Would you be paranoid about this man with a camera?

(79 Posts)
NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 01-Jul-13 09:12:05

DH rides our DDs to school...it's 3 miles, they are 8 and 5. The route is along a rural cycle track...very picturesque. Towards the end of the journey today, he said there was a man on the track...with a dog and a camera.

As DH approached with DDs, the man said "I'm just taking picturs of the park" and as DH and DDs passed, DH said he thought the man took a photo of them.

Is that odd? Or is DH paranoid>? He feels he should have said something...but what? I just called him as I often do to see how the ride went...

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 01-Jul-13 09:12:35

Fully prepared to be told IABU by the way...

VinegarDrinker Mon 01-Jul-13 09:14:04

Not at all odd, perfectly legal and he explained what he was doing.

What possibly sinister reason could exist to justify this level of paranoia? confused

AnyFucker Mon 01-Jul-13 09:14:41


VinegarDrinker Mon 01-Jul-13 09:14:42

(Should say what possible reason)

MrsMoffat Mon 01-Jul-13 09:16:34

I think sex offenders can access many graphic pictures of children on the Internet easily and are unlikely to bother taking photos of fully clothed children with parents, if you see what I mean? And if that's what you are worried about? In 12 years of managing sex offenders I've only come across a couple who took photos of random people, in in those cases the photos were of adults.

ragged Mon 01-Jul-13 09:16:43

Wouldn't give a toss what the guy took pictures of, poor guy obviously felt paranoid.

I was once interviewing visitors to a park. Old black guy says he goes there to practice golf shots (he had a club & ball). Eventually he confessed that he just liked to go for a stroll but had to bring the golf club to stop people giving him looks, suspicious that he was doing something sinister. sad

Boomba Mon 01-Jul-13 09:17:02

Um...it would be slightly odd for the man to take pictures of your family. It is maybe slightly odd that he felt he had to xpalin what he was doing to your dh.

Likely he just took a photo though, rather than of your dds??

I dont think there is anything to worry about. And even if there was, the moment has passed smile

SpooMoo Mon 01-Jul-13 09:17:13

Nope. He even kindly put your mind at ease. Massive he took a photo of the back of your family as our made a nice shot in the sunshine but it'll be unidentifiable as it's their backs.

ragged Mon 01-Jul-13 09:17:17

...And that was 12 yrs ago, before paedo paranoia went bezerk.

SpooMoo Mon 01-Jul-13 09:18:58

* maybe not massive

Innacorner Mon 01-Jul-13 09:19:07

There seems to be a general paranoia these days that anyone with a camera in public must be up to no good. He sounds like someone who enjoys photography. Sounds like your DH with your children made a good photo. Doesn't mean your family's souls have been sold to the devil, and doesn't mean the photographer is part of a paedophile ring. I think you are being somewhat unreasonable.

VinegarDrinker Mon 01-Jul-13 09:19:32

As I often ask on these kind of threads, can you explain exactly what you are concerned about?

Boomba Mon 01-Jul-13 09:24:22

If your DH thought it was inappropriate though...maybe the man was 'odd'...maybe something instinctively told your DH that the man was suspect; which we would obviously not pick up on from a description of the situation?

DreamingofSummer Mon 01-Jul-13 09:31:12

Some points for the umpteenth time in no particular order....

Photography is a perfectly respectable hobby and/or profession. There are literally millions of photographers in this country

Having a camera does not make you a child abuser/paedophile

You don't need permission from anyone to photograph in a public place. I don't need your permission to photograph you in public although it is polite to ask

Photo paranoia is rampant

quoteunquote Mon 01-Jul-13 09:34:31

what dreaming said ^^

EDMNWiganSalfordandBlackpool Mon 01-Jul-13 09:36:40

My dad goes out with the dog in a morning and takes pictures on rural paths. He isn't well at all and its the one thing that he really enjoys.

EDMNWiganSalfordandBlackpool Mon 01-Jul-13 09:38:41

[wonders if it was my dad]

freddiefrog Mon 01-Jul-13 09:52:58

What worries you about it?

I'm going out in a minute with my dog and my camera along our rural cycle path

There's nothing sinister in it, I like photography, I have a new camera I want to play with, the dog needs a walk and it's a sunny day so I'm going to amuse myself for a couple of hours in peace while the kids are at school. Is that really odd?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 01-Jul-13 09:59:19

So many times I've noticed people discreetly (or not) taking photos with their mobiles I would probably only think oh how quaint, a camera wink

Kiriwawa Mon 01-Jul-13 10:01:49

You pervert freddiefrog angry


D0oinMeCleanin Mon 01-Jul-13 10:03:41

I often take a camera out with my dogs. For the main reason that I foster and it's nice to show potential adopters pics of the dogs actually doing something other than sleeping. I also like photographing my own dogs having fun.

cozietoesie Mon 01-Jul-13 10:08:04

I tell you - the day will come when people become paranoid about other people walking let alone whether they have a camera or not.


Fakebook Mon 01-Jul-13 10:14:21

Maybe he wanted to take a picture of your dh's backside? Does he wear tight shorts and do the bum wiggle when cycling?

ExcuseTypos Mon 01-Jul-13 10:19:24

He amy have just thought how fantastic you're Dh and 2dds looked, cycling along. As he took a picture of their backs you've really got nothing to worry about.

We get people taking a photo of our house. I went and asked someone once if I could help them and they apologised but said it was so picturesque they couldn't resist. It really doesn't bother me.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 01-Jul-13 10:23:25

It's very, very unlikely that this bloke was taking pictures of your family for nefarious reasons, or at all. He was standing with his camera in open view, explained what he was doing (your DH sounds quite paranoid so perhaps was eyeballing this man who then he felt he had to explain himself), and your kids were just riding their bikes. Nothing in that scenario sounds dodgy.

Unless your DH is famous and he thinks the bloke was a pap...?

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 10:31:48

No, but then both of the men in my family are photographers. Fortunately not of people, but they always have a camera on their persons.
It is legal to take photos in public places, perhaps you could go down the Jackson route if the paranoia becomes uncontrollable?

freddiefrog Mon 01-Jul-13 10:33:29

The bloke probably felt like he had to explain what he was up to.

I was taking pictures of my own kids at the beach on Saturday and a couple of people saw fit to ask me who I was photographing.

I don't want other people in my photos, I'm careful to avoid other people/children getting in the background, if they do, I photoshop them out, so I wasn't waving the camera around taking pics of all and sundry

A couple of weeks ago I was in a poppy field taking pics (it was really, really pretty) and a family came along behind me on bikes and the Dad stopped and told me he didn't want his kids appearing in my picture. I had my back to him, my camera was pointing in the opposite direction

It makes you a bit defensive

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 10:38:10

Although I find that the line 'You are more likely to be an abuser of your children than I am' does not go down well either.
But yes, what is it with all the in-your-face aggressive responses to an unoffered threat?
Gets more like Taxi Driver every day. Along with 'WHAT YOU LOOKING AT PERV?'

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 01-Jul-13 10:40:32

What makes your husband think he took a photo of them?

He didn't see it otherwise you'd say he saw him take a photo of them.

So what did your husband actually see?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 01-Jul-13 10:41:42

oh, and no, I wouldn't be paranoid because I wouldn't really care if someone took pictures of us cycling away from them.

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Jul-13 10:42:03

Poor bloke, feeling as though he had to explain why he was there and what he was doing.

If it was a woman with a camera and a dog, I doubt your DH would have batted an eyelid.

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 10:42:37


Good Gods Hecs, don't you see the danger?

IRCL Mon 01-Jul-13 10:42:43

No I wouldn't be paranoid.

Pennyacrossthehall Mon 01-Jul-13 10:43:39

People need to take a grip, because the level of general paranoia these days is just insane.

First, 99.9% of the population is made up of good people ( . . . . or, at least, people who are not actively bad).

Then, if the bloke with the camera was one of the 0.1% (max) of evil perverts, what does he now have? One photo of (the back of) some people of mixed ages with all of their clothes on. So what?

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 10:44:07

if it was a park I am assuming there is nice trees and what not to take pictures of or perhaps he works for the parks department and your dh bike will be in some glossy brochure somewhere grin What was he paranoid about anyway,

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 01-Jul-13 10:46:19

grin yeah, silly me.

I was with my husband the other day and I asked him to pop out of the car and take a picture for me and he came back to the car and said we had to wait because there were people taking their kids into some sort of nursery or playgroup or something and he didn't want to be seen with a camera taking pics. (of a well dressing for me)

How bloody awful is that? That he felt he had to come back to the car rather than take a picture of a bloody well dressing!

I understand completely why that bloke rushed to try to explain himself.

BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Mon 01-Jul-13 10:48:27

I think you're overreacting. He could have been taking a picture of some flowers or birds not necessarily your dh and DDS.

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 10:53:12

I've just remembered something to be retroparanoid about.
I used to cycle round Oxford in a floaty dress all thin and elven with long hair looking like an animated David Hamilton.
Tourists used to stop and ask for a photo, and I let them.
OMG am I on a website somewhere? With my beloved Griselda in some dreadful photoshopped scenario.
<having an attack of the vapours>

More seriously, I do get worried for both of my men when facing the possibility of an attack by a rabid parent.

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 10:56:18

where we walk our dog you see people taking photies sometimes I am wondering if I should be worried hmm

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 10:58:15

What about mrsjay?

What do you think might happen as a consequence?

Or do you think you ought to be worried because you are being contaminated by the groundless fears of others?

EDMNWiganSalfordandBlackpool Mon 01-Jul-13 10:59:19

My dad takes pictures of flowers, trees and animals/birds.

He's actually taking them for a terminally I'll friend of ours daughter who hasn't been outside in six months sad

This thread reminds me of the parent at soft play who asked every parent in there if it was ok if she tool pictures of her son at his birthday party I case her husband accidently got another child in the background. How sad sad

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 11:00:23

OH I dunno maybe my besutiful face will end up on some website somewhere grin <tongue firmly planted in cheek>

burberryqueen Mon 01-Jul-13 11:00:57

ridiculous - what on earth would someone do with pix of sweaty kids and dad on bicycles?

LtEveDallas Mon 01-Jul-13 11:01:13

It is a sad old world we live in now. For years now DH has refused to take holiday photos etc after being asked "What are you doing with that camera?" quite aggressively by a woman on the beach where we have our caravan (He was actually taking a photo of our JRT trying to give DD a ball to throw for her....DD was about 6 months old at the time - Poor old JessDog didn't quite understand)

He says its "not worth the hassle" to be a bloke taking photos any more.

I don't mind so much, as I hate being in photos tbh, so anything that puts me behind the camera rather than in front of it is a bonus - but I do think its sad that DH feels that way.

FanjoForTheMammaries Mon 01-Jul-13 11:03:52

I live in Edinburgh.

The amount of perverts you see pretending to take photos of the Castle while surreptitiously snapping the backs of kids is astounding.


mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 11:05:16

OH i live in Stirling bloody perverts everywhere we should call it perv season not tourist season grin

MalcolmTuckersMum Mon 01-Jul-13 11:07:07

What all the sensible people up there said.

OP - I really am intrigued. I need to try to understand the mindset of someone like you. Please please can explain what offence you think this poor guy committed/has in mind? Suppose you decided to take this further - to whom would you report him and what would you say? But most of all I just want to know what on earth is going through your mind.

starfishmummy Mon 01-Jul-13 11:09:41

I really think that the government should ban all cameras...


Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 11:10:44

Try Brighton in the summer.
Full of cameras and half-nekkid bodies.

OP, your husband is a seriously confused person.

EDMNWiganSalfordandBlackpool Mon 01-Jul-13 11:10:52

I let 20 plus Japanese tourist group take a picture of my dd on a castle wall because they said she looked like a little Viking. [shrugs]

Wonder what the evil people did with a picture of a scruffy haired muddy dd [scared]

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 11:14:07

The reality is that the most likely danger from abuse those children face is from a close male relative.

Canidae Mon 01-Jul-13 11:18:02

Why should the man have to explain his actions to your DH? He was walking his dog in a public area that you yourself said was picturesque and taking some pictures. Do you think he was waiting for your DD's to come along just to take a pic of their backs as they cycle past? Get a grip!

I am often out with a camera when I walk the dogs and love taking pictures of them. Didn't realise I may be branded as a pervert!

Pantone363 Mon 01-Jul-13 11:19:31

I wouldn't think twice about it. And a man asked me if he could take a snap of my kids on the beach yesterday!

I said yes because meh...it's a photo. And also he showed me his card, link to his website and recent photographic exhibition at a local gallery.

Pantone363 Mon 01-Jul-13 11:20:10

And DD3 was NAKED shock

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 11:21:44

'Didn't realise I may be branded as a pervert!'

Are you female? Because that cuts the possibility of you being seen as a threat immensely.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 01-Jul-13 11:27:44

Canidae take a chill pill I did say I was happy to be told IABU. hmm

HepsibarCrinkletoes Mon 01-Jul-13 11:30:34


Manchesterhistorygirl Mon 01-Jul-13 11:39:47

Yes yabu. Can I suggest you go and have a look at some photo blogs? Start with humans of New York. Most have comments from the subject, some are just random snaps of human moments! shock

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 12:06:06

So what was the problem your OH had with a man doing something perfectly legal OP?
What would he have said, and why?

EDMNWiganSalfordandBlackpool Mon 01-Jul-13 12:19:45

love the new york photo blog!

BrokenBanana Mon 01-Jul-13 12:28:21

Can I hijack a little bit and ask what you would all think of this situation?
On the beach front at a local town, they have some of those things were the water squirts out the ground. Lots of children running round half naked and wet. There was a man there taking photos on his phone, didn't look as if he was with anyone in particular. Then he walked off on his own.

cozietoesie Mon 01-Jul-13 12:30:54

Probably from the local council checking out a elf & safety complaint.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 01-Jul-13 12:35:25

My DS is 21 and an amatuer photographer, when he's walking our dog he often has his camera on him. It makes me very sad to think that anyone would be suspicious of him because he is male and has a camera while walking in the park. His photographs of wildlife and nature are just that, photos of wildlife and nature. Other photographers are good at taking shots of everyday life. It doesn't mean they are up to no good. YABU.

BrokenBanana Mon 01-Jul-13 12:39:26

He definitely wasn't from the council!

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 12:45:49

It's still not illegal to take photographs in a public place, so if he did want them for personal perving there is nothing you can do to stop him other than not allowing your children to play in public.
He might just have loved the combination of children and water and joy.
Or he could be accumulating evidence of how easy it is to take photographs of children.
Or he could be part of a campaign to ban all public nudity for all humans.

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 12:46:53

A camera can't steal pieces of your children's souls.

Floggingmolly Mon 01-Jul-13 12:48:43

Why did your dh think he took a photograph of your family??
The guy was quite openly photographing the scene before your dh even got there, nothing surreptitious about it. Did he hear the camera click behind him and just assume that his back view was the subject of the shot? confused
Paranoia in the extreme...

Pennyacrossthehall Mon 01-Jul-13 12:51:10

On the beach front at a local town, they have some of those things were the water squirts out the ground.
So basically a tourist attraction?

Lots of children running round half naked and wet. There was a man there taking photos on his phone, didn't look as if he was with anyone in particular. Then he walked off on his own.
Sounds like a man on holiday? Who could have walked back to his family to show them what fun they could have back at the fountain. Or just wanted some photos of what he did on his holiday on his own. Or liked the "contre jour" effect of the sunlight on the water. (That one's a bit of a stretch given I wasn't there)

I think that your starting point should have been If it was a woman would I have asked the question?

cozietoesie Mon 01-Jul-13 12:51:31

Well you could always have a word with the police on a non-emergency basis, BrokenBanana but bear in mind not only that he probably had a perfectly legitimate reason for the activity but that such a report might easily lead to banning of cameras, followed by banning of phones, and then followed by closure of the facility by the powers that be - 'in case'.

If that's what you want.......

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 12:55:08

As has happened in many schools, no parental recording of events.

thetrackisback Mon 01-Jul-13 12:55:18

We walked round Windsor with our twin girls! They were like celebs to the Japanese tourists must have had about five different people taking pictures of them. I think it's lovely but I am a baby bore!

WafflyVersatile Mon 01-Jul-13 12:56:00

I'd guess that with paedo fear being at fever pitch these days the man is a bit paranoid (and has possibly had people be aggressive to him before) so got in with his explanation before there was a question.

thetrackisback Mon 01-Jul-13 12:59:52

They have banned parental recordings because we have a child who is on a child protection order so it needs to be confidential. Unfortunately with social media the school can't protect anonimity. This does step up the paranoia though.

DarkWinter Mon 01-Jul-13 13:29:33


ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 01-Jul-13 13:35:09

BrokenBanana - He could have been taking pictures for an article, or brochure or anything really. Just out of interest - how do you know that he definitely wasn't from the council?

RunRabbit Mon 01-Jul-13 13:43:26

No words for such nonsense biscuit

LtEveDallas Mon 01-Jul-13 13:43:26

They have banned parental recordings because we have a child who is on a child protection order so it needs to be confidential

Thats a good thing, sad for other parents, but it is the right thing for the school to do to protect a child.

It does annoy me when 'no cameras' are used in a blanket scenario though.

DD was in a dance show this weekend. I took a couple of photos of her with my phone, and started to take a video when she was doing her solo.

One of the theatre staff told me to stop. I asked why and she said that cameras and videos weren't allowed.

I asked why and she said "well isn't that obvious?" really sarcastically.

I said no, and asked who the woman at the front with the zoom lense was then, seeing as she had taken a number of shots of MY daughter.

She said she was a member of staff and that the shots were going to be used as promotional material and also sold to parents. She said that everyone taking part had given permission for photos to be taken.

So I just stood there smiling and waiting for the penny to drop....

Unfortunately by the time it did I was too late to film DD and the woman just hurried off after saying "thats different" grin

I dodn't really care that much - I've probably got hours of videos of DD dancing, but that woman did make me chuckle grin

BrokenBanana Mon 01-Jul-13 18:31:45

I would have been a bit hmm if it was a woman as well, I'm perfectly aware that not all paedos are male. I say he wasn't working for the council as a lot of my family work for the council and have had a lot of involvement with the squirty things, I asked them if any photos were taking place that day and they said no. Also he was taking them on a normal phone, no professional would do that.

Maybe he was just happy to see all the children having so much fun and wanted a reminder, who knows. I don't have a problem with people taking photos of children, we've also had quite a few Japanese tourists asking to take pictures of us. I just thought if you were randomly taking pictures of half naked children that are not yours you should really ask the parents permission, otherwise it's a bit weird. Don't you think?

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