Whenever possible, Hubby and I like to take walks in the evening. We grab cameras, toss in a few extra lenses and start wandering around the neighborhood. Because we are strangers to most of these people, our presence has caused wide and varied reactions. Most people start with “what are you taking pictures of?” and go from there, others call the police, and in one case, Hubby was chased off the sidewalk in front of a very angry man’s house.
We’re careful not to trespass on private property, confining our photography to sidewalks, parks and streets, and we try not to aim directly at houses or make it appear as though we’re looking in windows (though on occasion, if we see cool architecture or something, we might actually BE shooting the pic through your window – typically using the window as a frame. I promise – we are not trying to see your wife naked, nor are we casing the joint for valuables).
We’ve been walking the neighborhood long enough that we have a few regulars – people who tell us something they’ve seen that they think we might be interested in, or, more likely, who just wave and say hi (and then there’s the woman who brought a dead butterfly to our house, because she’d seen me shooting it the day before). Some folks, when finding out what we’re doing, invite us onto their lawn for a closer look. Some give us history lessons, and tell us where they acquired their flowers/trees/etc. One couple even invited us inside the house they were remodeling, offering to let us shoot off their deck (sadly, it was the wrong angle, and we didn’t get the images we’d hoped for).
We’ll never know what inspired the people who called the police, which has happened twice, to our knowledge. The first time, the officer stopped, rolled down his window, and asked what we were taking pictures of. We chatted for a bit – he had looked to purchase a house two doors down from ours, so he knew the neighborhood, and was assured that we were not engaging in any criminal activity (in broad daylight on a public street). The second time, the officer seemed to be stalking us. Following us from street to street. At one point, Hubby stepped off the sidewalk onto a driveway to get a closer look at something he wanted to photograph, and I made him get back on the sidewalk, because I didn’t want to give the officer any excuse (I also, in the guise of photographing Hubby making an image, took a photo of the black SUV that was stalking us). (Note to Quincy Police: a black SUV with tinted windows and a PALE BLUE “POLICE” LICENSE PLATE: maybe not the best “unmarked” car you could have).
All that information just to set the mood for what happened last night. Stay tuned.
(to be continued …)