Am I the only one???? (Afraid of carrying camera around)

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Posted 2/7/2013 by BrooklynGirl in General Photography
 

BrooklynGirl
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Posted: 2/7/2013 11:14:09 AM
I so want to get out & take pictures. But I'm afraid. I know this sounds silly but I'm in NYC (nothing about being NYC just stating that I live in a city environment)& I'm truly afraid of getting robbed. I'm 5 ft tall. I live in a great neighbor but that never matters. I also lived here all my life & I am never afraid any other time. I feel like an idiot but I have this overwhelming feeling when I go out with my camera. At any given time I can have $1700 & up (way up) worth of equipment on me. My husband says not to be afraid & if I get approached just hand it over. Even though I'm feisty, I would in a heartbeat. Also I'm not afraid of the money loss here. But I'm so uneasy & on guard that I don't feel comfortable taking shots.

Has anyone else felt this way. Should I just get over it?


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BrooklynGirl
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Posted: 2/7/2013 11:16:50 AM
Feel bad dragging my family around with me all the time.


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gardencat
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Posted: 2/7/2013 12:03:03 PM
I do know what you mean, it's the same as having a nice piece of jewelry and not wanting to wear it when you go certain places because you don't want to attract the wrong kind of attention.

I don't know exactly what to tell you. I have travelled around a bit, by myself, with my equipment and I mostly just try to avoid the same places I would avoid, as a woman travelling alone, with or without equipment. I wouldn't head down a deserted looking street at night by myself without my camera so I won't do it with it either. I know that someone can rip you off, even in broad daylight, in a busy area ,but then a meteorite could fall on your head too.

I guess what I am saying is that I try not to be overly foolish but I'm determined not to let myself be intimidated into staying in all the time, unless I have someone else to go out with me. Of course, I don't live in NYC.

I've heard it is better now than it was, but I remember many years ago, when my brother lived there, it could be scary and in those days, when visiting, I wouldn't even take a purse with me when I went out...just my wallet in an inside pocket.
Of course he was at Columbia and living near 125th and Broadway which was not exactly what you would call "a great neighbourhood".



CristinaC
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Posted: 2/7/2013 12:27:52 PM
I am the same.. I don't bring out my camera if I am alone. Probably not the answer you were hoping for!



voltagain
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Posted: 2/7/2013 12:46:52 PM
Has anyone else felt this way. Should I just get over it?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>||

I think most of us felt that way in the beginning. Then either you get over it or end up selling off the gear because it never gets used.

Is the fear really truly about the value of the camera or is that a more justifiable "fear" than expressing the fear I might not take fabulous images and be worthy of having all this expensive gear? Very often the second fear that I'm not good enough is the real one that can't be acknowledged.

Go, take pictures. Once you start doing it you'll know which fear is the real one and whether to keep shooting or hang it up.

The only time I think about the price of my gear anymore is when I'm tempted to leave it in the car unattended. When it is with me it doesn't scare me any more than I'm scared of the value of my credit or debit card which I am also carrying.


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KrisztinaK
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Posted: 2/7/2013 2:02:44 PM
Hey BrooklynGirl !
I also live in NYC, just up a bit from you in sunny Astoria.

I agree with Volt in that the only time I really worry about my gear is when I leave it in the car as well. Even if it is just for a few minutes in the best neighborhood, I worry. I take it everywhere with me when it is out of the house.

As long as it's on me, I have the comfort in knowing where it is, versus wondering it will be gone by the time I return.



But I live in NYC as well, and understand where you are coming from. I have lived here over 25 years, and have been taking the subway (to school - from Queens into Manhattan) since I was 12 years old. And this was way back when ALL the trains were covered head to toe in graffiti and muggings were commonplace.

Having grown up here, I consider myself to be very comfortable with the city but at the same time do respect it's potential dangers. I also try to exercise as much common sense and caution as possible, and try to stay in fairly populated areas when I am alone with my gear. As a precaution, I carry an unassuming camera bag (backpack) and remove my gear only when I need to take a shot. As long as it's in the bag, it just looks like I am carrying a plain backpack around. As a bonus, a backpack can't be quickly snatched off my body in crowded environments as well. All of this reduces my fears of theft.

I think you need to find a balance that works for you. I think you need to be sure that you are doing everything you can to prevent yourself from becoming a target. Then you may find that your fear is diminishes to a more "functional" level.





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magoosangel
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Posted: 2/7/2013 2:54:03 PM
You can't let a criminal dictate what you do. That is why terrorism works fear. I am sure you can get over your fears. Your camera is not worth your life so hand it over. Since it is so valuable you probably have insurance. It is replacable. I hate that you are missing out on just enjoying life. Start small go to places you feel safe at or where there are lots of people. Good luck.

magoosangel
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Posted: 2/7/2013 2:54:19 PM
You can't let a criminal dictate what you do. That is why terrorism works fear. I am sure you can get over your fears. Your camera is not worth your life so hand it over. Since it is so valuable you probably have insurance. It is replacable. I hate that you are missing out on just enjoying life. Start small go to places you feel safe at or where there are lots of people. Good luck.

magoosangel
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Posted: 2/7/2013 2:54:50 PM
You can't let a criminal dictate what you do. That is why terrorism works fear. I am sure you can get over your fears. Your camera is not worth your life so hand it over. Since it is so valuable you probably have insurance. It is replacable. I hate that you are missing out on just enjoying life. Start small go to places you feel safe at or where there are lots of people. Good luck.

magoosangel
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Posted: 2/7/2013 2:55:06 PM
You can't let a criminal dictate what you do. That is why terrorism works fear. I am sure you can get over your fears. Your camera is not worth your life so hand it over. Since it is so valuable you probably have insurance. It is replacable. I hate that you are missing out on just enjoying life. Start small go to places you feel safe at or where there are lots of people. Good luck.

strbrygrmp
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Posted: 2/7/2013 4:28:02 PM
Make sure you have insurance on your equipment. Hand it over and your wallet without hesitation. Now go shoot some pictures!

LemonaideLinda
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Posted: 2/7/2013 4:49:04 PM
Not afraid, but I've realized there were times when my camera drew attention to me in a negative way. For example, my dh was carrying the camera in it's bag while we walked thru the tunnel under the Arc d' Triomphe. Street kids were eyeing us up and I saw two kids position themselves at the top of the stairs with another maneuvering his way to be behind my dh as he reached the bottom of the steps. Bump, snatch, toss and run, camera gone. I made my dh stop, looked the "bumper" right in the eye and shook my head, he quickly disappeared into the crowd and his friends were gone just as quickly. Being aware of my surroundings makes a big difference in how safe I feel.

dwisker
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Posted: 2/7/2013 8:20:32 PM
Although I have lived north of the city all of my life and have traveled in for the theater, Yankee games, concerts, etc, I am still cautious when I go.
I took a street photography course last fall and although there was 12 of us in the group, we all split up and went separate ways, then met up later at another point. My prof made sure we were in at least a group of 2. We were in safe areas though- Times Square, China Town, Wall Street.

I bought a sling bag to carry so I could keep it in front of me and I carried a small change purse with a few dollars, my debit card, ID and metro card in my front pocket. I kept my phone in the bag instead of my coat pocket. It took a while for me to relax and not keep looking over my shoulder or studying my surroundings. I realized I was just being paranoid.

I'll be doing it again this spring and I think I will feel a bit more confident this time.


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BrooklynGirl
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Posted: 2/8/2013 8:59:01 AM
Thanks guy!

I am definitely not afraid of the city itself or at any other times. I also grew up here like I said so I am always aware of what goes on around me.

I think that the camera hanging around my neck like that is what makes me feel vulnerable. I have no problem taking photos when I have someone with me. It's when I'm alone.

I am also glad I wrote this because it made me realize something. My Mother was mugged when I was a small child. A few blocks from our house & in a great neighborhood. It was really bad. So I know it can happen. Can't believe I didn't make the connection.

But you guys are right. I'm not gonna let it hold me back just for the "thought" that it can happen.

I appreciate all of your comments


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JRussell
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Posted: 2/8/2013 9:47:56 AM
I understand your fear.

Last year I visited Barcelona, Rome and Naples which are notorious for thieves. I was with my 2 children. For this visit, I bought a Pacsafe camera strap which is slash proof. I also bought a Pacsafe large purse which will hold my SLR with a smaller lens (24-70mm). It is slash proof and has locking zippers.

I try to be aware of my surroundings.

Make sure that have insurance, photos and serial numbers at home.

Also, see if you can join a local photo walk or camera club. I know that there is a photo group on Flickr from my city and they get together for urban photo shoots. Safety in numbers.


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yellow5
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Posted: 2/8/2013 10:10:58 AM
Not afraid but I do NOT go and shoot nighttime long exposures in my hometown city by myself at night. I only do this with a photography group. My equipment is all insured though.

Get a rider on your homeowners insurance. It's cheap and gives you peace of mind, should your camera stuff get stolen or broken.


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papergoddess
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Posted: 2/8/2013 10:21:22 AM
Just a thought, can you join a photography club? Or find other local photogs to go out with? If I was in NYC I would go with you! I'm in NJ, and I wish I had more photog friends bcz of the same thing. That and like always making my BF pull over bcz I have to get a shot and non-photogs don't always get how we see everything.

I know it sounds weird, but I'm the same way with certain vacations, like I won't lug all my equipment for fear of theft and water damage. Remember you don't always have to take dslr to take great photos too. Lots of p&s and even camera phones offer decent ability. Goes back to that whole, its not the camera that takes good photos its the person.

But I get what your saying.





Janna_Werner
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Posted: 2/9/2013 10:09:57 AM
I am not afraid of getting robbed, more that I loose my camera or it gets damaged.
I have to admit that I am a bit lazy and don´t want to carry a heavy bag everywhere I go, so I rather use my iPhone and iPad to take photos. They are ok, but of course not nearly as good as with a DSLR...




voltagain
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Posted: 2/9/2013 11:16:38 AM
From your first post it sounded like you were afraid to go out at all with your gear. But I see it is just afraid to go out alone. Check out meetup.com for photo clubs in your area. You are sure to find another woman or 3 who would love to have a shooting companion because they feel the same way.


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