Photographers Have Become Like Pigeons

May 15, 2016

Missy Mwac

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

Photographers Have Become Like Pigeons

May 15, 2016

Missy Mwac

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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An historic building in South Florida burned to the ground recently because in the dark of night, a trio of photographers set it ablaze while trying to “paint with light.” Click HERE to read more:

While trying to take a selfie last week, two tourists climbed onto Hercules, a 13th century statue at Loggia dei Militi palace in Cremona, Italy. Under their weight, the statue’s crown broke off, fell to the floor, and shattered. Click HERE to read more.

A gorgeous plantation in Louisville, Kentucky had to issue this statement via its Facebook page about a year or so ago because people with cameras could not manage to respect the property.

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These are but a small sampling in a long line of “photographers who ruined it for the rest of us” stories.

And it needs to stop.

You are a photographer and you love to create. You see opportunity all around you and want to make the entire world your studio.

But, the thing is…it’s not.

What you hold in your hands is a camera- a wonderful creation of metal and glass and plastic. It is not a license, however, to go wherever you please in the name of Art, disobeying site rules as you “push boundaries.”

I’ve seen popular workshop givers even teach that rules mean nothing:
“They tell you that you can’t shoot at National Monuments, so sneak in.”

Really? REALLY? Yeah, that’s just the advice we want new photographers to hear.

We are a big industry, and some of you are out there ruining it for the rest of us, causing gorgeous locations to be “off limits” ‘cause you can’t stay out of the flower beds. We’ve got photographers setting up shop and taking over areas frequented by the public; we’ve got photographers trespassing on private land; we’ve got photographers who assume a camera entitles them to do as they please wherever they please.

Dear Baby Jesus in a Manger, we’ve become like pigeons: annoying, showing up everywhere and crapping on everything.

And I get it. I do.

How many of us look at a spot and think, “Dang, I wish I could shoot there.” And, indeed, maybe you can-if you get in touch with the right person and follow the guidelines and do it the right way. But sneaking in or taking over once you’re there is only going to give the rest of us a bad name and then no one is going to be able to shoot anywhere and then we’ll all be shooting against one of those green screens and reminiscing about the good ol’ days when we go could anywhere without the fear of being ushered out by Security.

You want photography to be a respected profession? Well, you gotta give it to get it.

The CAMERA should be the “tool,” not the PHOTOGRAPHER.

About The Author

Missy Mwac is a photographer/eater of bacon/drinker of vodka and a guide through the murky waters of professional photography. You can follow her social media links here: Facebook, Tumblr. This article was also published here and shared with permission

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6 responses to “Photographers Have Become Like Pigeons”

  1. Vladimir Khudyakov Avatar
    Vladimir Khudyakov

    Camera like a “license to kill”.

  2. David Perez Avatar
    David Perez

    I agree that we as photographers do need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. But I don’t think mature photographers are entirely responsible for this mess.

    I see much more reckless cell phone and tablet wielding Joe and Jane Public jumping into the middle of a parade route so they can get a head-on picture or a selfie. It isn’t uncommon for them to jump over sidewalk barriers, crowding the street and making it impossible for more serious photographers who are following the rules to get a decent photo, not to mention endangering themselves and the parade participants.

    I’m sure there are photo enthusiasts and pros who are reckless, but those other inconsiderates far outnumber them.

  3. Jasmijn Decuyper Avatar
    Jasmijn Decuyper

    Though I would not dare to deny that some photographers are obnoxious arrogant people who think their camera is a world all-access-pass but most of the incidents I have read about the last few months have been tourist/selfie-incidents. Even though some of them also have a professional camera, I wouldn’t exactly call them photographers.
    It does pain me to see that so many people have lost respect for their surroundings just to get a picture and a bunch of likes.

  4. Raymund Lastierre Avatar
    Raymund Lastierre

    And here I am trying to leave a small footprint.

  5. Ryan Taylor Avatar
    Ryan Taylor

    People taking selfies are not photographers lol.

  6. Ursul Polar Avatar
    Ursul Polar

    Stupidity is not related by no means with ones profession! Ridiculous article…