Sign Needed—Artist at Work

Have you ever felt you needed a sign posted near you as you settled into place for a shot?

Whether pointing your camera to the sky or ground, or  into the distance, incidentally toward someone’s car or house,  or right over their head—you can’t blame someone for their questions—inquisitive or apprehensive:  who is thatwhat are they doing?

Thus, the need for a sign: “Nevermind—artist at work.”

filmmaking in progress On the set of a student project, I thought the poster “filmmaking in progress” would be enough. Nevertheless, an hour into the shoot, a police officer arrived by motorcycle and approached (nonchalantly).  He explained he was there because of calls from  the neighborhood describing a young man being pursued by what looked like a swat officer. Officer, it’s right here in the script.

chase sceneHe nodded at the sign’s good intent; trouble is, no one else had noticed it. Not as eye-catching as the chase scene?

Hey, we photographers know about chase scenes:  in hot pursuit of that passing storm cloud or that  perfect lighting, the breeze-ruffling leaves and their shadows, or the grasshopper before it changes its mind about posing.

As the officer drove away, I had a lesson (without citation) in hand: people may not see or  interpret what you’re actually doing.

So what are you to do when an unexpected something catches your eye and all you have is your camera—no signs or orange cones?

press hat (awaiting credits, if any available)Maybe you need to wear what journalists used in the past: hats that read Press (or today, maybe WordPress?)!

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credit: (not found—contact me if you know) image of man in press hat



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