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08-23-2015, 04:23 PM   #1
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Letting someone else use your camera

I'm trying to figure out what to do about this problem I have. When I am doing my volunteer photography gig, the guy in charge keeps telling me to hand off my camera (Pentax k-7 with a Bower 24mm lens) to someone else so I can be in a group photo at the end of the show. I am very uncomfortable with this and tell him so. I can't afford to replace my camera or my lenses if the random person breaks them (and neither can they, so it's moot point whether they "should.") More so, though, it feels like a violation of my boundaries. (I relented once last night and refused once. The photos taken by the other person are not usable-- I shoot all manual with a manual focus lens.)

I know some people don't mind handing off their cameras to near-strangers with no photography experience, and that's cool, but I am not one of those people.

For now, I'm going to deal with it by keeping my happy snappy in my pocket (a Canon) and handing that over, but I guess I just wanted to share and see how others have dealt with this. (I am a small, meek, quiet woman who does not like confrontation, thought I can stand up for myself if I have to.) If you happen to have links to articles that nicely explain why some photographers do not like to hand over their cameras, I would love to see them.

I suppose I should also say that my background is in professional video-journalism, where equipment was sacred and no one dared touch it.

08-23-2015, 04:29 PM   #2
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since you are very uncomfortable in the situation do not pass the camera along....make it clear to said guy in charge......having the p&s to pass off sounds like a great idea!
08-23-2015, 04:34 PM   #3
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It seems to me the only thing that gives him the right to demand that you hand your camera off to someone is you when you relent. What is the purpose anyway? Does the person you hand your camera to use it to take the group photo? Why can't that person use his or her own camera? I wouldn't comply if it were me. What are the consequences? If you don't relent and the consequence is that you get kicked out of the club I would find another club. I wouldn't want to take the chance of having my equipment damaged or lost or stolen.

But that's just me....
08-23-2015, 04:36 PM   #4
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To clarify, I'm shooting a show, so I'm generally the only one there with a DSLR camera.

08-23-2015, 04:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jenne Quote
To clarify, I'm shooting a show, so I'm generally the only one there with a DSLR camera.
Sure, i've let some people use my camera, but only close friends or people who've been interested in purchasing a pentax (yes, they exist!). And i've always been close-by...
I wouldn't hand it to a random stranger. Just say that you would really rather not, thank you very much.
08-23-2015, 04:50 PM   #6
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Diplomatically, can you take the group photo so it is usable? If the guy in charge is reasonable and respects you he'll understand that the picture taken by the other person where unusable and let you take it.
The photographer is usually not in the pictures.
Otherwise, no way.
08-23-2015, 04:56 PM - 1 Like   #7
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If I'm reading your initial description correctly, you could always stop volunteering for this gig. The guy in charge can find some else to take photos or respect your boundaries. Though often considered confrontational, this tactic is the clearest way to establish an understanding with incognizant people.
08-23-2015, 04:59 PM   #8
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no - I don't need a picture of me....

08-23-2015, 05:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Harry_the_Wombat Quote
If I'm reading your initial description correctly, you could always stop volunteering for this gig. The guy in charge can find some else to take photos or respect your boundaries. Though often considered confrontational, this tactic is the clearest way to establish an understanding with incognizant people.
This is always an option. Every time this comes up, I re-evaluate whether I'm still getting enough from this gig to keep dealing with the hassle. So far, it's still an excellent learning opportunity, so I keep doing it. But there could come a day when I have learned as much as I can from the challenging shooting conditions and have to move on.
08-23-2015, 05:06 PM   #10
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It must be my personality, but for things like this, I would say something short to the point like "Sorry,but no body touches my baby but me".......Then subsequently I ensure I have some small talk on an unrelated matter to check that no offense was taken and dialogue is ongoing in a normal manner.
08-23-2015, 05:10 PM   #11
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No, don't hand it over.

A P&S might be an option, but surely someone there has a mobile device that'll take a pic.

You could quietly tell him that you shoot in manual with a manual lens and that only an experienced photog would be able to get a usable pic with it and show him the horrid results when have handed it over.... but, really, it is your treasured camera and being bullied to hand it over is simply unacceptable.
08-23-2015, 05:14 PM   #12
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It never came up with a camera for me, but has with top optics for birding, and the answer is a simple no--unless it is someone I know and really trust, then no problem, but never a stranger, and never children even with parents present. I agree about the volunteering aspect, if uncomfortable, you can find a different venue.
08-23-2015, 05:18 PM   #13
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Yes, all the time actually.
With a few caveat, naturally- first I put the strap around their neck, so I'm ensure that if they let go of the camera that it's not going anywhere, then I give them a really quick lesson on how the camera is configured (look though the diopter, how to adjust the diopter, and how the focus is setup).
Then I relax, and enjoy being in the shot.

But! This is me and my wife, we're cool with it.
_If_ you don't feel good about handing over the camera, then don't.
No one is going to feel bad about you saying no.
08-23-2015, 05:24 PM - 1 Like   #14
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if you want to continue to volunteer, I'd just say you can't or you are not allowed for insurance reasons. if he were to ask specifics that is rude, but it implies something involving money and or something kind of important, but it could simply mean you want insurance it wont get broken, lol.

or just say, no thank you. just keep saying it, no thank you. you are polite, you don't need to give a reason. . in the end though it sounds like you may not want to volunteer anymore.
08-23-2015, 05:26 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Take a tripod and IR remote, you do it, the pushy person gets a group photo.
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