The problem with being a woman photographer in today's not so safe society......

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by liljuddakalilknyttphotography, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. For several years I was part of a small group of photographers who met almost every weekend. We all shared the love for wildlife, especially bird, photography. Great for our area with our diversity in birds and many areas protected for them. But many of these places are not always the safest.
    Then slowly but steadily the group started to disperse. Life got in the way as it tends to do. I still managed to keep one of my "safe" friends who also loves bird photography keep going with the photography. But over the years his little kids are growing up and are now busy with sports etc every weekend.
    The last four some years have been trying for our family. My husband has lost two brothers & his mother. His youngest sister battling cancer and the list goes on. Last year was simply the final straw for us. Slowly coming out of this I want to pick up my photography again. Only to find that none of my old "safe" buddies are around.
    I've tried finding some "group" online but my searching must be wrong as it's not yielding any real results.
    Anyone got any suggestions? I can only bug my husband so often & even though he's a retired photographer he does get bored waiting on me.
  2. I'm afraid it's "No Country for Old Men" either.
    The Photo Mentor tours sponsored by Nikon and Popular Photography, among others, were very good a few years ago. They have parties of a busload or two, all photographers with a couple of pros, so hardly anyone is rushed. These days they are running a few days at places like Yellowstone area.
    There are other outfits running special tours for people from one to a dozen.
  3. How about checking with the instructors of photography courses at local colleges? Perhaps they have connections to groups?
    I love your horse photos - hang in there and good luck!
  4. Hi Lil, I found several meetup groups locally that share interests I have. Go to and search for photography groups. I mostly attend monthly meetings and various outings with the photography group, but there are many that have to do with outdoors and nature. I hope this helps. I know that many of us have had times when we were away from photography too long and missed it.
  5. Lil, I suggest you look for a local chapter of the Audubon Society. There are birders everywhere in America, and a high percentage are also into photographing birds. They will have gear ranging from inexpensive and simple to rigs costing more than my car. You should be able to find organized outings (a good way to meet and make friends with individuals in the chapter) and informal outings among friends with a common interest in specific birds or specific locations.
  6. Check with any local photo stores. Midwest Photo Exchange put me in touch with two local clubs. Taking a wild stab in the dark here, but within an hour or two of Columbus we have the Columbus Zoo, The Wilds, and Hocking Hills. Maybe if you have a zoo, wildlife sanctuary, or a scenic vacation spot in your area, they may know of a photo group that shares your interest.

    Good luck,
  7. The idea of finding a bird watcher is a good one, I think. Where do you live that isn't safe? Where I live I see women jogging at night quite often. I generally photo alone at night and sometimes feel a little threatened by mountain lions in the wilder areas. I simply carry a small .22 revolver in those places. Do you have any church friends that might go? Or maybe a student in a local college interested in either birds or photography?
    Kent in SD
  8. Didnt understand where the not safe for women part comes in?
  9. In the "not so safe society" and looking for buddies/safety in numbers bit, Robert?<br>More something for the Casual Photo Conversations forum though. Or are Photographers using Nikon gear more trustworthy than those using, say, Pentax equipment? ;-)
  10. Lil, I'm sorry to hear this - your photos are great. I miss seeing them. Your situation is not unique. We all go through this. I have been in photo groups, too, that just withered and died. Some members of such groups are passionate about their interest, while others have only a passing interest. I have gone through similar things during the past few years. My daughter’s family moved back to New Orleans, I had to sue my home builder over structural problems, my mother, mother-in-law and sister passed away, and now we have moved - all of this saps your time and concentration. But, I try to stay connected with my international friends on FB. Just go out and shoot, and keep in touch with your friends who still have interest. Society has to improve in a couple of years.
  11. I've had a concealed handgun license for many years, and carry a 9mm along with my Df. Even though no one knows I am armed, they leave me alone because armed people exude an air of confidence.
  12. I work out, and people leave me alone because I have a thick neck and swagger a lot. ;)
  13. This might be a good start.
  14. Here in Houston there are numerous photo Meet Up groups, and some are just for nature photography. Check the local
    listings in your area. If one is not there, set it up. Houston Audubon has a nature photographers association. There are
    over 100 members in it. Check the photographic society of America,s website to see if there is a camera club in your
    Joe smith
  15. A lot of good advice above, but until you get your new network established, I recommend the following (and it works on four legged bears too) :)...
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Around where I live, there is the Bay Area Bird Photographers, which is now part of Silicon Valley Audubon:
    I would imagine that you can find something similar in Los Angeles. Just keep in mind that frequently, bird watchers and bird photographers don't mix very well, as typically bird watchers don't care about lighting and background, etc. It is important to determine the nature of the group and find something that suits you needs.
  17. hey lil
    sorry to hear that you've got a hard time right now. that sucks.
    its good you decided to do something you love.
    here is the thing though..the way i see it..those groups are meaningless anyway.
    you either search for a friend or somebody you work with.
    combing those two things almost impossible.
    you first
    screw the others
    get up
    go out
    take images.
    stand still for a moment, looka round you and think about what you are just doing.
    how great it is.
    you wanna share it?
    show your work, try to do shows or what the hell, get it out there.
    but first.
    do not depend on others.
    they will invetiable let you down.
    at least this is how i know it (some exceptions)
    as far as i see it.
    me first.
    f the others.
    do it!
    i am aware that i am not to be considered the "social" type.
    but that is good..more time to take more photos.
    keep smiling
  18. norbert, is that written in iambic pentameter? ;-)
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Every time I read Norbert's post, I feel like I am reading some poem; no, the content doesn't sound like a poem, but the short lines and where lines are broken, the format looks like a poem. :)
  20. hahaha...well..okay..point taken. but the lines are broken so you will have to pause. my head this makes them stick longer in your active memory.
    as you can clearly see, i am very skilled in writing peoms of all sorts.
    besides that, i am a very good fighting-kangaroo-trainer and in my spare time
    i build hulahoop rings out of concrete.
    they are as solid, as my rhymes and peoms.
  21. No worries norbert, you're a colorful guy.
  22. i am not a native english speaker, i guess you know that by now.
    what does being a colourful guy mean.
    i guess i kind of understand it, but i want to know what it actually means.
    thx in advance
  23. I want to start up by saying.....
    Thank you all for your suggestions & for caring enough to comment or sending me a personal message, as I've gotten a few of those as well. :)
    Several suggestions I'd not thought of in here & I will comment on a few of the replies...
    JDM von Weinberg - true that it's not safe for most of us, men included.... Sad to have to accept the world is turning this way... Tour would be great, but unfortunately I want to be able to go out more regularly than that & unfortunately this year all our money's going towards a trip to Sweden, Paris France & London England. There will not be any money towards a trip to Yellowstone etc.
    Renee Shipley - that's a great suggestion. I will see what I can do about that. I'm glad you enjoy my photos of the horses. That's one thing I can do in the safety of our home & where I feel fairly safe. I can always bring our Rottweiler where I plan to do more photography of them. No one will have a problem with me bringing a dog there.
    Jon Shumpert - I found something there, but it was a class for about $ 160.00. I could consider that as an option in order to meet new people in a safe environment. But I don't want to make a habit of paying for going out.
    Bob Flood - thank you for that suggestion. I've been told by several people that "birders" don't normally like photographers and I do understand that as I've seen some photographers go "too far" & harass birds on nests etc. But I will see what I can find out through the Audubon Society.
    Mark L. Cooper - I do know of about three good local Camera Stores. Two of them especially might be able to help. Great suggestion :)
    Kent Staubus - I live in Los Angeles. Unfortunately I've heard of men being threatened at several of the locations I used to go for bird photography. I have a lot of money invested in my equipment. Should I lose it, I have no way of replacing it. My husband's now retired and we're on a fixed income with very little extra money....
    Robert Stig - safe as in not being attacked, shot etc. I'm safer if I'm not alone.
    Q.G. de Bakker - I don't think Nikon shooters are safer. As a matter of fact, we used to joke that the guys had no use for my equipment ;) as many of them were Canon shooters. However, if someone has a battery issue etc, other Nikon shooters are more capable of helping. However, reason for putting my question here as opposed to in the Casual Photo Conversations forum is simple - - I've been a part of this forum for many years. Can't be sure when I joined, but it's probably closer to 10 years by now. I have Internet "friends" within this forum. People who know me from many conversations in here. People I feel a certain connection with. People who probably know better than you what equipment I have, who can relate on a more personal level. Also, I know both Shun & Lex from personal e-mails etc since most of that time. If either of them had an issue with my post I'm sure they would have moved it.
    Stanley Beck - Hi Stanley, you are too kind :) You probably get a chance to see more of my photos than most these days (omitting Lex) as we're friends on FB. Many photos just end up there as I don't want to bore people with all my horse photos nor my birds. I've noticed over the years that I seem to bore some people with them..... Thank you for all your support.
    OK I'm going to end this post here as this takes care of all comments from page 1. Don't want to miss anyone. You've all been so kind to reply. And, Thank you all so very much again :)
  24. It's only once a year, but this might be worth checking out:
    Look around for more info, that's just the "winners" from last year.
  25. OK starting page 2
    Again thank you all for taking time out to try to help :)
    Dan Brown - I thank you for your suggestion, but I have to tell you, guns are not my thing so I will not go down that road.... I would be too scared just wearing it.... ;)
    JDM von Weinberg - good for you, got to tell you though that I don't think my husband would appreciate me with a thick neck ;)
    John Crowe - thank you so very much :) I will check all those out :)
    Joseph Smith - I didn't know I could do so, but I will try that as well :)
    ML M - LOL I've had similar sprays before. Great idea - I can get on board with those with no problem ;)
    Shun - thank you so very much & you've voiced something I've heard about before & am aware of.
    Norbert Wabnig - Thanks :) I have two serious hobbies since most of my life. Both have had to be put on hold several times. Horseback riding & photography. Those are my greatest passions past my family. Last year one of our neighbors accidentally caused our beautiful horse Naboo to colic. He fought bravely for 30 hours and then passed in front of us. Vet did all in his power. Naboo was like a child of ours. He came to us when he was 4 months old. We sold him at 8 years of age to a person who had no idea what she was doing. Three years later be bought him back & I'd spent five years making him the horse he used to be. We lost one of our dogs, my mother-in-law and our beloved Naboo all within two months. It was too much for our entire family. I still can't speak with our neighbor and I can't forgive him for feeding our horse something dangerous. He's never offered an simple - I'm sorry for my action/mistake. Never, can I help with the Veterinary costs. I realize he doesn't want to reimburse us for the $ 50,000 it would cost us to replace the horse. And I realize the reason he doesn't say anything is because then I can sue him for the horse's cost. But the fact that I had to threaten him when I saw him feeding another neighbor's horse...... It took a lot, but we managed to scrape together enough money for us to get a new horse. But I had to choose a baby as I could not afford a horse of Naboo's caliber which was old enough for me to start riding. Now I may have to wait another two years before I start riding our new boy. Sorry, but this has been very hard to let go of, part of the reason I want to get back to my photography so as to help me let go of it.
    Anyhow, thank you for your poem ;) It's written in a way to make someone like me to sit up & pay attention....
    Dan & Shun - The way Norbert wrote his comment makes me sit up & pay attention :)
    Norbert - you have a very special sense of humor ;)
    Again, that's another page of great recommendations & I thank you all :)
  26. Lil, nothing is safe in life, but crime is at it's lowest point in almost fifty years in California according to the Public Policy Institute of Calfornia:
    "California’s violent crime rate is at its lowest level since 1967. After increasing slightly in 2012, California’s violent crime rate dropped by 6.5% in 2013, to a 46-year low of 397 per 100,000 residents. From 1960 to 1980, the state’s violent crime rate increased from 239 to 894 violent crimes per 100,000 residents—a staggering 274% rise. After declining in the early 1980s, the rate rose to a peak of 1,120 in 1992. Since then, violent crime has declined substantially. Nonetheless, in the most recent national data (from 2012), California’s violent crime rate of 422 per 100,000 residents was higher than the national rate of 387 and ranked 16th among all states. In 2013, 59% of violent crimes in California were aggravated assaults, 35% were robberies, 5% were rapes, and 1% were homicides."
    You hire babysitters (maybe), so maybe you can find someone who is interested in learning nature photography to accompany you and be your bodyguard at the same time as they learn the tricks of your trade. You're much more likely to get assaulted at an ATM or injured driving to and from where you would like to shoot some pics.
    You might even start your own photo class and have your own group for safety.
  27. <<Every time I read Norbert's post, I feel like I am reading some poem; no, the content doesn't sound like a poem, but the short lines and where lines are broken, the format looks like a poem>>
    Maybe it's the Wein interpretation of a haiku.
    Kent in SD
  28. Lil, I don’t specialize in any particular genre of photos - I grab what I can, when I can. Sometimes they might be considered snapshots, but I keep a camera with me at all times, just so I don’t miss an opportunity. If I am going out to shoot, I bring my primary kit & tripod. At all times, I have my older DSLR & 2 lenses in my car. And when I’m, not in my car, I have my cell phone (camera of last resort - and it doesn’t attract a lot of attention). During the past couple of weeks, I have posted images to FB from all three, and nobody has spotted the difference. The point is this - don’t sit around and wish.
  29. Lil--I am SO sorry to hear about Naboo....animals become family members. Their loss is very painful. Please know we are with you and that your new family member will be super!
  30. I will suggest joining a camera club with a lot of active members organizing field trips, or joining a metope group. Some, here in the SF Bay Area, are very active.
  31. Sorry for not finishing this yesterday, but I'll continue to thank people for being kind enough to reply now...
    David Manzi - - thank you for the link :) Might be helpful.
    Jay Hector - - that's nice to know, but still.... knowing that other photographers have been in danger, and them being men..... As a woman I feel more in danger for that reason. I don't know if I believe I'm qualified to start a photo class. But what do I know ;) Thank you for your suggestions
    Stanley - you've seen my photos for many many years. You know I do a lot of different types of photography. At this time I don't seem to be going out all that often. Might have to do with the fact that I've been at home since our daughter was born and now that she's grown, maybe because of my headaches..... But I always have my cell phone with me & though I've rarely happy with the result of those photos, I do post a lot of them on FB. And when I travel around I always bring at least one camera. I will take your advice, no sitting around wishing - - get out & go shooting :)
    Paul Beavin - thank you for your kind words. The loss has been hard, but as with all loss, time will heal those wounds. Young Jamestown is a wonderful horse we all just love. The fact that we keep them at home, like all our pet family, makes them very close to us. And the relationship in between a horse & rider is a very deep & special one. Naboo, like other pet family, will forever remain in our hearts....
    Here's a photo of Naboo (the large horse) and our little American Shetland Pony stallion Colie a few years before we lost Naboo
    And here's a photo of our you Jamestown, James the JazMan we got about six months ago...
    George Pelpel - thank you for your suggestion. I will look into that as well. :)
    I wish to thank everyone for your suggestions. I am actively looking into all the suggestions to see what I can find :) Thank you all for your help :)
  32. Not only do I fail to see how this thread is gender specific, I also fail to see how it is Nikon specific. :) Nonetheless, it is an interesting and relevant question you ask.
    I would also stay away from getting a gun to feel safe. But what about an baseball cap with a big NRA logo on it?
    I think you have gotten excellent advice on where to find people to take with you. Since you mentioned that your husband is retired, it made me think about retired people in general. Why not find a local pensioner club? I believe you can find several individuals that would love to take up photography now that time allows for it. Perhaps you could teach if there are beginners?
    So, Sweden is part of this years itinerary - welcome!
  33. Bird watchers area great idea. You could also hire an assistant. Perhaps a HS or college student wouldn't mind hauling equipment around for you and keeping things safe. 'Shouldn't cost too much and the help would be nice. Good luck with your photography.
  34. Hejsan/Hi Andreas Heimbrandt - I realize this thread now has 31 comments, but if you had taken the time out to read them you would have seen that I have addressed your issue about it being, or rather not being Nikon specific. My main reason for posting it here is that I've been part of this forum for close to 10 years & I have Internet "friends" in here. I therefore felt more comfortable posting it in here & I'm more used to posting in this forum. It would seem neither Shun nor Lex had a problem with me doing so. Either way, I don't claim this to be a Nikon specific nor in the long run a gender specific issue. Though if a thief has an option on a woman or a man I bet the woman will be to easier target. But that might be wrong. Still, on the average a woman is less strong than a man.
    I look horrible in caps and can't stand the NRA. I think I'll try for a spray instead ;)
    I also believe I've gotten a lot of great suggestions & am at present checking on the choices available to me. YOu give me a suggestion that's interesting & I will see if that's doable.
    Yes, my native Sweden is on this years itinerary. Stockholm, Visby, & Marieholm are stops. The idea is for us to take the ferry from Visby to Oskarshamn. There rent a car & drive down to Kristianstad & on to Marieholm. We'll probably drive around Skåne a little for the days we're there so my American husband gets to see some of that part of the country. Then on to Paris France & London England. This should give me many photo ops.
    After all, I'm still a Swedish citizen, so all I'm doing is going back home to see family & friends.
    Thanks for taking time out to comment.
  35. Hi LIL,
    Digital image making is a private affair for me these days. There was a time when I enjoyed camera clubs and other associations, but these days, I tend not to talk to fellow photographers. I’d rather chat to artists instead.
    Mateship is a great thing, but when it comes to the creative process, one must learn to be alone with their ideas and thoughts.
    Just my opinion,
  36. Hi John R. Fulton Jr. - hire an assistant. That's a good idea. That way I wouldn't have to drag all the equipment. I will contact some local H.S. & see what I can figure out....
    Hi Clive Rapier - sure it's a private affair. Creating the files as in editing etc, but not in the shooting of them for me. I enjoy the company of friends while out photographing birds. Often we used to be out all day and with the hours it takes to get the shots it's nice to have someone to hang out with. It's actually interesting to see how 5 photographers standing close to each other can get so different shots based upon what one sees which someone else doesn't. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.....
  37. What Jon said. Try I found several local photo groups through this source that had interests similar to mine. It really is a nice resource. Obviously not limited to photography, either.

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