Perv Alert! Man Seen Photographing Boy at Park!

Hi Readers — This just in! A creepy old guy was seen taking pix of some young boy in Idaho. The cops were called! The media alerted! Hearts pounded, rage burbled, all because…

Um, a grandpa was photographing his grandson.

He left when some crazy lady started yelling at him. Here’s the story.  — L

58 Responses

  1. Too bad he didn’t stand his ground and give her the middle finger salute for her trouble.

    He’s lucky he wasn’t tasered, I guess.

    Aren’t ALL old guys “creepy” in America nowdays?

  2. This is my home town! (I guess I shouldn’t sound so proud about that…) Gotta love how the scary story about a possible perv spread across my Facebook news feeds like wildfire, but nobody bothered sharing the updated version that would have put minds at ease. Maybe I should do that.

  3. Wow. If he was just was aiming the camera at his grandson this lady WAY overreacted!!!! She owes him an apology and so do the media and the police.

    Now if he was being weird and taking pictures of all the kids that were not his, then I might have said something to him too and probably left the park. I would not have called the cops but just yelled at him and gotten my kids out of the situation.

    We went over this before on this site, but I don’t think it is okay to be all up in a stranger’s face taking their picture without their permission. If you catch them in the background or whatever that is fine, but people do have a right to be weired out by a random person aiming a camera directly at them. Its rude.

  4. People have taken pictures freely in America since the camera was invented.

    …until NOW, it has not been an issue.

    In backward, superstitituous nations people feared you were stealing their soul by taking a photograph – or they were out to make a buck and charged you.

    There are hundreds if not thousands of pictures of my kids taken by strangers through out the years, in almost every state and from many countries. They were very striking looking children and very photogenic.

    I never once felt it was intruding or threatening, and I certainly never expected a busload of Asian tourists to ask permission to take a picture!

    And guess what? Not one bad thing ever befell my kids.

    …it was even….dare I say? FUN. I think my kids are gorgeous and it does not surprise me that others do as well.

    It would never cross my mind that someone was up to no good by taking my child’s photo. I took a photo of my 2 year old Grandaughter today, holding hands with another little girl she’d just met. In public. Both fully dressed with dripping ice cream cones. I don’t know what I would have done if some madd mother came shrieking out of the bushes at me because I didn’t beg permission first.

    It would certainly never cross my mind to yell at someone I didn’t know for DAMN sure was up to no good, or make a “situation” out of something that wasn’t one.

  5. […] Here is the original post: Perv Alert! Man Seen Photographing Boy at Park! […]

  6. There was a movie with Walter Matthau, anyone remember?

  7. Hint: he patted a little girl on the butt.

  8. I have a question–I have never heard of any actual harm coming to a child because a stranger took a picture of her.

    I mean, let’s assume the worst and a picture of my child is taken by a pedophile. The pedophile then takes the picture home and uses photoshop to make child pornography out of that.

    That is terrible and disgusting, but how again, is my child harmed?

  9. @SgtMom, well said. I’m sure that my son has been in many tourists’ photos and nothing bad has happened to him. I never felt that a tourist photographing in my town’s pedestrian zone or local ski area when my son happened to be there was a big threat.

    What has happened to the common sense of people in the States? First it’s fear of kidnappers and pedophiles on every street corner or hiding in the bushes between street corners. Then it’s 14-year-old nitwits being sentenced to life on a sex offender registry for being nitwits. Now grandfathers aren’t allowed to take pictures of their grandchildren without the National Guard being called or him being beaten up by a posse of helicopter moms. I’m almost afraid to find out what’s next.

    This quote from the 1951 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still sounds a lot like people in the States now. There is too much fear and not enough reason.

    Reporter: I suppose you are just as scared as the rest of us.
    Klaatu: In a different way, perhaps. I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason.

  10. Shame on the fearful, angry woman for wasting everyone’s day and ruining a fun day at an enjoyable public space. She owes her victims and her town a televised apology.

    Shame on the police for responding in any way to a complaint about something that ISN’T a crime — even if he was photographing dozens of kids-not-his-kin in a public place and all sorts if people saw it and were uncomfortable or fearful, it’s simply not a crime. They should have educated the woman and told her to find the man and apologize. End of story.

    Shame on the news media for not checking the facts before spreading such nonsense. They of all people should know the truth about the legality of photographing people in public; they do it for a living every day! Shame on them for pushing the “fear” button to get a few more eyeballs pointed at their sponsors’ adverts. They owe their community a televised apology as well, not just a footnote/update to the story.

  11. Right-on Sgt Mom and gaprunner. My 11 year old was grabbed on the MRT in Singapore a couple of years ago by a lovely group of female students from Indonesia, who just had to have their pictures taken with her. (Many cultures have no issue with what we might call manhandling others, and as long as the ‘manhandling’ is benign, as a visitor you just have put up with it).Aside from being embarassed by the fuss, no harm came to her – she just got a tiny inkling of what being a rock star must be like! And as tourists ourseves on that trip, we have oodles of photos of strangers, and, dare I say it, some of them are children…..

  12. In order to take pictures of students in a classroom, in my district, we have to get permission, and plenty of parents still decline. I don’t get the worry. If someone really wanted to alter your kids picture to make kiddie porn, they’re NOT going to be open about it, imho.

    I don’t understand what these people are afraid of. I’ve never seen a photographer get even within touching range of a child (so certainly not up in their faces). They are usually just taking pictures of LIFE, vibrant and joyous as it can be, and bothering no one but the paranoid and fearful. And as a species, we are generally designed to enjoy children. (Keeps us from eating our young…😉

  13. Um, am I missing something? Is there some sort of reason a paedophile would photoshop some other kid’s head onto existing child porn? Or are people suggesting the paedophile has the Photoshop skills necessary to draw a kid’s naked body from scratch, but not the head? If some guy is taking pictures of fully clothed children in public, and then goes home and drools over them, I don’t get that either. There are plenty of fully-clothed pictures of kids available; surely this is not going to count as child porn now too? Exactly what are people afraid of here?

  14. @ socalledauthor: “And as a species, we are generally designed to enjoy children. (Keeps us from eating our young… ;-)”

    lol love it!

  15. As sad as it is, this is exactly why I hesitated to take photos of my own kid at an art class recently, until I saw other moms snapping away…I didn’t want to deal with the ire of some irrational moron who thought I was up to no good, taking pictures of toddlers covered in paint and all.

    Seriously, if someone is really going to surreptitiously take pictures of kids in a public place, they’re not going to be pulling out the SLR and tripod, they’re going to pull out their cell phone, and nobody’s going to bother the guy who looks like he’s stopped to return a text.

  16. I’m about to leave in a bit for a getaway, but during “down time” I’m apt to watch this site still, but may not get involved in the debates as much, but I’m going to drop this quickly while I have a chance.

    SgtMom is absolutely right. There was certainly nothing weird about what the “grandpa” did, the people were way overreacting over a non-existent threat, and more than that, it is 100% legal to photograph other people in public, children or adults–as it SHOULD BE. There is no basis for calling the police over ANY of it. Paparazzi behavior is one thing (and even that’s legal, if rude at times taken to extremes), but short of that, you have NO BUSINESS in the LEAST calling the police or harassing a photographer over any of this, even someone photographing your child in public. Heck a photographer named Henry Cartier-Bresson used to do this as a craft, it’s called “street photography,” it was 100% legal and ethical then AND now, and in fact museums exist showcasing his work.

    I am a hobbyist photographer, and I dare anyone to nag me over photographing such in public. I do it on occasion, and won’t tolerate being harassed about it. On one notable occasion which I’ve shared before, I was photographing DUCKS at the lake and some schizoid woman came by screaming “don’t photograph my kids you pervert,” to which I replied–“don’t worry, I only photograph things which look good” (implying she had a really ugly child, ha ha). Don’t want your kids to POSSIBLY end up in a photograph? Stay home or move to France (where they tend to actually make such acts illegal–leave it to them).

    On another occasion, my 1 year-old son & I were at a garage sale last year and a young girl around age 10 or so took a liking to him, and was holding him. I thought it was cute & snapped a photo. Sure enough, schizoid mom showed up asking me to delete said photograph. I politely refused, after all, my child was part of it, and I wasn’t freaking over her child just coming up to my son and picking him up–if I chose to not freak over that, she can chose not to freak over me photographing it.

    People need to lighten up very seriously, and learn the law–even if “grandpa” HAD been photographing other kids, it’s legal, it should be, and if you don’t like it, you don’t understand what being an American is, frankly.

    LRH

  17. Again, PS–again Dolly, pardon me for being petty, but “its rude,” no “it’s rude” (the apostrophe), and besides, no, unless it’s the “extreme paparazzi” type of behavior, it’s NOT rude.

    (Forgive me if I’m being the “apostrophe police” or the “grammar police” etc, but that whole mis-use such as “The dog wagged it’s tail” and “its rude” type of mix-up drives me to drinking, ha ha.)

    LRH

  18. The woman, the cops, and the local news are all PERVERTS. I keep saying, perverted thoughts come from perverted minds. Unless the man really looked suspicious and sketchy like, if my kid happened to be in the shot he was taking, he’s in the shot. I wouldn’t think twice about it. I’ve seen some really cute kids in the park, doing the darnedest cutest things. And there have been times when I just to capture that moment. And all I do is make eye contact with the parent, make my comment of how cute there kid was pretending to sing and dance, then say “do you mind?” as I take out my iPhone. Most don’t mind at all, I’ve even exchanged email addresses so that I can forward the picture to them. Some do respectfully decline, and I oblige. Don’t think I’ve ever hand anyone freak out on me and call the cops. But then again, I’m not in the states anymore. lol

    To add to the article, the media should be forced to redact their report as well. If your going to condemned this man on the news, the least you can do is fix it as well so that people aren’t doing a “witch hunt” for a man fitting that description, when they go to the park. It will also help in reversing people’s thoughts when it comes to media. By letting them know that the media makes mistakes, and they can own up to it. Makes the media think twice about reporting news that hasn’t been fully investigated. Making the public stop to think they can’t and shouldn’t hang on every word the news reports. And the cops should be making a public apology for defaming this man’s character. Accountability folks, be need to start being accountable for their actions. Consequence for having a holier than thou attitude and jumping the gun on other people. If these know-it-all, ignorant, self-centered individuals had to face consequences by the law, I’m sure many would think twice about shooting their mouths off before finding out the whole story.

  19. @LRH, you’re not the only one who hates when apostrophes are misused. I cringe every time I see one used incorrectly. We had a sergeant major on the base where I used to work who would give beautiful Power Point presentations to good-sized audiences of officers and civilians. But it seemed like every non-possessive noun had an apostrophe and the possessive nouns didn’t. It drove me crazy having to sit there and not say anything. It’s very bad form to correct a presenter, especially a sergeant major, in public. I hate sentences like, “The mother’s in our group are nice.” It should be mothers because it’s not being used as a possessive. I went to school back in the days when they taught grammar in US schools and my teachers were always strict about apostrophe usage. My son is taking English in school and his teacher marks the kids off for apostrophe misuse. Even in first year English, the kids got slammed for misusing apostrophes. I sometimes think that non-native English speakers actually are better at using apostrophes than native speakers because they learn more detailed grammar in school.

    Anyway, back to the topic. The media loves to sensationalize and unfortunately release a story before having all of the facts. Fear and “yellow journalism” sell and generate ratings. Then rational thought goes out the window because of the fear that has been generated in people’s minds. People automatically think “pervert” or “pedophile” when they see an older gentleman photographing a child at the park instead of, “Maybe that man’s the child’s grandfather who is visiting from another state and wants to capture the memory of his grandson playing in the park.”

  20. Larry, it is rude to take someone’s picture without their permission or at the very least after they ask you to stop to continue to do so would be insulting to them. We hashed all this out before, but you can’t just state that it is not rude and that be that. I am saying that to many people I know, they would find that rude and therefore that makes it so. How would you like someone sticking a camera in your face out of nowhere? Would you care if your wife bent over to pick something up in a short skirt and a guy snapped a picture? Law and manners are separate things.

  21. Eric you have common respect for others because you ask before taking the picture and respect their response. That is the nice thing to do. I don’t care about perverts with pics of my kids so much that I just don’t like strangers having my picture without asking my permission first or at the very least paying me first (I used to be a child model so I am used to being paid to have my picture taken, thank you very much). If someone asked and were not giving me a totally scary vibe, they would get permission no problem, but the point is they still need to ask.

  22. I was a manager at a chain portrait studio for many years. Anytime we had a session that yielded particularly cute photos, it was common practice to ask the parents if they would be willing to sign a model release. We would explain to them that it gave us permission to hang the photo up in the studio. You would be ill to learn the number of people that would say “I don’t think so. You know… because of perverts”.

  23. It’s ridiculous to call the police over someone taking pictures of kids at the park or even to scream at him about it. If it bothers you, talk to the guy first. If the woman had any sense at all, rather than merely outrage, she would have talked to him and discovered that he was a grandfather, not a random stranger.

    That said, nothing wrong with a random person taking pictures of kids as they play. I’m not talking about getting in their face, I mean from the sidelines. Of course you ask someone if you want to take a picture right up in their face, that has an effect on what they’re doing.

    Dolly, as for pictures up a short skirt, that has to do with the expectation of privacy. There’s no expectation of privacy when kids are playing at the park. Long skirt or short, there is an expectation to respect the privacy of the part of your body at least nominally covered by that skirt.

  24. @suzanne lucas — noooo, that kind of reason and logic will never fly. Some pervert masturbating to a picture of your child will indelibly harm your child in some sort of magical karmic way, don’t you know? 🙂

  25. “I am saying that to many people I know, they would find that rude and therefore that makes it so.”

    Dolly and her friends say that taking pictures of someone without asking for permission is rude so it must, in fact, be rude? I didn’t know that Dolly and her friends were actually put in charge of deciding what is rude or not.

    And where is this “sticking a camera in someone’s face” coming from? It was taking pictures of kids playing in a park. I agree that it is rude to stick things in someone’s face – yourself, a camera, a naked butt – because you’ve entered someone’s personal space and impeded the person’s ability to get on with their own business. However, I’ve yet to meet a photographer who falls into this category since a “camera in your face” simply results in close up pictures of nose hairs. I would ask someone’s permission if I wanted to “stick a camera in his face” because I would be expecting him to stop and pose. I would not ask everyone’s permission if I was taking random shots at a playground or event from a respectful (i.e. not in someone’s face) distance away nor would I delete any pictures taken.

  26. I work for a community newspaper, and our policy is that we need everyone’s first and last names to accompany photos. People get so nuts about this. We had a lengthy back-and-forth with an advertiser who was a daycare, and wanted us to run a photo of some children participating in a program, but didn’t want to identify them. We enounter so many people who want it both ways: pwecious needs his/her media attention, but anonymously, because of all the pervs out there.

  27. This isn’t about “rudeness”.

    This elderly gentleman was not invading anyone’s space, or imposing his will on others.

    Taking photos in public places, of public subjects without begging permission is not RUDE. It’s been unquestionably accepted behavior since cameras became available to the public, and 99.9% of the time it’s a HUGE compliment.

    What is RUDE is the presumption you have the right to curtail another’s perfectly legal activity – or even worse, making an innocent activity into something dirty or suspect. No one was snapping photos up anyone’s skirt, in the restroom, or through a peephole. THAT isn’t “rude” -it’s illegal.

    What comes next? Yelling orders at people not to look at your children either? Calling the police if they don’t keep their eyes downcast or averted from Preshus?

    This is a CONTROL issue, not a social manners issue. Because you have a child does not give you leave to trample other’s rights or feelings. You don’t have more rights just because you have a child.

    Yelling at or ordering other people to curtail innocuous LEGAL behavior is beyond rude. Since when did yelling at an elderly gentlemen become acceptable manners, and what sort of “manners” are you teaching your child by behaving like that, anyway?

    Keep your kiddies locked away out of the public realm or smothered in masks or burkas if you need that degree of control or “protection”.

  28. Man, SgtMom, will you marry me? Ha ha.

    LRH
    Android 2.2, Virgin Mobile

  29. One of the absolute BEST pictures of my daughter (now 10) was taken by a stranger walking his dog….she was 2, splashing in puddles, has mud up to her waist…he took the picture (so as not to miss it) then asked for my email and sent it to me. He later became a friend and we spoke to him frequently while walking our dogs…

    On a parent board I am on, just this week, someone posted a warning about a “creepy guy taking pictures” complete with HIS lic plate and physical description… Caused quite a “discussion” with many siding for “protecting children at all costs from the could be pervert” to “how in the world is it okay to post someone’s lic plate number on public forum when he had done nothing illegal” (and then arguments about the legality of being in a nyc playground without a child)….oy!

  30. SgtMom, you nailed it, as did Suzanne Lucas with her question. This reminds me of the whole facebook-photo argument – how “creepy” it is that “strangers” can look at pictures of my kids if I allow friends to post their photos on facebook.

    My response is that strangers see my kids every time we are out in public. Depending on the venue, many MANY strangers see my kids, and I have yet to hear an explanation of why that’s creepy.

  31. What strikes me as really sad about this story (and the other ones linked on the page Lenore links here) is that I’m rarely without my camera & no one has ever questioned me or complained or harassed me or whatever for taking pictures of my kids.

    I’m not saying it’s sad that I’ve never been harassed (although I’d love to see someone *try* to tell me I can’t take pictures of my kids in public…) but rather that I’d bet everything I own that the reason I’ve never been questioned/complained about/whatever is that I am female.

    Either that, or I just hang out in places where everyone is sane. But I’m pretty sure that’s not the reason. xo

  32. See it has absolutely nothing to do with my kids. I would be just as upset if some stranger started taking shots of me without asking first. Like I said I have no problem with getting caught in someone’s shot. But if they are pointing the camera directly at me or my family and centering us in the shot and doing it repeatedly and following us around, than that is going to annoy me. I am going to wonder why are you doing such a thing since I don’t even know you? I certainly don’t take pics of people I don’t know. What would be the point of that?

    Perhaps the reason it does bug me so much is because I used to get paid like $100 an hour for people to take pictures of me and why on earth is this person doing it for free? This is all hypothetical because I can’t think of one instance when someone did this but I would imagine if they did, it would bother me. Only people I noticed taking shots of us was someone we knew or someone who asked first and that is just fine.

  33. @Will Please forgive me for using logic and reason. I will try to be all “mama bear” from now on.

  34. I was stopped by the police in a small village that is surrounded by Houston (Memorial Villages), for taking pictures from a public sidewalk. It was for an observation/description lesson. I had my teacher ID and photographer’s bill of rights http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm . After a brief conversation, I was on my way and the police officer was having a conversation with the homeowner, who apparently complained.

    A couple of times I’ve been taking pictures at a playground for a similar lesson. I take a close up of the equipment, and the kids try to figure out what it is. Then after they put in their guesses I show them the long shot that shows the whole piece. I’ve had people ask me what I was doing – but I got more of a curiosity question than a stay away from my kids question.

    I’ve actually had occasion where I got a good shot of a kid, usually playing with my niece or nephew. In each case the adult or sometimes the kid has given me either an e-mail or phone number to send the pic to.

  35. When will the police arrest the crazy parents and protect the rest of the innocent who are being falsely accused. It’s time to hold these fearful irresponsible accusers accountable for their actions.

  36. So Dolly, if ALL these people who point their camera directly at your family and center you in the shot and do it repeatdly offered to pay you, it would be OK? That’s what’s rude – taking a picture of a real-life model without paying. Right?

  37. SgtMom, Buffy, et al.: What you said! I’m still just plain confused as to why this (and many other child-related issues) ARE issues at all. I know I’m kind of courting these kinds of anecdotes by reading this blog, but how statistically prevelant are these loonies? It really seems like if something like this happened to me, I’d kind of dismiss it because my assumption would be that there was something deranged about the person in question, and what can you do? People can be strange, for sure, but how many of them have to be weird before you have to start taking them seriously? Maybe it’s got something to do with parenting. I meet tons of parents in my job, and it’s the rare parent who can be reasonable on the subject of his kids. Isn’t there normally some sort of social mechanism in place that lets parents know when they have lost perspective?

  38. Alison: They wouldn’t have to pay me. They would have to ask. That is the difference. When a model takes a job they are getting paid but they are also having a choice whether or not to show up that day and have their picture repeatedly taken for someone else’s use. It is the having my picture taken for someone else’s use without my permission, that bothers me. Thus why I never tried to become a celebrity because I don’t think I would like the gossip mag pics photographers following me around everywhere! Celebrities have to put up with that as part of their job. Not regular average joe folks normally.

    It is all about politely asking.

  39. “LRH, on July 29, 2011 at 06:13 said:

    Man, SgtMom, will you marry me? Ha ha.”

    I’m already married – but you can take my picture anytime.

    Don’t even have to ask.

    Dolly, does anyone actually TRY to take your picture ( with or without proffering money or permission)?

    What a sour puss!

    …but enough about you.

    I hope the little boy and his Grandfather don’t allow this horrible experience to negatively affect them or their relationship.

    I can’t imagine my 2 year old grandchild witnessing her Ha-pa being verbally attacked while at the park, (and later described as “creepy” on a newscast). My husband quit taking our dog to the park after a woman gave him dirty looks when her kids swarmed him to pet our dog a few summers ago. He was very upset over that incident.

    I can’t figure out why the police got so excited about this, either. Public announcements, descriptions of his vehicle on the nightly news – for doing ….nothing?

    I’ve heard stories recently about police beating up people who were filming police beatings. They used to be able to keep that sort of thing hushed up. It seems there is a growing push to make filming of police/civilian interactions illegal. I wonder what rationale they are offering.

    Getting madd moms on board the “ban Creepy guys with cameras /if it saves just one child it’s worth it” anti photography bandwagon would be a pretty easy sell.

  40. Yes, yes they do Larry. But as far as I know its people that actually KNOW me and that is fine. If you know me you don’t even have to ask. If you are a stranger, you need to ask. A few strangers have asked for various reasons to take pics of me and my kids and as long as they asked, I let them. I find it hard to believe that it is unreasonable to just want someone to ask you before taking your pic when they don’t even know you.

  41. It’s certainly more mannerly, Dolly (especially if you’re taking shot after shot, which *has* happened to me, and I *have* asked them to knock it off), but it’s not illegal for them to do so.

    And yes, I’ll agree with Dolly that taking pictures of individual people (not crowds) is rude. It’s like staring. Sure, you can look wherever you like, but if you’re staring at me I think people will understand if I tell you to (ha!) “take a picture, it lasts longer”. With an accompanying gesture or two.

    I don’t think it’s particularly dangerous (even if it’s some perv doing it, I’m not harmed by them having a picture), I just think it’s a little impolite.

  42. On an unrelated note, Dolly, do you happen to be on Goodreads? (There’s a point to this, but it’s a silly point, so I’d rather not explain it.)

  43. umm If I am I don’t go there regularly…even though it sounds familiar like I might have registered at one point or something for it. It that the book exchange site?

  44. I am going to argue that if someone was following my family or me around clicking picture after picture of just us and we asked them to stop and they did not, even if I was on public property, I would be justified in calling the police for harassment should I decide I want to do that. There are laws on the books about harassment and that may or may not apply in different situations which a policeman can decide.

    This is a big difference between just taking some shots of the area or everyone or your family with us in the background. I mean specific shots of us with them getting into our personal space I believe there may be some legitimate claim to harassment there. Just like following someone around a park and screaming curse words at them and getting into their personal space might be considered harassment or at least disorderly conduct.

  45. No, although they do host giveaways.

    Like I said, it’s not totally random. Now I just need to figure out who this other Dolly is who likes my reviews. It’s not a very common name or username!

  46. Well, this story is in my local news today: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2011/07/30/1585615/man-faces-charges-for-incident.html with the headline “Man Charged with Molesting Toddler in Kennewick Library.”

    This was not a dad or grandpa with child. The child was in her bathing suit, with her father and siblings, and the guy followed them around the library and even into the bathroom. He took some photos with his phone. Apparently he touched the child on the bottom (maybe in a suggestive way? Not sure it doesn’t make that clear.) Apparently the police were called, they looked at camera footage and found the man outside the library. He admitted being attracted to girls ages 3-7, and was going to use the photos later for his own pleasure. Doesn’t sound like he was on any list, although he had been evaluated. Sounds like he will be on a list soon though.

    On the one hand, with the story that Lenore has, I side with the grandfather. In this case though, I am glad that some people called the cops and they looked at the footage. There is a fine line between acting in defense of a child (like, noticing if the child is being filmed by family or not) and over reacting. The people in the library may have seen the touching, and the fact that the child was not with her father. The woman in the park really should have assessed the situation better.

    Had I been that gentleman, I would have told her I was taking the photos to show to my dying wife in the hospital. (Who cares if she was well!)

  47. Uly”but if you’re staring at me I think people will understand if I tell you to (ha!) “take a picture, it lasts longer”.

    Dolly”now if he was being weird and taking pictures of all the kids that were not his, then I might have said something to him too and probably left the park. I would not have called the cops but just yelled at him and gotten my kids out of the situation”

    Wow.

    Seriously, you two knuckleheads are the diviners of what constitutes good manners?

  48. I don’t know about Dolly, but if the choice is between me and you, I’ll pick the person who hasn’t decided to start throwing around random insults and slurs.

    Hey, wait! You’re the one insulting people! Well, that’s that.

    I teach the nieces not to stare or point at people, I teach them not to use insults to refer to people (even minor and mild ones), and I… guess I win. This time, anyway.

  49. Yep I teach my kids not to stare and be respectful of other’s privacy and personal space. That is something that is important to me and I show others that same respect. I see it as the same as standing super close to the person in line in front of you so they can feel your breath on their neck. Or when in a changing room keeping my eyes downcast or on the wall or whatever so people don’t feel I am watching them. It is all about being polite and respectful to others.

    The yelling at someone would only come after asking very politely to please stop taking pics of my kids and following them around because it is making us uncomfortable. Then if they ignore my request, then the yelling might start or I might just leave. Depends on the situation. Or if it crosses too far over the line I might call the police and report them for harassing behavior.

  50. Maybe I missed something, but why on earth didn’t Grandpa just tell the woman who he was and carry on with his day? Better yet, start interacting with his grandson…it’d soon be obvious whether he was family or not. It’d be a far and frosty Friday before I’d let some stranger’s paranoia chase me out of somewhere I wanted to be…but I guess that’s easy to say, given that I’m of a gender and relatively conservative appearance that tends not to raise suspicions in the paranoid among us.

    No, that’s not meant to be sexist or classist or any other ist…but I do feel bad for men, who seem to get tarred with the pervert brush more often than they deserve. Ditto the sartorially adventurous.

    I’m with Dolly and Uly on the photographing issue. Staring — with pointing! — is a good analogy. Not a major deal, but annoying. Though if a stranger got a quick snap and offered to share it with me that might lessen my pique somewhat.

    And before the grammar police point out that an exclamation point has no business in the middle of a sentence…I know.

  51. It’s sort of ironic that the site we were directed to has some thumbnails at the end, pointing reader to other ‘related stories.’ One of those stories is how to do your hair and makeup for nude photo shoots. Fine. No problem. Except that if you go to the post, right there are several photos of completely naked women, without warning. Geesh.

  52. The flip side of this is how rude it is for a mom (like me) to assault a gentleman with a nice camera to take a photo of her darling because her own camera died at the top step (huff) of the (puff) waterfall. Rude perhaps, but with some friendly conversation and an exchange of emails, we’re practically old friends now. Remember how people used to just talk to each other, as if we all had feelings? Yeesh.

  53. Kathy–those were hardly offensive photos.

    Totally agree with the pointing/staring analogy. Dead on. And I think you are well within your rights to say to someone “could you please not photograph me/my family.” They of course do not HAVE to comply but if they are not rude might say “sure, sorry I didn’t realize it made you uncomfortable.”

  54. Full frontal nudity is offensive if you don’t know it’s coming. That was my point, not the nudity itself. Sorry if I didn’t make myself clearer.

  55. In this new world, how will we find the next Helen Levitt? She is one of my favorite artists — famous for taking pictures of people, animals, and buildings around the world. She mainly snapped photos of children in New York in the 1930s and 40s. Beautiful black children playing in leaking fire hydrants in their underwear. *gasp* Poignant street children who appear to have not spoken to an adult in months. These photos tell stories about a different life. If we don’t record this one, then how will anyone know what children looked like, ate, and wore? What if we forget about miniature tutus, french fries, and suntanned faces?

  56. Dolly: I’m afraid you have created a situation that has nothing to do with this story. Certainly it could be annoying if a person with a camera were following my family and I around while snapping close-up photos of us. Perhaps that could be classified as rude. I would likely classify it as HILARIOUS, and mention it as an inside joke for years to come. But the discussion about whether it is rude or not is unnecessary, as that didn’t happen in this particular story. As far as we know, the person with the camera was not following a stranger or group of strangers around and taking pictures of their faces. You’ve simply inflated the situation to sound worse in order to justify having a problem with strangers taking photos. You mentioned yourself that that has never actually happened to you. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a story about a non-celebrity being followed by a stranger with a camera, taking close-up photos of them for an extended period of time. Exaggerating for comedic effect is witty. Doing it to make a point is just irritating and amateurish.

  57. I read this article back when it was first published and didn’t comment. But, the comments since then have been hysterical.

    I have been the subject of various random camera-lenses. I can’t tell you why, I don’t think I’m quite stunning…but nonetheless I can think of at least 2 instances that stand out in my mind when I looked up and found someone taking a photo of me. One was with my now-husband at a fireworks show; we were cuddling and the camera was very expensive. I remember smiling for them. Another time was while at an amateur MMA fight, I was waiting in the hallway for my husband to come out of the bathroom; again, I smiled once I caught this camera and maybe probably posed. I’m sure I’ve been in backgrounds of photos while touring places where I’ve smiled and posed for strangers.

    It feels weird for me if we go to a dog park and I take photos that are of other’s dogs, not mine. And I know dogs aren’t kids.

    But…IF you are out IN public…and someone wants to take a photo and you are in it…what’s the harm?

    Seriously, harassment? Isn’t a stranger wanting to photograph you, or your child, a compliment?

    Poor Grandpa.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: