Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My Letter About Being Denied Taking Photos


Today, I met you while visiting your agency to take some photos of your fleet. Unfortunely, you denied me this oppurtunity, citing previous improper use of the photos by others and a comprehensive media policy.

Since riding with your agency as part of my Northeastern University Medic Class ride along program in January of 2004, I have been a huge fan of your agency. I am a career firefighter and paramedic, with a strong interest in apparatus photography, and speak highly of your agency to everyone.

The main reason for my wanting photos of your fleet today was to show off to the many visitors to my site (http://www.emtbravo.com) the diverse, well-kept fleet of vehicles you have. I am also fascinated by how prepared your agency is, and this also reflects with the fleet. I was exicted at the prosepct of getting the photos and being able to share this with my friends and visitors to my site. I feel your agency is one of the premier EMS providers in the nation, yet is not seen very often in photos.

I tried to do the right thing by asking your permission. I feel, and know, these vehicles are seen on the street quite frequently, and that I can obtain photos that way. I understand your concerns about using the photos inappropriately, yet I offered my name and where the photos would be posted and how they would be used.

I also understand your agency has a media policy. I would like to know how to go through the proper channels to obtain permission to photograph your fleet.

I know you are a very busy person, and I respect that and hope I'm not wasting my time. It just bothers me that my hobby of apparatus photography is sometimes unexplicably looked down on, and I can not understand the rationale behind this. Especially since anyone, anywhere....especially with the proliferation of camera phones, can get photos of your agency without even asking. I have photographed many agencies, most of them with permission of the director or similar title (including Los Angeles City Fire Department, Boston EMS, etc etc) and have never ran into an issue like this. Once I explained myself and my intent, all were happy that I had such an interest in their agencies. I watermark all photos so that there is tracking if the photo is "lifted". I also always provide a CD of all photos I take for however the agency I am shooting would like to use them. I, in no way, profit from this either. Thank you for your time both in this letter and in person today.

Have a good evening.
-Seth ********
P.S. I have attached a photo of one of your units that I shot on the street today. You may use it however you would like.