“A Man Photographed My Kid at the Playground” “Smash Him in the Face!”


Please tell me I am not the only person who would see a Facebook note like the one below (with a photo of the gosh-darn camera-wielding stranger) and write a comment like, “Taking photos of kids at play does not make a person a predator,” or, “Can we please give the guy the benefit of the doubt?” or even,”So what if he DID take pictures of your kid?”

Here’s the post:

ATTENTION zerishzdrf
all parents! I caught this sketchy dude taking pictures of little kids including my daughter yesterday whilst we were playing at the new park off Santa Fe. I approached the man and asked who are you taking photos of. He gave me a broken story saying he is learning how to use his camera. I had him show me the photos and he had a bunch of intimate shots of my daughter and a bunch of other children playing. My blood began to boil so I said to erase any photos of my daughter or I’m going to break his camera. I also told him whatever the circumstance it’s not ok for him to be at a park taking photos of little kids playing. I got a really sketchy vibe from the guy so I called the sheriffs dept. I handed the guy off to the cops not sure what happened. Keep a eye out for creeps like this! Makes me sick.

Lenore here: I’m not quite sure if anyone can (or did) take “intimate” shots of a bunch of kids playing, but anyway, here’s a sampling of the comments:

Should have pounded his fuckin ass!!! Just sayin!!

Wtf! Nice shot. Now send that to the school, the news, and the police.

Holy shit kill that guy!!

wow thats gnarly. Good job keeping your cool though I dono if I would have had the self control not to destroy him.

I recently attended a church training for everyone who works with children and the experts mentioned keeping an eye out on strangers who take pictures of children in the local playground. Great job in notifying the proper authorities!

You should have smashed him and his phone for having pics of your daughter

Great job Pat! You could have cracked him in his noggin, and I’m sure it was hard not to, but you did the right thing. Way to go. You ROCK Pat. That’s more important than the best barrel ride of your life!! Makes my blood boil just reading it. See you in a couple days.

keep chasing off creeps. The world needs more people like you. Good karma is coming your way.
Must have been very hard not to smash him in the face with his own camera. You’re a superhero, nice work keeping creeps in check.
The violence and piling-on of these comments suggest a certain lip-smacking brotherhood of rage: “Yay! We are ALL ready to tear this guy apart!” I read somewhere that in a country as diverse as ours, perhaps the one — the only — thing we all agree that no one should prey on children.
So if we all agree on it, why do these guys sound as if they’re congratulating each other for “truly” caring about kids? We ALL care. All they’re really sharing is anger and self-righteousness, the perfect petri dish for witch hunts. It’s a simple way to prove how “good” they are, by being really, really mad. And in this case — mad at what? A guy who dared take photos of children in public.
To me, that’s not a hanging offense. – L


A man at a playground! Where's my torch?

A man at a playground! Where’s my torch?


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122 Responses to “A Man Photographed My Kid at the Playground” “Smash Him in the Face!”

  1. lollipoplover November 11, 2015 at 10:14 am #

    Whipping out cellphones is the modern day pitchfork mob mentality.

    “I handed the guy off to the cops not sure what happened. Keep a eye out for creeps like this! Makes me sick.”

    I agree!!
    Anyone who sees PAT anywhere near a park- be assured this person is not out for the welfare of children and dangerous! I mean really, you verbally bashed and confronted someone for pictures of children on…swings??
    What PAT did in front of the children is way more damaging than what this alleged “creep” is accused of doing Showing your paranoia and rage and trying to incite others to follow in this violence geared towards…photos.
    Truly frightening. Pat needs to see a doctor to control these paranoid and delusional thoughts.

  2. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    “I’m not quite sure if anyone can (or did) take “intimate” shots of a bunch of kids playing”

    Not sure about “did”, but definitely “can”.
    There’s been a lot of legislative activity around the U.S. to try to craft a law that would successfully criminalize “upskirt” photography without also criminalizing a lot of other things (turns out that’s not an easy law to write).

  3. E November 11, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    Well, this confirms why I’m not on FB, lol. It probably also confirms that I wouldn’t be friends with people who spoke this way. But that’s not news.

    We’ve been down this road before about people taking photos of strangers, particularly children. I tend to side with the idea that it’s a much better idea to communicate with people about taking their photos (presuming you aren’t a journalist). It’s just a nice thing to do. When anything an be uploaded in a blink of an eye (literally), it’s seems nice to communicate what you’re doing.

    So while the photographer was not breaking any laws (presuming they weren’t crotch shots), it’s not how I’d handle it. And I wouldn’t have handled the questions that way as a parent either (or as one of their friend commenters).

  4. LRH November 11, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    Dear Paranoid Father, (here is his page: https://www.facebook.com/patrick.millin.3 and the post is dated October 25th)

    Newsflash: you are in a public place. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to any expectation of privacy with respect to you, your children, your friends, anybody. You are in a public place. Get a clue. Educate yourself. Learn about Henri Cartier-Breson Realize that the entire art of photography isn’t obligated to stop on a dime because you decided to have children and decided to make yourself paranoid and believe all the Nancy Grace bogeyman stories.

    Shame on you for being a bigot. Yes, you are being a bigot, for assuming that any man with a camera is a creep. What about women with a camera? Have you never heard of Mary Kay LeTourneau? As a man yourself, you should know better than to be prejudiced against one of your very own.

    If the man in question was behaving in a menacing paparazzi-esque manner, I’d agree with you in terms of the rudeness aspect, but apparently no such behavior was observed. Photography, and more specifically street/candid photography, is a legitimate art form, and it’s been around longer than this paranoia. People fear what they don’t understand. Well consider yourself educated, so you now no longer have that as an excuse.

    I am that guy at the park–no, I’m not that particular individual, but I am just like him. I do this all the time when the artistic mood strikes me. I will continue to do it as I see fit. Get over it. Stop being a baby. Stop believing the hysteria and the propaganda machine. Your ignorance is your responsibility, and the enlightened aren’t obligated to dumb down their livelihood on account of other people’s ignorance. Educate yourself and stop being a clown.

    There is no sympathy of which you are deserving. That you are a parent, so what? Many of us are. Heck, that guy at the park may well be. Being a parent, as noble of a pursuit as that is, it is not license to be a clown and to shove your twisted views of the world onto other people who don’t share in your unfortunate paranoia. That photo of your daughter isn’t going to steal her soul, and moreover–no, she has no right to privacy, not in the public she doesn’t. You don’t own her “likeness.” Even though you’re the parent, you don’t get to dictate every single photo of her which exists and what happens to it. There will be photos at school, at the park (ahem), sports activities, friends’ houses. It’s going to happen, and it’s not a big deal. That you choose to make it a big deal means nothing more than that you’re being a paranoid lunatic and operating in the realm of the land of the luney bin.

    That is your problem. Grow up already.

  5. andy November 11, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    It is pretty safe to bet that no matter what topic you choose, someone is going to be stupid about it on the internet. It is also pretty safe to bet that the stupid person will find a group of like minded individuals and they will all validate each others opinions. Since current parents generation is who uses facebook the most, facebook is the place where you find most over the top parenting opinions.

  6. Anna November 11, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    Some of the most famous photos ever are candid shots of children – e.g., Henri Cartier-Bresson’s shots of children playing in the streets, those photos of JFK’s kids at his funeral. . . It must suck to be a photographer with any aspirations to greatness as an artist these days.

  7. Cindy Karnitz November 11, 2015 at 11:07 am #

    What the heck is wrong with our society. Is there nothing more joyful than a picture of happy children at play? The characterization of him taking ‘intimate’ photos – were her kids naked at the public park? Finally, calling the police? What is his offense? Being an artist? Enjoying his day?

    People are positively insane.

  8. Dirk November 11, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    I recently received an email from a parents group I belong to about an older man who was approaching children at a playground near my house. He was hanging out in a large sandbox area and occasionally handing a shovel or what have you from to a child that would walk by. On two separate occasions when asked where his child was or what he was doing he mumbled something about doing a sociological study; when pressed he talked about his rights. The same person kept parking his car very close to the entrance to the point that he was blocking the gate.

    I do not believe the world is unsafe. I believe in free range. I think the odds of anything happening are low. But every case of something “suspicious” isn’t BS. And in this case, I think that taking pictures of kids or people as the focus who you don’t know AND who don’t expect it (meaning a soldier standing guard at a tourist trap expects it) AND who don’t actually know they are being photographed…to take their picture is weird…

  9. Gary November 11, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    Guy freaks out on cameraman for taking “intimate pictures of his kid” yet if you go to his profile that LRH linked and look at his pics he has two pics of who i assume is his daughter buck ass naked playing in the yard, apparently someone doesn’t know how to restrict who can see them, moron.

  10. Doug November 11, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    I’m going to start taking pictures of children playing just to mess with people’s minds.

    Shame is a powerful tool. I think I’m going to start shaming the shrieking moonbats who suffer from gottastuffmynoseinotherpeoplesbusinessitis.

  11. Warren November 11, 2015 at 11:46 am #

    Yeah a guy up to no good is going to stand there and smile while you take his picture.

    Handed him off to the cops? Not sure what happened? Legally what can the police do? Nothing. No crime was committed.

    On the other hand this photographer may have some legal recourse, with the posting and threats that were issued.

    This is going to get out of hand, and morons like this father and his friends are going to end up attacking photographers. Their paranoia will put people in the hospital, and them in prison.

  12. lollipoplover November 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm #


    Yes, PAT actually posted NUDE photos of his own daughter on Facebook for EVERYONE to see.
    Yet he’s getting all butthurt and posts a rant with some random man’s photo, which was shared 821 times, and labeled said stranger in his post as “creepy” for the horrible offense of taking intimate photos in a PUBLIC park.

    Creepy and “intimate” are in the eye of the beholder.

  13. Gary November 11, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    And on the flip side you have this, on November 9th over on the Hypocrisy and Stupidity of Gun Control Advocates fb page there is a post linking another persons page who had an anti-gun woman creep the profile of a 2A advocate women and threaten, and I quote, “Would you mind if I post this picture of your baby on a pedophile’s site.” and “How about this one? I can link them to your profile too!”

    The pictures in question are of the woman holding her NEWBORN daughter…

    The comments did not have the intended effect I think as if I remember correctly the FBI as well as the woman’s employer were notified of her abhorrent behavior and comments, ironically enough the “woman” in question locked her profile down tighter than a whale’s ass shortly thereafter.


  14. Reziac November 11, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    It’s called virtue signalling: Showing everyone else that you’re holy and blessed by displaying an ever-greater level of concern regarding $cause-of-the-day.

  15. Julie November 11, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    Did the “creep” refuse to show him the pictures? Pat says he was shown the pictures and does not indicate that any reluctance was shown in doing so.

    Did the “creep” refuse to delete the pictures at Pat’s request? Pat doesn’t say, and since he doesn’t, given the tone of the rest of Pat’s diatribe, I would be led to believe that the “creep” said, “Sure,” when asked to delete them. Pat would have surely gone on and on about it if the “creep” had refused.

    Sure makes the “creep’s” story sound legit.

    When *does* this even matter? I took in my young cousin for about 6 months while the mom was getting her life in order. The dad was a violent and unstable man, and we had to go to great lengths to try to ensure that the dad did not find out where the child was living out of a real fear of him trying to abduct her (he had threatened) and/or harming my family trying to get her.

    We told the school she could not be in pictures that may be published in the paper or in postings in the paper like honor roll or perfect attendance so her name would not show up. We asked the teachers and other parents at the small school we had her in to be sure they didn’t share pictures publicly that included her (on Facebook, etc.) We limited taking her into public places where there was a particular risk that others may photograph her and post on Facebook, etc. When we were out in public, we kept an eye open for cases like this where a stranger may be photographing her so we could ask them to delete photos of her for her safety. The dad used to live in the small community where we live. It was VERY hard to try to give her a normal child life while still trying to “hide” her.

    Was it overkill? Maybe. I wasn’t too keen on testing it.

    Did Pat have some kind of similar concern? Sure doesn’t seem like it.

  16. hineata November 11, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    I would like to take the time to formulate a good response to Pat, but I’m too busy getting my camera ready to take creepy photos of kids….

    @Gary – thanks for the link to that crazy Facebook site. Had a good laugh.

  17. Gary November 11, 2015 at 12:58 pm #


    That site isn’t the crazy one as much as it is pointing out the craziness of the anti’s.

  18. Stacey November 11, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    How would they have responded to someone sitting at an easel painting? I guess all of those impressionists were also pedophiles eh?

  19. Rook November 11, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    There was a guy at a playground when some of my husband’s cousins and their kids were. He asked permission to take pictures of their kids and got some good candid shots of them. Of course, he was also with the newspaper and doing an article on how the well the community park was doing, so I think that was a swaying factor. But the point is that he was not a predator and he was also being courteous and professional. And I do think photographers should ask permission, whether amateur or professional. I really hate how entitled this generation is. They think they can do what they want, when they want, to whomever they want, and none of them have any concept of boundaries. It doesn’t take that much effort to use “please” and “thank you”. Open communication also keeps down on misunderstandings, like the presumption a man with a camera near kids is a serial killer.

  20. Warren November 11, 2015 at 1:14 pm #


    What about your sense of entitlement? Everyone knows that when you are out in public, there is no privacy. No expectation of privacy.

    If you are at the park, because you want to be there, should you not ask people’s permission to share the space with them?

    Why should a photographer ask your permission to pursue their hobby? Now like with the newspaper photographer, yes they want permission and in most places need it, because a person’s likeness is going to be published.

    Why are people so freaked out about their picture being taken? I thought we were well past the days of believing that picture taking also takes a person’s soul. Paranoia and entitlement, what a combination.

  21. lollipoplover November 11, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    I’ve told the story of the time I confronted a man who was taking pictures of my daughter so many times, but being that it’s Veteran’s Day, and the man I confronted served in 2 wars, I’ll share again.

    He was taking pictures with a huge camera on a tripod far off from all of the families at the soccer fields when I noticed him taking pictures of my daughter. I didn’t get a creepy feeling so much as wanting to know what he was taking the photos for..and his camera was pretty cool too. I walked over and introduced myself and told him he had a nice camera. He told me about his camera and how great it takes action shots and he was there taking photos of his granddaughter. He asked which girl on the team was mine and he knew her right away. He had taken quite a few pictures of her over the course of the season (I never noticed) and was able to catch her with her tongue sticking out and totally focused on the ball. He liked taking pictures of her as she was very animated in action. My crappy camera could never capture such amazing shots.

    I’ve seen him now probably 6 seasons (he’s slowed down with knee surgeries and doesn’t make as many games) but he always has pictures he prints out to give me of my daughter. He’s also told me that he’s been increasingly asked to not take photos at games unless he’s with the family- single men with cameras are under increased suspicion at youth sports events.

    This man served in 2 wars to fight for our country. Why on earth would anyone deny him the right to take photos of his granddaughter at a public park? Or worse, take his photo and spread it like a paranoia virus on social media to identify “creepy” people who committed no crime?

  22. hineata November 11, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    Actually these crazy stories remind me of that wonderful scene in Crocodile Dundee when the American woman is trying to take a photo of one of Croc’s young Aboriginal friends.

    Young man: Hey, miss, you can’t take a photo.

    A. Woman: Oh, that’s right, it will take your soul…

    YM (snorting or some such): Nah….you got the lense cap on!

  23. Puzzled November 11, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    At least he wasn’t trying to take pictures of college students at a protest. “I need some muscle over here!”

    Anyway, this guy and his friends sound like the creeps to me. They are the ones sexualizing children at play. It takes a sick mind to attribute sexual motives to everyone who looks at children (pictures are only extended looking).

  24. Denise November 11, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    True story- I’m a member of a smallish group of people with a common interest in historical recreation. I took my 4 year old daughter to her first event and she got bored and started playing with some other kids. I went over and actually played with her for a few minutes. One person complained we were too noisy so I had her quiet down as long as he was around (even though we were 50 feet from the others and she wasn’t loud!)

    A person who had been published in the New York Times and National Geographic took a picture of us playing and posted it among other pictures of the event. A friend tagged me on facebook.

    I thanked the photographer- it is a wonderful gift for me to have of those fleeting seconds of us just being mother and daughter. Its’ not the best picture she’ll ever have done, but was done by the most ‘credentialed’ photographer likely ever to take her picture.

    I thanked the photographer profusely. No one had taken a picture of the two of us at play before.

  25. Dhewco November 11, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

    I’ve said it before. I don’t like taking photos of people who know they’re getting their picture taken. It changes their attitude and you can’t take truly candid shots that way. Besides, I can’t imagine that a middle aged, overweight, jobless guy like myself could get permission. I’m not a perv and taking pictures such as these is more about reminding me of happier times, but I doubt most people would believe me. (could be my own insecurities, but I’ve seen some parents today, woohoo)

  26. hineata November 11, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    Dhewco – some days I would love to have a coffee with you. You sum up middle age so well☺.

    Seriously, you sound like a decent bloke. Don’t put yourself down….

  27. Dee November 11, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    The funny part (to me) is following the link shared to this guy’s FB page is that this guy looks pretty sketchy himself, IMO. And the guy who was taking pics looks like some retired guy just looking for something to fill his time with a new hobby…say, photography.

    His friends are obviously all testosterone-driven machos. They are egging him on to prove their own manhood.

  28. Liz November 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    If taking pictures of children playing was a crime, how many famous photographers would be in prison today?
    Kids are adorable. Kids are happy when they play, which makes them more adorable. That’s why parents take pictures of their kids playing. These kids aren’t nude. They aren’t sexualized. The guy wasn’t touching himself while taking pictures. So she thinks he’s creepy and that’s the barometer for if someone’s a criminal?
    At the end of the first episode of “The Jim Gaffigan Show” two of their single, male friends take their kids to the park. One is inside playing with the kids. The other is on the other side of the fence. When asked why he wasn’t coming in, he said that being male with no kids of his own would get him arrested. Guess what? A cop comes over to talk to him, and when he doesn’t like his response takes him away. At least they made a joke out of it, but that’s pretty darn honest for the current situation of men around or just near parks.

  29. bmommyx2 November 11, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    Wow, talk about crazy. I wonder what her definition of “sketchy” is? I would think if he truly was sketchy you would not want to approach him & just let the police handle it. If he truly was a predator I think he would have taken off as soon as his cover was blown. It’s a public park & everyone has a right to be there even sketchy people with cameras. Last I checked it’s not illegal to photograph people out in public. I would think breaking his camera would be assault & you could be liable for damages. How exactly can you take an intimate photo of child with clothing on?

  30. Jay November 11, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    Interesting how taking pictures of someone for personal, non-commercial use isn’t a criminal offense but the assault the poster indulged in (and the threats of battery the commenters piled on) are. More and more I wonder if I’ve somehow slipped through a portal into backwards land.

  31. E November 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm #


    Can people expect some level of common courtesy? I mean, I don’t have to hold open doors for people, but I do. I don’t have to greet a store clerk with “Hi, how are you?”, but I do.

    I don’t think we need to resort to “it’s not against the law” in order to determine the best way to treat fellow humans. That’s childish thinking imo.

    I don’t support the way this person greeted the photographer, but I also don’t agree with someone with a digital camera snapping a lot of photos of someone else’s kids w/o at least explaining “Hi, I just got a new camera and I’d like to practice on people, do you mind?”. What’s wrong with doing that?

    It makes no sense to expect every person/parent to know who Henri Cartier-Breson is or even care what someone did decades ago, in the pre-digital and internet age did with film photography. He didn’t have the ability to share the photos with ‘the world’ w/o being published (meaning 3rd parties were involved). He couldn’t burn thru 100s of photos w/o any significant cost.

  32. E November 11, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    The html tags ate what I tried to quote in my post above:

    “Newsflash: you are in a public place. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to any expectation of privacy with respect to you, your children, your friends, anybody. You are in a public place. Get a clue. Educate yourself. ”

    The thing I find strange now? Why are people posting his FB page and going off to read it? That’s so odd to me. Here is a person not like you — there are millions of them.

  33. E November 11, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    @Warren, journalists are not req’d to get permission (in the US anyway). It’s considered freedom of the press.

  34. BL November 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    “I thought we were well past the days of believing that picture taking also takes a person’s soul.”

    I don’t think even the Amish believe that any more (yes, there are Amish around where I live).

  35. lollipoplover November 11, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    “The thing I find strange now? Why are people posting his FB page and going off to read it? That’s so odd to me. Here is a person not like you — there are millions of them.”

    Because this was a Facebook post. Yes, there are millions of them every minute, too.
    He posted a photo (and took a picture without permission, much like the crime he was accusing this creepy man of doing) of a random man and called him out as a creep and his post was shared over 800 times. Because HE posted this photo, it also links back to HIS profile, which includes nude photos of his own daughter. It is ODD.

  36. EricS November 11, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

    People that jump the gun, and go immediately to violent retaliation for something that is neither illegal, or harmful to the children, are just as bad as the “predators” they are afraid of. It’s a mob mentality, plain and simple. No one hears or wants to hear the whole story. They are just going purely on emotion, and misguided notions.

    This also makes them as dangerous as real predators. They may not attacking children, but they are attacking people without just cause. And last I read, that’s assault, and it’s illegal. Stupid is as stupid does. Don’t encourage bad behavior. Whole story first, then use common sense, chances are you’ll probably end feeling pretty stupid because of what you thought of doing to someone who is more than likely innocent of any wrong doing.

    Once you do, you can’t take back. Make sure you do the right and smart thing.

  37. EricS November 11, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    Anyone have a link to this idiots FB page?

  38. E November 11, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    I don’t have to go to the guy’s FB page to know I’d find things odd there…the excerpts indicate that he/I don’t share a general sense of conduct or speech or communication.

    But I’m the wrong person to comment on FB anyway — I don’t even have it for people I know or are related to. I’m certainly not the LEAST bit interested in someone I don’t know.

    This has gotten a bit to convoluted for me. Someone here is saying that the Pat person’s post is assault — but doing so in a forum where people have a) posted his first/last name and link to his FB page and b) been called various names “paranoid” “delusional” “sick mind” “creep” “sketchy”.

    So we’re cool with labeling someone but they can’t? I mean, this is all so strange to me.

  39. M. November 11, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    Am I the only parent out there that just doesn’t think this is a big deal? Even if this guy WAS a pervert who would use photos of a child at the park in an untoward way (I absolutely do not think this), how is this hurting the child, exactly? I mean, I certainly don’t LIKE the idea of some creep having pictures of my kid, but if this extremely unlikely event did occur, how would I ever even know about it? How would my kid ever know? How is it causing my kid harm for this to happen? It just isn’t. I mean, a picture of my fully clothed kid going about his kid business? You can find that on my Facebook page…wonder if Pat there puts pics of her own kids up on social media?

    Furthermore, the supreme court decided a long time ago that we have no expectation of privacy when we are outside our homes. It is not illegal to take pictures of children and people like Pat have no right whatsoever to demand them to erase pictures they’ve taken.

  40. Dhewco November 11, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

    Thanks, Hineata. I appreciate the sentiment.

    As to E, there’s nothing wrong with asking. However, once you ask permission, the ‘candid’ nature goes out the window. When I was around 27 and got my first phone with a digital camera, I asked my then gf’s best friend if she minded me taking candids of her kid. She gave me permission because we knew each other. However, the kids…before I could even pull the phone out started acting differently. They were looking toward me, acting crazy, and basically haming it up for a camera they couldn’t know was there.

    Before you say it’s because I showed up, that’s not true. We’d been watching them together for at least half an hour. They were also not used to me taking pictures because it was a very rare occasion for me to do so.

    So, I can only guess one of two things was happening. They picked up unconscious tells from the adults, or they just ‘happened’ to start acting differently. Needless to say (at least for me) the moment I wanted to capture was gone. That’s another reason I don’t ask. I realize what I’m saying my be somewhat contrary, but it’s how I feel. I think kids pick up tells from their parents much easier than a stranger. So, I don’t let the parents know.

    Of course, I don’t do this at all anymore. I’m so anti-confrontation that I don’t risk some parent going nuts. My smartphone isn’t very conducive for a sneaky snapshot.


  41. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

    “Even if this guy WAS a pervert who would use photos of a child at the park in an untoward way (I absolutely do not think this), how is this hurting the child, exactly? I mean, I certainly don’t LIKE the idea of some creep having pictures of my kid, but if this extremely unlikely event did occur, how would I ever even know about it?

    Blame it on TV. Every cop show that has a kidnapped child, when they go to the bad guy’s house (somehow, they always JUST miss catching him at home), they poke around and… there’s a little obsession shrine, with dozens and dozens of photos of the kid in purely innocuous poses. This tells them A) they have the right guy and B) they must all rush off now to wherever the kid is, because cut to the bad guy abducting the kid in all the photos.

  42. JKP November 11, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

    “I also don’t agree with someone with a digital camera snapping a lot of photos of someone else’s kids w/o at least explaining “Hi, I just got a new camera and I’d like to practice on people, do you mind?”. What’s wrong with doing that?”

    Because if you ask permission first, it’s impossible to get candid shots.

    Because if you’re taking pictures of many different people in a crowd of people, it’s impossible to individually ask each one in advance.

    Because you can’t pause the perfect action shot while you run over to ask permission first.

    Because it fuels the entitlement of people who believe they have a right not to be photographed when they are in public and by virtue of the fact they are in PUBLIC should have ZERO expectation to privacy.

    Think about it this way: If you were at a park playing with your kids, and a couple strangers came into the same park and found an empty corner of grass to start playing frisbee, would you think it was rude of them not to ask your permission first? Of course not. Photographers are just the same: they go to a public space so that they can enjoy their hobby and they’re not interfering with you doing your thing at the same place.

    I don’t know why people starting thinking that photographers need permission to take photos. Everyday the newsstands are plastered with photos of political figures and celebrities who had their photos taken in public, often in not very flattering situations. Do you think the photographer asked the CEO being led away in handcuffs, “Do you mind if I take your photo?” Or the celebrity on the beach in a bikini?

    ” journalists are not req’d to get permission (in the US anyway). It’s considered freedom of the press.”

    Actually, photography is protected under freedom of speech, which applies to everyone, not just journalists.

  43. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    “Furthermore, the supreme court decided a long time ago that we have no expectation of privacy when we are outside our homes.”

    Fortunately for us, they did not do this. Wiretapping of “public” telephones and video surveillance of “public” bathrooms are just two examples.

  44. Cassie November 11, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    I have a blonde haired blue eyed daughter and she is always getting her photo taken by strangers (usually Asian tourists)

    Especially if we go to a tourist destination – where we often find ourselves mobbed, and asian men and women ask if they can hold her while they take photos with her (and I am happy to oblige as long as my daughter is comfortable.). She is usually rewarded with a lolly – sacre bleu!!.

    Once I sat on a park bench watching her play when a group of tourists walked past… and then I watched as they doubled back and stood taking photos of her with huge ipads.

    Somewhere in Asia there are quite a few photos of my daughter floating around. I often wonder if I will ever come across a blog with her photo in it (and some version of “When I was in Australia we saw such gorgeous kids).

    I am not even a tiny bit concerned, and I look forward to telling her about it when she is older.

  45. E November 11, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

    @M — I think for people who have fear or concern probably just think differently than you. And that’s okay. I know someone who freaks out about unlocked doors while I don’t. And they’ve lived for 50 years and never had anyone walk into (or break into) their home. It’s just their thing.

    I’m guessing if they don’t understand why someone would want to take the photos (and that’s part of it — if you can’t put yourself into someone else’s shoes long enough to evaluate it from a non-negative vewpoint) then there must be a unpleasant reason. I mean it could be anything? The idea of the kid’s image used by other creepy people….the idea that someone might be keeping track of what kids play at the playground.

    Who knows.

    Sure, the person can legally take photos of other people’s children. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a better way to handle it by all parties.

    I used to take photos of sports my kids played. Club, HS, whatever. I took photos at awards assemblies and Sr recognition night (upon request). I loaded them to Flickr so people could grab them. I got an email from a mom (it happened to be a stepmom, but I have no idea if that factored in) asking me to take down the photo that included her. It was a polite email and I did so immediately. It’s not my concern that I didn’t have to. I did it because someone didn’t like that experience. That’s enough for me. It’s called….being courteous.

  46. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    “Because if you ask permission first, it’s impossible to get candid shots.”

    I believe the suggestion is to ask permission from the parents to photograph the kids… it’s the parents who care about it.
    I’m a volunteer in a fairly large event that involves hundreds of children. They take candid photos, and they ask each and every one of the kids’ parents* for permission to do so before photographing any of them.

    * OK, strictly speaking, they’re only asking one parent per child, not all the parents.

  47. Dhewco November 11, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    there’s a difference between removing/deleting a photo after a shot and asking permission first. Of course, if someone asked me to delete a photo of their precious, I would do so. I don’t share my photography anyway. If someone saw me take my surreptious shot, I would delete it if they ask.

    However, that’s after I’ve got my candid. If I asked permission first, it’s no longer a candid.

  48. lollipoplover November 11, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

    There absolutely has to be a better way to be courteous to one another and civil but it does not start out like this:

    “I had him show me the photos and he had a bunch of intimate shots of my daughter and a bunch of other children playing. My blood began to boil so I said to erase any photos of my daughter or I’m going to break his camera. I also told him whatever the circumstance it’s not ok for him to be at a park taking photos of little kids playing.”

    Threatening to break someone’s camera? Saying he has no right to be at a park taking photos of little kids playing? Plastering this man’s photo all over social media like the community creeper?
    Yes, he probably could have asked for permission first. But even without permission, does anyone deserve to be treated like this for a few photographs that will likely never make it off that SIM card?

  49. E November 11, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

    Every post I’ve posted points out that “Pat” handled it wrong. I just happen to believe that the photog didn’t either.

  50. JKP November 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    ” I just happen to believe that the photog didn’t either.”

    But how did the photographer handle it wrong? He didn’t threaten, harrass, or say anything to this father. He may have even deleted the photos as requested.

    The only thing the photographer did “wrong” is not ask permission. Which actually is NOT wrong.

  51. Donald November 11, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    We saw a great example of how neurotic people can get about Halloween costume insensitivity. The girl was clearly upset because she didn’t feel safe.

    How do you raise children to be so emotional fragile that is will last into the college years?

    One way you can do this is to teach your children that every man with a camera is a danger.

  52. LRH November 11, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    I commented earlier, and I am going to comment again with very emphatic language.

    It is like the one person “M” said–he’s a parent, and he has the sense to realize this is no big deal. Exactly, and to go one further, those parents who think it is–frankly, to heck with them. I say snap anyway, and if they ask you to delete, don’t, or “fake delete”–that is, yes, delete it, but then immediately remove the memory card (I use real cameras, not smartphones) and insert another, and you can later recover the deleted image off the 1st card since an image really isn’t “deleted” unless some new image has been taken and has been written in the same location as the “deleted” one. They never have to know.

    Why be courteous? Really, why? In general I do practice the principle of thinking of others vs just myself, but this is different to me because it’s becoming too common and, to be blunt, it’s ignorant, and the pursuit of a fine art form is suffering because of it. They’re being ridiculous and why should a fine art form or the pursuit of it suffer due to inferior thinking? That’s where I’m going to be blunt, if not downright ugly, and I don’t care–it isn’t DIFFERENT thinking, it’s INFERIOR thinking when you get so all worked up over a photo of your child. It’s just ignorant, delusional, irrational, paranoid, and to be blunt–stupid.

    I’m not talking about getting right in someone’s face or taking pictures, say, of someone in a really embarrassing situation (food in their open mouths, a stain from where they fell in the mud etc and they’re in tears or the like). I’m talking about shots that are nice, shots that show the joy of life, shots that are not meant to embarrass anyone. We’re not talking about the paparazzi here. Just stop with the hysteria already. Really–get over it already. Stop being ridiculous. Get professional help, seriously.

    What do i with in the company of friends? Fortunately, I’ve not have any make an issue of this, those who know me, and I’m glad they haven’t, because if they were to become paranoid, I don’t know that I could be around them much anymore, and I’d even tell them so and why. We might now become “demoted” to where we just meet for lunch every 2-3 months to “catch up” and that’s it, I’d no longer have anything to do with them otherwise.

    I can’t be around them and, say, be participating in their child’s birthday parties and then have to suppress my totally natural and non-threatening desire to take photos of the occasion for remembering it. If they wish for me to keep it off of social media, I could probably meet them halfway there, but to go along with not taking photos at all–no, I couldn’t do that. I have other friends who don’t mind me taking photos, I’m easy going about it no fuss no drama, they’re not freaking out, and we get along great. I prefer to be around those persons, not paranoid ones addicted to Nancy (Dis)Grace.

    In public, I take photos as I see fit, in a non-aggressive and pushy manner, but yes if someone takes issue with me, I explain what I’m doing, I show them past photos I’ve taken, and assure them I’m not up to anything sneaky. I’m fine with doing that. HOWEVER, the minute they continue to be the same way and ask me to stop, I don’t. I tell them nicely I haven’t come this far, dealing with the limitations of film roadblocking me for 20-odd years, only to now be liberated via digital only to then encounter another roadblock in the form of irrational paranoia. No, I’m not going to compromise on this. I’ll stay out of the way and be discrete, I’m not going to be up in anybody’s face like the paparazzi or follow people around, but I’m not deleting diddly and I’m surely not going to stop taking photos altogether. If they insist, I might then suggest that they call the local psychiatric ward because dealing with the mentally insane isn’t my responsibility.

    Sorry, but I see no reason to be “courteous” here. Respecting other’s feelings, most time I’m cool with that, but not here, not when the paranoia and hysteria is frankly ignorant. I don’t submit to ignorant thinking.

  53. E November 11, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    IMO (and it’s just mine…and maybe Pat’s lol), I think you are inviting questions if you plop down at a playground and take photos of other people’s small children. Everyone knows photos can be uploaded and shared in a literal instant.

    Let’s shift the venue. If a photog shows up at a gym and starts taking photos of an exercise class, I have no doubt that someone (maybe several people) would wonder why. It could be for the club’s website, for their FB page, for an ad, or even because someone wanted to practice their photography. But someone would ask. It would probably be easier if the instructor just said “so and so is taking photos of our class for X purpose, if you don’t want to be in them, stay on this side of the room” or whatever.

    I guess I just feel like if I’m not put out by being aware of other people’s concerns, it’s not that crazy or farfetched to think other people could be.

    YMMV and clearly does. 🙂

  54. Donald November 11, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    “Pat needs to see a doctor to control these paranoid and delusional thoughts.”

    Children don’t always listen to their parents. However they never fail to mimic them.

    Good example you’re setting. You must be proud of being such a good role model

    “Great job Pat!” “Good karma is coming your way” “Great job Pat! You could have cracked him in his noggin, and I’m sure it was hard not to, but you did the right thing. Way to go. You ROCK Pat. That’s more important than the best barrel ride of your life!! Makes my blood boil just reading it. See you in a couple days.”

    Sounds like her child has a whole group of role models.

  55. Puzzled November 11, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

    Blame it on TV. Every cop show that has a kidnapped child, when they go to the bad guy’s house (somehow, they always JUST miss catching him at home), they poke around and… there’s a little obsession shrine, with dozens and dozens of photos of the kid in purely innocuous poses. This tells them A) they have the right guy and B) they must all rush off now to wherever the kid is, because cut to the bad guy abducting the kid in all the photos.

    And that people can’t tell how conditional probability works…

  56. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

    “Every post I’ve posted points out that “Pat” handled it wrong. I just happen to believe that the photog didn’t either.”

    It’s fairly common to assume that if you criticize one side of an argument, you must therefore belong heart-and-soul to the other side. Also, to assume that any complex issue has exactly two possible positions that can be taken.

  57. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

    “Sorry, but I see no reason to be “courteous” here. Respecting other’s feelings, most time I’m cool with that, but not here, not when the paranoia and hysteria is frankly ignorant. I don’t submit to ignorant thinking.”

    So, if someone (or a group of someones) decides to stand directly between you and whatever it is you’d like to photograph, that’s OK? After all, it’s not illegal to stand between you and something you’d like to photograph, and you see no value in courtesy, so…

  58. Beth November 11, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    I was out at “whilst”. So pretentious.

  59. pentamom November 11, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

    Of course it’s possible to take intimate pictures.

    It’s not possible to take intimate pictures of “a bunch of children playing,” given the context we’re talking about.

  60. pentamom November 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

    E — the difference between people at the gym and a bunch of children playing out in the open is precisely the difference that makes the two situations not analogous.

  61. Jessica November 11, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    Did anyone catch that this guy also posted a pic of the guy’s license plate as well? It’s in the comments section of the same page. From what I understand, this in and of itself is not illegal, but the fact that he called him a creep and implied he was a child predator may be grounds for a defamation case. Hope he follows through and I hope it’s wildly public when it happens. People need to understand that this kind of reaction is over the top and legally prosecutable while taking pics in a public space is not.

  62. Brian42 November 11, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    Isn’t this more about peoples’ fear of condemnation from other fragile people rather than an actual fear of strangers?

    The media is known to allow airing of fake news stories made by social engineers. The engineers then sit back and enjoy the fact that no one dares to question authority (aka aggressive people who claim to protect society).

    This attitude is in my opinon a perverse (no pun intended) way of gaining a form of social credit among a fringe group of society.

  63. James Pollock November 11, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    “the fact that he called him a creep and implied he was a child predator may be grounds for a defamation case.”

    Not here. Calling someone a “creep” is clearly opinion, and opinion is not defamation. He didn’t call him a child predator, he called him a person who takes photos of children for no apparent reason beyond his own amusement, which appears to be true, and truth is a defense to defamation.

    There are vague suggestions that a complaint of unlawful detainment MIGHT apply, but without finding out more details of what actually happened, it’s just a “maybe”.

  64. Papilio November 11, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    “were her kids naked at the public park?”

    YES! I wish someone had asked him (apparently Pat is a Patrick) that! And if the kid was clothed, “Then what’s the problem?”

  65. Brian42 November 11, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    I think the reaction is the same anyone who looks poor (or just tired) might get from narcissistic store clerks when looking at any or maybe just particularly expensive items.

  66. Donald November 11, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

    Con artist search for people that are gullible. By the same token, Bullies search for people that are emotionally frail. This isn’t rocket science! Insecure people attract people that are abusive. This is one of the biggest reasons for domestic violence.

    I don’t understand why people like Patrick congratulate themselves for being an awesome parent. “I’m doing such a great job of parenting teaching my child that everything is dangerous”.

  67. Uly November 11, 2015 at 11:45 pm #

    Wait. So it’s wrong and bad for him to take pics of a playground, but it’s just peachy for her to take a pic of him and post it up on her FB with some juicy libel added in?

  68. Kay November 12, 2015 at 2:06 am #

    My husband is treated this way at the park for taking pictures of our son! He’s also looked at, wierd for being a dad alone at the park with their kid. It makes me so angry! He’s an involved dad and shouldn’t be treated that way. I’m sorry if your precious snowflake is in the background of a pic with MY child. I assure you don’t even notice them.

  69. sexhysteria November 12, 2015 at 2:48 am #

    Street photography has a long and respected history, and some of the most famous street photographers take pictures of kids they don’t know in parks, etc. Although that is still acceptable in continental Europe, considering the mass hysteria over child nudity and child sexuality in some other countries there should be more attention to educating the public about what is normal behavior. There are also opportunities to identify violent hysterics and get them hospitalized before they hurt any innocent photographers.

  70. lele November 12, 2015 at 5:56 am #

    As a photographer, in a very non professional, just a hobby type of way, this is stupid.

    First of all if the person taking pictures was really doing something wrong, would that person show a question asker the pictures? No the picture taker would not.

    Secondly, to a artistic eye, with a camera, alot can seem beautiful…children playing at a park, birds, trees, adults playing chess, mountains, flowers, idk. Name it, theres beauty in so much. And people jump to make it ugly. And act all violent about it. Disgusting….

  71. lele November 12, 2015 at 6:01 am #

    Addition to my comment, if he was a she, that would have been fine I bet….ridiculous.

  72. Greg November 12, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    I disagree with the hate filled rhetoric, but it is a fact that children still get abducted everyday in this country. Someone with no child is at a park taking pictures of random children; that is sketchy and should be reported to the police. I live in a small town and a man was doing the very same thing. I walked towards him to ask him what he was doing there and he bolted towards a blue van. I grabbed his license plate and gave it to the police. They pulled him over a few blocks later to question him and he had tape, rope, duct tape and a sleeping bag in the back of the van as well as a bag of candy and children’s books…..and nothing else.

    Be the sheepdog….protect the sheep.

  73. James Pollock November 12, 2015 at 7:32 am #

    So, Greg, you’re telling me that this guy owned both a camera AND a van?

    How wonderful that your police are responsive enough to be able to pull over a vehicle without probable cause on such short notice, and that they feel a need to report to you what they find when they do.

  74. lesley smart November 12, 2015 at 7:44 am #

    You did the right thing my friend…..I know it’s hard not to hurt some one like that but letting the law take care of it was better for you…If you did something you be in the can not him…great job looking out for your child as well as other children…God Bless you friend

  75. Katie November 12, 2015 at 8:17 am #

    BL- for what it’s worth, the Amish objection to photography is based on the commandment against graven images.

  76. E November 12, 2015 at 8:18 am #

    @pentamom — ok, shift my example to a group of people (let’s say women for example’s sake) are taking a boot camp in a public park and someone is snapping photos of them. I suspect someone would ask why they are taking photos, what’s the purpose etc.

    I am not interested in my image, in the middle of a workout, to be used for anything. That’s just my preference. I’m not concerned about anything that involves a fear, it’s just my preference.

    I just think it’s naive to keep comparing these scenarios to famous street photography. It’s not the case and the technical aspects of it (due to wifi, mobile technology, the internet, digital photography, cost) change the number and kind of uses as compared to anything even even just 10+ years ago.

    Pat’s behavior was that of a bully, yes.

  77. LRH November 12, 2015 at 8:21 am #

    LeLe is right. Street photography is a legitimate art form, a beautiful thing, and neither the 1 in 3 million weirdos nor the paranoid should be allowed to ruin in.

    And Greg, with all due respect, that one incident is not justification for every solitaire photographer to be harassed, and certainly not the “pitchfork mentality” we saw from those idiot posters. Female teachers (and not just Mary Kay LeTourenau) have done awful things to children, should all teachers be investigated? I agree that there are “gut feelings” which one can have and turn out to be right, and no one wants evil to go unchecked, but such is NOT cause for discrimination towards every person of a specific profile, else we might as well start shooting every African-American teen wearing a hoodie whom we see.


  78. lele November 12, 2015 at 8:22 am #

    Apparently I should repeat from my post, so recent I shouldn’t have too bother. If this guy was so offensive & doing something so police worthy, would he have shown his pictures to this up on a podium facebook person? Again. No. Get over yourselves. Its not hate on here, its called logic. And reasoning. And empirical thinking.

  79. LRH November 12, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    And E, you have the right to your FEELINGS with respect to your preference but in public–tough. I agree I could see the CURIOSITY aspect compelling one to ask why someone would be photographing that, and they can certainly REQUEST that the photog stop, and the photog shouldn’t be shooting in an aggressive/harassing sort of way.

    Besides that, though–in public, you have no right to DEMAND and ASSERT your “privacy,” nor should you be able to.


  80. lele November 12, 2015 at 8:32 am #

    @greg, that last post was for you, I’m sorry I forgot to specify.

  81. E November 12, 2015 at 8:39 am #

    @LRH — I might have no “legal” basis in demanding you stop or remove the photos, but if I’m talking about my right aka prerogative to ask someone to do something, of course I do. In a free speech society, I certainly have the right to speak to someone.

    Being rude isn’t against the law either. But I don’t recommend that either.

  82. lele November 12, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    @LRH- agreed on everything you have posted!

  83. Warren November 12, 2015 at 9:22 am #


    Please oh please tell us where you get your information. Because all our sources do not have child abductions happening every day.

    And what kind of police dept. do you have that reveals information to you about any investigation?

    And please stop watching Law and Order SVU, because you are confusing one of their episodes with real life.

    lesley smart,

    God Bless you my friend? Really? What kind of christian advocates for this guys actions and judgment? None that I know.

  84. LaMom November 12, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    I probably would’ve asked the guy for copies, if they were any good. Due to the fact that I suck at photography, lol.

  85. Dhewco November 12, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    Um, I keep duct tape and rope in my car. It has many uses, especially in emergency hose repair. (For the quick trip to the mechanic or what have you) Patching a broken window when you don’t have money for the Safelite people. I used to have a sleeping bag in my car. I would leave it there because I went camping from time to time and was too lazy to pull it from the trunk.

    And, if you came running up to me, obviously hostile, I would wait to see what you wanted. I’m non-confrontational and wouldn’t stand my ground no matter how right my intentions. It’s just not worth the hassle to defend my picture taking.

    As to the candy and children’s books, when my ex gf’s kids were little, they would often leave such things in my car. I’m a diabetic and I’d have candy in my car just for me.

    In fairness, all those things together are a little pause enducing. However, it does not a pedophile make. Also, I wonder why the police told you all this. Is cousin Billy Bob the chief?


  86. Annie November 12, 2015 at 11:27 am #

    Lesley Smart – “You did the right thing my friend…..I know it’s hard not to hurt some one like that but letting the law take care of it was better for you…If you did something you be in the can not him…great job looking out for your child as well as other children…God Bless you friend”

    There was nothing for the LAW to take care of! The photographer is not doing anything wrong by taking photographs in a public park. Pat was NOT looking out for his kid, he was being a sanctimonious bully who had to share with FB how pious he is being.

    Would you be so “you did the right thing” if that was your husband taking candid photos in the park and a bully harassed him, threatened him with violence and called the cops? I imagine you wouldn’t, because now your life is turned upside down while you defend him legally and in the court of public opinion as the neighbors now think your husband is some uncontrollable child molester.

    By thanking Pat and praising him, you just perpetuate the idea that any man = creepy abductor child molester. I shudder for my grown nephews and my growing step-sons. How horrible to be innocent at 16 and become the boogeyman at 18.

  87. MichaelF November 12, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    “Someone with no child is at a park taking pictures of random children; that is sketchy and should be reported to the police.”

    Is it? Why? Because everyone doing it has a blue van readied for a child to visit?

    I think not.

    It’s a witch hunt is what its becoming, just like McCarthyism in the 1950’s there is no defense because once the accusation is made it can never be taken back. The accused life is ruined and there is no recourse. Cover it all as much as you like with cries of save the children but that is not what is happening overall.

  88. Donna November 12, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

    E – There are many different opinions on what is being “courteous.” Personally, I don’t believe that courtesy requires that I ask for permission for taking photos of people doing their thing in a public park, allowing someone to look through my pictures or an obligation to delete pictures from any place that I have them. I may do any of these things if asked under various circumstances, but it is not rude if I do not any more than it is rude to not concede to any other unreasonable demand of someone else. Context is going to determine whether the request is reasonable or not.

    It makes abolutely no sense whatsoever to demand that courtesy requires that you must ask permission before taking candid shots of children playing in public. This is a moving target. By the time the photographer tracks down the parents of the children he wants to photograph and asks permission, the kids have long moved and the image that he sought permission to capture no longer exists.

  89. Warren November 12, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    What worries me about this whole thing, is Pat and his friends. These are the types of morons to get drunk, and go hunting for this photographer.

    Since Pat got a picture of him, and his license plate, I would urge the local police to look into the threats being made on facebook to this guy.

  90. hineata November 12, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    @Greg – I have yet to see a sheepdog approach the police about someone taking photos in a public park. If you have, kindly take a photo – candid of course – and post it here.

    And ditto to Dhewco’s comment – my husband’s car ( and van also) contains all manner of duct tape, tools, blankets and random other implements that could be used for nefarious purposes. So do the vehicles of most tradesmen.

  91. hineata November 12, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    But then again, as I repeat ad nauseum because around the issue of public phototaking it amuses me, my husband is an Asian, and can therefore take photos in public without restriction.

    Works like magic, that wee piece of racial profiling.

  92. Mr.Dabble November 12, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    If you look at his page there is a pic of his daughter nude jumping on a trampoline. You can only see her backside but for someone that is worried about creepers at the park he should practice some restraint on FB.


  93. Warren November 12, 2015 at 1:18 pm #


    The thing is with sheepdogs or any dog that has been bred to protect livestock, they know which are the predators and which are harmless.

    We have a Great Pyrenese, and I have watched her completely ignore most wildlife on the grounds, but when there is coyotes around, she takes great pleasure and pride putting the run on them.

    Greg on the other hand would just shoot em all including the flock, just to be on the safe side. Never know when one sheep will go psycho and take out the flock.

  94. John November 12, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    Looking at this from a common sense point of view, the father said in his post that the guy “had a bunch of intimate shots of my daughter”. Now I have no idea what he means by “intimate”? If the perpetrator asked the little girl to sit down on the grass so he could take her picture and then asked her to position her legs a certain way, I can then understand what the father was getting at when he used the term “intimate”. If this person was taking individual photos of kids and asking them to pose a certain way, I can understand parents’ concerns and that could be a red flag. People just don’t do that. BUT from his description I don’t think that is what the guy was doing.

    Photographing a bunch of little kids playing because you’re trying to capture a special moment is not, or at least should not be, considered inappropriate. Americans and Westerners in general, need to use some common sense here. Either way, however, the father over reacted as did all those other nutcases commenting about it on his Facebook account. If he were to break the man’s camera as he threatened, he should be arrested for property damage and be held liable. A photo is a photo is a photo and it doesn’t hurt a child anymore than it does an adult ASSUMING THE CHILD IS NOT ASKED TO COMPROMISE HIS OR HER DIGNITY BY SHEDDING THEIR CLOTHES OR BEING ASKED TO POSE IN A PROVOCATIVE WAY, ETC. As an adult, I would feel extremely uncomfortable being asked to do that. Again, my hunch is, this is not what the guy was doing.

    But even if the guy posted a picture on the internet of a kid playing or standing or sitting in a very simple way, that is not going to do any harm to the kid. If you Google “pics of children” you will probably find all sorts of pictures of kids around the world, playing while donned in the attire of their culture. I would have no idea WHO those kids are and where exactly they live (except for their country listed) so what possible harm can I do to them? I’d have to be a clairvoyant pedophile to locate a certain Nepalese Himalayan mountain kid whose picture I find cute! BUT you try explaining this simple aspect of common sense to people like this father and to most American parents, it’s like trying to run thru a five foot thick brick wall!

    Like anything, it all comes down to perspective and that specific situation.

  95. Ben November 12, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    The man clearly did something wrong. You don’t go around taking pictures of people (adult or child) without their permission.
    That said, the mob mentality is worse. Nothing, I mean NOTHING makes it right to turn to violence in response.

  96. Papilio November 12, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    “Photographing a bunch of little kids playing […] should not be […] considered inappropriate. Americans and Westerners in general, need to use some common sense here.”
    “[taking pictures of kids in a park is] still acceptable in continental Europe”

    Could it be an Anglosphere thing?
    I enjoy reading foreign blog( post)s on the cycling here (the foreign perspective is funny), but those bloggers never write, “And then I got (verbally) attacked by some parent/random adult because I was filming the school run.” Most people ignore the camera or are just curious why someone would film/take pictures of something so ordinary.

    @Hineata: “my husband is an Asian, and can therefore take photos in public without restriction.”

    Maybe these photographers should just disguise themselves as Asians – oh, wait…
    But you do have a point: If I’m out on the street and see someone pointing a camera at me, I assume they’re tourists…

  97. Havva November 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

    My daughter was photographed in the park by a stranger that same weekend. I was at a park concert and had taken my daughter out of the seating area to calm her down. I was dancing her around, and as soon as she burst into gleeful giggling a shutter started clicking. Funny I had no Hulk response to that.

    When the photographer found us later (he spoke no English) he got really excited and started chattering at high speed to me and his wife (presumably), while raising the camera hesitantly. It felt a little weird but harmless, so I smiled and let him take the close up, and then gave my daughter a great big kiss (also photographed). He looked completely delighted with that.

    I went back to my husband and parents and told them about the weird experience. We all had a good laugh about all the Japanese photo albums accumulating pictures of our girl being cute. In fact my photo collection includes photos of my daughter gleefully feeding the birds on the national mall, oblivious to the mob of Japanese tourist/photographers zeroed in on her.

    I was beginning to wonder if she was attracting so much photography because we let her do universal kid things in public. But I’ll trust Hineata’s experience that our society gives Asian photographers a pass. It suggests the rage is really about a refusal to conform to cultural dictates. Which of course would not be directed at people we know (or believe) come from a culture where their behavior is completely normal. I hope our culture keeps giving Asian tourists that pass. It might remind people that child’s play is charming, and that these photos can be harmless.

  98. E November 12, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    @Donna — I was referring to Pat being rude when he discovered the guy taking the kids photos. It’s not against the law to be rude either. But everyone is pretty wound up at that.

    My whole point is that with today’s photography capabilities, low price points, instant internet access, it’s not the least bit surprising that people’s minds go to that (even if it’s not for nefarious reasons) when photos are being taken.

    I’m not thrilled about my photo being used on a website (and in emails) for a local group I’m part of. I knew I was getting my photo taken (among many being taken) and was just kind of hopeful it not be used. It was. I haven’t asked for it to be taken down although I’m sure the organizer would do it. I just wish he’d asked if anyone didn’t want their photo used (since he had tons of choices). I have no concern about my safety or anything, I just prefer it not be used.

    Whatever. This same topic comes up periodically and the same arguments are had. I doubt Pat will change and I know I won’t feel differently about a solo adult being questioned for taking playground photos. It’s not particularly common.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if “Pat” is aware of various places on the internet that gather and post unflattering photos of unsuspecting people. REddit used to have a whole forum for “creeper” shots, that post people with underwear showing, women at gyms workings out and in certain positions, see thru clothing, wind blowing up clothing, etc. People like that aren’t street photogs or candid photogs, they’re just jerks.

    I have taken 1000s and 1000s of photos. I’m a hobbyist. My “art” (haha) is not worth annoying people. And I’ve learned to use everything from very old twin lens reflex, SLRs, DSLRs, I’ve worked in my father’s dark room. I have no desire to make people uncomfortable. And showing up at a playground and taking photos of other people’s kids today is going to raise some eyebrows and that’s not going to change.

  99. Leslie LeClair November 12, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

    I work as a training and development consultant for our local early years program. My husband is always hearing me talk about “natural” play spaces as opposed to the standard climber and swings. He travels with his job and one day he passed a day care with a wonderful natural playground. He thought I would enjoy seeing what they had to offer for the children. He pulled over, took out his camera and started walking to the fence line. As soon as he got there he realized he was setting himself up for a potentially difficult situation. Who would have believed him? “Just taking pictures for my wife to use”……right!
    I happened to go to that daycare a few years later and told this story to the supervisor. She did say she would have called the police.
    I guess my comment is, why are we so quick to make a negative assumption to people’s actions? I must believe that most people have an honest and non threatening reason for what they are doing. There just can’t be that many evil predators out there…..or if there are, how have we all survived?

  100. Donald November 12, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    @ Greg

    Yesterday on the bus, I saw a 2 year old girl. She was happy and smiling at everybody including me. I smiled back. Here eyes stayed fixated on me as she giggled and she started playing hid and seek with me. She wouldn’t walk around on the bus hiding but she did hid her face behind her hands. We played for 5 minutes.

    I’m grateful that the mother didn’t go berserk and call the police when I got off the bus and walked to my truck. It’s white. It’s not a van but it’s still a sinister color. I also have tools in my toolbox. I have rope and duct tape. I also have a hammer, pliers and a soldering iron that can be used for torture.

  101. Jay November 12, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    E, you are flat out wrong. Pat was not rude, he threatened someone. That is assault; what he did is the definition of assault. That is considered by our culture a d legal system to be so far out of line that it is universally illegal in the USA and only excusable in clear self-defense situations. Whether someone felt that permission was required does not excuse assault. Could the photographer have done better? Certainly, everyone can in every situation. There’s still no excuse for threatening material and bodily harm to someone.

    End of story.

    Any attempts to justify assault based on “someone might have been offended” are plain and simple tone-trolling.

  102. E November 12, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    @Jay — ok. I (unlike some here) will admit to not knowing the law.

    According to the post here (I did not and will not go to the guy’s FB page), he wrote:

    “so I said to erase any photos of my daughter or I’m going to break his camera. ”

    It doesn’t sound like he threatened the guy’s person, just his camera. Is that assault? Can you assault a camera? Maybe you can. If so, my apologies.

  103. James Pollock November 12, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

    “It doesn’t sound like he threatened the guy’s person, just his camera. Is that assault?”
    Yes, that’s an assault tort.

    “Can you assault a camera?”
    No. But you can assault (or batter) a person holding a camera. The law school examples are A) throwing a snowball to knock a person’s hat off, and B) knocking a tray with food on it out of a person’s hands.

  104. Jay November 12, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

    So the definition reads “intentionally or knowingly causes another to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury”. If I walk up to you out of the blue, interrogate you in public, and threaten to break your camera are you going to have “reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury”? Any direct threat of harm to property is extensible to bodily harm in a face to face confrontation. Yes, people can be and have been convicted for less.

  105. Beth November 12, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    “why are we so quick to make a negative assumption to people’s actions?”

    And, as a follow-up, why are we so quick to assume that everyone with a camera is going to do something horrible and disgusting with the photos they take? A horrible and disgusting thing that we will not know about anyway?

  106. Warren November 12, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

    According to only the truly paranoid, did this guy do something wrong. And guess what, if you left your home today, chances are your image was captured multiple times without your permission or your knowledge. Sucks to be you.

  107. Jason November 12, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

    Threatening to use force to deprive someone of his property sounds like robbery to me, whether successful or not.

  108. Donna November 12, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

    E – My issue with your comments is the that they imply some duty of the part of the photographer to engage with people who ask questions lest he be considered, at best, rude and, at worse, suitable for police intervention.

    It is perfectly legal to take pictures of anything that exists in a public area, including children playing in a park. Parents or other people can certainly ask what is going on if they want to, but the photographer is under no obligation to answer their questions, show them the pictures or delete anything. He is neither rude nor criminal for refusing to engage with others or bend to their wishes.

    “People like that aren’t street photogs or candid photogs, they’re just jerks.”

    Yes, posting photos on sites like “People of Walmart” is pretty jerky. However, it is not illegal to be a jerk. You have absolutely no control whatsoever over what pictures of you are taken in a public place or what is done with them once they are taken. You can certainly ask someone not to do X, but you have no power to force them if they say no or ignore you completely. It is not a matter for the police because, again, being a jerk is not illegal.

    At the end day, getting your knickers in a twist over pictures that may or may not end up on a negative website just seems ridiculous. Ask if you choose, and if they want to comply, great. If not, oh well. That is why I generally try to avoid leaving my house looking like something that will make the pages of People of Walmart and try to avoid doing anything that would damage my reputation if caught on film.

  109. James Pollock November 12, 2015 at 6:02 pm #

    “It is perfectly legal to take pictures of anything that exists in a public area, including children playing in a park”

    Consult a professional licensed in your jurisdiction before proceeding on this advice. Several jurisdictions have been trying recently to criminalize some picture-taking of things that exist in public areas (specifically, several legislatures have been trying to craft statutes to criminally prohibit “upskirt” photography, and those statutes have not always been well-crafted.

    There was fuss recently because an Oregon court failed to convict a man who actually put his camera up under a 13-year-old girl’s skirt in a Target store. This caused a public backlash that sent the legislators off to draft revisions to the invasion of privacy statute.

  110. LRH November 12, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

    Donna As usual, EXACTLY.

    My main issue is how people are freaking out over the past 10-odd years in ways they never did before, particularly with practically having strokes or heart attacks over the prospect of their photo being on the Internet. It’s a baseless fear. A person has every right to feel as they feel, but that doesn’t make it rational, and it encroaches on a photographer’s rights and comfort level to practice their craft or attempt at it, and I just can’t abide by irrational fears tainting and corrupting something which is in fact potentially beautiful. Such is why I can’t respect that feeling in the public realm when I otherwise tend to be respectful of how people feel vs expecting them to be carbon copies of myself.

  111. Puzzled November 12, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

    I know nothing about this photographer, and of course it is true that it is legal to be a jerk (I have no reason to think this photographer was being a jerk). However, it is just as legal to lobby legislators. The more you behave like a jerk while doing something legal, the likelier it becomes that your activity will find itself being regulated or outlawed.

    An inordinate amount of my time is spent dealing with people who want a law against X, and it’s almost always the case that there are people doing X while being rude and obnoxious. I then go to the mat to stop laws against X, illustrating my claim that the way we get intrusive government is not some powerful people shoving it on us, but us creating a vacuum. As I said on the Yale post – people seem to have lost the knack of disagreeing while being civil.

    If someone asks you why you took a picture of their child (them being a jerk), you can say “It’s legal and I don’t have to explain anything to you” or you can be polite. The first path generally ends up with people pestering their government to make more laws about creepy people.

    Why were people getting arrested in NYC for “manspreading?” Because people won’t walk up to them and say “I would like to sit down, would you please move your leg.” Why won’t they? Because it’s common to respond “F you I won’t move my leg and you can’t make me, I have my rights.”

  112. LRH November 12, 2015 at 10:42 pm #

    Manhandled. I have no problem explaining what I’m doing, and in the past that’s typically what I’ve done. In one notable instance, I even pulled out my tablet which had past JPEGs of my artistic attempts and I very politely and diplomatically showed them those shots (landscapes, by the way), to illustrate what it is which I do and was trying to do at that point. (I wasn’t even trying to photograph any people, just the scenery itself.)

    The upset persons CONTINUED to act the same exact way, there was no change at all. It was at THAT point when I said “I’m perfectly legal in what I’m doing, and I’ve explained it to you well enough, I’m done now. If you’re still bothered by it at this point, that’s YOUR issue.”

    Too often that’s how it goes, either that or instead of the persons acting you POLITELY along the lines of “I’m just curious what you’re doing” they instead approach you in a threatening way along the lines of “what in the world do you think you’re doing, you sick pervert!” Approach someone that way, of course they’re going to be defensive. Such is apparently what occurred here, so I’d totally support someone telling Pat or whatever his name is where he can stick it.

    Ask me politely, I’m happy to explain politely, and I’m expecting that you’ll not continue to make the same ridiculous assumptions once I’ve done so. Be a jerk, then expect to be on the receiving end of the same thing in like manner.


  113. LRH November 12, 2015 at 10:42 pm #

    Sorry I meant Puzzled, not manhandled.

  114. Puzzled November 12, 2015 at 11:57 pm #

    LRH – I agree. In dealing with my colleagues, if I can have statements that say what you said, it makes my life a lot easier. Their mentality tends to be “well, no one would have complained to us if there wasn’t a real problem – they took the time to ask us, so the least we can do is pass a regulation.” I kid you not. People who can demonstrate that the people seeking new regulations are the unreasonable ones are very helpful.

  115. Raeshel Lucero November 13, 2015 at 1:40 am #

    Now what if it was a woman taking the picture?
    You all would of been fine with that. The man showed you the pictures, if he was a threat in any way, he wouldnt of shown you,the pictures he would have ran away.

  116. E November 13, 2015 at 10:09 am #

    @donna and others — you are making valid points, I understand that.

    I do think it’s ok to acknowledge/recognize that photography has evolved quite a bit in the very recent past. It used to be more cost prohibitive (film/developing alone) than today. There was no ability to share to wider audiences like there is today. Internet didn’t exist. Mobile technology didn’t exist. WiFi didn’t exist (even when the internet did). Digital photography didn’t exist. People (aka subjects) feel differently today about seeing someone taking photos than they did before — and there are so many more people documenting things.

    Just this morning I read a brief essay/post from a NPS Ranger (and photographer) about what she sees on social media. Photography that’s made in our National Parks that is CLEARLY breaking park rules. Tents pitched (and illuminated) in non Camping zones…campfires with iconic backgrounds in places where campfires are prohibited. And these images are “liked” by thousands and shared by company social feeds. And suddenly LOTS of people want to duplicate that experience and/or image. I’ve seen amazing photos of fireworks going off of natural arches in the southwest…people hiked out at night, climbed the arch, set off fireworks to create gorgeous photos, despite the fact that it’s dangerous and against rules.

    So sure, the same laws apply today that existed decades ago in regard to people/photography when it was expensive film, expensive developing and no internet or social media or memes, etc. I’m just willing to understand why people are less comfortable around other people’s cameras.

    That’s all.

    (Yeah, Pat still sounds like a jerk.)

  117. Rivka333 November 13, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    ‘”intimate shots” of my daughter and other children playing’
    What makes pictures of children playing “intimate?”

  118. David November 14, 2015 at 8:19 am #

    @lesley smart, Pat did not do the right thing. What he did was wrong and possibly illegal. The photographer is not in the can because what he was doing was perfectly legal. The police have no right to arrest somebody for doing anything that is not illegal. The photographer is a free man.

  119. derfel cadarn November 15, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

    The folks quoted above need to seek counseling, you are deranged and a danger to the public at large.

  120. Darrin November 16, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

    First of all that man was not the police, if I had my camera ,and I personally am a photographer, no man can just walk up to me and just force me to show him the pictures that I am taking, not even the police without a warrant.My property my space my surroundings,that man just profiled that man without cause,I’m black so I know how that feels.the man with the kid was dead wrong on every level and should have just watched the man closely.

  121. Julius Cheeser November 19, 2015 at 1:50 am #

    Earlier this year a middle-aged man with a concealed weapons permit accidentally exposed the butt of his pistol while walking across a parking lot towards a Walmart store. A nosey do-gooder saw the pistol and tackled the man after he went through the first set of automatic doors all the while yelling “He’s got a gun”. Several other customers helped hold the man down and took away his pistol while waiting for police to arrive. When police arrived they discovered that the man was legally carrying his pistol. The man who tackled and detained him was arrested and charged with assault.