This summer I am in a documentary photography class. It is a short class only six weeks, so I need to kick it onto high geer in order to finish all the projects I'm working on for it. On the other hand though I have got really excited about the projects I have chosen to do for this class. For one of them I have chosen to photograph some old drive in diners, some of wich I hadn't payed much attention to before this.
Since this class is only six weeks long and I now only have four weeks left that really doesn't leave me much time to shoot all the photos I need to and to gather my stories, since it is documentary after all. So the other day after class I went out to hunt down a few drive-in's to shoot, one of them being just a few blocks away from where I live.
I've driven by that diner hundreds of times, it's right next to out local grocery store we shop at. This was the last one to shoot for the day, so I parked across the street and start taking a couple of shots. I only had been out there for minute or two taking a couple shots, walking a little... and did this a couple times, till I look up from my camera and a man across the street yells at me "HEY YOU!" and I point at my self "me?" he walks right in the middle of trafic from across the street (where the diner is) and starts angrily saying to me "you've been taking my picture and you don't have my permission, I want the negatives give them to me!" I say "I wasn't taking pictures of you, I was taking pictures of the diner." Him: I want those pictures give them to me right now.
Me: I'm not shooting with film, it's digital, but I can delete them.
Him: I don't care give them to me, you don't have permission to be taking my picture.
Me: I can't give them to you, and I wasn't taking your picture, I was taking pictures of the diner.
Him: he goes off on me again telling me I don't have permission to be taking his picture, how I "snapped four shots of him over at the corner, a few over there, and a couple more here"
Me: here i'll delete them, turn the camera his way and start to delete the few pictures I had even taken, which I took from across the street and you can't see one piece of him in the photo. .. at all. or anyone else for that matter.
Him: leave right now, just leave, GO!
Me: gladly, i think to myself and walk brisk-fully back to my car feeling completely creeped out.
I have to admit the guy was scary, and I was feeling dumb that I left my phone in the car. It wouldn't have surprised mee if he would have taken my camera from me, which I was afraid of at the time. who knew an innocent act such as taking a photo of an old diner would turn into such a story, especially in the middle of the day with others around. It was odd to say the least. Just glad my camera and I are safe, and now I'm going to drag my husband along with me while I go shoot other diners...lucky him.
(the diner pictures above was not where the incident happened, fyi.)