So, the amateur street photographer who was banned from a coffeeshop for creeping people out? Here’s his Flickr stream. And here’s the picture of the girl smoking that got him banned in the first place:
It’s obvious from his stream that these are not pervy upskirt shots or anything, and some of them are pretty good, but if people ask you to stop taking pictures of them and you continue, expect some backlash.
For instance, this photo is called, “You have to ask to take my picture!”, the caption reads, “Being confronted for making candid photos is a frequent event for a street photographer,” and a comment by the photographer says, “He caught me after I took the first shot and immediately began lecturing. So, I held the camera at chest level and kept firing away. Funny thing is, he couldn’t hear my mirror slapping over his own, jeering voice, so, I had a choice pictures to choose from.”
The photographer knew what he was doing and he relishes pushing the boundaries.
Here is a statement from the photographer himself:
You shouldn’t believe everything you read in the newspaper. I had hoped that the paper would have given me the chance to explain the real story. The reporter told me that he would print the picture that caused the stink and that he would print a link to my photos. He didn’t do either of these things. He also didn’t tell me what the coffee house was saying about me despite that I directly asked him, thus giving me no chance to refute their silly allegations.
I am not out there sneaking around taking pictures of women. In fact, I ask permission a lot before taking pictures of many subjects. And, if you look at my stream you’ll be able to see that. You should also be able to tell from my photos that I most commonly use smaller focal length lens. Specifically, I use a Zeiss 28, 35 and 50. That telephoto there talking about is a big, bad 135mm.
I’ll post below what I posted in the rangefinder forums. Please, try to keep an open mind.
I’m the guy they banned. The irony is that I seldom photograph young women. I’m more interested in the old and disabled. I did, however, take a photo of a fellow sitting in the window of the coffee house that has insisted on the ban. The manager saw me and came out and read me the riot act. I explained that I had done nothing wrong and tried to walk away but she followed me down the street a ways yelling at me. That was the first incident.
Here is the photo:
The second encounter, is described well enough in the article. I was using a telephoto lens that day to create a compressed perspective between foreground and background. Why? Because I thought it made for pretty pictures of the snow falling. I was far enough away from the store that I didn’t realize she was associated with it. She was outside smoking and, with the snow in the background, the scene looked timeless. So, I took the picture.
She became aware of me just after I took it. She yelled at me. Told me to stop taking her picture. She was very agitated. I simply said “ok” and then she insisted that I delete the one I had taken. I told her that I couldn’t do that. I then turned away and left. It was obvious she wasn’t interested in why I was taking pictures on the street. Here’s the photo:
Also, I’ve since learned that the woman in the photo is the same manager who confronted me the previous time. It was my error that I didn’t recognize her the second time. For this I am deeply sorry. Had I realized it was the same gal I would have passed up on the shot. I need to make a correction. The person in the photo is not Mara but another worker for the coffee shop named Rose. I misunderstood the information previously provided to me. Sorry.
The following Monday I was banned.
Yes, I made candid photos in the street. I was only trying to document the social landscape. It was my belief that posed shots or shots where they had given consent would be inauthentic. But, that being said, I did often ask for permission simply because there was no other way to get the shot.
Now, photography was a hobby. It was fun. But, I have a wife, two kids and a lot of other responsibilities that going along with family life and home ownership. I don’t have the energy to fight these people.
I’ve put my cameras away.
(Thanks to Craig!)