Strobist: How to Avoid Dealing With the Police When Shooting in Public:
I know my rights. I carry The Card. But I also know that on the street, the police have the ability to wreck a shoot. This one was not time-sensitive, but many are. And even worse, they can write you up, take you in — and even put you on any of a number of secret lists in our new DHS Secret Police State.
I know this because a very good friend of mine asserted his rights to — get this — a rent-a-cop private security consultant while shooting a twilight shot of a hotel during a commercial job. He made the mistake of being near train tracks where, according to the private security guy, the Constitution was no longer in effect.
My friend won the argument, but lost the war. The security guard/terrorist detection specialist turned out to be a vindictive jerk. The photog is now on an “increased scrutiny list” that adds a long and special wait at TSA any time he flies.
That sucks. And it’s not right — or even legal. But that is the environment we are now in. Like it or not, we have to deal with ignorant bystanders and/or ultimately, uniformed police officers potentially screwing up our shoots. Or worse.
[What a mess. But not a bad plan.]