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Photographer
Limperis Photography
Posts: 28
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US


No, not that kind of protection!

I was on the end of a pier just before sunrise, shooting with my 5d mark III, a model, and her escort. I noticed a group of guys eyeing what we were doing. Now I've been on shoots where I have to ignore the curious onlookers, but I don't think this group was interested in what we were doing.

They kept whispering amongst themselves, and I would catch them staring a my equipment. As we moved closer to the shore to exit the pier they moved closer to us. Out of no where a 2 police officers wandered up, and this group quickly move away from us back to the end of the pier.

I am wondering would it be legal to carry mace? I know the best advice would be not to get in this situation. How do photographers protect themselves? Please advise
Nov 13 12 11:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lost Photo
Posts: 49
Dallas, Texas, US


Laws vary by state.  If I'm out in a questionable location or at an odd time of day I always have a second shooter.  Being in Texas, that might be taken literally. 

Also, check out insurance for your gear. The camera is always replaceable.
Nov 14 12 12:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Thomas Sellberg
Posts: 140
Bloomington, Illinois, US


You are in Florida, get a carry permit and a gun, take all the classes you can to learn to use it and carry it with you. The Florida carry permit is accepted in the majority of the country, so on the up side you pretty much are covered anywhere in the lower states. The idea is not to use the gun, but have it so if you need it you don't have to worry about your life or that of the people you are with. 9 times out of 10 in a situation like that an armed individual can talk their way out with out an issue because you have the confidence to do so, not because you are pointing a gun, most of the time the gun never comes into play at all.
Nov 14 12 12:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Loki Studio
Posts: 2,926
Royal Oak, Michigan, US


Protecting yourself is reasonable, and the easiest solution is to not attract attention and to avoid areas of high crime. Get insurance for your gear so it is never a loss. 

Escalating violence with a weapon is not the answer.  A call to 911 is the best protection.
Nov 14 12 12:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Kerrek
Posts: 1,394
Orlando, Florida, US


http://myweaponspermit.com/florida-conc … ighlights/

According to this verbiage quoted from the statutes, common mace should not require a concealed carry permit under 2 ounces of volume in the can.

Keep in mind you'd need to have it on your person at all times- in a bag will do you no good unless you keep a 20+ foot cordon around every shoot location. It also doesn't guarantee, at all, that using it won't just get you shot or stabbed on principle. Think about this: in your scenario, do you think you could mace every single one of those guys before they got to you? Mace is also thwarted by simple things like wind, and aiming. Get insurance, and don't risk people's lives on the illusion of safety, or get a concealed permit, train well, and carry a gun with the intent to use it if necessary.
Nov 14 12 02:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Harold Rose
Posts: 2,925
Calhoun, Georgia, US


Limperis Portraits wrote:
No, not that kind of protection!

I was on the end of a pier just before sunrise, shooting with my 5d mark III, a model, and her escort. I noticed a group of guys eyeing what we were doing. Now I've been on shoots where I have to ignore the curious onlookers, but I don't think this group was interested in what we were doing.

They kept whispering amongst themselves, and I would catch them staring a my equipment. As we moved closer to the shore to exit the pier they moved closer to us. Out of no where a 2 police officers wandered up, and this group quickly move away from us back to the end of the pier.

I am wondering would it be legal to carry mace? I know the best advice would be not to get in this situation. How do photographers protect themselves? Please advise

Arm yourself and you are asking for trouble... Diplomacy is  sometimes as easy as   asking names,,   asking to help..   taking a picture of  the crowd... a few pictures will make many problems become bashful..

Nov 14 12 02:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Trevor Martin
Posts: 518
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Make sure that you only shoot shoot tough llamas with Tatts?

Be careful and avoid trouble.
Better to lose your camera gear than your life or a vital organ......
Nov 14 12 03:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PTPhotoUT
Posts: 1,959
Salt Lake City, Utah, US


An assistant helps. The more people on your team, the less likely they are try something.
Nov 14 12 04:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


Lost Photo wrote:
Also, check out insurance for your gear. The camera is always replaceable.

+1

Bringing muscle-bound 'protection' not involved with the shoot is mostly going to be a waste of time and may distract the model. Escalating any situation that arises by carrying a gun etc. puts the model at grave risk of harm.

Your best option is to a) try not to shoot in dodgy areas and b) to regard your equipment as disposable in the event of emergency.

And if the muggers are decent guys, hopefully they will let you keep your CF cards so you don't lose your photos as well as your camera! smile



Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Nov 14 12 04:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


PTPhotoUT wrote:
An assistant helps. The more people on your team, the less likely they are try something.

^^

If I'm going to shoot in an area that's potentially a bit dodgy, I've usually got an assistant or two, and the only people we get come up and talk to us are usually just interested and pretty friendly.  My assistant "intercepts" them and talks to them so I don't have to and I can just get on with working.

Limperis Portraits wrote:
I was on the end of a pier just before sunrise, shooting with my 5d mark III, a model, and her escort.

Anyway, surely that's what the "escort" was for?  Or was he only there to protect the model from you? wink

-B-R-U-N-E-S-C-I- wrote:
And if the muggers are decent guys, hopefully they will let you keep your CF cards so you don't lose your photos as well as your camera! smile

Hahahahahaha, sorry, that just tickled me.  If they're decent guys, they probably wouldn't be muggers. wink

Nov 14 12 04:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,244
Orlando, Florida, US


Thomas Sellberg wrote:
You are in Florida, get a carry permit and a gun, take all the classes you can to learn to use it and carry it with you. The Florida carry permit is accepted in the majority of the country, so on the up side you pretty much are covered anywhere in the lower states. The idea is not to use the gun, but have it so if you need it you don't have to worry about your life or that of the people you are with. 9 times out of 10 in a situation like that an armed individual can talk their way out with out an issue because you have the confidence to do so, not because you are pointing a gun, most of the time the gun never comes into play at all.

Right!

Because a gun is always the answer.

This is the worst advice for "should I carry pepper spray". The answer is, yes it's legal to carry pepper spray. However, if you are feeling threatened, use your phone to call the police to report suspicious behavior or simply leave the situation.

Pulling a gun on a group of people is a good way to get dead.

Nov 14 12 04:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photo212grapher
Posts: 1,538
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


A small bottle of Mace is not likely going to work on a group of people intent on stealing your gear. Most likely, you'll be purchasing pepper spray and only accomplish at pissing off the would-be thieves.

You want to deter the thieves before they try. No need to conceal.
Nov 14 12 04:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ironworx Productions
Posts: 284
Seneca, South Carolina, US


I carry a Beretta PX4 Storm 9mm it's perfect for concealed carry. I have never had any problems with law enforcement.

It's not like the old west with it on display to intimidate or instigate.

A cop on the streets of Atlanta one told me "If you have use it be sure to kill the perpetrator because dead people cant testify"

I have used it several times in metro Atlanta and Vegas. Works very well too.
Nov 14 12 04:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dark Shadows
Posts: 2,269
Miami, Florida, US


Good Egg Productions wrote:
Pulling a gun on a group of people is a good way to get dead.

I'm not going to get on the political side of this debate, but that's not true. Most people basically 'shit their pants' when someone pulls a gun and points it at them, not become hyper aggressive. I want to meet the group of bad ass thugs that will rush into a gun fight. Thugs are usually opportunistic cowards.

The reason no one attacks police officers is not because they respect their authority, it's because they respect the fact that they have a gun on them and are willing to use it. No one, I don't care how bad the economy gets, is going to attack anyone going to a gun range. Those people all have guns.

For example, in a state with open carry, I want to meet the thug bad ass enough to try to mug someone with a gun on their hip. Even a group of thugs. I don't think you're going to find thugs that brave.

Nov 14 12 04:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dark Shadows
Posts: 2,269
Miami, Florida, US


DP
Nov 14 12 04:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


Dark Shadows wrote:
Most people basically 'shit their pants' when someone pulls a gun and points it at them, not become hyper aggressive.

Especially if one does it calmly, confidently, and with a semblance of control.  Which, presumably, one would if they had appropriate firearms training.

Nov 14 12 04:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,739
Fresno, California, US


Limperis Portraits wrote:
No, not that kind of protection!

I was on the end of a pier just before sunrise, shooting with my 5d mark III, a model, and her escort. I noticed a group of guys eyeing what we were doing. Now I've been on shoots where I have to ignore the curious onlookers, but I don't think this group was interested in what we were doing.

They kept whispering amongst themselves, and I would catch them staring a my equipment. As we moved closer to the shore to exit the pier they moved closer to us. Out of no where a 2 police officers wandered up, and this group quickly move away from us back to the end of the pier.

I am wondering would it be legal to carry mace? I know the best advice would be not to get in this situation. How do photographers protect themselves? Please advise

To be blunt, reading this I am amazed that you have not drowned in the rain. Okay, why are you on a dark pier with a model with no assistants? That is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Next you have a pack guys eyeballing your gear heading to intercept you at the exit. I hope you have a cellphone. Why didn't you call 911? Figure it takes about 5 minutes for the police to respond make the call, that is what the police are for. So you look for a defendable position, or head to the brightest lit area with the most people.

Mace is at best a distraction at worst a security blanket, your keys are far more effective. Mace won't stop a group. The big thing is use common sense. Pay attention to your surroundings. Next don't ignore groups of people, that is really dumb. Intercept them go over introduce yourself be forceful but not cocky look them in the eye. Even ask if they can watch the area to make sure the shoot is not bothered. What you are really doing is putting them off balance and delivering a message that you are not prey.

From everything you described you might as well painted concentric circles on your back. Number one rule is pay attention to your surroundings and listen to voice in the back of your head if it says you are in danger, most likely you are.

Nov 14 12 04:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ironworx Productions
Posts: 284
Seneca, South Carolina, US


People who don't speak English understand when a gun come out. Its a universal language.
Nov 14 12 04:42 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
studio36uk
Posts: 21,657
Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna


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Studio36
Nov 14 12 04:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,739
Fresno, California, US


B-don Mc wrote:
People who don't speak English understand when a gun come out. Its a universal language.

The only time I have seen a gun be effective is when the hammer falls. Only in the movies does waiving a gun scares people off. If you are pulling a gun then you are shooting. I have no problem with that is what they are for. The question is do you really want to carry a gun to photo session.

If you need a gun on a location then you really need to find a better location.

Nov 14 12 04:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Orca Bay Images
Posts: 32,233
Lodi, California, US


fullmetalphotographer wrote:
To be blunt, reading this I am amazed that you have not drowned in the rain. Okay, why are you on a dark pier with a model with no assistants? That is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Next you have a pack guys eyeballing your gear heading to intercept you at the exit. I hope you have a cellphone. Why didn't you call 911? Figure it takes about 5 minutes for the police to respond make the call, that is what the police are for. So you look for a defendable position, or head to the brightest lit area with the most people.

Mace is at best a distraction at worst a security blanket, your keys are far more effective. Mace won't stop a group. The big thing is use common sense. Pay attention to your surroundings. Next don't ignore groups of people, that is really dumb. Intercept them go over introduce yourself be forceful but not cocky look them in the eye. Even ask if they can watch the area to make sure the shoot is not bothered. What you are really doing is putting them off balance and delivering a message that you are not prey.

From everything you described you might as well painted concentric circles on your back. Number one rule is pay attention to your surroundings and listen to voice in the back of your head if it says you are in danger, most likely you are.

QFT

Common sense
Confidence
Awareness

If I'm shooting in a dodgy area in odd hours, I'll likely bring assistants or friends. No firearms, no mace. I might even check with any cops on patrol, to let them know where we're working.

Nov 14 12 04:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,244
Orlando, Florida, US


Dark Shadows wrote:

I'm not going to get on the political side of this debate, but that's not true. Most people basically 'shit their pants' when someone pulls a gun and points it at them, not become hyper aggressive. I want to meet the group of bad ass thugs that will rush into a gun fight. Thugs are usually opportunistic cowards.

The reason no one attacks police officers is not because they respect their authority, it's because they respect the fact that they have a gun on them and are willing to use it. No one, I don't care how bad the economy gets, is going to attack anyone going to a gun range. Those people all have guns.

For example, in a state with open carry, I want to meet the thug bad ass enough to try to mug someone with a gun on their hip. Even a group of thugs. I don't think you're going to find thugs that brave.

Can we at least agree that more criminals have guns than regular law abiding civilians?

So, lets assume that people (thugs, as you put it) who are looking to steal your stuff may have a gun on them.  Being held at gunpoint, after all, is a pretty strong motivator to handing over your expensive stuff.

Anyway, a thief believes that they have the upper hand by having a firearm on them and would not feel threatened UNTIL their target pulls their own gun.

Suddenly, the thief is threatened with extreme bodily harm and now chooses to use their own weapon when they had no intention of using it before.


Look, all I'm saying is carrying a gun can escalate a theft into a killing. And even with training, people freeze up when presented with a situation where firing their gun on a person would be a good idea.

Nov 14 12 04:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ironworx Productions
Posts: 284
Seneca, South Carolina, US


fullmetalphotographer wrote:
The only time I have seen a gun be effective is when the hammer falls. Only in the movies does waiving a gun scares people off. If you are pulling a gun then you are shooting. I have no problem with that is what they are for. The question is do you really want to carry a gun to photo session.

If you need a gun on a location then you really need to find a better location.

I always carry, even locally. You never know when some fools going to try some bullshit. I'm come prepared.

I do agree with having assistants and others around to deter potential dangers.
I have never had to fire on anyone and hope I never do.
If a police officer is in the area I inform them of whats going on with my photo shoot. I have even offered $20 for them to hang around and I have hired off duty cops on jobs when I have had the budget. I'm not saying every photographer carry a gun.
You need proper weapons training and you had better be willing to use it if you pull it on someone..

Nov 14 12 04:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JBerman Photography
Posts: 1,109
New York, New York, US


Perhaps they were talking about the model and wanted to get a better look?
Carry less gear, bring more assistants or shoot indoors if you are really worried.
Nov 14 12 04:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


fullmetalphotographer wrote:
The only time I have seen a gun be effective is when the hammer falls.

Thanks, now I have Queen stuck in my head. wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjyka1gkodo

Nov 14 12 04:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,739
Fresno, California, US


Kaouthia wrote:

Thanks, now I have Queen stuck in my head. wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjyka1gkodo

One of my favorite bands.

Nov 14 12 05:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,716
Houston, Texas, US


Do you know any cops, personally?
I had a shoot that involved a questionable,  graffiti-laden area at 11pm at night.. I hired an officer to accompany me.   No problem..   

Mace won't stop a gang.. it'll just piss them off.. 

My suggestions:
1. Make sure you have your gear insured.
2. I had a HUGE bouncer-looking assistant.  That helped too.
3. Have a plan if you need to escape. Keep your car nearby if you aren't sure of your
     surroundings.
4. Do not put you or your team in harm's way.

    We live in VERY litigious times.
    It would not surprise me if a photographer was sued if his model/team were
     assaulted during a shoot he organized.
     He might be accused of not taking proper precautions to protect their safety.
Nov 14 12 05:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,716
Houston, Texas, US


B-don Mc wrote:
I carry a Beretta PX4 Storm 9mm it's perfect for concealed carry. I have never had any problems with law enforcement.

It's not like the old west with it on display to intimidate or instigate.

A cop on the streets of Atlanta one told me "If you have use it be sure to kill the perpetrator because dead people cant testify"

I have used it several times in metro Atlanta and Vegas. Works very well too.

Wanna bet?   

"Used it several times?"  Where the hell do you hang out?!?

Unless you're in law enforcement, you seem to be going out of your way to find trouble...

Nov 14 12 05:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GM Photography
Posts: 6,056
Olympia, Washington, US


I have all my gear insured, but I usually have a tripod or monopod or a light stand with me...
Nov 14 12 05:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeffrey M Fletcher
Posts: 4,339
Asheville, North Carolina, US


Oh my, did I need a 200mm, 85mm, or perhaps just a 9mm for this shot?

Some photographers are terribly exciting.
Nov 14 12 05:17 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 21,074
New York, New York, US


Full Replacement Coverage.


Go ahead, take it.
Nov 14 12 05:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sichenze Photography
Posts: 270
Front Royal, Virginia, US


Was a LEO for many years when I was younger.  Now I shoot where ever it seems safe butte issue is trouble can find ou anywhere. Carrying is a personal choice and you will not convince people to do it unless or until something happens to then. Stuff happens in seconds, and the cops respond in minutes. Most of the time we take reports and turn it over to someone else to investigate. I always carry, every day and yes I have been very glad I have at rule. I was jst filling the truck up off the interstate in a rural art of the sate and a out of state plate on a beat up car pulls in.  Well, I got to meet the Chief of the Town and the Sgt of he State Police too.  Nice guys and both said they were glad this report turned out well.   You chose MD it is not for everyone but I is not as terrible as some say.  911 will not help if they are bent on mischief and are going to do it soon.  Situational awareness is required at all times.  Well, off the soap box for now.
Nov 14 12 05:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
name removed3
Posts: 264
Boston, Massachusetts, US


the best defense is not to offend.

get a stun gun, very green and fun.
Nov 14 12 05:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
name removed3
Posts: 264
Boston, Massachusetts, US


or get new Nikon AK D47
Nov 14 12 05:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J Welborn
Posts: 2,552
Clarksville, Tennessee, US


A gun is the way to be self assured ---I have never had to use it but I do carry one when I am any where I think I may have a need .

I have the permit and do not let it show
Nov 14 12 05:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
In Balance Photography
Posts: 3,370
Boston, Massachusetts, US


I think the day that I think I need to carry a gun or mace or anything else like that to participate in photography is the day I sell my camera.
Nov 14 12 05:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Studio 277
Posts: 131
WINSTON SALEM, North Carolina, US


Thomas Sellberg wrote:
You are in Florida, get a carry permit and a gun, take all the classes you can to learn to use it and carry it with you. The Florida carry permit is accepted in the majority of the country, so on the up side you pretty much are covered anywhere in the lower states. The idea is not to use the gun, but have it so if you need it you don't have to worry about your life or that of the people you are with. 9 times out of 10 in a situation like that an armed individual can talk their way out with out an issue because you have the confidence to do so, not because you are pointing a gun, most of the time the gun never comes into play at all.

+1

My wife and I carry just about everywhere we go. We hope we never have to use our weapons. In fact we seriously doubt we ever need to, but we would rather have them and not need them than need them and not have them.

BTW, yours is not the worst advise.

Nov 14 12 06:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


fullmetalphotographer wrote:
One of my favorite bands.

Decided to just put the whole Wembley '86 gig on. smile

Nov 14 12 06:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Thomas Sellberg
Posts: 140
Bloomington, Illinois, US


Good Egg Productions wrote:

Right!

Because a gun is always the answer.

This is the worst advice for "should I carry pepper spray". The answer is, yes it's legal to carry pepper spray. However, if you are feeling threatened, use your phone to call the police to report suspicious behavior or simply leave the situation.

Pulling a gun on a group of people is a good way to get dead.

As I stated, the idea is to have the gun and not need it. Like others have said pepper spray more than likely will just piss them off. not to mention could come back in the wind and effect you as well.

Also anyone with training knows you don't pull a gun unless you need it... and you never carry unless you full intend to use it if need be. If you can't cope with thought of taking a life to defend yours or those around you then a gun is not your answer. At that point you need to rethink what you are doing.

I would also agree that more people carry illegally than legally but they aren't carrying just for defense. Knowing that fact I'm not about to put my life in the hands of a police officer minutes away when I could be dead in seconds...

Nov 14 12 06:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,527
Atlanta, Georgia, US


If you have to shoot in a risky part of town hire security, it's done all the time.  Otherwise I would just carry a gun.  I am sure you will hear more BS from the anti-gun nuts but ignore then, chances are they have no idea; you will notice most former police officers will agree.
Nov 14 12 06:30 am  Link  Quote 
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