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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

"Hey Camera Guy, Take Our Photo"
Tod Gomes, Photographer, Assistant
Pleasant Hill | CA | USA | Posted: 11:01 PM on 01.16.12
->> You are walking through a parking lot (tailgate) at a pro or college game with your gear on and you hear someone say “Hey camera guy, take our photo”. How do you handle this when
1. You are there on assignment and getting paid
2. They want you to take a “posed” photo
3. They will most likely never see it.
4. Some fans can be VERY rude while walking past them even when you are NOT wearing team logos (alcohol does not help)
5. You are there in plenty of time vs in a rush
6. You get this multiple times at a single event while walking to the stadium

How do you handle this and are these missed opportunities or a waste of time.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Craig Mitchelldyer, Photographer, Assistant
Portland | OR | USA | Posted: 11:12 PM on 01.16.12
->> if I have a camera around my neck, I'll put it to my face as I'm walking and just keep on walking...or ignore them and keep walking...unless I'm shooting tailgaters (which I usually carry my camera just in case I see something) then I'll either tell them to ignore me and keep doing whatever they are doing, or ignore them and move on to the next people. Sometimes I'll go up and introduce myself and ask if they care if I hag out and hoot some photos...basically no one answer.
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Michael Prengler, Photographer
Fairview | TX | USA | Posted: 11:26 PM on 01.16.12
->> Fun topic!

It's the kids (young) that always seem to want their photos taken.

"Hey! Take my picture and put it in the paper!" or just a "Hey! Take a picture of me!"

I get this a lot more at high school games than college games because the little ones are on the first row rails. I try to come over and get a few shots during the half which seems to make them really happy.

College is also the little to younger ones, mostly before the game when the kids are on the rails. If I have time I stop, if not I slow down and tell them I can't right now, I'm working.

During the game I hear it some but ignore it.

Outside the stadium, I'm usually the one asking if I can get a shot..LOL
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 12:04 AM on 01.17.12
->> When adults ask I ask if they want a copy. Then when they naturally say yes I ask for a credit card to charge for my services explaining I get paid for the work I do the same as they get paid for the work they do. Those 20 seconds usually sobers them up real quick and I'm continuing on my way.

And on rare occasion a sale is made and I make good money for a happy snap.
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Andrew Richardson, Student/Intern, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 12:51 AM on 01.17.12
->> Get that a lot, my favorite is "So when will this be in the paper?" Tomorrow of course!

I was leaving the Texans-Bengals game last week with another photographer and actually had a fan borderline harass us to let him take OUR picture. I didn't feel like explaining that it was 7:30 at night and I really didn't trust him to hold my $2000 camera let alone think he could operate it and take a decent photo as we were crossing the street, so I just said "have another assignment" and walked away. Persistent little bugger though.
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Rob Kerr, Photographer
Bend | OR | US | Posted: 1:10 AM on 01.17.12
->> "Why are you a picture?" with the right smartypants crowd.

"I can't. Employer rules. their camera equipment, their time." when they're drunk or more forceful.

"Do you really want to be a news picture, in the news?" when they are older.

"Wrong team." just to stump them.

"Who me? Aren't you looking for TV cameras? You know, those are very different looking machines than this."

"Oh no. You did NOT just ask me to make a photograph of something, did you?"

I wish I was more instinctual, but answering a question with a questions is such a useful strategy. I wish I could respond better with that technique. It sounds so fun to question into boredom beyond rushing away...and, journalistically, it could turn up useful information.
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Wally Nell, Photographer
SAN DIEGO | CA | USA | Posted: 1:20 AM on 01.17.12
->> I just take their picture and move on... Nothing lost except maybe the 5 seconds it took to do it... If they want to talk, I just say 'gotta go', and move on...; unless of course it really seems like it could be a story...
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Steven Bisig, Photographer
Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 1:27 AM on 01.17.12
->> Same as Wally. I just take the picture and move on. Most of time it's when I am on the field and they are in the stands, so it's easy to move away quickly, but not rudely.
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Eric Francis, Photographer
Omaha | NE | United States | Posted: 1:29 AM on 01.17.12
->> Leave your cameras in your TT bag until you're where you need to be. Otherwise just handle them like you do any other drunk... smile and nod, smile and nod.
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Andy Mitchell, Photographer, Assistant
Chattanooga | TN | USA | Posted: 2:31 AM on 01.17.12
->> The last football game of the season at my local university I was walking to the field and was asked to shoot a photo of a group tailgaiting. They had a huge smoker full of food and I was not in a hurry. I said sure for some food. They said help yourself they had about 200lb of beef, 1-200 wings, 2 five gallon pots of chilli, and a kiddie pool full of beer. I ate some food shot some of the setup and then did a couple of shots of them and their smoker/setup. I told them I needed to go and one asked me where they could see the photos and I handed them a card. A week later I get a call from one of them who happened to be a big wheel at a local company in town, and he asked me if I would be interested in doing some work for his company. It has turned into a pretty good paying gig when he calls me for work. Some of the things I have done are, head shots, company picnics, his family portraits, and a B'Day party photo booth. While this is surely not the norm it can work out if you have time and are hungry and dont care about the media meal.

Andy
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 2:46 AM on 01.17.12
->> aim camera. shoot a burst. smile. walk away. they're drunk and don't know the difference. this has worked for 30 years. film and digital. doesn't matter. move along, these aren't the droids you're looking for.....
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Tim Casey, Photographer
Gainesville | FL | USA | Posted: 4:21 AM on 01.17.12
->> If you have your camera out, take the photo. You never know when that photo of drunk fans tailgating can be handy.

I sold 2 photos to GQ magazine a few years ago that were shot in this type of situation. The were doing a humor piece about the Florida-Georgia game being renamed from "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party." They wanted tailgating photos from that game, and I guess I was easy enough to find.

Those photos sold for a lot, so I shoot as much of that stuff as I can now as long as it doesn't take away from the primary assignment.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 5:52 AM on 01.17.12
->> My name isn't "camera guy" so I wouldn't even pay attention.
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Keith Crowley, Photographer
Hudson | WI | United States | Posted: 7:11 AM on 01.17.12
->> Stop and take a quick burst, delete them later if you want. No harm, no foul. It makes people happy. Even drunk tailgaters are people, right?

But based on Andy's response, maybe I won't be so quick to delete the images in the future.
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Frank Lauri, Photographer
Larksville | PA | USA | Posted: 7:20 AM on 01.17.12
->> If I have my camera out...I snap the shot and give them my card telling them to call me if they wanted to order and prints. For the 30 seconds it took for the shot....Sometimes I get a call....sometimes I don't.

I never encountered any rudeness from anyone and on the orders I did get....I never would have got them if I didn't take the shot.
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Martin McNeil, Photographer
London | London | United Kingdom | Posted: 8:13 AM on 01.17.12
->> We all know that crowd shots and shots of individual fans - even when posing - can showcase the atmosphere of an event. Now that we're in the digital era, there's no *direct* cost each time we work the shutter. Might even be a good idea to file some of the pics and see if your editor / boss likes them enough to run them, no?
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Mike Burley, Photographer
Dubuque | IA | USA | Posted: 9:53 AM on 01.17.12
->> What entertains me is lifting the camera to my face really quickly, motoring 4-5 shots before they're ready, then moving on. It gets the job done and makes them wonder WTF a little. They usually just laugh about it as I walk away. I imagine them thinking that I must actually have somewhere to be and don't have time for their BS. Obviously, I only do this when they're being a little pushy, drunk, or rude.

If its an old lady, kid, or anyone who's polite I just humor them. It takes 2 seconds and no one's feelings are hurt. Actually when its kids and I have time I ask them to make the "awesomest faces ever" and its pretty fun. Kind of one of the best parts of my day.. if I have time.
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Andrew Brosig, Photo Editor, Photographer
Nacogdoches | TX | United States | Posted: 10:38 AM on 01.17.12
->> Burley: Do I smell a project in the making? "Awesomest Faces Ever" could be a great photo story.
Brosig
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Robert Scheer, Photographer
Indianapolis | IN | USA | Posted: 12:31 PM on 01.17.12
->> Tod,

Depends on my mood, how close to deadline it is, how jerky they are, but typically I do one of two things:

Ignore them completely, and I never cave to pressure.

But, usually, I shoot a quick snap to placate them, with a smile on my face. If asked if it's going to be on A-1, I don't lie to them, and I tell them to have a great afternoon. . .and let them that our editors don't usually like posed photos of this nature.
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Thomas Campbell, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 1:02 PM on 01.17.12
->> Hey tailgate guy, pay me.
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Tim Lester, Photographer
Edwards | IL | USA | Posted: 1:34 PM on 01.17.12
->> Normally I take a quick shot or two and while walking away I chimp and determine if I should delete or not.

@Andy - I like your approach.
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Gregory Greene, Photographer
Durham | NH | USA | Posted: 1:35 PM on 01.17.12
->> Fortunately, the university I shoot for keeps the tailgators away from the field so I don't even see them unless I'm looking for them. I will go amongst them for homecoming as that always yields some good shots. Lots of psyched kids with face paint on in university gear. Love it.
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Jack Howard, Photographer, Photo Editor
Central Jersey | NJ | USA | Posted: 2:44 PM on 01.17.12
->> This, to me, seems kinda creepy in some ways, but is totally germane to this topic:

http://www.petapixel.com/2012/01/17/candidtag-lets-photogs-earn-cash-from-s.../

In the parlance of the interwebs: Monetize it, baby!
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Paul Alesse, Photographer
Coram | NY | USA | Posted: 6:08 PM on 01.17.12
->> I don't know if this will work for everyone but I feel honesty is the best policy. I simply tell Liddy that I already have enough pinups gracing the walls of my man cave thank you. Now put your damn shirt back on.

Works every time. But that's me.
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Paul Alesse, Photographer
Coram | NY | USA | Posted: 6:09 PM on 01.17.12
->> I don't know if this will work for everyone but I feel honesty is the best policy. I simply tell Liddy that I already have enough pinups gracing the walls of my man cave thank you. Now put your damn clothes back on.

Works every time. But that's me.
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Michael Prengler, Photographer
Fairview | TX | USA | Posted: 6:32 PM on 01.17.12
->> Paul – While your first post got the point across, my friends and colleagues have requested mental bleach for the second one. :)
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Kurt Rivers, Photographer
Ormond Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 6:44 PM on 01.17.12
->> I'd like to see how many male photographers overlook and don't at least take a photo of the FSU Cowgirls when they ask for a photo.
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Jeff Gammons, Student/Intern, Photographer
Niceville | Fl | USA | Posted: 6:52 PM on 01.17.12
->> Kurt, I just try not to stare too much....
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Paul Alesse, Photographer
Coram | NY | USA | Posted: 7:59 PM on 01.17.12
->> Sorry for the double post, but he's been really insistent lately.
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Steve King, Photographer
Ann Arbor | MI | USA | Posted: 9:18 PM on 01.17.12
->> Totally agree with Chuck, and I said this in public too, and Paul's wise crack actually works, I tried it once. Remember, hey, they're buzzed and having a good time, share the laugh, fire a burst, and DON'T erase it, there might be something useable there. As a friend from AP once said, you never know that you might have captured "the perp".
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Mark Sutton, Photographer
Herndon | VA | USA | Posted: 9:38 PM on 01.17.12
->> Historically Black Colleges and Universities or HBCU's for short are my primary customers during football season and I make it a point to get to the games early to capture the tailgater's. At certain games especially Homecoming games I make some very nice sales. I've also gotten some really nice lucrative additional work from some who needed a photographer and just happened to have my card and loved the group shots I did during their Homecoming. Basically capturing their moment. So I would say, "Yes, take some shots."
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Brett Clark, Photographer
Elizabeth City | NC | USA | Posted: 10:26 PM on 01.17.12
->> Earlier on in my career, not that it's that long, I always responded with "we don't run posed photos," I always felt kind of like a jerk but it went against everything I had been taught to do in photoj school, never pose, never impact the scene, and most important, only death and destruction pictures are worthy to be shot by an esteemed photojournalist.
Really though, I just felt bad to get their hopes up when it will never run. Now the paper that I work for wants slideshows for everything possible, especially sporting events, so I can just throw it in there and that makes them happy, plus they often purchase reprints. If I have a 300mm+ on and they're too close, I'll say that, or if it happens so much it's holding me up, then I just say "gotta run, games starting." Otherwise, I'd rather save that energy to fight editors who want to send me out on a ribbon cutting or business grip and grin that was arranged for the sole purpose of free publicity.
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Tod Gomes, Photographer, Assistant
Pleasant Hill | CA | USA | Posted: 10:44 PM on 01.17.12
->> Lots of GREAT replies, Thanks! Sometimes I just act like I am taking the photo and move on, other times depending on their attitude (you can read people pretty well) I will stop and talk with them. Most of them will offer food/drinks.
I always ask "how are you going to see them? Here's my card send me a message. 99% of the time they don't send one. I DO like the response "We don't run posed photos". And this is a big part of my original question (The posed photo no no).
A couple things I have been taught are "not everyone is your client" and the other "you never know who you are going to run into without knowing it" my favorite phrase "Catch22" damned if you do, damed if you don't.
Listening to Steve Fine of SI on the recent link/interview here, one of the things he said is that photographers tend to be emotionally attached to their work, let your editor decide what's news worthy and what's not to paraphrase.
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Jon Cunningham, Photographer
Lisle | IL | USA | Posted: 12:30 AM on 01.18.12
->> My stock answer: "You're too close for my lens."
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Robert Benson, Photographer
San Diego | Ca | USA | Posted: 12:31 AM on 01.18.12
->> If they say it when you're carrying your 400mm: "I would take your photo, but you'd have to stand a mile away"
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Andy Mitchell, Photographer, Assistant
Chattanooga | TN | USA | Posted: 12:38 AM on 01.18.12
->> I will say I usually a lot of time at my local university as i am 20 min from the stadium. I do not have to have the files to my client by the end of the game,usually by Monday morning if its a Saturday game. The only time I am on a tight deadline is when my client is doing a promotional giveaway or game at halftime/think field goal,throwing a ball thru a car window, etc those photos are done after the game. The tailgaiting lot is right next to the stadium. If I am at another venue and/or on a deadline I usually snap a few and ask for a wing or two and hand them a card. Like I said in my first post its not the norm,but I belive if you have time why not, cant hurt

Andy
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Andy Mitchell, Photographer, Assistant
Chattanooga | TN | USA | Posted: 12:40 AM on 01.18.12
->> first sentence should read


I will say I usually HAVE a lot of time at my local university as I am 20 min from the stadium

Andy
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Paul Alesse, Photographer
Coram | NY | USA | Posted: 6:24 AM on 01.18.12
->> While on the subject of photography and the general public, what is your list of snappy comebacks when spectators comment? Here is my short list.

"Make sure you get my best side"
REPLY: "Buddy, you aint got no best side."

"Hey, take my picture."
REPLY: "Sorry, my paper doesn't allow photos of ugly people."

"Look at the size of that lens."
REPLY: "Miss, I bet you say that to all the guys."


And of course...
"Hey, can you get the moon with that?"
REPLY: "Yes Mr. Liddy, but please don't pull down your pants like you did the last time, okay?"
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 7:13 PM on 01.18.12
->> “Hey camera guy"

"I am NOT a Camera Guy, I am a f*****g PHOTOJOURNALIST and if I took a picture of every A*****E that I met between the parking lot and the field I wouldn't have any space left on my !@#$%^& compact flash cards, WOULD I? Then you and the idiots that spawned you wouldn't see any pictures in (the local newspaper that I work for for a lot less than I'm worth that you don't buy anyway since all you do is browse the f*****g website) of the f*****g game that you ARE ATTENDING. So sit down, shut up and watch the game!"

...is what you'd really like to say...
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Michael Ip, Photo Editor, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 8:10 PM on 01.18.12
->> I don't understand all the hostile responses. Granted I didn't read them all. They mean no harm in it and they certainly aren't stealing any business away from you. There's no need to be snobby.

When someone asks me to take their picture, I snap a quick shot. If I'm not in any rush, I might even stop and chat a bit. I might be able to get story ideas out of them. And who knows, one of them might have some notoriety down the road, and guess what? I'll have their picture.

Funny story... a few weeks back during the 2012 Winter Classic (Rangers vs Flyers) one of our photojournalists was there shooting the game. But before the game he snapped a few pictures of Rangers fans. Granted I don't know if he chose to or they were like "Hey camera guy take our picture," but he did, and got their names.

Well after the game those two Rangers fans we're beaten up by Flyers fans. And guess what? We had pictures of them. No one else did.

See what I mean?
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 11:06 PM on 01.18.12
->> "'Hey camera guy'

'I am NOT a Camera Guy, I am a f*****g PHOTOJOURNALIST and if I took a picture of every A*****E that I met between the parking lot and the field I wouldn't have any space left on my !@#$%^& compact flash cards, WOULD I? Then you and the idiots that spawned you wouldn't see any pictures in (the local newspaper that I work for for a lot less than I'm worth that you don't buy anyway since all you do is browse the f*****g website) of the f*****g game that you ARE ATTENDING. So sit down, shut up and watch the game!'

...is what you'd really like to say..."

[Which is EXACTLY why I don't want a guy like you speaking for a guy like me. Who, you know, is a "PHOTOJOURNALIST" too, ... and more to point:]

" ... that I work for for a lot less than I'm worth that you don't buy anyway ... "

[I doubt that, and shall I send the publisher of The Monitor this??]

" ... since all you do is browse the f*****g website) of the f*****g game that you ARE ATTENDING. ...

So sit down, shut up and watch the game!"

[Nice, dude. Nice. As a native South Texan, you give my part of this hood a bad name.]
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 11:14 PM on 01.18.12
->> Oh wait, was just reminded -- So you're not in charge of anything anymore. Sorry, I mistook you for someone folks on here should listen to because you earned it ... My bad.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 12:02 AM on 01.19.12
->> Hey G, I don't know you but I have to ask, do you have a sense of humor or do you take everything literally? Relax a little...
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 8:54 AM on 01.19.12
->> Jim, I got the joke!
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 9:52 AM on 01.19.12
->> Oh wait -- you were kidding. Well don't I feel like an ass. I should have known better, given the high degree of class, tact and decency that's typified most of your dealings on this message board.

Oh well, my apologies. This is what I get for not having a good sense of humor, I suppose.
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Nick Morris, Photographer
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 1:52 PM on 01.19.12
->> My payback day came during a bowl game last year when a drunken fan and his girlfriend begged me to to take their. I finally gave in after a slew insults I pretended not to hear. Not 3 minutes later I'm photographing the same guy face down on the field with 4 local cops cuffing him for disobeying a direct order to not charge the field...guess what his girlfriend is screaming now "Don't take his picture dude!!" I love irony.
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Thread Title: "Hey Camera Guy, Take Our Photo"
Thread Started By: Tod Gomes
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