Strange characters taking pictures of my daughters and niece!!


May 10, 2004, 10:27 AM
Hey guys, i wanted to run this past you guys and get some insight, and different views on this. The more i think about it, the more it pisses me off. Yesterday, me and my family were at the park, and i missed it, but my wife told me that 2 shady looking characters were taking pictures of all the little girls. My daughters are 3 and 2, and my niece is 2 as well. So, before i can make it over to them, they get in there truck and take off. They were prolly between 18-22. Real Gothic looking. This did not settle wel with my wife at all. What do you guys htink?

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May 10, 2004, 10:40 AM
The time for action was probably on the spot....a good vehicle description and a license plate and a call to the police would have been my course of action.

May 10, 2004, 10:42 AM
I would keep an extra close eye out for them any time you're out. If you see the same guys again, they may be up to no good. If not, they may have just been taking pictures of kids playing. Sounds kinda freaky in this day and age, but likely no harm was meant. As long as the children weren't approached, no harm done. It's possible too that they could be students working on an assignment.

Better to be safe than sorry though and be extra vigilant.

May 10, 2004, 10:43 AM
Maybe if you have a decent description of them and the truck you should probably talk to the police. I am not sure if taking pictures is necessarily a crime but it will keep the police alert to the situation and maybe they can catch them doing it again. Funny how you mention something like this seeing how a couple weeks ago their was a Law & Order: SVU episode with a guy that was taking pictures of a little girls in the park. I know it's TV but they hauled him in and gave him a good tongue lashing but did not charge him with anything, plus they were just trying to use him as a witness to solve the mystery of who shook this little girl into a comma.

May 10, 2004, 10:56 AM
It's not illegal to take pictures of people in a public place. If so there'd be an awful lot of paparazzi in prison. The most one can do is ask the person to cease doing so and hope he complies.

May 10, 2004, 10:59 AM
Maybe I'm being paranoid but this raises the hair on the back of my neck. I'd report it no matter how much or how little information you have. Too many wierd/bad things have happened to let this just be forgotten. If nothing else, hopefully the police will be a little more watchful around places where small kids play.

May 10, 2004, 11:06 AM
When it comes to your kids, there is no such word as paranoa. Never take any chances, call the cops. If for no other reason than to get in a report. Other people could have the same questions. And just in case you do have to shoot them, you'll have the prior police report to back you up.

May 10, 2004, 11:14 AM
I know its not against the law to take pictures. But no one has the right be taking pictures of my daughters or my niece without my permission. PERIOD!! I could care less about the paparazzi, were not famous, no reason to be taking pictures of 2 and 3 year olds anyways. Wouldnt you agree?

May 10, 2004, 11:20 AM
I would file a report with the police. That way, when their patrol car swings around the park, they would be more aware of a potential problem.

May 10, 2004, 11:37 AM
How far away were they?
How far away from your children were you?
How many other children were there?
Are you 100% positive they were taking photos of your children?
Did they look like students of degenerates?
Can you tell the difference?
How many legitimate reason can you think off for them to be taking photos?

I agree it's a cause to be concerned, but it's not cause to overreact.
I presume that you'd never let your children and neice get into a situation that could cause harm to them.
I be more worried if they were just hanging out leering. When I was in college my camera went everywhere with me. Hells Bells it paid for 75% of my tuition. I was taking about 20 rolls of film a week. I took photos of anything and everything.

May 10, 2004, 11:37 AM
I understand your concern. But, a lot of amateur photographers do what is called "street Photography" where they go out in public and take pictures of people goig about their business. the usually reasoning behind this is to try to capture images that portray normal everyday life in an artistic manner. You really have no legal recourse to stop them from taking the pictures. now professional photographers would ask permission so that they could get a release form if they wanted to use the images for commercial purposes. I have known a number of gothic types who are interested in that type of photography though.
best case scenario, these kids were just amateur photogrphers, in which case its good to see them doing something that isnt unhealthy
worst case scenario, they are stalkers, if this is the case they will be back again, I would just keep an eye on the kids and see if the people show back up, if they dont then I wouldn't worry about it.

May 10, 2004, 11:39 AM
I know its not against the law to take pictures. But no one has the right be taking pictures of my daughters or my niece without my permission. PERIOD!! I could care less about the paparazzi, were not famous, no reason to be taking pictures of 2 and 3 year olds anyways. Wouldnt you agree?

Well, by your own account of it not being illegal, that would be where you are wrong. You are at a public venue, you have zero expectation of privacy. Just because you feel it is your right to approve or deny things doesn't make it so.

You don't state what kind of park it is, and threat assessment really depends on that. If this is the corner park where lots of people go there from the neighborhood on a regular basis, I'd be more concerned than if it were a state park where folks go at much more random intervals. In the first instance, the worst case is that they are taking pictures to figure out who will be there regularly for some unsavory purpose. In the second instance, they are taking some pictures that really probably can't do you or your loved ones any harm without them collecting some additional info.

May 10, 2004, 11:51 AM
Jick42 I know its not against the law to take pictures. But no one has the right be taking pictures of my daughters or my niece without my permission. PERIOD!! You're contradicting yourself, either they have the right to do so or they don't; legally they do have the right to take the pictures and there's nothing you can do about it besides removing the children from the public area.

Here are a few snippets from a guide written by an attorney ( and posted in this thread
The General Rule
The general rule in the United States is that anyone may take photographs
of whatever they want when they are in a public place or places where they
have permission to take photographs. Absent a specific legal prohibition
such as a statute or ordinance, you are legally entitled to take photographs.

Examples of places that are traditionally considered public are streets,
sidewalks, and public parks. Property owners may legally prohibit
photography on their premises but have no right to prohibit others
from photographing their property from other locations.


Members of the public have a very limited scope of privacy rights when
they are in public places. Basically, anyone can be photographed without
their consent except when they have secluded themselves in places where
they have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as dressing rooms, restrooms, medical facilities, and inside
their homes.

Permissible Subjects
Despite misconceptions to the contrary, the following subjects can
almost always be photographed lawfullyfrom public places: (continued)
accident and fire scenes
bridges and other infrastructure
residential and commercial buildings
industrial facilities and public utilities
transportation facilities (e.g., airports)
Superfund sites
criminal activities
law enforcement officers

As much as you may not like it, they are well within their rights. Nobody asked them why they were taking the pictures so you cannot say anything about their reasons for taking said pictures. This runs awfully close to a person observing a legal open carry situation and calling the police about a man with a gun.

May 10, 2004, 11:51 AM
Well, i am not quick to judge or place stereo-types. But they were acting like retards, hanging on the rims upside down on the basketball court when we arrived, so somehow i doubt they are amateur photographers. They did not approach the kids. I am not over reacting, Now talk to my wife and she might not take anyones advice that this is permissable. I really wanted to get your all thoughts on it. I remember there faces, i know what they were driving. Thats good enough for me, right now. We live in a small town, so if they are hanging around, i will see them again.

May 10, 2004, 12:02 PM
What are you going to do when you find them? Take their tag number and leave a note that you're concerned about their behavior toward children and that you'll be contacting the authorities?

That's all I would do - let the cops do the follow-ups.

Travis McGee
May 10, 2004, 12:04 PM
This is an example where it's a good idea to fight fire with fire. Keep a camera handy, even if it's a disposable. Something hinky like this happens, turn your own camera on the perps. Get them, their faces up close, and their vehicles from many angles, and of course their license plates. This will discourage them from using any of their pictures of (in this case) your kids, because they will know they are traceable.

May 10, 2004, 12:16 PM
If they were not Gothic would you have had the same feelings?

May 10, 2004, 12:21 PM
Well 45r, i see what your saying. But actions speak louder than looks. If a dude in a suit was hanging from the rims of the local park upside down hottin and hollaring, i would have still cared that they weretaking pictures of my little ones. I mean honestly, 2 boys, 18-22 if they were doing it for school, i would hope would have asked. And secondly, why drive off, when i start walking your way if your not up to no good?

buy guns
May 10, 2004, 12:41 PM
im not into this kind of thing at all but i have come across voyuer forums where people post pics they have taken of women in public. they are mostly butt and chest shots with an occasional upskirt. i hope the kids you encountered arent these kind of people.

May 10, 2004, 12:49 PM
Travis had what I consider to be the best idea. I realize that this pair did nothing illegal, but when it comes to your children, I would rather err on the side of caution. I tend to trust my intuition. There have been times where I have gotten a "bad feeling" about being somewhere and decided to leave.

If this seemed "shady" to you, maybe there was a good reason and maybe not.

May 10, 2004, 01:00 PM
This is an example where it's a good idea to fight fire with fire. Keep a camera handy, even if it's a disposable. Something hinky like this happens, turn your own camera on the perps. Get them, their faces up close, and their vehicles from many angles, and of course their license plates. This will discourage them from using any of their pictures of (in this case) your kids, because they will know they are traceable.

Best advice yet. Legal or not is beside the point. The only important question is, are these people a threat?

If you ignore it, you could be national news. Another kidnapping and rape/murder. If you hunt them down and shoot them, you WILL be national news.

If you acknowledge that they MAY be a threat, and take some sensible precautions, you should be able to avoid either extreme.

Much better that way. You really don't want your 15 minutes of fame over this.

May 10, 2004, 01:22 PM
But they were acting like retards, hanging on the rims upside down on the basketball court when we arrived, so somehow i doubt they are amateur photographers. I fail to see how the two are mutually exclusive. It's not just whitebread yuppies that get into cameras.

...I'm not a Redneck because I drive an Acura?
...I like Sarah McLachlan so I probably don't own a gun?

Wayne D
May 10, 2004, 01:31 PM
I would think a child molester would want to be low profile, not drawing attention like you say these guys were doing. I would go ahead and report it though. The police will probably increase patrols for awhile and that can't hurt anything.

Vern Humphrey
May 10, 2004, 01:38 PM
The issue is not one of right and wrong, but of potential danger. It's not wrong to hang around the bank -- but a person who does that with no real business there just might be casing the joint.

I'd do this -- if you have a Concealed Handgun License, carry. If not, get one and then carry.

Get your own camera -- the bigger and more ostentatious, the better. A telephoto lens would be nice. Borrow one if you have to. Next time someone takes pictures of the kids, take pictures of them. Remember, if you don't have an expectation of privacy, neither do they.

If they retreat, follow at a distance and take more pictures. When they get in a car and leave, get a picture of the license plate.

Complain to the police -- there's no reason you have to wait for a crime before giving information to the police. With pictures and license number, the police can run a check. These people just MIGHT have a record, or might have committed unsolved crimes.

May 10, 2004, 02:00 PM
Amish Bill, i agree with you completely. Just because i listen to rap, doesnt mean i'm down in the hood. I was not making similarities. I was just reacting to what i felt like was an uneasy feeling. Believe me, when i say i'm one of the most unlikely people to place judgement upon people, its just not my place. But it IS my place to keep a watchful eye out for my little ones. And if someone, is doing anything to make me feel unrest, i take heed. Thats all i was referring to. Had it been me and my brother in law down there by ourselves i could have cared less, if they were hanging on the rims and acting like idiots. Heck i probably would have even posed for them. You know, gave them a shot of my nice white Butt for their camera.

May 10, 2004, 02:32 PM
I would think a child molester would want to be low profile, not drawing attention like you say these guys were doing.

Stupid criminals exist.

May 10, 2004, 03:13 PM
When I first recieved my digital camera the first place I went to was the park. It was a good place to learn all of the digital settings, "F-stops", Aperture settings and so forth. I pointed that lens at everyone and anything. I was worst than a foreign tourist :) I got pictures of kids chasing squirrels, getting bit by ducks the whole nine yards. It was a hoot but I always made sure that if the kids were on the recieving end of the lens the parents were within an earshot.

Last thought:
The thought that they took off when you approached them is in itself a red flag but hey they are "Gothic" sterotypically makes them "Antisocial". Like you said you will more than likely see them again if they live in the same town. Did you make eye contact with them before they got into their vehicle?

May 10, 2004, 03:30 PM
Pedophiles take pictures of young children and swap them on the internet. While the pics themselves aren't suggestive these people get their jollies just looking at them. They always use digital cameras in case they're questioned by the police. Of course today almost everyone has a digital but the card can be erased quickly. A known pedophile caught with pics is not going to be a happy camper.

It's almost impossible to stop them except like it was mentioned, take your own pics making sure they notice you. They don't like to be seen out from under their rock.

If they're just cameraphiles then no harm, no foul either way.

Jay Kominek
May 10, 2004, 04:00 PM
And secondly, why drive off, when i start walking your way if your not up to no good?
Maybe you looked really pissed off and scary, and they decided that avoiding a confrontation was a good idea, as so many people on THR remind us all, regularly. :)

"once is accident, twice is coincidence, thrice is enemy action"

cracked butt
May 10, 2004, 04:19 PM
Face it, you and your family are getting their picture taken several times a day without your permission and you probably don't care much about it. Every time you go to a bank, ATM, gas station, grocery store, traffic lights, or maybe even your workplace, you are being photographed or videotaped and you have zero recourse to stopping this, yet I think the rather small potential for abuse of these pictures in sinster ways exists.

If someone is photographing you or your kids, politely ask them to stop if you don't like it. You don't have a right to not have your picture taken in public.

May 10, 2004, 04:25 PM
Cracked Butt, i am sure my picture and video has been taken more than i can count. But when it begins to be in a manner thats throws red flags up, and cautions me, then i have a right to have concern!

May 10, 2004, 04:35 PM
Call the police.

Give them descriptions and an account of what happened. Who knows, you may not be the first to report them. If nothing comes of it then well and good, no harm done but if there happens to be a future incident then they already have some background.

I will never knowingly compromise my children's well being.

May 10, 2004, 05:35 PM

(assuming that you don't consider them an immediate threat to the well being of you and yours...)

Maybe just wave at them & smile? Just because they're acting silly and look wierd doesn't mean you can't be neighborly.

How they react to a smile & a wave will tell you more than how they react when confronted.

May 10, 2004, 05:36 PM
Sheesh, a lot of people here are awfully quick to call the police about people who are breaking no law whatsoever. So the same people advocating calling the police about a camera can't say anything about those who call the cops about a firearm being legally open carried (at least not without being hypocrites).

May 10, 2004, 05:53 PM
I worked with child sex offenders as a parole officer a long time ago. Your and your wife's concern is NOT paranoia or overreaction. These people at the park may not have been predators, but they were behaving in the way predators behave. All parents need to be vigilant at all times. A child can be snatched in a brief moment while a parent is looking at something across the park or engaged in conversation.
The look or dress of the guys in this particular case makes no difference. Predators come in a variety of guises and disguises. Trust NO stranger. Especially one taking pictures of your children. Pedophiles [just a fancy word IMO, for toxic waste] often take pix in public of their preferred victim "type". If these guys were legit photography students, I think they would have approached the parents for permission and to allay any fears they might have. And don't give me that "it's legal to take pictures in public" line. It may well be legal, but if it's my grandaughter, it's gonna be darn dangerous!

May 10, 2004, 06:31 PM

If it arouses your suspicions, act upon them.

I have a two year old daughter. I take her to the playground alot. When I see anybody - photography or not - who seems hinky I start to get nervous.

No person and no law has a higher concern for the safety and well-being of your family than you.

Confront them with all the authority adulthood and fatherhood brings. Ask them not to photograph the children in your family. I don't mean with hostility or with a drawn weapon. I mean as a citzen of your community. You'll get an idea from their response to you whay they are all about.

If you don't want to do that (and even if you do) let the cops know. You say you are in small town. Be known in your community as one who is looking out for your own.

Holly76201: Your post is dead on.

A while ago my wife heard an interview on the radio with an ex-cop/investigator who dealt with kid-related crimes and susequently wrote a book. He backed up my feelings that playgrounds are very dangerous places for kids. Mostly women and kids, rarely cops around. Bad guys can feel very safe there.

And don't let your kids ever go into a playground bathroom with you having checked it out first! That goes for your wife, too! And that goes for highway rest stop bathrooms!

As good fathers and husbands, we are in charge of the welfare of our families.

Frank Einstein

May 10, 2004, 07:00 PM
I have no children of my own, but all of these posts are good advice that I'd follow if I did. :)

In light of this, I'd advise carrying another addition to your everyday SD stuff (pocket knife, CCW, cell phone, etc.)--a disposable 35mm camera. Six bucks, and if you notice somebody taking pictures again, start snapping your own of them immediately. In a sense, use their own rights "against" them. It's one heck of a lot easier to develop a set of pictures than trying to give a police officer a description of the suspect when you're under a ton of emotional stress (in case this situation turns for the worse).

A camera is also useful for getting a good copy of their license plate if your memory is not so good (like me). Don't go for one of those cheap $20.00 Wal-Mart digital ones, as their resolution is so bad the camera ain't worth the materials of which it's made. For those, you also have to remember to have working batteries, also not good for those with bad memory.

Hope this helps...

May 10, 2004, 07:09 PM
A long thread on something to me that seems basic...

If they are stalking and purposely attempting to hunt photos of them without any legitimate context for this, and the girls feel threatened by this - this is actionable and should be forwarded post haste to law enforcement. Should anything in the future happen, you would have an attempt to stop this activity recorded and processed legitimately.

To compare this with paparazzi following stars is very incorrect. Yes it is legal to take pictures in public places. Sure fine. It is not however legal to follow and stalk out of no legit context. There is now even plenty of case law coming out about people trying to take pictures of girls to put online that has been prevented. Paparazzi are also licensed photo journalists. If you were someone off the street trying to do what they do - you could find yourself in some heat.

Lean on the side of safety.

May 10, 2004, 07:29 PM
..:scrutiny: ...They just might be from the planet "Goofytron" analyzing the smaller species of humanoids. In that case, it's time to contact "Nightcrawler" and associates. He will get to the bottom of it, lickety split.....:uhoh: :rolleyes:

..But seriously, Holly76201 said it all. They are Your children and any gut feelings are pretty much legitament......:)

May 10, 2004, 07:48 PM
I dont have any daughters but I do have a son and am very protective of him.If I saw someone taking pictures of him playing at a park or in the backyard..there would be trouble.It wouldnt matter what they looked prolly go to what if its legal...THEY WOULD BE EATING THE FILM.

May 10, 2004, 08:30 PM
1. Anything from assault to murder
2. Possession of a firearm during the commitment of a crime (if you have a CCW and such a statute in the area)
3. Destruction of property
4. More depending on the prosecuter

Does losing your freedom (including your RKBA) and possibly your life, sound like something you should risk just because you don't like the legal actions of another person? On another note, isn't this the kind of situation that causes some people to believe that letting people carry is too dangerous?

Earlier in the thread I posted an article written by a lawyer which explains that it is perfectly legal to take pictures of ANYONE in a public place. If and how those pictures are published is a completely separate matter.

May 10, 2004, 09:00 PM
Cannibal, you forgot the ensung horde of lawsuits bought upon standingbear or his surviving family after he does something stupid.

For all the chest thumping and going on like antiscoial folks themselves, there is a lot more sound advice coming form the folks being a bit more level headed.

like folks said, nothing illegal was done, even if they send your psidey-sense a tingling, reacting in a manner inappropriate to that fact is going to make you the bad guy. If you love your kids, keep that in mind, because visiting hours at prison do not make for the best quality time. Being the good parent in this instance means being aware and looking out for your kids since the situation warrants. Not running around like an ass assaulting people.

Legally speaking, at the level this is going on, and since it does sound like it is a local park rather than something like a state park, is to document a pattern of behavior. This is because it may be the only thing they are doing wron (if anything). Call the police, or depending on the size of your town, drop by. They will likely check in periodically the next couple of days. Depending who they have living locally, they may request you come in an look at some mug shots. You pick any local sexual offenders, they are going to be getting a visit. If they gave you a really bad feeling, Take a camera and do your own passes on the park without the family. The rules on no expectation of privacy cut both ways and you can make use of that.

As fro confrontation, politely asking what they think they are doing might go a lot farther than storming over looking POed. I'll second the notion that you can tell a lot more about someone form how they react to a friendly greeting than a hostile approach. someone cutting and running from a wave and a smile is saying a lot more about themselves than someone doing the same from someone running up to you yelling and red in the face.

May 10, 2004, 09:09 PM
Paparazzi are also licensed photo journalists.

I am afraid you are very wrong there. I actually work as a freelance photojournalist, and there is absolutly no licensing necessary.

Sure, some counties hand out "press passes", which lets police and emergency crews know that the photographer is legit, and are often shown when you photograph at a public school-- something that happens often. They can sometimes be used to cross some police and fire lines. One county I used to work in did a background check. The State that I live in now does not issue credentials at all. Honestly, it is a first amendment issue, that the press don't need to be licensed. On one hand I actually prefered that photojournalists have the option of getting press passes from the police, but not require them. That can lend a certain amount of legitimacy when a photographer is working. But honestly, even when they are issued, we usually don't wear them.

Photojournalists will often times need to photograph kids. We do it pretty often, and sometimes it can be very uncomfortable for us, because many people don't know what we are doing, and there are often certain stigmas. But a real photojournalist will not do what was mentioned in the first part of the thread.

When I have to photograph kids, out on the street, in a park, etc, I will make a direct effort to find the parents first most of the time. Exceptions are during things like parades, where I will take a quick photo of kids interacting, and then I will approach the parents. If I can't find the parents, I either won't photograph, or I will find whoever is responsible for the kids at that time. Grandparents, friend, whoever. Either way, whenever I photograph kids, I am extremely cautious, and make sure everyone knows that I am there for a specific purpose.

Photojournalists also won't leave the scene if a parent comes over to talk to them. Our job has us interacting with the public on a daily basis, so we are used to explaining what we do, what we are looking for.

There is a possiblity that they were students, but I even doubt that. As mentioned before, when kids are taking photo classes in school (very popular classes usually), they are often times given specific assingments to get, many of those are candids, people on the street, kinds playing with pets, etc etc. Unfortunatly, most schools don't teach the kids how to interact with the public when they are taking photos.

If you see these kids taking photos of kids again, I would get a good description, a photo would be better. If you can approach, non aggresivly, I would, and try to talk to them. Find out if they are students. If they are, where. Call the school, talk to the photography professor, explain your concerns.

If they claim to be a staff photographer, they will have some sort of company ID most likely. If they are freelancing (like me), they may or may not have cards. I rarely carry cards anymore, since they never helped my business anyways, and they are just one more expense, and they don't prove anything anyways. If they are freelance, and you press them for confirmation, they should be able to provide you with the name of either an Editor, or another photographer that works for that publication, so that you can call and confirm that they do work for the paper.

Also, look at the gear they are using. A news photographer will likely have 2 or more large SLRs, often times digital, and a lenses. Usually the lenses, even the short ones will be fairly large, due to the speed of the lens. A pro 80-200 2.8 is much larger than a consumer 70-300 5.6.


Tom Bri
May 10, 2004, 11:23 PM
The school my girls go to sends us a report about once a month of all the places perverts have been reported in town. Flashers, guys who look up little girls skirts, things like that. So far I haven't heard anything more serious, but let me tell you I keep my eyes open when out with my kids. These people exist, they are dangerous, and any town will have a few.

I say pass the word around to all of the other Moms and Dads you meet. Ask them if they have seen anything like that, have everyone keeping a sharp eye out. You live in a small town, so if these kids are up to no good it should soon become common knowledge.

Ask the cops if they have heard any reports like this.

May 11, 2004, 12:21 AM
I've worked as a reporter who had to take pictures occassionally and I've taken photojournalism courses in college. I never ask for permission before I take a picture of someone because the best picture I'll get is the one where the person doesn't know they are being photographed. This is especially true with kids.

Depending on the circumstances, I may or may not approach the subject afterwards. If I took the photo for a newspaper, and it's just a candid shot and not a breaking news piece, I'll need a name and address for the subject. If it's a commercial shot, I'll need a signed release as well or I can't use it commercially. But, if it's just a shot for my portfolio that I don't intend to publish, I won't always bother to get the contact info.

When I'm out taking pics I may not look like a National Geo shooter out on assignment, but I'm not hanging off of basketball hoops either.

May 11, 2004, 02:02 AM
Stupid criminals exist.

There is a breed of criminals that use telefoto lenses to take pictures up the skirts of women and children. They must have incredible patience but I guess the payoff is good enough.

When I was working as a reporter in Gardena Calif, there was a story of these guys who showed up at an amature model shoot and were arrested for just that thing.

Charges were eventually dropped due to the police failing a warrant to search the men's house.

May 11, 2004, 02:08 AM
...interesting. Think I learned a little more about the world of photo journalists. Most of the news types I have met (not much) have had a form of crendential. Certainly this doesn't apply to freelance types.

May 11, 2004, 02:30 AM
I took a photography class in college and wound up taking LOTS of pictures of folks just going about their daily buisiness. Kids never really interested me as subject matter for photography but, i can see how someone else would feel different in a perfectly NON perverted way.

However, i have found that pedophiles and weirdos in general usually come off as such when confronted. If you see these guys again try to talk to them and ask them whats up. If they strike you as OK and they have an answer that seems legitimate i would let them carry on but, keep an eye on them just in case. Should they have unsatisfactory answeres or just come off as miscreants i would strongly encourage them to go about their buisiness elsewhere and make sure to get a license plate when they leave.

Vern Humphrey
May 11, 2004, 09:28 AM
What can we conclude from this discussion?

1. There is a threat. Children ARE taken or otherwise exploited, and this behavior fits into the pattern.

2. The law hasn't YET been broken, and the people taking the pictures MIGHT be perfectly innocent.

3. It would be a good idea to take THEIR pictures and a picture of their license plate and report to the police. Let them check it out.

4. If your state has a CHL law, get one and carry.

May 11, 2004, 09:35 AM
I have passed the word along to some of the other parents around my work place, so they are keeping an eye out as well. So, i will just keep my eyes peeled for awhile, and if i dont see them again, so be it. And if i do see them again, I have my Digital camera riding shotgun with me in the car.

May 11, 2004, 04:21 PM

Actually, freelance or staff doesn't matter. In California, while working freelance, I always had a credential because the county I lived in handed out credentials, and so did the CHP.

Here in Oregon, there are no credentials issued by a state government, period. Some newspapers will print out ID cards, but they aren't really credentials.

Now, when shooting a sporting event, which I do a considerable amount of, I always have a credential from the event or stadium. That's just how that works.

Like I said before, each state, and county are different.


May 11, 2004, 05:17 PM
I had some guy drive by my aunt's house while we were in the front yard talking. He had his window rolled down and took a picture of us from his moving car. I know he took the picture because the flash went off. I left a minute later and passed the guy on the road. He had gone around in a circle and was heading back toward the house. I made eye contact with him as we passed and he quickly looked away. I returned to the house a little while later after my business was completed and told my aunt about passing the guy. I also informed my uncle, who had come home in the interim (with his BHP). Never caught a wiff of the guy again.

My point is, sometimes really spooky things end up being nothing. Of course, other times spooky things end up badly, but that's why I warned my relatives instead of brushing it off. Just keep an eye out for the guys - if they appear again, then a call to the police is justified, IMO.

May 11, 2004, 06:09 PM
Does losing your freedom (including your RKBA) and possibly your life, sound like something you should risk just because you don't like the legal actions of another person?

No. I know that just taking pictures is perfectly legal and I can honestly say that I would not react in a hostile, threatening way, but some type of action would be appropriate. It depends entirely on the situation.

I am a relatively new parent and was somewhat surprised at how protective I can be. I am not suggesting that this excuses stupid behavior, but there is nothing I wouldn't do to protect my child. I can understand someone being more sensitive when it comes to their child.

If this happened where I live, I would probably confront the photographer in a polite manner and ask why they were taking pictures. If the situation still seemed funny, the I might take pictures of them then I woulod probably just leave. I live in a pretty small town, so asking around the park if someone knows the photographer might answer any questions I have.

As for calling the police...
So the same people advocating calling the police about a camera can't say anything about those who call the cops about a firearm being legally open carried (at least not without being hypocrites).
It would entirely depend on the context. If I found out that the photographer was a convicted pedophile or he acted hostile or threatening, then I might contact the police. It is the same if I saw someone that carrying openly. That, in and of itself, is not a threat to me. If you combined that with some type of threatening action, it might warrant a call to the police, but it all depends on the context.

Vern Humphrey
May 11, 2004, 06:28 PM
So the same people advocating calling the police about a camera can't say anything about those who call the cops about a firearm being legally open carried (at least not without being hypocrites).

Carrying a firearm is one thing -- waving it around is another.

We're not talking about someone CARRYING a camera, we're talking about someone USING it in a way that might endanger children.

You bet I'd report it to the police.

May 12, 2004, 08:21 AM
Good advice to call the police. Most PD's have a FI (field interview) report/card. It's for the basic information, i.e., name, dob, ss, ht, wt, reason for being stopped, time, location, etc. The info is placed into a computer system for future use. Works pretty good placing suspicious individuals and odd behaviour at a specific location and time.

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