Home > for fun, PTC > The 10 Snap Commandments a.k.a. how not to get jacked for your camera while shooting photos in the hood

The 10 Snap Commandments a.k.a. how not to get jacked for your camera while shooting photos in the hood

1. The best investment you will ever make… business card (this has saved my life on a few occasions). Another idea… Mention the term “project” or “school project” (folks are more willing to help a non professional without getting paid). Finally… Fake press credentials (not for the weak at heart) be ready to play the role to the end or you could end up with a speed bump

2. Don’t be a show off… go for the bare essentials (leave your 70-200 2.8 locked safely away in your safe suburban home)

3. Spend some quality time in the area before you shoot (case the place)

4. Don’t ask for a photo (unless you get busted). It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission!

5. Wear gang neutral color (stick with your familiar earth tones)

6. F’ your camera bag / Go stealth  (don’t you know Bad Boys move in silence)

7. In case of a “hold up”, carry an old billfold with a few dollars in it, and expired credit cards (robbers don’t take the time to check expiration dates), don’t forget a fake PIN # on a piece of scratch paper just for fun

8. Keep your “fancy phone” locked away in the trunk of your “Beemer”, invest $20 in a “pay as you go” phone. Can easily be handed over with minimal out of pocket expense and a must have in case you must call loved ones to deliver the ransom money.

9. Double up! Shoot with a partner. It’s best to have a look out! You don’t want to get caught slippin’. One can be pretty vulnerable with your camera pressed against your face. Ok, here is a freebie… you can have your partner pose as if you were taking there picture and snap anyone within a 10 ft radius. If shooting alone always let someone know where you will be and what time you will be done.

10. Kools or Newport… choose one! Many folks can be chatted up and made to feel at ease with the soothing taste of a menthol. P.S. I did not ask if you smoke

So there you have it. The 10 Snap Commandments. Follow these rules you’ll have mad bread to break up, if not you’ll have a “pumpkin head deluxe” on the wake up!

Finally, I work as a street outreach worker with chronically homeless folks, many of them are chemically dependent and or mentally ill. So, I must always ask myself what is the motive for this photo? Art or exploitation? Photographing in an urban landscape can be dangerous but the images are as beautiful and powerful as the community and it’s people. This list is not meant to demean any race or class of folks. This is simply a glimpse of my personal experience of living and shooting in the inner city.

Casanova Frankenstein -urban photographer


Categories: for fun, PTC Tags: , , , , ,
  1. June 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    and remember, if you get jacked anyway it will only help you rep. your nobody till somebody kills you.

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