He introduced himself. I shook his hand. Following that he said, "I would like to give you a piece of professional advice." Now I was getting annoyed. Here I was face to face with someone who entered an event with the expectation that they could come and do as they please without asking permission and without knowing who I was, wanted to give me a piece of advice. If it is anything I have learned from watching television shows that rely heavily on drama it is this: If someone wants to "offer advice," they are about to insult you, correct you, or tell you they think they are better than you by explaining something to you that you other wise did not need to know or already knew. I was shocked that someone I didn't know felt the need to approach me, publicly, and express distain when they were in the wrong.
I responded with, "you want to give me advice?"
"Well yea, if you want."
"Sure, go ahead."
His tone changed drastically as he began to point his finger at me. "Next time you are at an event and you have a problem with another photographer you go to them with it and say something. You'd be surprised how easily things would go." I turned red with anger. Not only did he have the audacity to come to me and say this, but to assume that I had an issue. To assume is to make an 'ass" out of 'u' and 'me.' a s s u me...
I responded with, "before you piss me off, please walk away."
"That will only embarrass you," he said.
"You have approached me and accosted me in a public setting and I do not appreciate that. Please kindly walk away." Were the last words that I said to him. His behavior was ill timed, inappropriate, and confrontational. I do not like being put on the spot in such a tone, especially when I was rightfully there, doing my job.
He thought he was a bigger person by approaching me. What he was not aware of, what he did not know, was that the chair of the organization did not want to hear a single camera during the show. My inquiry as to who he was, was to merely ask if he was media, why he was sitting there, and to state my intent that if he was there shooting in that spot then I wanted to be situated in a more ideal location as well. I did not care to be next to him or near him, but to have a better location to capture the show more clearly. I was after all there to capture the performance for the organization.
Having realized that he was not going to get his way, win this round, he attempted to take his frustrations out of me. I was insulted. I was more insulted that he felt the need to act so unprofessionally and accuse me of being the one to have his right to make photos taken away. As one of the other staff members stated, "he didn't even ask if it was ok. He showed up and just started shooting." The moral of the story, the point that I want to convey is this: There is a place and time, a manner in which one can and should say something. There are professional manners that can be displayed. Picking and choosing the correct time exhibits your level of professionalism. Do not show up unannounced with the expectation that you have the right to do anything. Be courteous, respectful, polite, and you will see that things can be granted to you when you act in a more professional manner.