Creeps in the World
Katie Jane and I got together on the High Line yesterday for a really fun portrait session. It was so weird and cool to be on the other side of the camera and we had an amazing time. I’ll tell you more about it later (she posted a sneak peek here on her blog if you’d like to see – she’s amazing), but something happened right in the middle that really pissed me off. I was posing, and a man in his late 50s came up behind her and took a photo of me while standing a few feet behind her. As he walked past her, camera now down, and then past me, I snapped.
“You know, you’re really fucking creepy, asshole!” I said, fearless somehow. He smirked as he walked on, and I daydreamed for a moment about punching him in the nose.
When I explained to Katie Jane what happened, she blurted out, “I’m so sorry!” It wasn’t her blunder to apologize for, of course, but I got it. As photographers, we are asking people to be vulnerable so we can reach into them and pull out their stories and feelings. It’s a deep honor to crack someone open and capture them; I feel that way about people in front of my camera, too, and I understood how she felt.
I’m so OVER it. I hate that I always carry a hoodie to zip up to my neck on the subway, even in the summer, because someone is going to eyeball my cleavage and press against me if I don’t. I’ll fight back if someone touches me, but it’s way easier to just cut it off completely.
Last month some construction workers were putting up scaffolding. There were six on one side of the sidewalk and six on the other, building in tandem. An extra one stood at the beginning of the row and shouted “Incoming!” as I stepped past him and through the gauntlet of men who immediately stopped their work to gawk and make crude comments.
I’m pretty tough with one guy but the dozen were a bit much, and I just dissolved into tears and shuffled off, arms folded across my chest and head down.
Has this happened to you? How do you handle it?