Downtown Crossing ‘Street Photographers’ Crossing The Line?

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV

CBS (BOSTON) – It’s legal for someone to snap your photo while you’re walking down the street, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t annoying.

A WBZ-TV viewer passed along some video he recorded at Downtown Crossing this week.

The viewer told us he sees a group of six or seven men, armed with fancy cameras aggressively hunting down and photographing women and children nearly every day.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports 

The video he shared shows what seems to be some sketchy behavior.

His story was backed up by other people at Downtown Crossing, who tell WBZ-TV these guys are constantly getting in peoples’ faces and acting very defensively when someone asks them to stop.

“Those guys are out here every single day, following people up and down the street, nonchalantly taking pictures of women’s body parts,” said Craig Caplan, who owns three kiosks selling various items not far from where these men hang out.

Caplan says he’s seen them focus their lenses on women’s breasts, legs, and behinds. As for what the men do with their pictures, he has no idea.

“I’d love to know,” said Caplan. “I mean, if it was my wife, girlfriend, daughter, I would have a big problem with it.”

WBZ-TV’s cameras were rolling as some of these men darted in and out of crowds on Friday afternoon, snapping away.

When confronted, a man who identified himself only as “John,” said he and his friends were simply ‘street photographers’.

He acknowledged that he does “have to be a little aggressive to do this type of photography” and that people shouldn’t be bothered by it.

Asked if he specifically targets young women or children, John said, “false.”

Another street photographer, Pierre Philippe, admitted he could “understand that people are bothered by this” but also denied taking any kind of obscene or inappropriate pictures.

A third man, named Joe, called it “ridiculous [and] absurd” to think he and his fellow photographers would target children or women. “We don’t do anything that’s suspect or could be considered suspect,” he said.

“There’s no law against taking pictures of anything in the street,” pointed out Andy Klein, another man in this group.

When asked why so many of their subjects are put off by being in their pictures, Klein responded, “Well, people imagine things.”

The men claim that none of their photos ever ends up on the internet as part of pay site. They say their pictures go into their private collections; some, they say, will be part of an upcoming art show that focuses on the work of local street photographers.

Comments

One Comment

  1. marty says:

    If they were bothering me I would take their camera and smash it….then they’d learn to mind their own business and pay the people that they are photographing!!

    1. HJH says:

      Check out this blog for the full story on what these guys are up to. It’s written by one of the guys in the video: http://thephotorecession.webs.com/index.htm

      1. Jack says:

        The guy who wrote this blog left a phony name and generic email address. Anyone who works in DTX sees these guys on a regular basis. We see them taking pics without people’s permission and focusing on body parts like rear ends, breasts and so forth. It’s a simple thing to put a few harmless foot pics up on a blog and call it art but those of us who see them every day can’t fathom why they are aloud to keep doing this.

      2. This Is For You Jack says:

        Jack, you don’t know the law. Also, unless you’re looking through the camera, there’s no way you can know what they’re really doing. Next time you see them, confront them or just talk to them (but be sure to first hide your body parts).

        They’re “aloud” to keep doing this because guys like you can’t spell, let alone reason. When you wake up from your slumber, a light will shine and everyone will be as nice and considerate as you are…

      3. Jack says:

        Where are all the pics? At a gallery? Online? Years worth of tasteful artistic pictures must be somewhere. Where can we see them all? Why do you guys take the pics from the waste like you’re trying to hide what you’re doing?

        You aren’t fooling anyone. Many of us see you every day. Pick a new neighborhood. We’re done with it in Downtown Crossing. Plan on many of us confronting you. It’s enough already.

        Let’s see you guys sue the news. You couldn’t even make a case for what you do other than, “Turn off the camera.” Really? You “artists” sure clammed up quick.

      4. samuel quinn says:

        jack, you don’t know jack. we “artist” are aloud to be loud, so allow us to do so. jack attack.

      5. Andrew Coutermarsh says:

        If you want to see their pictures, you can do what somebody does with any other artist: buy a print.

        Get over yourself.

      6. Andrew Coutermarsh says:

        Also, once it becomes obvious that the newsperson is simply interested in generating a story instead of having a real dialogue or telling the truth, it becomes pointless to have a conversation, so “turn off the camera” becomes the only thing you can do to protect yourself.

        You have NO idea how much talking was actually done on camera. You only saw what WBZ wanted you to see. This is why it’s generally important to see multiple points of view and perspectives before assuming one knows the truth.

      7. Janice says:

        I’ve seen a photo exhibit by one of the photographers they talked to in this piece at City Hall a few years ago. He’s a completely legit artist/photog. Sanctioned by City Hall no less! This “news story” is complete garbage. WBZ will be lucky if the photographers in the piece don’t sue them.

    2. ty says:

      Marty,

      A response by one of the photographers in this hit piece:

      http://thephotorecession.webs.com/

      WBZ had access to what they shot, and refused to show what they were shooting and didn’t tell truthfully their side of the story. This is a manufactured story, and WBZ is a fraking joke.

      They should think about suing for libel. And people who’s first reaction was to equate this with perverts, rapists and criminals should do some soul searching.

      Those kind of thoughts don’t pop into normal minds people!

    3. bob says:

      and then he would sue you and you would have just lost a lot of money for nothing.

    4. Gregory Peel says:

      That action would qualify as assault.

    5. Wes says:

      Marty, I’m not a street photographer but if you had any clue what artist’s photos go for these days (unless you are one of the very few who have made it big), believe me, you’d be insulted by what these guys could pay you for being photographed.

    6. Ryan says:

      Marty, may I call you that, I could think of worse to call you. Taking their camera’s and smashing them would be breaking the law, Theft, Destruction of property, and assault, what they are doing is not breaking any laws, in fact, it is protected by the first amendment. You are one of the comatose media junkies suffering from delusional social paranoia. You are an ass. I would like to see you try to take my camera there keyboard warrior, you would only try once. Self defense can be a beautiful thing!

    7. andy says:

      …And you would get arrested for assault, and destruction of private property. Just because you don’t like what someone is doing, doesn’t mean you have the right to react violently.

    8. xxx says:

      And you’d go to jail.

    9. Tony says:

      Enjoy your assault charges and civil law suit then.

  2. Bill O says:

    Sure you would, Marty.

    I do hope my street photographer friends who are the subject of this hit piece (the televised version where they are identifiable) will consider legal action in response to this story. This would have been a great opportunity for a news organization to cover the rich American tradition of street photography, and the local artists who follow in the footsteps of the greats – Harry Callahan, Meyerowitz, Winogrand, Cartier-Bresson.

    The only ones “crossing the line” here are the WBZ staff, with shameful and false accusations of these photographers being pornographers. This was trash journalism.

    1. blackbear1 says:

      i SAW YOUR FRIENDS ON TV LAST NITE, AND BESIDES UNACCOUNTABLE BEHAVIOR, THEY HAVE “ATTITUDES”! THEY DO NOT WISHED TO BE IN THE CAMERA LENS. CAN’T THEY EXPLAIN THEMSELVES ANY BETTER?

      1. ty says:

        LOUD NOISES

      2. Archie says:

        http://thephotorecession.webs.com/index.htm
        This guy does a pretty good job explaining himself. It’s BZ that put this sham together.

    2. profootballwalk says:

      Harry Calahan and Winograd? In your dreams.

    3. M says:

      They like to organize feet?

      “pedi” = feet
      “pedo” = children

      “phile” = to like, to be interested in
      “file” = to put away, to organize

    4. Learntospellplease says:

      And you are a rapist of the english language. Seriously. Please get offline.

    5. Archie says:

      Just saw this… A notice about the exhibition they talked about in the article.

      http://thephotorecession.webs.com/invitetoexhibition.htm

    6. Mark says:

      “I’d love to find out what they’re doing with it”

      Then why don’t you walk on down to the gallery, you ingrate.

      Hmm, seems like tier one reporting, has CNN heard of this? Some of you guys might be getting promoted!!!!!

      “Will you shut that off please?” Uh, he’s being pretty damn nice when you get up in his face. And you’re not photographing him, oh great one, that’s called a “video camera”. Say it with me, V-I-D-E-O. Okay, now you’ve got it. A photograph isn’t captured at 30fps, now welcome to doltville.

      “It’s what they have to do, for their art”

      And did you even bother looking to see if said art existed? No. You didn’t really care much about reporting the “facts” here, all you wanted was to go on your own self righteous witch hunt in order to show how incredibly pious your news crew is.

      Congratulations, you have proven your tiered ability to be moved by rumor and unsubstantiated fact, now maybe tomorrow you can pretend it’s not april fools
      and imagine as if you have any skill as something we like to call a “journalist” and actually report the news, without inserting your own bias into the story, k thanks bud.

      And haha, you can’t even screen cap, you had to film your monitors for the video, you guys are such a failure of a news team.

      1. Mark says:

        I feel bad for these people below me who are so easily swayed by such a sensationalistic story, how bland it must be, being so susceptible to rumors and unsubstantiated facts.

  3. SMC says:

    It may not be illegal, but it is creepy and disgusting. As a young woman, it infuriates me that these creepy old men are allowed to sneak up on women and take pictures like this. (Such as the man caught bending over behind that poor woman to take pictures of her legs.) Anyone with good intentions would back off when so many people are upset.

  4. emom says:

    Pardon me, BUT WHAT <<<< you mean to tell us that these old men, have RIGHTS to just walk up behind women and children and not ASK their permission to take their photos, I am sorry, I thought if you were to be photographed you needed to sign a waiver otherwise the photos were deleted or turned over immediatly… REALLY THESE PERVS HAVE RIGHTS,, oh i AM SORRY NOW THAT THIS STORY HAS AIRED I SO BET THAT SOME MOTHER IS GOING TO YELL COP, a perv photo graphed my childs legs, give us a break will yuh,,, in the world of pedophiles and sicko's, this is boardering on privacy. and just wait it will come out that is is wrong…SORRY FELLORS this is wrong,

    1. Michael says:

      To bad, in your sanctimonious indignation, you are in fact, WRONG. Next time, bone up on photographer’s rights before you spout your ill informed ‘opinions’.

      1. Patrick says:

        Yeah, its to bad there are a few no talent sexually confused weirdos out there, but this should not be the grounds on how all photographers are viewed. It would be really sad if life was only recorded on terrible quality video recorders with no real artistic representation. Most people that pick up cameras and persue this hobbie/career are really interested in showing the world how beautiful or terrible it is from their own perspective. Imagine someone calling James Nachtwey or Ansel Adams a perv for taking photographs.

    2. James says:

      while I am not agreeing with what these men do. The law is this. They only need a release form if you can be recognized in the photo, and the photo is for commercial use. Downtown crossing is a public area, and as that you have no reasonable (and that is the key word reasonable) expectation of privacy. If they are taking pictures of your bare legs you have already given up that privacy by wearing a skirt etc. If they however were to stick the camera lens of the skirt, they have gone beyond what is reasonable, and have broken the law. These men legally have done nothing wrong whether you agree with it or not. As a photographer I personally would not do something like this. It does feel creepy, but at the same time art is often controversial. This definitely falls into that realm.

    3. Ryan says:

      Might I suggest you lock your children in their rooms and convert to Islam, and wear a hi jab, if you are that concerned about “privacy”. Wake up Hun, there is no expectation of privacy in public, and yes, they have rights, JUST like you. If you thought they had to get your permission, or have you sign a waiver, that or delete or turn over their photos, then you are sadly lacking in your understanding of the law, maybe you should educate yourself on the REAL laws of the country, not the ones you or people like you make believe into your reality. The world is a much safer place today then it has ever been in the best part of 70 years for the safety of women and children, and people like you STILL suffer from media fueled delusional social paranoia (from “news” pieces just like this). YES, every man with a camera is out to get you and rape your child! Grow a brain, e-mommy!

    4. Tony says:

      Boy, you have no idea how the law works, do you,

  5. Des says:

    Unless the photographers are detaining people or interfering with their movement, this is a non-story. They are making photos in a public space.

  6. royp says:

    We should go down there and follow these guys around with video cameras. See how they like it.

    Laws reallly need to be changed. Capturing a person inadvertantly is one thing, these guys are zooming in on womens legs. That is creepy and invasive,

    1. DoesNoOneReadTheConstitution says:

      The First Amendment. Look it up.

    2. DavidinD says:

      royp

      Laws should be changed??

      How the eFF do you know they were zooming in on womens legs? It appears that they had a wide-angle lens. They even showed the reporters and there is a link above.

      Do your effing research before you make a new oughtta-be-a-law

    3. Dave says:

      As a street photographer myself, I’d personally welcome you following me around with a video camera. This is just another news story designed to bring in more advertising and stir up controversy. Does Boston really need another national news story about overreacting to something? Have you actually read the response from the photographer that was interviewed, talked to politely, and then slaughtered on the local news?

    4. Lucky Phil out near Kickadogalong says:

      RoyP, wake up fella.
      People are followed around by video cameras every minute they are walking in the street.
      News flash. It’s called CCTV – they are everywhere, just that you forget they are there or don’t even know they are there – in the shopping mall, the supermarket, on the street, in the car park everywhere. They follow your every move. What do you think are in those black domes?

      Emom, you need to get out into the real world and not get over the fearmongering.
      Not everything you read in the papers and see on TV or the internet is actually correct.
      Sorry to break that on TV

  7. Bg says:

    This pathetic story will have WBZ shut off in my household from now on. For a “news” organization to attack one of America’s most important artistic pursuits and to attempt to smear photojournalists for a typical Boston-local-news scare story is sickening. I sincerely hope that the photographers on the television broadcast sue WBZ off the air for defamation. I also hope that Bostonians overwhelmingly support them to prove that this is a city and not some New York suburb assuming it is entitled to special privileges as WBZ typically represents it. WBZ should be ashamed of itself and I look forward to hearing on WHDH and WCVB of the enormous payouts it’s forced to make to these photographers.

    1. JRM says:

      WBZ is protected by the same rights to freedom of press that your little friends exploit in a most intrusive and disgusting manner. It is obvious that WBZ struck a nerve, as they caught you in the midst of borderline voyeurism; your only response seems to be to whine and threaten to sue. I applaud WBZ for taking this risk, and bringing another issue of serious invasion of privacy to the public. I definitely agree that street photography is an important artistic pastime of this and many other countries, but your perverse defense of illegal, sexual photography is, well, that…perverse.

      1. 1stAmendment says:

        There is nothing illegal or sexual about the photos these guys were taking (as evidenced by the links provided). Furthermore, it is entirely protected by the First Amendment. In addition, there is no “reasonable expectation of privacy” when you’re in public. So… you’re wrong.

      2. Andrew Coutermarsh says:

        *sigh*

        For the last time, there’s no such thing as an invasion of privacy in a public place. It’s simply a non-issue. You can’t walk around in public and expect any kind of privacy.

        Yes, street photography is voyeuristic. That’s its nature. But not voyeuristic in the sexual sense. It’s simply a way to see into people’s lives in a way that is, frankly, noninvasive, and shows how groups of people act in today’s society.

        I have to wonder, Bg, if you’re the same kind of person who thinks that when you buy a portrait from a portrait photographer, you think you’re allowed to make as many copies as you want, because it’s a photo of you, rather than something whose copyright is owned by the photographer.

    2. WW says:

      When they take a few “Street” pictures of your wife’s body come back and tell us if you feel the same way. That guy in the video was most definitely bent over behind those women taking pictures.

      1. Michal says:

        Well, to start I always make sure that my wife is dressed up properly. If you go out on the street with your tits and ass out, you’re asking for it… If EVERYONE can see it on the street with the naked eye, what’s the difference if the guy takes a photo of that? 1000 guys have seen it in flesh anyway.

      2. Bill Bob says:

        Michael,

        The old she’s asking for it line? Really? That’s as ignorant now as when a rapist uses it in court before being put away. These guys aren’t artists. They’re creeps. I see them every day for years! Where are the thousands of pics they take? They might have some credibility if there was a gallery or a web site they could point to showing the thousands of pics they too. BUT nope. nothing.

      3. RawheaD says:

        Billy Bob,

        The link provided by several people in this thread has information on an upcoming photo exhibit. Why don’t you try to read for once? I understand it’s probably not your strong suit, but still.

  8. emom says:

    Wasnt it not to long ago , that people were getting in trouble for using their cell phones to take photos but if someone else was in it that they could get fined or something,… I seem to remember soemthing on this from last year or so… some one please check , as these guys armed with cameras, with telephoto lens, can do anything even from a great distance, and the people havent a clue ,, I am so greatfull to have learned about this actions , Yes its invasion of space, let me ask how would you feel if all of a sudden you see OLD GUYS with cameras snapping photos of the back of your legs rightup to your bottom and it was of your 6 year daughter,,,, that would freak me out enough to ask what they are doing and ask to look at what they are doing,, if they have nothing to hide they would graceiously SHOW YOU,,, If they do to you like they did with the news man,, and say and do nothing to show you , then there is serious cause for alarms, A true photographer will let you know they are photo graphing you as if they plan on using it I would think they need your permission.

    1. Ryan says:

      a street photographer would not let you know he was photographing you, maybe he would after, as it takes away the natural look, poise, and feel of the photograph. just because you are too narrow minded to try to understand it does not mean what they are doing is wrong.

    2. ThinkBeforeReacting says:

      They aren’t using “telephoto” lenses, they’re using wide angle lenses, that’s why they have to get close. Nothing in the article says they were taking photos from far away. And even if they were using telephoto lenses, as has been stated many times above, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy when you are walking down a public street. If they can snap photos of your legs up to your bottom, then your skirt or shorts are exposing your legs up to your bottom…they aren’t putting cameras under skirts (which WOULD be illegal).

      There is absolutely no need to obtain permission unless the image is going to be used for a commercial purpose, meaning, promoting a product, promoting the photographer’s business, etc. It could be used in a textbook, in an art gallery, or posted in an online gallery on the photographer’s website with no permission needed. Educate yourself on the law before talking like you know something about it.

  9. emom says:

    Oh how would you actually feel if alll of a sudden you happen to see a photo of you child and dont remember it, to reconize thats your child and you have no idea why that photo is there in some book, magazine, poster, art gallery, or worse some web site,,,, I think most would be irate and ticked, I say keep investigating these guys, If they are on the up and up then its all good , but if they continually block you and demand YOU get out of their face, then there are red flags with that…….. they are up to no good then,,..,,,

    1. Andrew Coutermarsh says:

      The problem that shows up in situations like this is when somebody does explain what they’re doing and that’s not good enough for you. If a woman walked up to me and asked me what I was doing, I most certainly would hand her my business card, explain what I do and show her photos from my camera… but I don’t HAVE to do that. I do it so as not to appear creepy, but appearing creepy is—guess what?—not a crime.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewjc/sets/72157614916422909/ (photos of some kids skateboarding)

      I took those photos from a distance at first, and after the kids who were skateboarding down at the boardwalk where I live, and once they noticed me I engaged them and showed them. They loved it and began doing tricks so I could capture them in action. A few weeks later I got a comment on my blog from the grandmother of one of the kids, thanking me for the photos and exclaiming how great she thought it was that I had wanted to take them in the first place. And it never would have happened if I hadn’t started out by doing it surreptitiously.

      But the fact of the matter is, there is no legal way that you can prevent photographers from taking your picture. If it creeps you out, well, I’m sorry to say that you have no recourse. None. There is no Constitutional right to not be offended.

      Oh, and by the way, if you were looking through a photography book and saw your kid’s picture? You’d still probably have no recourse. You only need a model release for a photograph that is used in a NON-editorial context. That means that newspapers, news websites, blogs, art galleries, etc. can use photos without a release all day long. When the photograph is used to promote a service or product, that’s where releases are needed (commercial photography vs. editorial photography).

  10. steven Alexander says:

    The only objectionable parts of this story are, one the bias against the photographers by WBZ and the pack hunting nature of the photographers.
    The art of street photography is widely accepted in the world of art and exhibited in great museum around the world. Why a television news department would find this form of art unacceptable is mind blowing, after all don’t news cameras intrude into all sorts of personal and private spaces to capture a moment. And as for this group hunt on the street, if the description on the news report is correct, it would seem to not contribute to the ability to capture really natural events on the street.

  11. Rich says:

    It is actually a group hunt. They are out there daily. They are often together as a group,especially in the afternoon. Street photography is,in my opinion,one of the best forms of photography. These guys may have incredible skills and talent,but they cross the line when they aim their cameras at women’s breasts,behinds and legs; they have been seen many times doing that by people in the area. I have female friends whom have been approached and photographed inappropriately by these guys. If anything, these guys make street photography look very bad, not WBZ-TV 4

  12. ron says:

    If their version of street photography is so innocent and widely accepted,
    why do they object so strenuously to another group of street photographers doing to them what they are doing to others???

    1. RawheaD says:

      Are you serious? Look at the kind of lunatic responses you see in this thread. Having a TV crew come in and portray you like that is like putting a crosshair on your forehead. Would *you* like it if a TV crew came to you, doing something that it perfectly legal, but just happens to be considered *bad* by a certain sector of society, after which the piece gets aired for people in that sector to see?

      Use your imagination, people.

  13. TiredOfIt says:

    I propose many many people show up downtown with cameras and follow these photographers relentlessly taking pictures of THEM, because it is legal, and they can’t stop you.

  14. timma says:

    keep video taping them. eventually one will cross the line as that a$$hole did by taking a pic from an inappropriate angle. i wouldn’t be surpirsed if one of them is a sex offender that has blended in as an artist.

    1. Andrew Coutermarsh says:

      It’s attitudes like this that result in people getting accosted by police for taking photos of THEIR OWN CHILDREN, for fear that they might be pedophiles.

      http://boingboing.net/2010/02/24/mall-security-guard.html

      I hate this change in attitudes that seems to result in the ASSUMPTION that somebody is up to no good, rather than the assumption of, “perhaps I simply don’t understand what it is they’re doing, and therefore I’m attributing a little bit of fear to something that needs none at all.”

  15. Bill Lee says:

    someone please send me the address of these men so I can hang around there houses and take some photos.It would be kind of fun I think

    1. Andrew Coutermarsh says:

      If you did that, you would TRULY be violating their privacy, instead of what they’re doing, which doesn’t violate anyone’s privacy at all. If you disagree, you really, really need to understand the law better.

    2. Tony says:

      And then you would be in the wrong. Go read up on expectation of privacy and harassment. Following someone with the intent of harassing them, shooting someone through their windows – that’s breaking the law. Snapping their picture on the street corner as they pass – this is legal.

      Get informed on the law before you open your ignorant mouth.

  16. emom says:

    Oh I say lets go ,, set up a photo opt and sit and snap photos of them snapping photos of women and children with out them KNOWNING,,, I am sure if we show these people and the parents of the children ,,, well lets just say,,,, watch out you guys cause H*LL HAS NO FURY OF A EXTREMELY ANGRY WOMEN OR MOTHER……… If these guys wont let you see the photo they took, then I feel the next step is a nice phone call for harashment….. wonder if that might make them leave or change their minds or have them investigated…………

    1. Tony says:

      Eh, as a street photographer, I say knock yourself out – assuming you follow the law, of course. If you want to take my picture, go right ahead – I have nothing to hide.

  17. Jay says:

    These poseurs aren’t artists. They’re not even photographers. Street photography is about telling stories. It’s about capturing the vibe of a city. It’s about capturing emotion. These bozos aren’t doing any of that.

    1. Michael says:

      And you know this how???

  18. WhatNonsense says:

    What a stupid story. What they’re doing is 100% legal. Now if they’re profiting off of images of people, thats another thing. But thats not the focus of the story. They’re taking photos of people in public. This whole obsession with whether or not people are doing ‘weird’ things is the problem. They’re not molesting people, they’re not even hurting anyone.

    1. srl says:

      You can actually sell them, as art. A release is only required if their likeness is being used for commercial purposes. It’s interesting that they’re not at all concerned with the fact that they’re probably being recorded on video by surveillance dozens of times through out the neighborhood.

  19. Ty says:

    Wow, so much Wharrgarbl and Derp in this thread.

    I’ll put it this way, if these photographers were taking shady pictures of people, there’s need to run up to or around their victims. They’d use a 400/500mm telephoto lens and do so from 1000 feet away, where you morons would have no idea what they were taking a picture of.

    They’re making art, and you reactionary idiots need to have a reality check and remove those tin foil hats. Shame on WBZ.

  20. silverbullet says:

    Those amateurish dudes kick the old genre ‘streetphotography’ with their shoes. Looking at the video it’s clear that this is ‘photography under an open sky’ but not streetphotography in it’s real meaning. By these blokes people become more and more sensitive about men using cameras in open public…and the results out of this actions is boring, boring and more boring…….as shooting lions in the zoo.

  21. eileen says:

    As a female street photographer, I don’t believe the public would have such a strong reaction if it were a group of woman rather than a group of men. The public associates men and cameras as creeps and pedophiles. Those kind of people hide from their subjects. These men appear be to straight forward about what they are doing. Knees, thighs, breasts, if you want them hanging out there, they going be ogled at and and in this case photographed. I shoot woman, I shoot men, I shoot homelessness, I shoot garbage in the street, I shoot children at play. I shoot in groups, I shoot alone. I am a photographer regardless of the fact that the general public feels we are on some dirty little mission of perversion.

    1. Sean Galbraith says:

      As well you should be. Keep it up.

      1. Michael says:

        Sanity! What a concept. thanks for providing some.

  22. shutterbug says:

    This is ridiculous on two fronts, both of which ought to shame WBZ.

    First, some of the greatest names in photography — Walker Evans, Diane Arbus, Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank — are known to us because they captured life on the street. Street photography has been an art form for more than a century.

    Second, as a photographer, I always check out other photographers’ gear and techniques. I see these guys in action almost every day during the spring and summer and from what I’ve observed they aren’t “targeting women and children.” Period. Unless they’re radically changing their MOs when I walk through, this segment is a real misrepresentation of what they do.

    1. 123454321 says:

      I’ve talked to them a couple times and they don’t just stay downtown and they seem pretty chill. You are knowingly subject to being photographed when you leave the house so if you’re concerned with someone photographing your bare legs, cover them up.

  23. emom says:

    Photographers are not the problem, those that are asked what they are doing, and DEMAND that you turn of the cameras and mind your own business. Well seem to have something to hide, IF it is all on the up and up , and its purely on a get the VIBE of the city,,, Why not show share and prove to the world thats what its all about,, if there is nothing to hidem Why not show the person you are photgraphing the photos let them be the judge , I find it all a bit creappy to see older men photographing only WOMEN AND GIRLS,, why wouldn’t anyone be worried about that…… PROVE IT IS HARMELESS, whats the problem with that.

    1. ty says:

      emom,

      They did, and they even taped what the photographers shot. They edited it out of this manufactured story.

    2. jwm says:

      Apparently you didn’t look at the blog link in one of the very first posts, in which one of the photographers posted several of his pictures of legs and feet. Take a look if you want some proof of what they’re doing. From experience, these cameras are not the type you’d use to shoot up a skirt, they’re wide angle lenses and you’d literally have to put the camera itself up someone’s skirt to get a perverted picture. Here’s the link:

      http://thephotorecession.webs.com/index.htm

    3. JHJ says:

      http://thephotorecession.webs.com/index.htm

      Emom, please click on the link and read the other side of this story and let me know your reaction. Thanks…

    4. Andrew Coutermarsh says:

      Here’s the thing, though, emom: They don’t have to do ANY of that. They don’t owe you any kind of explanation, no matter how much you’d like to get one. They can choose to extend that courtesy to you, but it is THEIR CHOICE to do so.

      Even if they WERE taking pictures for their own, erm, “enjoyment,” there’s nothing you can do about it. If I were some pervert who got a sexual thrill from looking at women’s ponytails, or some other equally odd fetish, and I went around taking photos of the back of women’s heads all day, most people wouldn’t assume I was a pervert. But they wouldn’t KNOW, either.

      What you say is true: they COULD be perverts. You’re absolutely right. But that doesn’t change the fact that even if they WERE taking pictures for some sexual reason, it’s not like you can stop them. As long as they aren’t invading your space or trying to take photos of something that you’ve chosen to cover up (i.e. your underwear), then you can’t stop them and if you were to ask them to stop, they still wouldn’t have to. You really need to understand the law better, I’m afraid.

      And again: There’s no law protecting you from feeling skeeved out. And there shouldn’t be one, either. The First Amendment is there to make sure that artistic expression trumps somebody else’s discomfort every time.

      1. emom says:

        Andrew Coutermarsh, I hear what you say, I am a mother and feel this is very wrong,, I have seen many photographers in many areas, However, those I have seen don’t seem to bend over in odd positions to gain a shot,, I am no photographer But I do know of those shots caught in odd angels… But in this story this guy approached was well a bit close to the lady he snapped a shot and seemed to be looking way down…. Maybe as I had already said if these guys had not demanded that the news cameras shut of THEIR cameras when asked what they were doing would I say what I have said,,, I do not agree with there methods and if I had seen someone taking a photograph in a very peculiar position , I would approach them and ask what they were doing and would ask to see what they took as a photo. After all its my child and NO I am not trying to hide my child ,,,My child has been in the newspaper a few times , but they had permission thru the schools, which every parent has to sign . If these guys have the first amendment on their side ,,, then DON’T I, I feel I have just as much right to know and even understand why they are doing this., Maybe there should be some rights for the subjects, Honestly as a parent we need to protect our children from many dangers, we talk about pedophiles all the time and we hear stories of them being right in front of us, even women would be leery of things like this,,, Maybe we are to uptight, but as soon as we let our guard down, start to relax that’s when we hear of the worst,,,,, In the long run is it to much for them to just explain and show what they are doing, invite the public to a showing, put their fears at ease, then maybe we can relax,, I rather air on the side of caution and leave risk behind.

      2. Andrew Coutermarsh says:

        The thing is this: As afraid as you are of pedophiles and perverts, statistics show that you have almost zero reason to be afraid of them. Child abductions have been down steadily over the last several decades, but just like shark attacks, people are so afraid of them and the news sensationalizes them so much that they think it’ll happen every time they go outside.

        It doesn’t.

        The problem with “constant vigilance” (to utilize a line from the Harry Potter books) is that you become hypersensitive to the environment and you think that things that aren’t happening really are. You see potential threats everywhere. That’s not how I was raised, and it’s certainly not how I’m going to raise my future children. I rode my bike everywhere, by myself, when I was a little kid. I’ll give you one guess as to how many times I got abducted.

        As I said in another comment: Maybe if you took a step back and thought, “Hey, I don’t understand what these guys are doing, so maybe I should assume they AREN’T doing anything wrong,” instead of “I don’t understand what these guys are doing, so I should be afraid of it,” we wouldn’t have all these problems.

        You say you aren’t a photographer, so I’ll give you some education about it: With a standard DSLR camera and a 28mm lens (which would be pretty common for a street photographer), you’d have to get pretty damned close to somebody’s butt in order to get a shot of it. I’m talking, like, within a couple feet. If the guy was any farther away from the subject than that, then he was getting a general shot of the lower half of the woman’s body. Wide lenses do amazing things for shots like that. Heck, I’ve used a 10mm lens on my camera to make a tiny room look positively PALATIAL. With that lens, I can literally take a picture from three or four inches away from somebody’s nose and get a shot of their entire face. (It’s very distorted when you do that, but sometimes that’s the effect you want.)

        What I’m saying ultimately boils down to this: You don’t know the motives of these guys. They don’t know your name, your daughter’s name, or where you live. The amount of threat to you is almost literally nothing. So why waste your energy getting worked up over it? Can’t you have a little faith in humanity and just assume that they don’t mean anything by it?

        Also, I would suggest that the next time you encounter something you don’t understand, rather than going on an internet message board and complaining about it… maybe you should try educating yourself FIRST, rather than flying off the handle? Too much of this world’s hate is generated by ignorance. You can alleviate a lot of problems by just doing a little reading on a subject.

  24. Ty says:

    A response by one of the photographers in this hit piece:

    http://thephotorecession.webs.com/

    WBZ had access to what they shot, and refused to tell what show were shooting and didn’t tell that side of the story. This is a manufactured story, and WBZ is a fraking joke.

    They should think about suing for libel. And people who’s first reaction was to equate this with perverts, rapists and criminals should do some soul searching. Those kind of thoughts don’t pop into normal minds people.

  25. Jack says:

    Michael,

    The old she’s asking for it line? Really? That’s as ignorant now as when a rapist uses it in court before being put away. These guys aren’t artists. They’re creeps. I see them every day for years! Where are the thousands of pics they take? They might have some credibility if there was a gallery or a web site they could point to showing the thousands of pics they too. BUT nope. nothing.

    1. Wallace says:

      http://thephotorecession.webs.com/index.htm

      There’s some pictures here. You might be disappointed though.

  26. Interestingly... says:

    if you watch the video, most of the shots these photographers are taking are of men’s faces (that seems like the modal shot, at least). Not that it proves anything, but given the way the story is presented, you would expect worse.

  27. Constitution says:

    The comments implying or outright saying that these photographers are “perverts” or worse say more about the commenters than it does about the photographers. The First Amendment: look it up, you ignorant bunch of morons.

  28. jim o says:

    when a cbz camera man sticks their came ra in a persons face outsidr a courtroom it id also aggressive. its all protected under thd first ammendment.

  29. Joseph says:

    I love the bit where the photographer says “You keep hammering me about that”. In reply to the reporter asking him if he was hunting down women and children. From the onset the news team had their story and knew what direction they were going to go with it. Try researching street photography and learn to be better journalists.

  30. carigis says:

    these people should just get real jobs… losers..

    1. Michael says:

      What a stupid comment! They probably worked their whole lives, may still have ‘real jobs’, perhaps served in the military, raised families and are possibly pursuing a lifelong hobby or dream of photography. You don’t know anything about them. Get a real job? Are you serious? You should just get a grip.

  31. soler says:

    Bruce Gilden should have a walk on that street soon..

    :)

  32. Aphotographer says:

    What an irresponsible story. They didn’t even bother to ask the photographers to see any of their finished work. These people aren’t doing what you think they are doing. Before you guys knee jerk react to a sensationalized news story, please do the work this reporter failed at and do some research.

    Let me help. Here’s a group on a photography social network that does only Street Photography.

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/onthestreet/pool/

  33. Charlie Kirk says:

    this makes me absolutely sick. these photographers should be banged up straight away. obviously they are perverts and paedophiles. good on you CBS Boston for bringing this practice to light.

    1. Don says:

      Charlie, really! You of all people; nobody who doesn’t know who you are will appreciate the sarcasm. Hope that the Japanese news media doesn’t do an story on you! It could get ugly.

      love your work,
      Don

  34. B. Vasquez says:

    I know these men well and witnessed the interview. “John” did speak on camera and showed the reporter his pictures. The reporter thought the pictures were great and nothing wrong with them. Called them “great photo journalism”. It seemed as if it was going to be a non-story. But things must be slow in the newsroom and things changed once the editor got his hands on the tape. (You DID NOT get the full story)
    If you people knew the facts and didn’t believe everything that comes out of the idiot box, you would realize how ignorant some of your comments are. This reporter should be fired.

      1. B. Vasquez says:

        Thanks. I know Joe well and have seen his images over the years, no surprise here. I know the whole story, the real story.
        I know people in the area don’t like it. The street vendors in the area, including Craig Caplan, don’t like it because they think it hurts their business. So of course they are going to say the worst things to get these guys thrown out of the area. I’ve been accused of shooting kids also by another street vendor. People know all they have to do is bring children into it and it will set up red flags. Its utterly disgusting.
        I wouldn’t take a picture of a kid even if it would make for a good street photograph simply because of all the ignorant moron types that are patrolling this site.

  35. Look4Solutions says:

    One word – Burka

  36. Glenn Riffey says:

    As one who does practice street photography from time to time, I can tell you that this is legal. Having said that, yes, there are some who take photos that I would not do. However, it is still legal. As long as the photos are not used for commercial use, like in advertising, no signed releases are needed. Street Photography has been around since cameras were invented. Street Photographers have been involved in society changes, like children in sweat factories, prostitution among teens, slave labor, etc. They have also been involved in capturing for posterity the buildings and styles of people down through the ages. Where do you think most of all of those older photos, showing what life was like 40, 50, 100 years ago came from… Street Photographers. You can’t stop them and you can’t break their equipment, that would be illegal on your part. Most street photographers when asked to stop taking someones photos will do so gladly, I know that I do. However, no matter how you feel about it, it is legal and protected by the Law. Some are agressive, most are not and most of these photos wind up in galleries, books and online photography sites. Just wanted to let you know that not all of us Street Photographers are the kind of people you deem us to be…

    1. Archie says:

      Glenn… good points. Did you read the blog by one of the photographers?

      http://thephotorecession.webs.com/index.htm

      1. Glenn Riffey says:

        Thanks Archie, I did now and the article basically supports what I’ve written. Because of what is happening in the world, from child porn to terrorist activities and the way the news media portray them it creates an environment that is more likely to put suspicion into peoples minds then it did in the past. Street photography is an acceptable and legal form of photographic art. Some do it better than others and some are more courteous than others. It’s whats in the peoples minds that creates the problems. What they think is going on is worse than what actually is…

  37. BeEducatedBeforeYouJudge says:

    Clearly you people are not a fan of photography or understand how street photography works. Please read this link, I am sure something as easy as wiki can explain something to you. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_photography
    I do not see how it can come across as perverted and wrong. North America is known for its great street photographers among other great forms of art, do you really want to stop this from happening?
    Oh and another thing…where was the photographing of children? or was that put in to make you even more paranoid than you clearly already are….oh wait there was not one time in that whole video showing those photographers going even close to a child or teenager let alone taking photographs of them, so please guys watch what your actually watching, not just listen to it. Use your eyes and actually watch it … oh and they do not need you permission to you use the photographers unless they sell the images and make money from it…as they don’t you have nothing to stand on. You are all just paranoid far to much and just need to chill and except and enjoy an art form.
    Also as a photographer, I am not a street photographer but I understand the concepts of cameras and camera lens. When the guy is shooting the three woman at the crossing he is NOT taking a photograph of their bums, why I hear you ask because of the lens, and the distance and angle they are shooting the feet and the street around them. You can not say they are taking photographs of bums and breasts, when you probably have a little compact camera that makes you feel like a photographer, please educate yourself on photography, technically, conceptually and the theory behind it before you jump the gun and judge what you do not know. That also goes to you WBZ TV stop making rubbish churnalism stories and actually do you ‘skill’ and be a journalist.

    Cheers

  38. Jason Combs says:

    Irresponsible reporting. Why were all these details found here (http://thephotorecession.webs.com) left out of the story?

  39. Sarcasm says:

    Here is another piece of perversion disguised as street photography:

    That Henri Cartier-Bresson should have been put in jail, obviously.

  40. Bill says:

    If this kind of photography is bad then one should censure the works of some of the greatest photographers of the past too. People like Henri Cartier Bresson and Andre Kertesz made what is considered some of the greatest contributions to candid photography with exactly the same kind of pictures. People these days are way too sensitive. When you are out in public everything about you is on display, the fact that some one took a photo is not an excuse to overreact.

  41. A. Hystericler says:

    I say lock them all up. Annoying photographers, annoying news cameras, annoying security cameras…then ban annoying books made with photos from those annoying photographers, ban annoying news channels, ban everything everything that’s annoying.

    1. nobody says:

      You’re annoying. ;>)

  42. Peter Hoffman says:

    What a piece of rubbish journalism. I do, however, think that these photographers could have done themselves a favor by not asking that the camera get turned off, it’s a bit of a hypocrisy to photograph people on the street and then not be open to being photographed.
    If the public doesn’t like what these guys are doing, they can elect to transport themselves in a car with tinted windows. It’s perfectly legal and, if you actually look at their work, not perverted or threatening.

    How about you put up a link to their upcoming art show and the public can see the photos and judge for themselves?

  43. Outraged? says:

    I wish they would do a story of people who are outraged by the use of the x-ray scanners at Logan. When you are in public, people see you. That’s just a fact. They don’t see you naked though.

  44. YellowJournalism says:

    WBZ, Jim Armstrong, Ron, Jonathan Elias, where are your responses to this? Clearly the way you all have handled the framing of what these photographers are doing has come into question. The journalistically responsible thing to do is to comment and explain what happened. To me, you have clearly insinuated that these guys are pedophiles and pornographers, and are doing your best to frighten people. Based on the blog posting by one of the photographers, they are clearly working in the long tradition of street photographers in this country and trying to make art. And they explained that to you. Why did you present the story the way you did?

  45. Jeremy says:

    Unfortunately, with all the comments posted and with this story, there is bias. Only the photographers truly know what they are doing when they photograph people and what it is they are doing with their photos. I have looked at the photographer’s blog. I do feel he got dissed by Jim Armstrong, but I also know he’s not being entirely upfront either. It’s great we are all given this forum to debate and to agree or disagree. Street photography and all forms of art should be protected. Still, there should be some level of class displayed when going about your art. A bit respect and consideration can go a long way when dealing with others. Hope this has opened up a lot of eyes to the subject.

  46. btezra says:

    wow, here I thought I was on FauxNews.com (Fox “news”), just another example of a tv station promoting fear through sensationalized “story”

    no facts, no actual reporting just assumption and fear mongering

    pathethis piece of “journalism”

    a photographer has every right to photograph what she or he chooses on public property, if the images are used for commercial reasons I am sure the photographer’s got signed consent forms from those individuals in the photographs

  47. Rich says:

    From another site regarding that photographer’s online response:

    “April 18th, 2011 at 4:16 pm
    A couple of notes:

    (1) The WBZ story was quite one-sided, with plenty of unsubstantiated innuendo.

    (2) There’s nothing wrong with legit street photography.

    (3) The photographer’s response was intelligent and well-written.

    (4) The photographer’s response leaves behind many clues that convinced me that all is NOT legit… (a) He can’t get the name of his 2010 photo series right, once calling it “Small Feet, Big Feet, High-Heeled Shoe Feet” and once “Big Feet, Small Feet, High-Heeled Shoe Feet.” (b) Searching for his name, “Henry Joe Henry” or email address “Streetshot33@yahoo.com” results in no hits referring to him outside of that webpage. (c) His web page contains a single entry, and no apparent history or outside references (according to Bing, Google, and Archive.org), and so was likely just set up for this one response. SO, what kind of Internet-savvy photographer is so proud of his work that he leaves no trace of himself or of his work online anywhere?”

    I know that the photographer is not being entirely upfront; others may catch on to that,too. Ask the many witnesses to these guys in the Downtown Crossing area and hear their side before being so quick to take sides. Don’t let your love for street photography make you so biased that you’ll feel for anyone or everyone taking pictures. Not everyone is in it for the art.

    1. B. Vasquez says:

      You KNOW the photographer isn’t being up front? Really? Are you a WBZ employee??? If not they might be looking for a reporter like yourself.

      You cracked the case wide open!

      Nice ghost hunt, Sherlock. Guess what I’m not using my real name or e-mail either. People like to stay anonymous on the internet ya know.

  48. JT says:

    I think the funnier thing is that all those crying foul on the art of street photography don’t seem to mind that the news does this every day. When was the last time you saw a news report that doesn’t show random shots of people to help cover the story. They’ll show footage of people walking on the street focusing on the overweight people when they are doing a story on obesity, for example.

    In these cases they ARE often showing identifiable footage of people. But I don’t hear you screaming about that. In fact they even did it for this story. Just as they have laws in place that allow them to do this, so does the average person.

    There is no expectation of privacy in a public space. And you should also consider that your every move is recorded on video cameras from traffic stops to shopping malls.

    In short, those of you who would declare these men perverts, get over yourselves. They aren’t hiding, they aren’t using long lenses to capture these images without being seen. They are out there, among the people capturing the story of the people.

  49. f8bethere says:

    I found some more incidents of photographers photographing underage women from behind without them knowing about it. Have a look: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/04/11/salem-teachers-recorded-unknowingly-in-classroom/

    The difference is that it is the CBS TV photographers doing it. Shots like that are par for the course for almost every single story involving an elementary school. Where is your outrage CBS TV!

    Also what the hell was this? Could the lead in and lead out by the anchor sound any more biased. Is journalistic integrity not necessary for anchors or producers at cbs tv?

    I am not defending the street photographers. I find the whole pack thing a bit odd for starters but if it is true that they willingly showed the reporter what they shot then how come we weren’t able to see that in the story? Aren’t you supposed to tell both sides here? Or did the images not fit your editorial decision to make them look like they just may be possibly perverts or at the very least ‘odd’. You just lost a viewer and contributor to your advertisers.

  50. f8bethere says:

    Okay, I am done with defending these guys. I gave them the benefit of the doubt until I clicked on the gallery listed on their response. What are there? Terrible photos of girls in bikini’s from far away. Typical creepy photographer shots. Thanks for giving real street photographers a bad name you idiots.

    Real classy
    http://thephotorecession.webs.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=11417236

    1. B. Vasquez says:

      Not so fast. I KNOW Joe personally, and those are NOT his photos. I’m not sure whats going on. If you look at the original pics of legs and feet you can see yourself the style is completely different.
      I can’t explain this myself, but I know for a fact those are not Joe’s photos. Account hacked? i mean, seriously, why would someone describe the situation so eloquently, provide pictures to support his case……… then out of the blue produce completely different type of photos of young girls and kids like that? (that are terrible images btw) It must have gotten hacked. Profile says hes from Florida too.

      1. f8bethere says:

        I looked and it says the photos were added today and yes by someone in Florida allegedly. Fair enough BUT why don’t these street photographers post some of their work and settle this finally instead of posting one or two pics of feet lets see their whole take from the day they were video taped.

      2. Rich says:

        Looks to be more “members” on there now. May be a’holes hacking the site to exploit what is going on and to tarnish Joe’s rep. It would be nice,btw,so see his work up there,besides what he has provided. He should represent himself with his art. A bio would be nice,too.

  51. Rich says:

    Here you can see photos from a brilliant and amazingly talented street photographer: .http://www.google.com/search?q=bruce+gilden+photography&hl=en&sa=X&rlz=1C1CHMZ_enUS375US375&prmd=ivnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=IuSsTarULofv0gHCgpXACw&ved=0CCcQsAQ&biw=1360&bih=667

    Street photography is a great art form, so it shouldn’t be feared. I don’t believe this news story was attacking street photography. This particular group has made many uneasy in the area. Perhaps we (in the area) have reacted too strongly to them. It would be nice to see there efforts online or in print. It seems practical these days to have an online gallery to show off artwork and photography,especially because not everyone can attend an actual gallery. Hey,Vasquez,I have no beef with you. We disagree and see things differently. My mind is fairly open,though it may appear otherwise to you. You know the man,so you know much better than I do. Right now,I am jaded about this group. My mind can change,however.

    1. B. Vasquez says:

      I met Bruce Gildon about a year and a half ago, it was a pleasure talking to him. If you like and respect Gilden’s work, than you should have NO PROBLEM with what these guys are doing. Gilden gets into peoples faces with FLASH, how do you think he gets the dramatic images he gets? You can’t be shooting from across the street, or politely ask permission first. You have to put yourself on the line. John shoots no different than Gilden, as I’ve seen them both shoot. Except Gilden uses flash……. (how would that go down in Boston?)
      Let me just say, the way these guys are depicted in videos is NOT the way they normally shoot in a group like that. (Yes it can make them look a little foolish to some, but that’s not the norm by a long shot) They are dedicated street photographers and take it seriously. I know one of the guys could probably out talk anyone when it comes to photography He’s like an encyclopedia on the subject. Photography is his LIFE. (drives me nuts talking about it haha)

      Whether they decide to show anything is up to them. But frankly, I can’t blame them if they don’t. Not with the lynch mob that’s been assembling in this forum. I wouldn’t post a link to my website either. Not with the sheer ignorance going around.

      And I would just like to say to all the people that keep bringing up children and calling them pedophiles. Some of them have been shooting there for over 10 years! As the news report said, the police are well aware of it as they have been over the last DECADE. Certainly if they were some sort of pedophile ring they would be in jail by now. Use some common sense people. They are out in the open, not hiding from anyone.
      Whether its art, hack photography, garbage photography, or even “CREEPY”, that’s not the issue. No laws are being broken, “if you can see it, you can shoot it”. Frankly, i don’t think they should have to prove anything to anyone. The fact remains if they were doing anything wrong after all this time, the police who see them shooting constantly would have arrested them. That should be enough proof in itself.

      Oh also, I believe one of them spent the night at Gilden’s house once (maybe invited to stay the night, I can’t remember), but I KNOW he was visiting his house at least. So I hope I didn’t just tarnish your love for Bruce Gilden at all :)

      The Photographers Rights
      http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

      1. B. Vasquez says:

        By the way, I took an image of Bruce Gildon also when I met him….

        http://www.imagebam.com/image/3dc81b128569978

  52. Robert M Johnson says:

    70’s Massachusetts Street Photography …. http://www.fullframeimages.com/

    1. Archie says:

      Robert Johnson… I’m a big fan of yours. What do you make of all this?

  53. Rich says:

    Here’s an interesting site regarding street photography. Definitely worth checking out : http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2010/09/the-death-of-street-photography-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/

  54. pjb says:

    Unless WBZ actually saw photographs of women or children taken by these photographers they should not even have run this story.

  55. Bill Rogers says:

    The video clip from WBZ-TV looks like a parody – something that should be seen on “The Onion” instead of a TV newscast. When WBZ interviews someone, they are pointing a camera at someone’s body parts. If only the WBZ people were smarter, they’d recognize that they are attacking their own rights. As I said, unintentional self-parody – it would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.

  56. Dave O. says:

    This is why other countries laugh at our news coverage. With few exceptions, U.S. news is a joke and this piece of ‘journalism’ proves that WBZ is no exception.

    When recession strikes, it’s the media’s job to provide distraction from real issues and to fear monger. Here’s a suggestion, next week run a piece about those terrorist street musicians and the following week, pedophile street canvassers. Ratings gold! Fear everywhere!

  57. samuel quinn says:

    The fellow who stated “If that where my kid or wife” etc has a hidden agenda. He followed my friend around while photographing in the downtown area, a 19 year old kid, followed him for blocks at a time repeatedly, never stating his objection. If the ignorant people on here think this is “gross” or “invasive”, smash every i phone you see and point and shoot camera. Not to mention that there is no such thing really as privacy anymore anyway, with cameras inside stores, atm’s, sides of buildings, etc. WBZ did a horrible job, very one sided, chopping the photographers response.

  58. Pat says:

    Why Doesn’t WBZ help these photographers do an exhibit of thier work at downtown crossing? Show the people that are there everyday the results of the creativity this artists are employing. Help be a solution for all those people who don’t know the art.

  59. Erin says:

    This is a really pathetic take on actual journalism. There is no story here. Professional photographers practicing their art. The part where WBZ feigns this is news and tries to make a story out of nothing as well as demonizing a group of pros doing their job just makes me realize I shouldn’t take any of their news reporting seriously. Really WBZ, so many crimes and so much actual news to report and this is what you bother with? You just lost a viewer – with a big mouth.

  60. Kevin Mac says:

    People with dirty minds seek out the unsavory and the salacious. When they fail to find it, they invent it. When that happens innocent street photographers get labeled pedophiles and sexual predators. How ridiculous is this? Combine that with sloppy journalism and you’re left with this mess.
    These men, as well as men and women photographers like them are no more pedophiles or sexual predators than anyone reading this comment.
    What kind of world is this where people first look for the monsters in the shadows before they stop and enjoy the beauty of things…..well maybe thats a little dramatic but the point is, lighten up people.

  61. LookinAtTheBiscuit says:

    Obama loves him some booty…… After we find his birth certificate we need to run his name through the police computer. Definitely some suspicious activity here…. he’s got to be a sex offender. No Doubt about it.

    Evidence/Proof
    http://thedanashow.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/obama-butt-looker-or-what/

    This man needs to be stopped! The Horror. Hide your kids, hide your wife.

    1. Ryan says:

      ??? REALLY??? WoW

  62. Zorro says:

    Anyone who takes this story at face value should consider discontinuing their television and/or internet connection, as they are officially media illiterates. This is almost too perfect an example of the lows lazy “journalists” will sink to in order to generate content. Regardless of your gut reaction or feelings toward street photography, WBZ fails to provide anything resembling evidence to back up their assertions that these men are malicious perverts. They play a manipulatively edited blurry video and interview a single person (a kiosk vendor who clearly dislikes the photographers) and show a clip of one photographer asking for the camera to be turned off (as if anyone else would behave differently) and proceed to malign people who are acting completely legally. There is a word for when someone uses a public mouthpiece (in this case WBZ) to defame and vilify someone without providing any evidence to support their claim. Its called Slander. Shame on Jim Armstrong. Shame on WBZ.

  63. fruty says:

    This anchor and the network behind him are pathetic!

  64. Henri Cartier Bresson says:

    These debates are so ridiculous I have come back from the grave to give my opinion. These street photographers in question should be celebrated as practitioners of a classic art form like myself.
    Anyone that objects to what these men are doing are simply uninformed, uneducated, second class morons.

  65. Robert F. says:

    These guys ARE NOT perverts. Street Photography is an art form as old as photography itself. Photographers have been out there like this for longer than you’ve been alive and you’ve never thought twice about it. Another CBS story recently praised the work of Street Photographer Vivian Maier ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztedsy3E_z0 ). Vivian Maier was doing EXACTLY what these men are doing now. Her work even includes examples of children and legs as well (which seems to be a big issue in this report). Street Photography is beautiful. It captures a real moment in time that is not staged. Please, search the term Street Photography on the internet and look at what photographers have posted. Educate yourself. And if a street photographer snaps your photo on the street, stop him or her and ask if you can see what they’ve snapped. I’m sure they would be happy to show you. And if you don’t like it, ask them to delete it. But please, do not be sucked in to the paranoid ignorance that has been reported here.

  66. Peter Ganick says:

    although it is not a criterion of artistic quality, the shock-value of a photographic image can make it ‘stand out’ or ‘attract attention’. in this manner, the image is foregrounded to a viewer’s consciousness. when the transfer between image and viewer occurs is where the value of the image is considered. to blanket-condone or refuse the practice of street photography is a cop-out. images must be judged as images. as for the matter of how these images are obtained, it is a topic that must be approached carefully. a person, in a public space, is in just that, a ‘public space’. in such locales, one behaves as the law pertains to actions there. one must not expect the privacy of one’s home. as to the taking of an photo in the street, the photographer must be aware of the person’s concept of their own bodily integrity, however, the subject, by being in the public space itself, agrees to bide by the laws of that space as much as does the photographer. it is a stand-off that is best left as a stalemate, as chess afficionados would call it. ‘to each their own’ and ‘live and let live’ would both seem to apply here.

  67. John O. Roy says:

    This is crazy. It was ok for the person to take a video of these guys but not ok for someone to take pictures? The news report did not blur the people faces in the background.

    http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2011/03/5-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-ask-for-permission-when-shooting-street-photography/

    http://gothamist.com/2006/02/14/good_news_for_p.php

  68. Matt says:

    The only problem I have with these photographers, is that they should be smart enough to have business cards with a website listed on it. They should have no problem with giving people information on where to view the photos.

    As a amateur photographer and someone that would absolutely love to get the nerve up to be better at street photography, I’m mixed on this issue.

    As I pointed out, the photographers should be armed with information to give out for those, who might be offended.

    My other mixed feeling is on the reporting by WBZ that seems to latch on to one side of the story. I’m pretty damn sure there was more to the interview with the photgrapher, then him asking to shut off the camera, but we didn’t really see any of that, now did we?

    It’s not illegal to photograph anyone in public. If they’re being that aggressive, then kindly ask them to stop. If you don’t want your photo taken, then just ask them right off to delete it from their camera. If they’re really interested in their photography they’ll have no problem doing this for you. At least, any credible person wouldn’t have a problem.

    Street photography isn’t a crime and people taking these photos shouldn’t be treated as such.

    -TheVisualGeek

  69. Jack says:

    For anyone concerned, John Mac has moved on from using a dslr to using a video camera. Street photography is alive and well in Downtown Crossing.

  70. "Steve" says:

    This is shameful.
    Sure, I disagree with pack street photography, I prefer solo shooting or with a partner if they’re up for it
    Sure, I think requesting the camera be turned off was a bad move.
    However, the judgmental attitude presented here by the news people goes against all media ethics. The bias was incredibly strong here.

  71. I cannot thank you enough for the article.Much thanks again. Great.

  72. credit says:

    Leialak fan bat jaio da. ondo dela zer benetan sentitzen i, zure mezua irakurtzean ondoren.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Boston

Summer of Savings
Download Weather App

Listen Live