5th Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration

I love photographing Asian American community events in San Francisco. I have attended this event annually for the past five years.  The people who show up at these is like a big party with food, music and a great sense of community.

I was approached by Tamiko Wong, Program Director of Asian Week to be a contributing photographer for their webnews site which I am more than happy to do.

After taking this photo, the woman on the left demanded that I delete the image. That I did not have her permission to take her picture. Being a public event, I was in my right to photograph anything and anyone I want. She accosted me with threats, profanity and attempted to confiscate my camera. She followed me for two blocks.

When I returned to the stage area to continue photographing and enjoy the music, the woman apparently told the stage crew staff about me, I was approached by this staff person of the event. She told me that I cannot photograph.

I tried to explain to her that this is a public event and that I was in my right to photograph anything or anyone I want.

She said, “What artistic integrity is there in taking pictures of people’s crotches?” (???)

The woman in the middle then made another attempt to confiscate my camera.

The word was out among the stage crew about me. I continued to enjoy the music and photograph the event. The staff made this gesture at me. These staff people have to remember…they’re representing the Asian Heritage Street Celebration. Gestures like this also tarnishes the image of the organization.

After taking this picture, the woman on the right came over to confront me.

Then this man from the stage crew comes over and tries to pick a fight with me. He began pushing me.

I told him all he has to do is start it. But he backed off and only had this gesture. How pathetic! Isn’t he a little too old to go around picking fights?  He threatened to break my camera.

His wife holds him back.  Smart move.

Thus saving the man from bodily harm and forty years of Hung Ga.

I think she’s trying to say ‘putang ina mo’.

“ah told ja mo’fo not ta take ma pitcher!”

Please don’t get me wrong, I believe this is a great annual event. I’m just sad that they have to involve such people to run this event.  They have to educate people about photographing in public places.

Here are a few links to read more about photographer’s rights:

A downloadable PDF about your rights as a photographer

Misinformation about your photography rights continues to spread (USA Today)

Photographer’s Rights Overview

Photographers’ Guide to Privacy

Your Rights as a Photographer – Tutorial9

…and here’s where I’m glad to be a member of the Professional Photographers of America where they have a legal team for members.


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