I can’t believe that I have to spell this out, but due to several recent encounters, I guess I do.
It is NOT OK to take pictures of children you do not know and have no association with.
Three times in the past three days I have had to tell random men not to take pictures of my children.
The first was at soccer practice at the Haller Playfields. An older gentleman on a bike came up and started video recording the kids. Casually our coach asked him if he was watching his grandkid play. The man replied that no, he was not related to anyone on the team. Coach told him in that case to stop video recording the kids and the man answered “Well, I don’t know any of them.” That is not helping your case! You should not be video recording children you don’t know, especially when you have been asked to stop. It took several more minutes of conversation and several of the parents getting involved before the man would stop and leave.
I am NOT OK with random old men video recording my kids playing soccer. If it had been a grandpa of a team mate, that is a completely different situation. As it was, this was creepy and upsetting.
In another instance, my kids were playing at Margaret Kirner Park, the only people there were my children and I, and some playmates and their parents (whom we know). Again, a random man came into the park, with no children, and began taking pictures.
When I realized what was happening, I approached him, intending to tell him that he was not to take pictures of my children, however he left before I got to him.
Finally, there were a couple of Sea Gal cheerleaders today (Sept. 12) at Walmart. There was a long line of kids and adults alike waiting to meet them and take pictures with them. The man behind me was taking pictures of EVERY child that went up; I said to him that I did not think it was appropriate. When it was our turn, my husband stood in front of him blocking his view of our children. The man went around my husband to take their picture anyway.
This behavior is disturbing and inappropriate. If you do not have any reason to be taking pictures of children, especially those you don’t know, then DON’T! If a parent says that you are not to take their child’s picture, DON’T!
I realize that in taking pictures of my own kids, I may inadvertently get some of other children. I feel that this is a different situation, I have a reasonable expectation that taking pictures of random kids in the background is OK.
If you are not associated with the kids you are photographing, have no reason to be taking their picture, and especially if you have been told to stop, then STOP taking pictures!
Sequim needs to be the No. 1 place for us all to live, not just to retire!