Its not just frontline photojournalists, suffering at the hands of the Metropolitan police, who are being picked on just because of the job they are doing. Regular photographers working on commission or self motivated projects are the subject of deep suspicion by everybody. And especially so by those who think they are in some position of “authority”. There is no logic, let alone evidence, to cast a person with a camera in the role of terrorist or child molester. Yet that is what happens… every day, by otherwise sane rational people… when they see a photographer, logic and rationality go out the window. The lunacyÂ of this can be evidenced when on a recent job I filmed an interviewed a coastguard. At the end of our chat I mentioned that I wanted to grab some shots of the flotsam and jetsam on the shoreline. ‘Oh I’d better get one of our guys to go with you, or you might get stopped.’ … to steal a quote from photographer Geert van Kesteren (about the occupation in Iraq) …. Why Mister, Why?
Campaigns against the demonisation and criminalisation of photographers are being spearheaded by both the British Journal of Photography and Amateur Photographer magazines.