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Photographer Safety

ShepsMomShepsMom Registered Users Posts: 4,319 Major grins
edited August 11, 2014 in The Big Picture
I don't know if this being discussed before, i couldn't find anything, so here it is....

I would like to know what your take on a Safety issues being a photographer, especially when you deal with "people" photography. Take this situation:

You got a call from a stranger (potential client) who read/heard about you and would like to schedule a photoshoot. Ok, my first thing would be to find out little bit about the client before the photoshoot. You agree to meet somewhere in public place/cafe, whatnot. You feel good about the person, you're ready for that shot. You agree on hours and location, you go to meet that person....... What might be next, you'll never know. Have you ever had a bad experience?

I don't know why i am asking this question. I guess this world is full of weirdos, i had too many bad encounters to fully trust people. Or may be i'm totally out of line here? Being a woman, i think i have a right to be concern a bit.

What is your take on this?
Marina
www.intruecolors.com
Nikon D700 x2/D300
Nikon 70-200 2.8/50 1.8/85 1.8/14.24 2.8

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    S. HortonS. Horton Registered Users Posts: 192 Major grins
    edited August 19, 2007
    Business/money isn't worth it.

    If something feels stressful or wrong to you, pass on it or make other arrangements.

    And, yeah, depending upon where you live and where you're thinking about going with $x gear on you you should be concerned.
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    OffTopicOffTopic Registered Users Posts: 521 Major grins
    edited August 20, 2007
    I'm surprised more women haven't responded to this. I can't respond from a portrait photographer's point of view, but as a corporate executive who has traveled solo extensively domestically and abroad for 22 years, and constantly had to meet with "strange men" one-on-one in unfamiliar locations. It's always in the back of my mind and I've met my share of wierdos! But we can't let a few weirdos keep us from having a full life...

    So FWIW here are the practices I try to follow:

    - always make sure someone knows where you will be and when you expect to return

    - always meet in a public place. You mentioned that your initial meeting was in public, but where is the location shoot planned? I would think that would also be somewhere public (park?). If the client wants a location shoot somewhere that is remote that would probably raise a red flag, and if I still wanted to go through with it I would probably recruit an "assistant" to accompany me.

    - sad to say, but I frequently carry Mace or pepper spray (unless I'm flying) and keep it in a convenient location, but I don't kid myself about my ability to use it effectively. It only takes a few scary situations before you start wishing for a carry permit (dang California!) :D. Some women gain self-confidence from self-defense classes. I personally think that physical fitness is important, and you gain confidence in knowing your body and what it's capable of. But it's more of a mental thing that you project outwardly - ie. you don't give the appearance of vulnerability.

    - Trust your gut, early. It's usually right. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. There's no shame in walking away from a situation that makes you uncomfortable.

    No real insights there, just know that you're not alone in your concerns. All you can do is be street smart. You can't let it hold you back from doing the things you want to do in life.

    Just curiousity, but I am wondering why a male client would schedule a portrait session for himself? Is it for a dating service, is he in the entertainment business, a realtor? I can see a woman requesting a portrait to give as a gift to a loved one, but I just can't see a man doing so. Am I being gender biased? headscratch.gif

    Lori

    Edit - I just re-read your hypothetical situation and realized you didn't mention gender (my bad!). I think the same things apply in a same-gender situation - it's just street smarts.
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    ShepsMomShepsMom Registered Users Posts: 4,319 Major grins
    edited August 20, 2007
    Thanks Lori, you have good pointers, and pretty much all you need is a common sense. You're right, the situation is hypothetical, but like i said, you never know. You can not always judge people by what they wear or what they say, it's really a shame. I'm thinking bringing my German Shepherd with me Laughing.gif. That would scare them, eh? J/K:D
    Marina
    www.intruecolors.com
    Nikon D700 x2/D300
    Nikon 70-200 2.8/50 1.8/85 1.8/14.24 2.8
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    ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,923 moderator
    edited August 21, 2007
    I think OffTopic's reply is applicable regardless of your gender.

    It's incredibly important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Especially as your attention tends to be elsewhere while shooting (not to mention you are likely to have something someone else wants--the camera).
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
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    ChatKatChatKat Registered Users Posts: 1,357 Major grins
    edited August 21, 2007
    Just say no!
    I always ask a lot of questions. I've been self employed for a number of years and have gone into homes/offices where I might be alone with someone I don't know. I've never encountered a problem.

    But some things I have done to keep safe - I always leave the name and address with my husband and I always call to tell him my whereabouts. My cellphone is programmed to hit one number to call him and call for help.

    I never put my car keys away where I can't get them to get away.

    I'd never go on location without a 2nd unless I am going with people I know. It's not just the "subject". In an isolated area, well, sometimes there can be "unsavory"" people you just don't want to have around you . You might even have some liability to be concerned with if you took a client out for shooting to an area and a crime were committed and you picked the location. (I am not certain of this but it seems like if you put a client in harms way you could have a liability).

    Be alert and be streetwise. Have gear insurance and don't risk yourself for the sake of your gear. Cameras and lenses can be replaced.

    ian408 wrote:
    I think OffTopic's reply is applicable regardless of your gender.

    It's incredibly important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Especially as your attention tends to be elsewhere while shooting (not to mention you are likely to have something someone else wants--the camera).
    Kathy Rappaport
    Flash Frozen Photography, Inc.
    http://flashfrozenphotography.com
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    gusgus Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited August 21, 2007
    ShepsMom wrote:
    I guess this world is full of weirdos

    What is your take on this?

    Easy..im a lot weirder than the weirdos...it scares the hell out of 'em.
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    andykaliandykali Registered Users Posts: 1 Beginner grinner
    edited August 11, 2014
    gus wrote: »
    Easy..im a lot weirder than the weirdos...it scares the hell out of 'em.

    following on on this thread, im interested to know if ther eis a way i can help guide and protect my GF, she is a photographer and i fear for her safety, she is getting more nad more work from people that want to be on adult sites, and i worry about her going off to take photo's of people in those scenarios

    she is very talented but also the subject of a lot of peoples desires

    overly trusting and people not wanting "assistants and protection" puts her at risk i beleive.
    my advice to all is to walk away iof they wont allow an assistant to be there, i feel its totaly acceptable to have an assistant, protection or a chaperone present, jsut like a model can request, the party at risc should have final say, and should the situation be changed at last minute, the party at risc should walk
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