A Modest Business Proposal
I was greeted at my doorstep today by the cat meowing loudly. He was covered in feathers and behind him on the mat was a freshly killed dove. I did the right thing - I closed the front door, exited by the side entrance, and left it for my daughter to discover when she goes to work.
When I pulled into our parking lot at work there was a medium-sized hawk sitting on one of the old iron frames - under him was a freshly killed pigeon, opened like a boiled egg. I had interrupted breakfast...
Professional photographers in the wedding and fashion game will recognise the scenario instantly. We've all been working away at whatever assignment is to hand and all of a sudden someone swoops on us. If we are lucky it is only an art director or director of photography - I always keep a silver crucifix handy and they vanish shrieking. Sometimes the interloper is an amateur unsure of whether they should stand in front of you with their iPad after you have organised the wedding group. I find that if you put a Metz 60 CT on full power on the seat of their trousers and hit the open flash button that it does all that needs to be done.
Unfortunately sometimes the predator is a competitor looking to get the images that you set up so that they can peddle them to other people. If you are going to be careful in post-production and they are not, they can have your images out there before you do, albeit in shoddy form.
How do you stop this? If it is a closed studio shoot, have Security grasp them and eject them. Wipe their card before tossing their camera onto the road in front of them. If it is outside in a public venue have them chased away by teenagers - the teenagers will do this for a modest fee and the opportunity to injure someone. You needn't set limits on this as they are under age and will be dealt with by a children's court.
If the piracy is taking place in a church, temple, or other place of worship, you must respect the sacred nature of the situation and refrain from any untoward reaction. I find it is best to be pleasant and encourage the other photographer to take as many pictures as they like. Indeed, give him the best spot and lend him a speedlight if his is not working. While he is occupied ring up Paul of the Grey Company and ask him to send Asgoth the Abominable to lurk outside the church door. I should wait a little after the offender exits the building before going out. And watch where you are putting your feet - blood ruins shoes.