I did have a couple of younger people who were very curious about my camera when I was shooting at the Winnipeg Jets Fan Fest on September 15. I did try and do some handheld video shooting while I was there. Not the greatest footage I have ever taken in my life, which leads me to believe that if I ever get the opportunity to shoot anything at one of the practices in the future, I should make SURE I have my tripod with me! In any case, before the one child started getting overly personal with my camera and madly poking the zoom lens while I was trying to take photos, this was the bit of footage I did get.
I appreciate it when children are interested in what I am doing. In fact, no matter what kind of photographic or videographic job I am working, I always take the time to teach the kids a bit about what my job entails and also, how precious my camera is to me.
However, I do take exception when children (like this one little boy in particular) decide to start touching the camera or even try and focus it for me when I'm in the middle of working with it. Luckily, one of the people working at the rink came over and had a little talk with the kids, and their father (who decided he could just come and stand beside me while I was working), asking them to quit bothering me. As I was seated, cross-legged, in the stands, well below the eye-line of the fans behind me watching while I was working, and always asking them if I was in their way (they all told me "Nope, we can see over you!") and this grown man was standing with his kids, all of them were actually obstructing the view for everyone else.
Which is one of the most important things, no matter what the assignment may be that I am covering. I understand that I am a GUEST in whatever location it is that I am shooting at. I stay out of the way of the fans, no matter how uncomfortable the position might be, or how much icky mud I wound up getting on my pant legs from being seated in that position, but thankfully they were my very washable army surplus camo pants, so no big deal.
With most children who have been curious about my equipment, if they are ones whom I have known for a while and I know 100 percent that I can trust them with it, I will let them look through the viewfinder, when the camera is firmly on a tripod. I will also explain things to them, depending on how technical they want to get with me about my equipment. To be honest, there are very few adults I allow to handle any of my cameras, so when a child who is a complete stranger starts demanding to "play with your toy," I do take exception. In this case, I took a deep breath and asked the little guy "Why don't you ask your parents for one?" and he brightly told me "I already did and they won't, share it now!"
Another deep breath, and I focused on taking more photos of the action on the ice. Even with the little guy poking it, I stayed focused on my task at hand, though at one point I did suggest to his older sister that perhaps she and her brother should sit with their parents, to which she brightly told me, "Daddy sent us here to play with you!"
Yep, that whole craziness is going to wind up in a film script someday...
Anyhoot, I hope that you enjoy the short video clip. Someday, when the stars are aligned correctly, I will add more original video footage from some of my sports stories.