Don’t Shoot, I’m a Shooter

The harassment of photographers in the name of security continues, reaching the point of ridiculous in some instances and infringing on basic civil liberties in others. Here are a few recent examples of America, home of the paranoid:

* Scott Kelby writes on his blog, Photoshop Insider, how he and some fellow photographers were braced by security guards in a New York hotel for carrying tripods. (Hold it right there, fellow, and don’t unfold that thing!). In response, Rob Jones, one of Kelby’s readers, created the shirt you see at left is selling it on Cafe Press. Get one.

* The yahoos in the Shelby County, Tennessee, sheriff’s 0ffice are asking the local citizenry to call in reports of photographers taking pictures of buildings. “You may think a guy is just shooting pictures, but if you report it to us, we’ll send it on to the FBI and they may have four or five other reports of the same thing.”

* War on Photography is a blog that keeps track of these sorts of things, like the Minnesota photographer accosted by guards while shooting a refinery.

* Do your know your rights? Good. Then carry them around with you so others will know them too. Get a printable PDF of The Photographer’s Right.

* Photographer or Terrorist? That’s the headline in this BBC News Magazine story about increasing harassment of photographers in Britain. (Tip from Thomas Hawk, who’s been all over this issue.) Quote from the story:

“It’s a sad state of affairs today if an amateur photographer can’t stand in the street taking photographs.”

A sad state indeed. Keep shooting.

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