Okay, so this is some sort of rant about something that happened around Christmas time in a Cardiff shopping centre.
I’m just writing this as I go along, nothing planned, so sorry if there’s anything that makes no sense.
It was a week before Christmas and my mother, stepdad, gran, dad and I decided to go Christmas shopping.
We went to the St David’s 2 shopping centre and because my dad has walking difficulties he decided to take a rest and sit down. Now, my dad is an expert at photography – he’s a retired professional photographer and used to own his own company and all that.
He takes his camera everywhere as it’s still his hobby. He decided to take some photos of the decorations around him. Meanwhile, I was walking from HMV over to the Disney Store (come on, you should know me by now) when I saw two of the managers and two policemen surrounding him.
I walked over and said “Excuse me, has my dad done anything wrong?”
“Yes,” replied one of the policemen. “He’s been taking photos which is against the rules.”
“Uh, since when? There isn’t any sign here? He was taking photos of the decorations, he didn’t pull a gun out to shoot people, did he?”
“Miss, please be quiet, we are speaking to your father, not you.”
So that was me shut up for a minute.
“Look, lads, I’ve put my camera away, can we just leave it at that?” said my dad.
“No, you must come outside with us to have a talking to.”
“So, why can’t you do it here? What’s so different about going outside?”
That’s when they started getting angry. So they took my dad outside to tell him that he had done wrong. When he came back, he wasn’t too pleased.
The thing is, loads of people were taking photos on average cameras, just because my dad has a more professional one than them, why did he get the telling off? If they don’t like photos being taken in their centre because they are worried about things such as paedophilia, then 1. Put a sign up and 2. Don’t tell off some people and not others. They saw other people taking photos and said nothing. So why pick on my dad?
Also, when we went outside, I looked at the ‘do not signs. Photography is not on there at all. I took my dad’s camera and took a photo of it. I’d attach it to this article but my dad hasn’t uploaded it to his PC yet. Oh well.
Things like this really bug me. I’ve also had a row for taking photos of my cousin in this old jungle gym place that used to be near by where I lived. They said photos weren’t allowed. What, I can’t take photos of my then six-year-old cousin enjoying himself?
A couple of days ago I found this website, www.photographernotaterrorist.org and read this quote:
Photography is under attack. Across the country it that seems anyone with a camera is being targeted as a potential terrorist, whether amateur or professional, whether landscape, architectural or street photographer.
Not only is it corrosive of press freedom but creation of the collective visual history of our country is extinguished by anti-terrorist legislation designed to protect the heritage it prevents us recording.
I think the quote is 100% correct and people who take photos shouldn’t have to be treated like that. The website continues to say:
This campaign is for everyone who values visual imagery, not just photographers. We must work together now to stop this before photography becomes a part of history rather than a way of recording it.
I think that my dad is going to take part in the campaign now and I think any photographer who has had similar incidents should be involved, too.
I really like taking photos and my dad got me a Nikon camera for Christmas. He’s going to try and get me on a photography course and I want to be able to improve my skills (they’re not that good right now, but with my dad’s help I’m hoping I’ll improve.)
I hope I don’t ever get something like this happen to me, but if it does, my dad told me to download a ‘bust card’ from photographernotaterrorist.org/bust-card/. I think any photographer would find it handy.
All in all, I think people should leave photographers alone. They’re photographers, not terrorists.