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Thread: How do you handle interruptions?

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    Super Duper
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    How do you handle interruptions?

    This is occurring more and more and the reason I bring it up is it happened again today. Sandy & I were set up at an overlook near Hermit's Rest when a gentleman steps up to me and asks me to show him how to operate his camera.

    What would you have done?

    I had thought of giving him Guy and Jack's number for a workshop...

    I'm open to any and all suggestions. I had thought of posting a sign on my back saying please stand back working photographer or saying the first 5 minutes are free the rest will cost $25.00.

    Again, what would your do?

    Don
    Don Libby
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    Re: How you handle interruptions?

    I screwed this up by posting this here and have tried to delete and repost however I can't figure out how must be old age and long hours....
    Don Libby
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Wow! I managed to move it!

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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Wow! I managed to move it!
    Thank you! I've been out since o'dark hundred till past sunset then drank my dinner when I wrote the question. I tried finding the delete button to post it here but couldn't find the dang thing!

    Okay back to work....

    Don
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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Mostly, I point at the shutter button, saying that I think that is what makes things happen.

    What happens to me much more frequently, is that they come up to me with their tiny, little, pink metallic p&s, asking me to take that "memory-of-a-lifetime" photo of them with some temple in the background. I'm more than willing to do that (for free). The problem is that I can't figure out how those darn things work, and mostly end up asking them how to operate the gadget. That is when I discover that there's no viewfinder, and that I can't see what's on the LCD without my glasses, which are... somewhere else, so I usually chop off some heads and/or feet (where's that zoom button anyway?), but people are usually polite and all smiles until I'm out of sight

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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Jorgen - I get asked to take a lot of pictures as well. When I get the camera in hand I'm usually horrified because they have the totally wrong settings set on the camera.

    Don - If I were busy shooting then I would say that I would be glad to help them when finished with what I'm working on. If were hanging around waiting for the light I would probably help out (assuming it wouldn't wreck my concentration).

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    I'm a sucker for punishment . I turn around and help them. BUT don't approach me at golden hour. I will throw there *** off the cliff. Just kidding of course
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    It doesn't happen to me very often (maybe because I don't know what I'm doing anyways?).....but how about telling them:

    "How the heck should I know? I'm still trying to figure out my own camera!"

    Seriously....if you played it right (with a straight face), it might work.

    Gary

  9. #9
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post

    Mostly, I point at the shutter button, saying that I think that is what makes things happen.

    What happens to me much more frequently, is that they come up to me with their tiny, little, pink metallic p&s, asking me to take that "memory-of-a-lifetime" photo of them with some temple in the background. I'm more than willing to do that (for free). The problem is that I can't figure out how those darn things work, ...
    I think it is the shutter button that makes things happen with those tiny metallic pink cameras.

  10. #10
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    HI Don
    I like your new avatar!
    I also understand that you are 7'9, so I would have thought the best idea was to turn around fast and whack them one!

    Seriously - I'd switch it straight on to P mode, and tell 'em it stands for 'Professional'.

    I like taking group shot with peoples 5 year old point and shoot though, I've even been known to offer!

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Well nowadays people here don't really care, at best i get suspicious looks ("will this guy try and snatch my picture?") or the occasional older fellow who says hello, inquire about what camera you're using then kills its prey (me) chatting endlessly about vintage stuff i don't know of...

    Got a nice story from back in the days, though. Twas in the mid-90s, and i'd found a sweet spot overlooking Lake Powell just before sunset. Along was coming some heavy lightning. Was just there sightseeing -i'm not a landscape shooter- with a friend but with nature getting spectacular i decided to hike back to the car and pick the camera (F3?) with the 80-200 zoom and light Manfrotto monopod that i used for work (lowlight portraiture).

    A few minutes later a couple of pro landscape shooters showed up with heavy gear, some Hassy and some Canon slr iirc. We were apparently in "their" -tight- spot so they kindly asked if they could come close, real close -almost touching shoulders. At some point one had pity and offered to loan a tripod. Then when he figured out that i had basically no idea of what i was doing shooting this kind of landscape, he walked me swiftly through the exposure basics and even mounted a ND filter on my lens at some point. I never asked for anything, they were just nice guys. They were happy though because looking into the Nikon vf they apparently found a different angle that i had set up @ 200m, when they were using wides...

    I forgot pretty much everything since not ever practising this kind of technique, but i guess it shows that sometimes you get more just minding your own business.

    And after all, maybe it was one of the forum members, who knows?

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    I just tell them that I usually shoot nudes...
    -bob

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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Thanks everyone! I had come up with the idea of tossing it off the cliff but Sandy thought it wasn't a good idea.

    One of the reason I like to come to the Grand Canyon in winter is there's less people here however that can be a curse as well I'm finding out. I'm hearing comments like look at the professional camera when ever I set the Cambo up. Then we get asked are you a professional? That's when Sandy stops and starts handing out business cards!

    I really don't mind helping people out however it just gets me when people think we have nothing better to do than to help a fellow vacationer out - they assume because they are on vacation everyone else is. Then add the fact you buy a camera and don't have a clue on how to work the dang thing?

    We also not mind taking the occasional snap shot all the while we tell them we're not used to such a technical camera.

    I like Bob's answer the best. I think I'll try this - I'll ask them if they have any problems with nudity and when they answer no I'll start taking my clothes off.

    Don
    Don Libby
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    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post

    ... I'll start taking my clothes off.
    By the GC in winter, probably asking to take their clothes off would work just fine

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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    I like Bob's answer the best. I think I'll try this - I'll ask them if they have any problems with nudity and when they answer no I'll start taking my clothes off.

    Don
    OR, you could just shoot in the nude all the time. Might be interesting to see if you get more interruptions or less.

  16. #16
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    I've never had any stranger come up and ask me how to work their camera, but I have had people with entry level DSLRs come up and ask me about my funny-looking lens (a TS-E). I'm always happy to explain what it's for, it doesn't take long, only a few seconds before their eyes glaze over...:sleep006:

    I'm sure the line we all hear the most is "Wow, I bet that camera takes awesome pictures!", to which I always reply "Only when I use it correctly". They never get it though.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Don
    I like your new avatar!
    I also understand that you are 7'9....
    (sic)


    Ahhhh---the legend grows!

    C'mon, Don. You know what to do. After you whack'em, you reply suavely, "Flesher. Jack Flesher's the name..."


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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Hardware Interrupt Handler.


    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    I think it is the shutter button that makes things happen with those tiny metallic pink cameras.
    Oh bugger... are you sure? Who would have thunk

    I do try to help people the best I can when asked, but I'm not always sure how useful it is, particularly if a menu needs to be accessed to solve the problem. I don't even understand the menus on some of my own cameras. I wish all p&s cameras were as simple to use as the Fuji S5

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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Oh bugger... are you sure? Who would have thunk

    I do try to help people the best I can when asked, but I'm not always sure how useful it is, particularly if a menu needs to be accessed to solve the problem. I don't even understand the menus on some of my own cameras. I wish all p&s cameras were as simple to use as the Fuji S5
    Or the AFDIII and a P65+
    These are absolutely trivial compared with many P&Ss
    -bob

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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    I used to get these sort of requests constantly while shooting at events. Folks wanted me to use their camera for the picture they wanted, or something like that. At first, I used to be very polite and try to help them out. Then I became a bit more sarcastic in my responses, like Jono's "P is for 'Professional'". Now I just go about my shooting business, trying to ignore them. If they keep interrupting, I politely tell them I am working for a client and need to get my shots, even if I am the client. They usually go away, but if they hang around, I either move away, or create enough of commotion that they are in the way, then politely ask them to move back/out of my way while I am working. That usually has them leaving. Like Jorgen, many of the new P&S cams have more tiny controls and no viewfinder, and as Terry mentioned, are set up totally incorrectly for shooting most times, that it wastes so much tlme and concentration to not be worth it. If I make the mistake and take their camera from them for a shot, I love holding my fingers in front of the lens (not on it) and then taking one or two shots, plus one or two of the ground while trying to "figure out" how things work, then one or two out of focus of them approaching me to get their camera back. They never ask again

    LJ

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    You could hand them a model release to sign. That ought to scare them off, unless they are models who don't read them anyway.
    -bob

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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    I hand them my business card.

    - I'm helpful when I can be.

    - When I'm busy, I politely tell them so. If they want to wait for me, "Please wait over there, out of the way. I need to concentrate. I'll be about an hour or so, I think. Thank you."

    Brief, professional, to the point.

  24. #24
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    You folks are totally in some other place. I take the camera, listen to them tell me what kind of pic they want, frame and pose them if necessary, and take the pic with the camera settings they have set. When I hand the camera back I wait a second so they can confirm the image. Sometimes folks make camera adjustments and ask me to shoot it again -- I do. It really isn't that big of a deal.

    Anytime, on any day, whenever I am out and about and see folks taking a pic of their family in front of a monument or whatever, I often approach them and offer to take the pic for them so the whole family can be included. In some Asian countries it is customary to reciprocate. After taking the family's pix, one of the family members would ask for my camera so they could take a pic of me, with my camera, in front of whatever monument. I have oodles of unwanted pix of me.

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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    You folks are totally in some other place. ...
    Different situation, that's all. The question was what to do when people interrupt you when you're working, at least that's how I interpreted it. When I'm out shooting casually, I do the same as you (although I usually don't hand anyone my camera to make a photo of me...).

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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Don
    I like your new avatar!
    I also understand that you are 7'9,
    How'd I miss this? Sorry I'm only 6'-9"

    Also thanks for the avatar comment - Sandy took that this past week at the South Rim.
    Don Libby
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  27. #27
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Different situation, that's all. The question was what to do when people interrupt you when you're working ...
    Not really different at all. It was the same when I was a working photographer. Fwiw, it would be both rude and irrational not to allow someone to have my camera (point n click) to take my picture. It is a cultural thing.

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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    I consider any time that I spend helping others as time well spent. If I miss a photo or two in the process, oh well - there will always be plenty of photos to take. I suspect that somewhere along the line someone else has missed something in order to help me out. And just think how much goodness, knowledge, and perhaps even passion for the environment you can pass onto someone else in the process. Helping others is a good thing...

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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    i had a real famous photographer ask me how to move his "damn" focus spot out of the corner--he had no idea how he moved it there. then the other night an ap photographer ask me why his focus was messed up (he using peripheral points). so it happens to all us, these cameras can be a pain. but another way to look at it is that many great photographers don't care much about all the stupid buttons on modern DSLR's---until their focus spot is stuck in the corner.

    it is even more funny to watch some of the ap guys, who probably have liberal arts degrees, try to 'un-mess' their computers while frantically trying to transmit. what is sad is even after 20 plus years in the computer industry, i can't help them sometimes.

  30. #30
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Intimidation seems to work. When I moved up from 4x5 to 8x10 people stopped bugging me.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Some interesting viewpoints here ... I'm certainly not a pro but I do believe in treating other people with the same helpfulness and courtesy that I'd expect them to give me. If that means being bugged at a critical moment then I just let them know that I'd be happy to help in just a moment ...

    However, I consider myself a pretty technically savvy person but I'm quite often completely baffled by some of the unfamiliar P&S cameras - point & click is OK but anything else seems to require an encyclopedic knowledge of all the modes, buttons, & menus even just to see what's going on. Very often the time & places where people ask for either help, or a shot, you really need to add some fill flash or even just auto-flash - good luck working out how to do that and return the camera back to the same state. I am a fan of getting people to move the camera from 'crap-shot' mode (Auto) to Program mode ... oops sorry, "Professional" mode

  32. #32
    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Very interesting discussion. I'm with Graham and Oxide in that I always try to help others out whenever I can. Who knows, they may be on a once-in-a-lifetime trip and you might be able to provide the right bit of information (or photo) that will make their experience all that more enjoyable.

    I also believe that no matter what you do, your brand is you. So much of the journey that we take is based on serendipity. Besides the fact that the other person is a human being, they might also become a friend, colleague or customer.

    Kurt

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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    OR, you could just shoot in the nude all the time. Might be interesting to see if you get more interruptions or less.
    I think that for the most of here it would clear the crowd within anything close to viewing distance, oh the peace!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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  34. #34
    JohnF
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Hi -

    To be honest, I'm a native New Yorker, and have never had the question posed, as I seem to have acquired the "leave me the f*ck alone or I'll rip your head off" aura. :-)

    On the other hand, if someone asks me to take a picture of them with their camera and I'm not busy, no problem.

    The worst of it, though, is when I am taking a big panorama with the gigapan head (robotic panorama head), I usually get more than a few curious folks, more often than not fairly serious photographers who just have to ask. Since I'm just standing there watching the robot do its thing, it's cool to talk shop.

    JohnF

  35. #35
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    I really don't have any problem taking a snapshot of someone if they ask, so long as I'm not busy. I've actually stopped walking to ask if they wanted a shot with the entire family/group in it.

    Please don't take this the wrong way; I love when people come up and ask what's the crazy thing on my tripod is. So long as I've got the time. I'll explain the Cube then go into depth about shooting with a technical camera and digital back. I've been asked for business cards and feel it's a great way to promote not only my business but the profession as a whole.

    The reason for the question was why buy a camera and not read the manual and then have the b***s to come up to a working professional and ask them to explain their camera to them. I'm not there to give lessons or conduct a workshop. If I were it'd be different. And it's not about giving away knowledge for free. The thing that just rubs me the wrong way is if you buy a camera (or anything for that matter) for your vacation you really should know how to use it before you go. And yes glitches happen and yes you might need to ask for help to get you out of the corner you might have painted yourself into; however there's no excuse about asking a total stranger how to operate your own camera when a simple reading the owner's manual would provide the answers.


    Don
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  36. #36
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Aha - that's make sense. The 'can you show me how to use my camera' question is a lot different to the more general case. That could be annoying vs general photo talk.

    I've had the same Gigapan conversation as John here too - although I've also had to stop one individual from walking in front of it while it was working too!

    The other funny situation is where folks will stand and watch you shoot and then when you're finished and move on they'll essentially rush over to where your tripod legs were and try to take the same shot with their P&S... (then of course there's the park & shoot anywhere in a national park scenario where others will spontaneously turn up alongside you)

  37. #37
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    The other funny situation is where folks will stand and watch you shoot and then when you're finished and move on they'll essentially rush over to where your tripod legs were and try to take the same shot with their P&S...
    Yeah, a few weeks ago I was in China on vacation. In Shanghai, we stayed in a hotel on top of one of the taller skyscrapers there, with the breakfast room on the 83rd floor. One morning there was a stunning view of the tops of other skyscrapers poking through the top of a low fog layer, and I took my camera to breakfast and was snapping photos through the window. A minute later I saw the waiter pull out a camera phone and start surreptitiously snapping photos through the same window! I guess it didn't occur to him to do it until he saw me, despite the fact that he had been there all morning pouring people coffee...

    Lisa

  38. #38
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: How do you handle interruptions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa View Post

    ... I was in China on vacation ... I took my camera to breakfast and was snapping photos through the window. A minute later I saw the waiter pull out a camera phone and start surreptitiously snapping photos through the same window! I guess it didn't occur to him to do it until he saw me, despite the fact that he had been there all morning pouring people coffee...
    Probably a spy reporting back on what pix you were taking, needed something to show the boss -- you're probably now on China's list of Enemies of the State.

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