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Lone Female Photographers

Sepia 19 140
9 Aug 2002 1:42PM
What interesting stories, I haven't got any unless you count bulls, cowpats, falling in the Broad and out of trees.
I was always told not to advertise when out alone. Have your camera fitted with a practica strap and put it in a bettenup camera bag. The trouble is, when your cameras are, one Practica, one Zenit, a Cosina and an old Agifold medium format what you really want to do is put a Cannon strap on and have a shinny bag.
Digital1 19 93
9 Aug 2002 11:40PM

yes, Mad,

I agree that going out in groups can sometimes be a hassle or inconvenience but the alternative can be worse. I also agree in that it is not a cure to the problem but a result of it. However I like to go out and take photographs today and not wait till tomorrow when all is better (and I hope it will be). There is no immediate cure that will happen over night so If I have to take a couple of mates with me then so be it.

I have travelled to most continents over the years and have never had a problem anywhere other than the UK. I don't think this to be a problem we have always had, but a something that has come about over the last 10 years or so. I remember being able to visit any inner city site without a problem, in fact many communities were more than happy for you to photograph them as they were proud to be part of it. Now that most communities have been systematically dismantled by various governments, they have become a fear zone controlled by petty drug lords and gun totting gangs. The last time I was in Manchester I walked into a 'no go' area and was chased out by 4 lads of which 2 had guns. When reporting it to the police I bluntly told that I should have been more careful where I ventured.

That said 'Now' can we get back to talking Photography and save the political talk (as relevant as it might be) to the appropriate forums.

mad-dogs 19 2.2k England
10 Aug 2002 10:57AM
Actually, according to recent crime reports issued by the government, it is more likely that you will be mugged for the mobile phone that you carry for your safety, than the camera!!

heidi 19 69
25 Aug 2002 10:49AM
Back to the question! I am a female photographer who specialises in landscapes and have never found it to be a problem getting out and about in the wilds on my own. Sensible precautions all walkers should take MUST be adhered to however. Always let someone know the general area that you will be visiting. Try to have a mobile phone with you, if you think you are gonna lose the signal, text someone and let them know your position before you lose it completely. Make sure you have the proper equipment for your trip. In a city this would include a rape alarm.
Above all be confident but aware and enjoy yourself.
centur 19 106
25 Aug 2002 5:07PM
When I go out at night the moment I enjoy what the night life in my area offers I make sure to not dress too provacatively IF I am doing street scenes...I also tend to survey / research my areas before I do any "serious" shooting .I like to be TOTALY aware of my environment and try not to get toooo "lost" in creative musings and getting carried away so as to not be sensitive to possible danger.
To be honest Linda when I have explore the "Bush" here in Australia I feel very safe ..Its people that can be the danger ...I never tell strangers that I meet that I am ACTUALLY on my own
Be safe
janet 19 27 England
26 Aug 2002 10:36AM
Hi everyone.
Isn`t it sad that we all have to be aware that we could be attacked while out pursuing an innocent hobby?
I am glad that it isn`t putting people off though. Why should we be too afraid to enjoy life?
I remember going into my city centre not too long ago ( Bradford, West Yorkshire ) to photograph a lovely water fountain by the town hall. I choose early Sunday morning thinking it would be nice and quiet ( about 8.00 am ).
As I was setting my equipment up a young man approached me. Although he was polite, I didn`t feel at ease. I think maybe he was too polite. Asking me alsorts of questions about the camera and tripod, but looking at it as if he was pricing it up.I packed up and walked away and as I was doing so, a young lady walked by with a small child.The young man immediately began talking to her and asked what the child`s name was. He was looking at the child all the time as if fascinated by the youngster.
The young lady must have felt uneasy as she too made a quick exit.
Afterwards I thought that the young man could have been totally innocent. Maybe a bit lonely and just wanting a bit of company.
Is this world making people a bit paranoid?
Oh well, maybe being too paranoid is better than being too being too trusting?
Take care of yourselves!
jennyp 17 3
1 Dec 2003 2:23PM
I had an unusual experience this summer when I was out with my camera along a river near to where I live.
It was a beautiful hot summers day and I was taking pictures of the landscape when I stumbled on a young man laying out in the sun in a quiet, secluded bend of the riverbank. He was sunbathing totally nude and although I started him, and he rushed to cover himself up blushing, I panicked a bit myself and felt uneasy with the fact he was jumping around in front of me trying desperately to climb back into his briefs.
It was a bizarre situation with him apologising to me and me telling him everything was ok. We actually had a stilted conversation with him standing in just his underwear and him asking me about my photography!
I left after a couple of minutes and only then felt insecure and doubled back to civilisation.
Conditioning made me uneasy and yet, here was a very nice looking young man in his early twenties terrified because I had seen everything he had! It is a strange irony isnt it? But as a woman on the wrong side of 40 I do sometimes feel a little vulnerable out in the country.
luv to all
Jenny x
Carabosse 18 41.7k 270 England
1 Dec 2003 3:30PM
A lot of fear is brought about by the "instant media" we have and the sensationalisation of what are fortunately still rare events - murders, serious assaults etc.

I suspect we are actually in no more danger than we were 20-30 years ago. We are just more fearful about it.
macroman 18 15.3k England
1 Dec 2003 7:05PM
It always puzzlese why photographers carry their expensive gear in those posh leather trimmed camera bags.
It' advertising the fact that 'I have some good gear here' and inviting someone to try to grab it.

I carry my Minolta gear in a worn, blue, soft cloth, padded 'Monaco' bag, very discreet and not noticeable against a blue coat. In unfamiliar areas I use the optional waist band for extra security just in case of a snatch and grab attempt.

Fortunately I have never had a problem, but better safe than sorry.

SuziBlue 18 16.2k 10 Scotland
1 Dec 2003 8:51PM
True how times have changed. When I was a kid ... well yes, when I was a kid me and my mates could go wandering off all day .. playing on the common .. walking back from a youth club at half ten at night all alone down dark streets and never a worry.

These days I'm always aware. If I'm out on my own and wandering with my tatty old Praktica I make no eye contact with anyone my instinct tells me to avoid, and that certainly includes dodgy individals thinking that because you're on your own and you're a woman and you have a camera you must need some photographic advice .. LOL .. IT'S TRUE!!!

I certainly wouldn't explore anywhere that didn't feel safe or that didn't have other people somewhere, although there are exceptions I can think of that are remote and do feel safe. I do think that we are over-hyped to some extent by the media, but I don't think it's a bad thing to be as aware as possible of your surroundings. I also find (sorry guys) that the people who say it's a hyped up issue and that we're safer than we realise tend to be guys - women do have to fend off insistence, unwanted attention, threat and sometimes violence too, and it does make one careful. Good thing. And after all it's not as if men don't get attacked too. There's a guy I know - one of the ones who used to say 'oh it's all in the mind' but he had his come-uppance when he was physically threatened by a gang of skinheads and he doesn't say it's in the mind any more. Society has changed, and although it's good to feel and be strong minded about personal safety and not to let it take over one's life, it's good to be careful. For instance, I'd never get to know someone on the net and then meet up and straight away get in their car, even if they said they were sanctioned by Bob Geldof and had an OBE for kindness to kittens. I don't know them.


Mari 18 1.8k United Kingdom
1 Dec 2003 11:25PM
I think I must be stupid or naive. I go for long walks on my own, usually where I know I can be totally on my own as I like to get away from humans every now and then and never think twice about my safety, and have never felt threatened. However, I do carry my mobile and a whistle which is always in my backpack for when I walk up mountains, so subconsiously maybe I do worry. I am lucky to live in a fairly crime free part of the world. I agree about carrying gear in a fairly inconspicuous bag though.
Lesley Jane 18 305
2 Dec 2003 8:05AM
Welsh lady
I think you are being a little carefree in your attitude to being out on your own.

It is quite a handicap being a keen female photographer because there is no way that we can safely go out and about at for example dawn to capture the light.
I don't feel like this abroad in Portugal ,where we holiday frequently, and I am quite at ease wandering about there with just my camera(albeit in quite a discreet bag)
I have had a couple of encounters with 'flashers' lurking in isolated places so am always aware of the possibility of a problem.
I must attract odd people because when I was out photographing in Lincoln cathedral, with my old camera club colleague Barrie H, he had to rescue me from this young chap who was obviously a drug user and was pestering me.

Maybe I will just have to stick to photographing my cat!

josephine 18 51
2 Dec 2003 11:11AM
I agree with the female worries about safety. So far I have had no real problems, but friendly men see me walking along with my camera and suddenly come over to me to talk about the camera. I like talking camera specs, but they come quite close to me, to point at the camera and it makes me feel at times like my personal space is being invaded. I am aware of how close they are to me and my camera. But I enjoy talking to strangers about their enthusiasm for Photography. I do tend to judge the situation and if the person seems ok, I talk to them, but it's a situation whereby I am allowing strangers to come closer to me because of my camera than I normally would. Hence some would say taking a double risk! Do other female photographers have this problem?
Lesley Jane 18 305
2 Dec 2003 1:00PM

Sadly I don't seem to have that affect on men- just strange ones!
You are probably a young twenty-something blonde , whereas I am not!!

I don't know that you are necessarily taking a double risk by talking to strangers - I will talk to anybody and everybody , but I suppose not in certain situations!

robob 18 1.0k England
2 Dec 2003 2:37PM
Wow! where do I get pepper spray from? Just let the lads down the pub say somthing annoying to me now.

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