Asian Heritage Street Celebration of San Francisco
I have been volunteering as a photographer for the Asian Heritage Street Celebration for the last two years. I have been photographing on an official basis out of fear of getting physically assaulted because of this incident which happened to me in 2009.
I was ready to volunteer again this year when the organizer asked me to remove a blog entry I made about the incident. She wrote me this email:
Re: AHSC Photography Volunteers
I replied and told her that my statement in the posting was sufficient to not bring any negative impressions of the street fair as a whole.
“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.”
Well…as it turns out. I was not issued a photo pass because I would not take down the post. I attended the event today. It was great as always. well…not really…there seems to be less exhibitors and vendors. The bands were bunk. They had this real weird section where they had these psychic qigong healers.
I thought I’d repost the original blog entry from 2009:
I was more than happy to contribute my images when asked by Tamiko Wong, Program Director of Asian Week for their website.
Being a public event, I was in my right to photograph anything and anyone I want. She accosted me for two blocks with threats, profanity and even attempted to confiscate my camera.
As Marcella Padilla was yelling at me, the woman in the middle then made another attempt to confiscate my camera out of my hands. While fellow photographer Frank Jang looks on.
The word was now out among the stage crew about me. I continued to enjoy the music and photograph the event. The staff was in high alert of this photographer.
“Great fair, but in crowded places beware of Pervs who will take pictures up your skirt! See photo section for guy with camera!”, wrote Sonia McDaniel
I was ready to get a lawsuit going on this. Yelp took down the picture.
He threatened to break my camera and called me a pussy.
I think she’s trying to say ‘putang ina mo’.
Please don’t get me wrong, I still believe this is a great annual event and I will continue to attend it. It’s just sad that they have such uneducated people running this event. The organizers have to let their staff know that this is a public event and anyone with a camera can photograph freely in a public event.
…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.