I had an interesting experience yesterday that I thought I would share some thoughts on.
At the back of one of the main parks in Upper Hutt is a model railway set. I am not sure what gauge it is set to but the trains that run on it are fully working steam train models capable of pulling small carriages that kids ride on. On Saturday I was in the park shooting kids play soccer and saw on the notice that the railway was to be in operation on the Sunday. I thought that this would make a great shot for my “Photo A Day” so on Sunday afternoon I made my way down there.
It was a clear blue winters day, and as the opening had received good promotion in the local newspaper, there were lots of families with your children. I wanted to take photos away from the crowd and also try to handle the sun so I positioned myself at one part of the track, took a couple of photos and moved to the other part of the track. I then moved into a place in the centre of the track that enabled me to shoot back to the station area.
As I was leaving a man came up to me and asked what I was doing, in a tone that was not all that pleasing. I explained what I was doing and after some discussion the matter was sorted. I actually grabbed an email address of him so that I could send in some images for them to use. He had also asked another guy you was also standing ready to take photos. He was a father waiting for a child to pass on the next train.
I should point out that there were no signs prohibiting entry to this point and the whole area is in a public park therefore under New Zealand law I was fully within my rights to be there and take photos. The guy did point out that they had had issues in the past (not that he elaborated) and given that it was an environment where your children were present I could understand this, however it did reiterate the situations that we as photographers can face.