Photographers protocol?

Posted on January 11, 2012


The other night I was attending an un-named football match, and took my place nice and early in the corner that I thought the action would be at.
Happily sitting there, setting my laptop and other things ready for the game, while others were running and snapping pictures of the managers.

Game starts, and I start taking pictures, fellow photographers walk past me nodding their heads and exchanging hello’s.
But what is this, a big fellow takes his trunk and gear and sits RIGHT IN MY LINE OF VIEW FOR THE GOAL!!!
He doesn’t look to see if he is blocking my view or anything, and when he does.. he just quickly turns his head and keeps on shooting.
Now, what options does this leave me? Be a total ‘p***k’ and shout for him to move on, keep shooting from my chosen position but miss all the goal action or move to another place??

Me, I decided not to cause hassle and took my things and moved few years to the left – so I would be able to shoot the action all over the pitch.
Here’s an attached image to let you choose where you would put your stuff, if you were running to the touchlines when I was already clearly sitting and shooting the action.. So my fellow photographers, A, B or C ???

In most grounds there are the ‘local’ and ‘regular’ guys who do have their set positions to photograph from, but would a little courtesy be too much to ask when you see that someone is behind you? Perhaps in the dog eat dog world of British Sports Photography.. you just need to be rude and then you will succeed.

The photographer in question did start to talk to me once I had moved – although not of course mentioning that he might have been sorry to sit right in front of me and thus forcing me to move…

This wasn’t the first time it happened to me, last time it was one of the bigger agency guys, who swapped ends during the half time and sat in my line of view. Looked at me and asked if he blocked my view – I did ask if he could move just a little backwards. To which he commented that I should move myself forward, as I was only shooting with a 300mm lens (it actually was a 200mm f1.8 🙂 ). Now – does it matter what I shoot with, maybe I liked my little position there and got what I wanted with the 200mm. Once again – I ended up moving.. although this time it was more due to the fact that I was starting to be surrounded by Getty, PA, etc… (not that I have anything against these guys, just no point in capturing the same images as they do).

Let’s see how things turn out tonite at the Birmingham City game – doubt that anyone can block my view, as we will all sit behind the advertising boards.

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