons/motives and background were and still are completely unknown. My comment above is a purely hypothetical answer in response to the hypothetical comment you raised. I am in no way trying to imply that this is the reason for her thoughts and actions.

In reality I will never know?

S.Horton wrote in post #6863251 (external link)
In the end, no matter what was driving the mother's behavior, there's probably nothing you could have done to avoid this situation.

This is what I keep telling myself. She seemed to have some agenda or motive that caused her to react in the way. Probably the only thing I could have done to avoid it would be to have only photographed the wildlife and nothing more.

In hindsight, I reckon she would have possibly had a similar reaction even if I'd approached her for permission to photograph her kids. To immediately think 'paedophile' tells me she has an issue in general.

S.Horton wrote in post #6863251 (external link)
I think if it ever happens again, you'll now know what to do.

You got that right......:D


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tiziano
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Dec 12, 2008 06:58 as a reply to  @ Mystery Machine's post |  #251

Anyway, this was the funniest reply in this thread:

Medic85 wrote in post #6855861 (external link)
I have a simple solution to this problem...carry protection.
In today's society you can't be too careful. I've read this thread and it's too simple to me. Just carry some type of protection. If someone starts charging you, how do you know what their intentions are?

So, if an histerical mom assalts you in park, you pull out your big gun, and point it to her face? Or, do you directly shoot? :lol:


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Medic85
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Dec 12, 2008 07:14 |  #252

I never mentioned a gun...did I?

Your reply is just the kind of response I didn't want to trigger. Why is it that people don't believe in defending themselves? I'll tell you this much, I carry some type of personal protection with me no matter where I go. I do know the laws regarding firearms and where I can and cannot carry them and I follow the law. NC law says you can't carry a firearm in a public park so therefore, I wasn't referring to using a gun.

I'm also sick of the European inclination that all Americans are a bunch of gun toting cowboys who shoot anything that moves. I take offense to that type of thinking. We have people in our country who give us a bad name, I will give you that but there's no reason to blanket the entire population with that type of thinking.

I am a responsible adult who believes in protecting myself and my rights and property.




  
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Deckham
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Dec 12, 2008 07:20 as a reply to  @ Medic85's post |  #253

Kajuah wrote in post #6862971 (external link)
*snip*If it was a kid, and the central subject was the kid, then you'd have an issue. If you are photographing a person under 16 you need a release to display commercially or in print, granted by the guardian of the person.*snip*

sigh
No, you do not.
Read your laws again.
I've posted a link to them a few pages back...


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tiziano
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Dec 12, 2008 07:23 |  #254

Medic85 wrote in post #6863453 (external link)
I never mentioned a gun...did I?

Your reply is just the kind of response I didn't want to trigger. Why is it that people don't believe in defending themselves? I'll tell you this much, I carry some type of personal protection with me no matter where I go. I do know the laws regarding firearms and where I can and cannot carry them and I follow the law. NC law says you can't carry a firearm in a public park so therefore, I wasn't referring to using a gun.

I'm also sick of the European inclination that all Americans are a bunch of gun toting cowboys who shoot anything that moves. I take offense to that type of thinking. We have people in our country who give us a bad name, I will give you that but there's no reason to blanket the entire population with that type of thinking.

I am a responsible adult who believes in protecting myself and my rights and property.

Sorry for misunderstanding.
Could you please clarify what kind of protection you refer to, and how would you have used it in the OP's situation?


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Medic85
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Dec 12, 2008 07:32 |  #255

There are several non-lethal types of personal protection available. Pepper spray, a police baton (which is small enough to carry in your back pocket)...that's two options that immediately come to mind. How I would have used it is not what the issue is. I wasn't there so his definition of hysterical is based on his current emotional status.

When the body and mind are stressed, perception is altered. He could have easily believed he was in danger of losing his life or being physically harmed, therefore, he would have been well within his rights to defend himself. If she was not making motions that would have been considered physically threatning, he would have had no right to use any type of defense other than verbal defense. However, she did invade his personal space by trying to grab his camera, so it's really up to him how he should have handled it had he any type of protection.

If he believed he was in danger and anyone who wasn't emotionally stressed at the time would have done the same thing, he would have been within his right to defend himself. I cannot speak for UK law but US law (at least here in NC) allows that type of defense. In other words, he could have given her a nice little shot of pepper spray in the snot box and would have been right to do so.

Let me ask you this; why do you automatically assume I was speaking of a gun? Especially since I never mentioned one.




  
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