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Photographer outside my sons school !!


19 Sep 2007 8:21AM
While picking my little boy up from school yesterday, I among other parents were approached by a man who said he was a photographer and was offering great deals on childrens portraiture.

He had a bag with some framed shots that he supposidly had taken.

I really just want some feedback on this and to also see if this has happened at any other school gates ???

I asked the man if he had any contact info or if he was enhanced disclosure checked, he gave me a business card with a contact number and didnt comment on the disclosure.. the school was informed straight away!

Sharon

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ZenTog e2
12 7.9k 1 England
19 Sep 2007 8:26AM
sounds a daft idea, maybe one of the pros on the other forums gave him a direct marketing idea and he took it too far, ie Approach schools directly !!!
csurry
12 9.2k 92
19 Sep 2007 8:51AM
I can understand that you are concerned, but he was asking the parents and not the kids directly.

If he was offering, and I don't know if he was, a studio session with parents present is this really such a bad thing?

It was not unusual 20-30 years ago for studio photographers to tout for trade in this way, though normally they were based around holiday resorts and not in towns.

Have we really gone so far as to always presume that peoples intentions are bad. Maybe this guy did just overstep his marketing idea as Paul suggests.

In the day of big marketing campaigns by the likes of Venture maybe the local independent studio photographer needs to get a bit more creative in his finding of new customers.
strawman e2
11 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2007 9:00AM
Is this any different from when you go to the supermarket and get offered portait sessions?

It is a form of marketing, perhaps not the best, but given he was aproaching parents it sounds fine.
JohnHorne e2
9 1.0k
19 Sep 2007 9:08AM
Sounds like a very targeted marketing approach to me.

Most mothers love to have pictures of their children. He could have set up his studio and hoped that people would find him. He could have spent time pushing leaflets through hundreds of doors - though many of the houses wouldn't be occupied by mums with kids. Or he could make an open approach directly to his intended market.

He may not have found a customer on this occasion, but at least he has been proactive and had the courage to approach people direct. As long as he approached the parents, was willing to give his contact details and wasn't aggressive or pushy then I don't see the problem.
SandyMiller 8 927 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2007 9:12AM
You mean to say this man was unashamedly carrying a camera around in a public place? Shocking. And to cap it all he actually approached people and spoke to them. Goodness me. Call the police immediately.
stevie e2
11 1.2k 2 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2007 9:38AM

Quote:Have we really gone so far as to always presume that peoples intentions are bad


Sadly, I think this is in fact true. I've enjoyed candid (and non-candid, often I've just asked politely) street photography all over the world for many years. In fact, over the years so many of the greatest photographs ever taken have been just this type. However, I'm starting to wonder how much longer I'll be able to do shots like this or this without being actually taken away by the police.
JohnHorne e2
9 1.0k
19 Sep 2007 9:48AM
Steve, I think you will find those shots you have linked to are OK because they were shot abroad. Wink

(I was amused to see an item on the BBC TV News a few weeks ago which included film of school children. In some scenes they were shown out of focus; in others their feet and legs were shown but faces were excluded. The very next news item was filmed overseas, and in this the children's faces were shown in focus. It's obviously only British children who need to be protected in this way.)
cameracat 11 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
19 Sep 2007 9:49AM
OK! In todays climateof fear & suspicion, It's a tricky way to go to get business.......However the direct approach to parents, Hardly sounds like a Perv hiding in the bushes OR sitting in a car with a Tele lens snapping the kids, Without permission.

The guy is obviously canvasing for some trade, Perhaps as I said in todays climate, Unwise without first contacting the school authority and obtaining official clearance/checks etc.

I personally don't do " Sprouts " except by accident, But if I did I would first approch the school head, Then obtain the required official clearance, Then do the canvasing........But thats just me as paranoid about kids getting into any of my shots, As parents might be about them being photographed in the first place.....Sad

It's unfortunate but the paranoia is here to stay.

HERE is a quick but true story.

Imagine a 40 acre field of wheat crop.....Yeah! that's a big field.........Now imagine a combine harvestor working that field some 300 yards from the point that you are looking at it......Yep! despite the harvestors size, At that distance it's very small........Sad
NOW imagine your taking pictures of the landscape variety with 17 - 40 mm lens of the whole scene.......Your set on 17mm focal......Nothing sinister about that.....Smile OR so anyone with half a brain would know.....Through the viewfinder that huge combine is a DOT in the distance.......Sad

Yes a perfectly normal, Perfectly ordinary looking scene, ADD to the mix that the Tog in question is a woman.......Yep! A lady tog to boot..........Smile

NOW enter this scene of perfect harmony, A lady ( this will have to do for a description )...Smile

This lady who has materialised from nowhere, Announces to the Lady Tog....." I don't want my children photgraphed " ? ? ? Huh!

Lady Tog replies " What children " ( There is nothing and no one insight apart from the combine harvestor some 300 yards away ) ? ? ?

The Lady then say's " They are riding in the cab of the the combine " .....Sad

Lady Tog......//// Thud \\\\ regains conciousness, " Are you serious, I can only just see the combine at this distance, Let alone the cab, Or who is in it " ........?

( Extra note, The cab on this particular combine a New Holland, Has heavily tinted glass, You need to be closer than 6 feet to even vaguely make out if there is anyone in the cab. )

Anyhow not wishing to drag this true account on, Suffice to say, Our Lady Tog decided that she would not push the point, As she was obviously dealing with a complete idiot, And a paranoid idiot at that..........And so she went about her business elsewhere........Sad

=======================================

Is this what we want, A world of paranoia, Brought about by a few pervs, Let's TAR everyone with the same brush....WITHOUT Question or REASON......Sad

.
19 Sep 2007 9:56AM
It is really sad that there is a label being attached totally agree. My first reaction was oh gawd... but after sitting back and thinking more about it the guy could be touting for business, or perhaps as my mum said, maybe he knew one of the parents and thought it was a good idea to maybe even get a bit of experience.

I just found it a bit overwhelming coming out of the school gets to find him kind of in your face, not really knowing anything really about him. Perhaps if he had a website with some f his work or even a bit about himself on his business card.

Im currently studying HNC photography and photographing children is a definate line of work id like to go in to... It can be like walking on egg shells though.
19 Sep 2007 9:58AM
Well said SandyMiller...whats the problem???
stolzy 9 3.8k 7
19 Sep 2007 10:10AM
Lets just pause for a moment and reflect on the fact that most children who are abused are abused by their parents or someone very close to the family.
Its parents and relatives we need to protect children from, not photographers.
csurry
12 9.2k 92
19 Sep 2007 10:13AM

Quote:Lets just pause for a moment and reflect on the fact that most children who are abused are abused by their parents or someone very close to the family.
Its parents and relatives we need to protect children from, not photographers.



In fact is it not also the case that a lot of adults need protecting from other peoples children Smile

That's a joke by the way just in case anyone wondered

And fair dues to the OP who has had time to think through their initial reaction.
c_evans99 e2
11 7.0k 1 Wales
19 Sep 2007 10:41AM
The chap sounds a bit naive - I've been reported to the police for simply carrying my camera past a school at home time.
KathyW e2
11 1.8k 12 Norfolk Island
19 Sep 2007 10:49AM

Quote:In fact is it not also the case that a lot of adults need protecting from other peoples children



How true Smile


Quote:I just found it a bit overwhelming coming out of the school gets to find him kind of in your face, not really knowing anything really about him. Perhaps if he had a website with some f his work or even a bit about himself on his business card.



But the fact that he was in your face & not lurking in the bushes suggests that he was doing nothing more sinister than looking for work, & most people like to keep their business cards simple.

I would think it very unlikely that he had an enhanced disclosure unless he had previously been employed in a job with vulnerable people where he would need one. As far as I know a CRB check can only be requested by your employer or an agency. If you are self employed I don't think you can request a crb check for yourself. I have an enhanced dislosure, but that was requested, & paid for, by a local hospital as I was taking my dog to visit there and would be working with vulnerable adults. For instance, if a school was employing a photographer they could request a check for them, but an individual employing a tog on a one-off basis for a portrait session could not.

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