Arrested? For photography? Really?

June 13, 2008 § 1 Comment

So my friend Kendra and I wanted to go nightshooting. Her, for some self-portraits, and I for some non-urban night photography. I had it all planned out to where we should go. Somerville, Malden, over to some Reservoir’s in the area, then maybe to Lynn or somewhere near the coast? All sounds great. We got a lot of good stuff as well.

Somerville was good, because it’s out of the city, but not exactly. We went to a small park with a kingdom looking terrace. We did some shooting then left, not before we got asked by a cop to not be loud. Sure thing. We finished up, got a little lost, stopped by some other areas, then decided to keep driving until we saw anything interesting. We ended up in Reading, Massachusetts.

Kendra wanted to finish up her work for the evening, it being 1:30 in the morning already. I felt I needed to follow suite. The shoot we had set up was in the middle of a street off of Rt. 95. Her self-portraits were ironic, simple, and fun. Her in a bathing suit sitting in a lawn chair. It being late, not too many cars came passing through. The ones that did mostly didn’t say anything. Once nice Englishman stopped and said, “Very artsy, be careful!” in a acknowledging, comforting tone. The next was a group of complete drunken <21 year olds all with beers in their hands; including the driver.

“I jhusht want to knnnow…what tha hell are youuu guyz dooin’?”

“We got a photo shoot thing we’re doing.”

“Oh, you guys, good luck, I guess, have, luck.”

The second we got lined up for our last shot for the night, I got this feeling in my throat that we should have left 3 minutes ago. Sure enough, a cop car pulls over. Then follow by two other. “So you think you can just come from the city and shoot in small town, Reading?” We received tons of guff and tremendous amounts of attitude due to Kendra not having her ID on her her. He was just itching to throw us in jail; probably sooner had he known I had no inspection sticker on my car, and a knife in my pocket.

“You know, I would have no problem throwing you both in jail. Is that an F’ing attitude? I’m asking a simple question and you are making this a huge problem for yourself.”

He kept on threatening to throw us in jail. Great. I was fine with it, I didn’t care. The whole time I was going over in my head about how confident I was to go to jail for my art. I was, but I wasn’t willing to go if I had to pay bond money, which I don’t have, to get out.

I have no problems with cops, as long as they aren’t on a power trip and try to intimidate people who had reason to be. Finally, the cop left not too far after. “Why do you think it’s a smart idea to take pictures in the street at 1:30 in the morning?” We’ll, for one, it’s a hell of a lot smarter than taking pictures in the street at 1:30 in the afternoon. I really thought we were going down. Two photography enthusiasts get nearly thrown in jail when a group of four drunken teenagers get to drive around intoxicated? Where’s the justice?

I’ll throw up the pictures once I get them.

~BenG

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