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Thread: Are you Living Historians "fair game" for photographers...?

  1. #1

    Default Are you Living Historians "fair game" for photographers...?

    Fellow Szabozians,
    I just received a request from a female subject I photographed recently, apparently while she was having some of her "underpinnings" adjusted --in public-- and I published the resulting photograph in my website.
    She was annoyed, to say the least, and requested that I remove the resulting photograph from public display.
    Being a thorough gentleman, I am MORE THAN WILLING to remove it --if she can provide a thorough description of the "insulting" image. Let's face it, I don't want to INSULT ANYONE, much less a potential customer, of which there are far and few between. And since I publish THOUSANDS OF REENACTING IMAGES every year, I need a more specific description of the "offending" image.
    I attempted to explain to this particular individuall tthat the reason that went behind the gathering --and publihsing in my website-- of the offending photograph. I offered to remove it, if she found so offensive, though that point is up for debate, but she has refrained from giving me a full description so I can determined WHICH particular image was offensive to her.
    Fellow Szabozians, I have been a "frequent visitor" in this forum for about five years or so. A lot of you know me personally, and a lot of you know that I am not "in the (Civil War reenactint) business" to bring negativity to your lives, in any way. If anything, I aim to bring "positivity" to the hobby. Pure and simple.
    Therefore, I would like to ask you, each of you individuals reading these lines, the following questions...
    --is anything that you do in public, as reenactors at a public event available to the public, out of limits to a bona fine "news correspondent"?
    --do you, as individual "performers" at a "public" event, require and/or expect a specific warning from a member of the news media who MAY be photographing, you at a specific event, for possible publication?
    --do you, personally, feel in ANY WAY THREATENED BY A MEMBER OF THE NEWS MEDIA that may be photographing and/or interviewing you for possible publication?
    In all honesty, I feel simply absolutely terrible to be asking these questions after 23 years in reenacting, but recent developments simply require it.
    Thank you in advance for your input.
    I assure you that your responses will be tremendously helpful.
    Thank you.
    Julio
    Julio C. Zangroniz, Independent Photojournalist
    www.zphotos.smugmug.com
    Jzangroniz@comcast.net

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    earth
    Posts
    2,085

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    Julio,

    I wish I could say as many people find your work within the hobby, as beneficial, as I do.
    I do not recall seeing the image myself, and wont go hunting for it.
    Should you find the image in question, best suggestion I can offer, is to let the Lady know you will remove it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lansing, Michigan
    Posts
    158

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    Hi Julio,
    I'm really sorry you ran into this sort of issue. We had a similar issue a couple years back at River of time In Bay City, Mi. where a photographer genuinely didn't know he was doing a no/no. It ended in the Bay County Sheriffs department having words with him and him being asked to leave. Let me begin with saying that I am grateful you didn't get treated THAT harshly. Now onto your question. There are three main schools of thought to this.. (And then many sub schools that branch off from those three main schools) There's the "Freedom of privacy" group, who believe that just because we're 'performers' at a public event we are not to be treated as 'fair game.' Let's face it they have a valid point. People have stalkers, or people they just don't want to see, who they don't want to know "Ohh they go to THAT event." So for legal/personal reasons they feel that having their picture out there on the internet with even basic information of where/when it was taken could be a potential personal/legal security issue for them in the age of the inter-net. Then there is the "We are there for public enjoyment, thus no further permission is needed." camp Their view is equally valid, and some event's Welcome package warns them right off the bat that they are fair game to photographers. But as was covered in another forum posting, so few people actually READ the welcome packages and the rules contained there in, that it is some times a problem. Finally you have people like me who are sort of one foot in either of the other two primary camps. I have no objection to being photographed, recorded, and put out there on websites/business packets, I simply wish to see the photo that is going to be used before hand either on the spot or threw email corespondents, so I can assist the photographer with a simple yes or no. I mean lets face it some photographers some times take a picture that to them looks perfectly innocent (A young reenactor having a pizza break in uniform for example) and they genuinely don't understand how negatively that might reflect on the hobby. So I personally for reasons of wanting to ensure that the hobby and my self are shown in our best possible light, would like as a courtesy from the Photographer/recorder/artist "The right of first refusal" as the subject of their art from being shown or published on a web page. It's also a matter of logistics. I'd like the opportunity to purchase any thing I'm in doing what I love. I can use it for my Work Portfolio in my acting Resume.

    I hope this helped your dilemma some what and I apologize that it was so long winded.

    Regards
    Trooper John W. Knecht IV
    Bugler/War Correspondent, Michigan Cavalry Brigade Association
    Last edited by 2nd_mi_johnny; 08-24-2011 at 04:45 PM.
    You should never trust a man who has only one way to spell a word. ~Mark Twain~

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    176

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    --is anything that you do in public, as reenactors at a public event available to the public, out of limits to a bona fine "news correspondent"?
    Yes but it depends on the person. I am sure some people don't want to be photographed getting dressed, going to or exiting the porta-crappers, others don't want their children photographed, and some don't want to be shot doing "farby" things like talking on phones or eating modern food at the festivals. It depends on the person.




    --do you, as individual "performers" at a "public" event, require and/or expect a specific warning from a member of the news media who MAY be photographing, you at a specific event, for possible publication?
    Yes, if someone wants a photo of me I want to be asked for permission and have an explanation where it will be used. Then I want input prior to the shot and final approval to control my image. If not I will do all I can to ruin the shot so they can't place it on the web.



    --do you, personally, feel in ANY WAY THREATENED BY A MEMBER OF THE NEWS MEDIA that may be photographing and/or interviewing you for possible publication?

    I won't say threatened but I do not like having my picture taken by people who are going to profit from it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Tuskaloosa, Alabama
    Posts
    4,360

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    Sure Julio,

    Most in my circle would prefer to be asked by any photographer, whether amateur or professional, before someone starts clicking away. This applies to mainstream events and living histories, anything, no matter that we've signed those blanket releases for use of image if we've shown up.

    We view it as common courtesy.

    Here's an example--you've seen the large tent we use as a dining hall. Large scale food prep occurs there, and sit down meals. Since a Wagon Camp is a constant come and go, there is hand food out on the table, ready for a passing wagoner to pick up on the run, or, just as often, drive by and call out "Something to Eat Please!" and one of us hustles to get a bundle in his hand. I've seen photographers walk right in, pick up things on the table (Hey, I WAS GOING TO EAT THAT) and rearrange them for a shot or blunder on through to the corner where some weary driver may be asleep on a pallet.

    For those of us who spend long periods in the field, this is roughly equivalent to walking inside my house without knocking or waiting for me to answer the door.

    My corded bonnet is constantly on and off--I need it in the sun, but I cannot hear as well with it on. As a result, my hair is always fuzzy--I don't care how much pomade I have on, or how securely I've wrapped it in a net. I'd at least like to smooth it before the camera clicks, or put the bonnet in my hand back on.

    For female reenactors wearing the full regalia--well, wall tents are far more cramped than they appear. And they are hot inside. Dressing often requires some assistance, and shortly there are two people under a slanted roof, with bedrolls underfoot, trying to deal with clothing that is wider than the tent opening (that center support is in the way when one has a hoop. Now put two of them in there). I won't say they have to go outside to get dressed---often under a fly. I will say that it is sometimes the most expeditious thing, especially if one is dressing a new reenactor.

    Now, if I'm out around the battle area, yes, I consider myself to be fair game. I should be dressed and ready.

    But realistically, if a woman is getting dressed under her fly, I'd no more consider that fair game for images than I would that area right behind a soldiers camp early in the morning when the older men step out to the treeline quickly.
    Mrs. Lawson
    Weaver, Spinster, Strong Fast Dyes
    Knitted Goods and yarns available thlawson@bellsouth.net



    Moderator, When I remember. We got Rules here!

    Did your sales post disappear? Try again. But read the rules first.
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  6. #6

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    Courtesy is the best policy... and that needs to happen on both sides.

    She should have the courtesy to retire to a private place when she needs to "adjust" her wardrobe and the nerve to ask for fittings of her underpinnings to be done in private.
    You should have the courtesy (and Mr. Julio, from what I've seen, you usually DO) to show the photo to them and give them the opportunity to say "OMG! Please delete that! *BLUSH" ...

    I know there are certain websites that specialize in sexualizing women's period underpinnings and they take submissions from many, various, often dubious outside sources... for this reason, I'd prefer never to have any pictures taken of me in my period underpinnings... but I also am careful to not go outside my tent/room without covering up. This "Lady" should have done likewise and you have taught her a lesson... if she will actually get over herself enough to learn the lesson.
    -Elaine Kessinger

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Hoboken, NJ
    Posts
    394

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    I'm pretty sure most of us at a lot of events sign a waiver that says we're fair game. Just like most websites that ask you to accept "terms and agreements" no one actually reads it. Think about all the events you've been to over the years, think of all the spectators, journalists, etc you saw with cameras, then think about all those same types you DIDN'T see with cameras. Guess how many podunk newspapers or family albums you're in? Probably a bunch, and you may never, ever know it. It comes with the territory.

    If you come to play dress up in a public setting people will take pictures. Now, taking pictures of someone getting dressed, etc. is a different story.
    Brandon English
    Farb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Huntsville
    Posts
    612

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    I figure if you are in public than you can be photographed. Same for private events unless there is a published photography policy.

    At a wedding, nightclub, dinner party, a whole host of events I can think of, no one ever goes around and asks if it's OK to take pictures.
    Steve Sheldon

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lansing, Michigan
    Posts
    158

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    Quote Originally Posted by maillemaker View Post
    At a wedding, nightclub, dinner party, a whole host of events I can think of, no one ever goes around and asks if it's OK to take pictures.
    Actually Steve,

    I've had a few instances where a news paper photographer was at a party, a group gathering, or a wedding where my photo has been taken. I was informed by the photographer they were obligated by law to inform me that My picture was under consideration for publishing in the paper, and the had to have my permission to post it regardless of the waver I signed. This may vary from state to state, but Photographers should have the courtesy to inform their subject.
    You should never trust a man who has only one way to spell a word. ~Mark Twain~

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill, FL
    Posts
    3,940

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    I believe that if you are at a public event, we are fair game with the caveat that we be approached and told if this is for publication, personal use, or other, and given right of first refusal. If at a private event, like a campaign EBUFU event, I don't ever want to see a private photographer. I've been in countless papers, evening news on TV, public access TV, magazines, and even C-SPAN, but they all had the common courtesy to introduce themselves and say what they were intending to do. In the case of you Julio, I came up and introduced myself at Manassas, and knowing full well what you're about, had no qualms to having an image or two taken, but that is because I know of your work and who you are. As for the original statement that brought this on, a woman in underpinnings, regardless of whether she was outside a tent or not, is just not an image that is necessary for people to see unless it was staged for education or was part of an impression. Although that wasn't customary behavior to walk around like that in the 19th century, neither was it appropriate to publicize it. I consider reenactments an extension of the 19th century and approprate manners upheld.
    Ross L. Lamoreaux
    Tampa Bay History Center
    www.tampabayhistorycenter.org
    On Facebook at: Tampa Bay History Center Living History Programs

    "The simplest things, done well, can carry a huge impact" - Karin Timour, 2012

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