When you don't hire a professional, it's not just your organization that can get a black eye, it's the entire press corps that can. Enter the amateur photographer who arguably caused golfer Ian Poulter to lose the lead-in to the French Open, dashing his chances to win that.
Poulter is quoted, in Sporting Life (Poulter Snaps Over Photographer), as saying "That's what happens when you let novice people come in and ruin our livelihoods. We are playing for world ranking points and I want to move up as high as I can."
Indeed Mr. Poulter, I agree with you.
This is not the first time this has happened. In March of 2008 Tiger Woods cited a photographers' camera noise as halting his momentum, and in 2007, golfer John Daly tore a muscle in his abdomen over a camera noise (albeit a fans, in this case) but the list of photographers that are untrained and have an adverse impact on events like golf goes on and on.
Already a very crowded scene with too many photographers covering these events, photographers are going to be pushed farther and farther away. Further, it may not be unreasonable soon to expect that photographers closer than, say, 20 feet, if they are allowed that close at all, will have to use a sound blimp similar to those used on movie sets. (See Jacobsen Sound Blimp video we did awhile back).
Amateurs somehow always worm their way into press pens they don't belong in. Sure signs? A point-and-shoot covering a concert. A person who is admonished not to use their flash during concert photography, and responds - "what do you mean I can't use my flash?!?!" It's a dead giveaway. Someone in a press area during any event that is applauding during a speakers' remarks. These, and many more are sure signs you have an amateur making getting your job done just that much harder.
If you're going to pretend to be the press, don't applaud in the press area. Don't bring a point-and-shoot to a press conference, that's like bringing a knife to a gunfight, and for gods' sake, don't go asking for autographs from the people you are supposed to be there photographing. Lastly, learn when it's appropriate to take a photo, and when it's not, and then stick to it. If you can't figure it out, follow the lead of those around you.
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