The Cost of an Image

The Cost of an Image


The cost of an image…

So, I had the CPF outside my gate last night… (Photography Related) What is the right of a photographer to take photos in a public street.

I am currently shooting to get images for a competition on one of the groups I belong to.. Lekker, just for fun; but I take even that serious. So yesterday, instead of driving to the cafe; I walked with my camera. I am taking photos of the leaves of the trees in the street.

Last night, a group of around 6 men (didn’t count) shows up outside my gate, I saw the CPF sticker on the one car; and relaxed a bit. But nothing prepared me for what came next. The one young guy was going off at me for taking photo’s of his house (lol, which I didn’t I was shooting leaves of trees on the pavement and overhanging the street); how do I invade his privacy like that… and then some descriptive words and accusations I won’t repeat. They were all getting in on accusations and having a verbal go at me.

I was slightly irritated with the ignorance of the men; and while doing something as innocent as shooting leaves for-peet-sake, and then basically being called a criminal didn’t gel with me. They threatened to call the cops, and I welcomed it; but they never did… they were clearly at my place “to sort me out.” The one guy even had a stick or baton in his hand.

My girlfriend was terrified and intimidated; I handled the situation as best as I could with my past experience in the cops; and eventually just got my camera to show them that they were mistaken. After this (of course) I am sure they felt like idiots; they left mumbling, and I sincerely apologized if I made them feel uncomfortable.

When I got back in the house, I got really upset; it is only then that I realized that these guys did more than just embarrass me loud enough for all my neighbours to hear; my girlfriend was in tears, scared. It was a mob of guys, who showed up like hooligans, vigilante style… good god, with a weapon in hand.

When my girlfriend’s father heard about it, he contacted the local newspaper. The journalist just left my place after a long interview; and as you know, journalists carry camera’s too. I am very interested to see where this go.

Have one of you been in a similar situation? And while I think I know my rights as a photographer fairly well; is there someone that can shed a light on public photography (no human subjects involved)?

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    3 Responses to The Cost of an Image

    1. Thys Groesbeek

      I found this link in the meanwhile through a photographer friend of mine.

      Hope that this brings more info on the matter of my rights as a photographer.

    2. Thys Groesbeek

      No further news from the local paper, and they still have to interview my girlfriend. I assume the journalist is doing all her homework and speaking to all parties involved. Many sides to a story… that I respect.

    3. Thys Groesbeek

      The Journalist did a telephonic interview with my girlfriend yesterday, so I know she is still working on the case.

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