June 4, 2010

Mobile Photographer

Canon EOS 7D | Canon 35mm f/1.4L | Available Light
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This photo was taken during the weekend of the the Motown Hoedown. I was on my way home when I saw this camera-laden young man.

"That's quite the impressive kit. What are you taking pictures of?'

"Nothing, now!"

He went on to explain that he was down on the riverfront charging Motown Hoedown festival goers to take their picture. He had a photo printer in tow tucked away in a picnic cooler. He'd print the photo up, collect his fee and be on his way.

Or so he thought.

Apparently, you can't charge to take pictures on the street, unless you have a vendor's license. The police asked him to leave and offered the consolatory caveat that he was free to charge for photos in the neighborhoods.

"Ain't downtown a neighborhood?"

It is indeed.

I'm all for the rule of law. Except for old black men.

Way I see it, for all the lunch counter sandwiches they were denied, all the fire hose streams they absorbed, for all the countless slights, injustices and attacks against their humanity they endured just so all of America could enjoy a more fair and equal reality, for all the times they were told what they could not do, they should in the twilight of their lives be able to do any got damn thing they please.

Have a good weekend, kind readers.

[View the daily blog and meet more of:The People of Detroit ]


Unknown said...

Some rules/laws are just stupid, and this is one of them. Great shot!

The People of Detroit said...

Yea. I think the cops should have given him a pass.

Michael Tedesco said...

I couldn't agree more.

Michael Tedesco said...

Oh and another thing...

If the city wants people to pay for a vendor license for things like this why don't they have cops carry a one page form or web-based form and credit card processor for that matter and issue the licenses on the spot? I bet the guy would have paid the $25 to sell $5 pics to the Motown Hoedown visitors.

Does the mayor read your blog?

The People of Detroit said...

Michael, I doubt it, but he should read your comment. That is a simple yet ingenious proposition

Tafari said...

Another great street portrait.

Something tells me that he knew that he should have a vendor's license. They are not hard or expensive to obtain from what I hear.

Overall, the cops were being dicks.

mgindi.tumblr.com said...

Cops were being dicks, yes. And the history is unfortunate, yes. However, I don't think that's a waiver to follow the law. I think the permit law is fucking stupid, and they should have given him one or let him pay to obtain one on the spot, but not because he's black. People are people are people to me and that's just how I feel.

The People of Detroit said...

I agree, people are people but some groups of people experience adverse circumsances that other might not have.

Its not because he's black. Its because he was black and of a certain age that garanteed he went thru certain adverse circumstances. Of all the things to worry about in Detroit, a old black dude with a camera is least among them.

The People of Detroit said...

I agree though, they should gave him a chance to buy a license on the spot. That would have meant money for the city and the guy. A win all around.

The People of Detroit said...

Admittedly, I was feeling mad frustrated when I posted this. I was gonna go back and change it up, but felt like it represented how I felt at the time.

I will make them amendment. I think old black men should be able to do anything they got damn work... EXCEPT... where baggy-ass hip hop clothes.