When you’re shooting in public have you ever been threatened?There are moments in photography when we stretch ourselves out of our comfort zones, and then there are occasions you are just ripped straight from it. Anyone who has ever shot on public soil in a city will know all too well the altercations that can quickly arise with law enforcement and the public themselves. But those scenarios are more common, not typically threatening, and generally manageable. It’s not always the case.
*Warning: Video is littered with profanity.*
The video you’re about to see shows a scenario that is one such occasion; this one is downright frightening, and sees a photographer and team verbally and physically threatened in public.
Alex Stone is a California-based photographer who was doing an automotive shoot in Ramona, California, when a belligerent and violent man in a large SUV (and I say ‘man’ in the loosest of fashions) accused Stone and team of being on his personal driveway even though they were on a public road.
Upon informing the aggressor that it was, in fact, a public road and they would only be a short time longer, the man became increasingly irate, and verbally abusive. It took just seconds for his verbal threats to escalate to physical ones, culminating in numerous close calls where the man in the SUV charged Stone with his vehicle. As if that wasn’t enough the driver hits Stone’s phone away and breaks it without remorse. As Stone and crew leave, they call the Police, who suggest they’ll talk to him. As I said – frightening. One hopes he’s actually prosecuted.
Perhaps as shocking and disturbing as this man’s actions were, they were outshone by Stone’s relatively calm and polite responses throughout the scenario, which were no doubt key in disarming the situation, and helped to assure the safety of Stone and his consorts. He shared the video to his Facebook page, where many are speaking out.
When we’re living through a time peppered with civil unrest and personal firearms at the center of many of the debates, it’s even more necessary to approach occasions like this calmly, and with tact. Stone should be commended.
Have you ever had any such experience?