Photographers rights in public space??

3 months 3 weeks ago #664475 by Adam S
Can another person on the street in public space touch your camera and push your camera and lens down?  Like hand over lens, pushing it to the ground?  Is that considered assault?  

I just got back from shooting this morning near a public statue and this guy came up to me, claiming I was photographing his pregnant wife who happened to be stinking 20 yards at least behind the statue not even in my frame! 

I had heard the guy arguing with his wife no less than 15 minutes earlier.  She wasn't having it and seemed to be dishing it right back at him.  My take is he had enough of her, and decided to try to take his macho aggression out on me. 

Is this a case of assault?  


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3 months 3 weeks ago #664479 by icepics
I don't think anyone has the right to grab, push, or shove another person (or their belongings). There aren't 'photographers' rights' as such but unless you're on private property you (or anyone with a cell phone or camera) should be able to take photos.

I don't know if this would be considered assault or at what point it is; it depends on the situation. You'd need to decide whether to call the police and report it or not. Of course you don't know what's been going on with these people. The guy might have overreacted because he saw you and your camera and wouldn't want pictures of himself
arguing with his wife to end up on social media and possibly being seen
by his family, his boss, etc.

Because of training with the type work I've done, I know it can help to try to be aware of what's going on around you; it can be be better to distance yourself and keep an eye on what's going on, then go back to take pictures (of the statue) once the people were gone (unless things got to the point that you or other bystanders needed to call the police). If you're approached
it can help to take a breath, talk calmly and quietly to help bring down
the other person's level; you want to try to de-escalate the situation. Maybe you could offer to tell or show the person that you're using a
short lens, etc. and only the statue was in your photos.

Sometimes it takes being the bigger person, the mature adult, even if you feel you're in the right, and not stoop to the other person's level. Be aware and preventive as much as possible.

Sharon
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3 months 3 weeks ago #664484 by Adam S
Hey thanks for the reply.  I was actually there first.  And I did, I was calm, I had tried to show the photos I had taken, just as you pointed out.  When I lifted my camera up to show him, he pushed it back down.  Again, seemed like he was taking out his marriage problems out on me.  


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3 months 3 weeks ago - 3 months 3 weeks ago #664495 by hghlndr6
Yes it is an assault.  And if he hit you, it is an assault and battery.

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3 months 2 weeks ago #664539 by garyrhook
Assuming you're in the USA:

Yes, that's assault. He could just as easily have asked you to not photograph him or his wife, although he has no right to expect compliance.

People don't understand the law. Big surprise. A wise person would attempt to deescalate and move. I would never show images, nor agree to remove them, or anything of the sort.


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3 months 2 weeks ago #664725 by icepics
If you were already there, you probably need to gauge the situation. You had the right to stay and continue taking pictures, but you might get a sense it could be better to move away, maybe keep a eye on what's going on, and come back later. Things can happen you can't necessarily anticipate or expect, and you never know what might be going on with someone. Not worth putting yourself at risk of bodily harm if you can prevent or avoid it.

The only other thing I can think is to maybe ask if the person wants to see the photos before assuming he wants to see them and trying to show him. It could be the person didn't want to admit he was in the wrong by seeing that you didn't actually have any photos of him...

Shoving your arm/camera seems like fairly minor assault. Doesn't make it right and he was in the wrong, but I think up to you if you feel you need to call the police or report the incident.

Sharon
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3 months 2 weeks ago #664872 by effron
"Can another person on the street in public space touch your camera and push your camera and lens down?  Like hand over lens, pushing it to the ground?  Is that considered assault?  "

Who knows, but somebody starts pushing my camera assault could ensue.
I've had a similar incident with an outraged mommie claiming I was snapping shots of her kids in a public park. My wife was with our then young sons on the nearby swings, I was photographing bees on the flowers with my 200 f/4 macro...a scary, telephoto looking black lens!
She went hysterical and five minutes later I was protecting her....from my wife. We called the cops, I showed them the pics on camera and the ditz got a serious warning.....
You need to size up the situation and weigh a fight, or just walking away.....

Why so serious?
This person is a posting maniac and deserves a #1 badge!Top Poster
No one kicks up there feet next to the water cooler better than this person.  Top poster - LoungeLounge Guru
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3 months 2 weeks ago #664997 by Crammer
These days you can't be too careful when in public.  I think there are so many loose triggers out there.  I would have showed an image or two and point out nothing for them to be concerned about and just moved on. 


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3 months 2 weeks ago #665100 by Adam S
Well it's all good.  Thanks all for the comments.  I had time to  think about this and considered your comments.   


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