Monday, April 28, 2008

Shooting in North Spokane

The next couple of weeks involve shooting at northside locations, in Spokane. Last weeks shoots started with the Northtown Mall, and the next night I switched to Holy Family Hospital. I am likely to need a return visit to Northtown Mall, since there are three shots I never had a chance to get to.

Next on the list this week, is the Spokane VA Medical Center. When I went to Joe Albi Stadium this weekend with one of my twin grand daughters, it became apparent that the VA Center might be a great target for a night shoot. I just got off the phone with their Public Affairs director, and their location is on for this week.

Speaking of these three northside locations, it brings to mind, one thing. Ask permission FIRST, before stomping on to someone’s PRIVATE property and going to work with your cameras. That might be a no brainer to most people; it is also the ethical and professional way to address shooting on somebody else’s turf. For those of us who actually enjoy photography, it can be a major disappointment when someone (Staff or security) approach you and tell you to put the camera away. Quite frankly, you missed the first step, and that was “ask permission first.” You may not have any problem at all if on a public place when you shoot, but if you are going on “their turf,” then ALWAYS ASK FIRST.

Not as many people shoot at night, and are not as wacky as my wife thinks I am. So appearing on somebody’s property with a camera may do you (and any future photographers) no good at all. If you are on a public space and not on private property, then you should not have trouble.

There is one other issue, which may also be a no brainer to many of you. If you are shooting at a hospital, and on “their property,” proceed with caution when photographing patients, staff or any people at all. Think about it, and the last time you or someone in your family was ill. Yep, the last thing you would want is for a person with two cameras shooting pictures of you in a time of family crisis. Privacy is important, and for ethical people, you can get what you need without disturbing people who are ill.

If this is overkill on this topic, it does not bother me a bit to keep talking about ethics and the “right way to do things.” For photographers who want to go about it some other way, you can skip this entire section.

Perhaps a side benefit for doing things the “right way,” is that magically the interest in what you are doing will increase, sometimes dramatically. Spokane Night Scenes went from an average of 600 hits a day two years ago, to 2200 hits a day and currently increasing each month in 2008. Arguably, people might just agree that those of us who live here live in a beautiful place. It is also possible that all of the contacts and friends you have made as you contact property owners might continue to visit you, long after you completed your on location photo shoot on their property.

Years ago, back in my police days, I had little empathy for the people I found without permission on somebody else’s property. Granted, most of them were burglars or other types of thief. Those people were most likely there to steal cameras, and not use them. Yet, for those of us involved in photography for reasons determined by us, and enjoyable, just ASK PERMISSION first. In a case where you are denied permission, then you might think about getting what you need from a public space and not going on private property at all. Or, just bag it, and move on to something else. Have fun, and find something else to shoot. Sometimes there are days like that when you get a NO for an answer. It won’t happen often, but it does happen. Life is kinda like that…..

Last weeks shots are not totally edited, but some of the Northtown and Holy Family shots are online. I’ll check with the GM at Northtown and schedule another visit back there.

Try this URL for thumbnail access to the larger 80% resolution images. The newer images are located at the bottom.

Upcoming shoots involve some fairly extensive painting with light projects. If I can get enough help, we might try to “paint” David Govedares work at Riverfront Park (runners). That would take some choreography and controlled use of cameras and flashlights, but it might be fun to see how we can create some additional interest in the existing sculpture.