Brighton’s Sierra Phillips, above, staring into the calm water before she won the 100 yard breaststroke.
I wanted to title this post “Perverts Are Ruining My Job.”
For some reason, weirdos are drawn to photography. And photography has been employed in various seedy pursuits. But the paranoia over photography has truly gotten out of hand. Carrying a camera in today’s America invokes nothing but suspicion and fear. People only assume the worst. In Utah, I sometimes think I would be more accepted carrying a firearm.
The pool at BYU has these cool underwater windows that I’ve shot from over the years to get a cool view of the swimmers. Could I shoot from there this year? No.
I was told it was a privacy issue, that a swimmer might be adjusting their suit while I’m photographing from below. I pointed out that I would be photographing the races, and I didn’t think anyone would be adjusting anything during a competitive race.
Next I was told I might inadvertently capture a body part. I pointed out that those body parts are just as visible above water.
The arguments were nonsense, but it was clear I had lost the fight. It’s a shame that photography has become such a hassle. Maybe next time with some advance legwork they’ll understand who I am and that I’m a professional, not a perv.
Viewmont’s Zakary Flammer, above, 100 yard butterfly.
There was another weird story out of the swim meet this year. The event photographer doing the awards presentations tried to play photo cop and wanted to know who I was shooting for. He told me that the day before he noticed a photographer shooting the presentations from the back side. He said that he confronted the photographer and looked at the photos on the guy’s camera. The photos, he claimed, were all close-ups of athletes’ butts. Minor athletes, in this case. He said he had the guy kicked out.
It’s a crazy tale, but something seemed fishy about it. I know this kind of thing happens, but there was something off about the way the story was told.
Maybe I need a shirt that says, “Not a Perv” on the front and, “Not a Terrorist” on the back.
Above: A Lone Peak swimmer exhausted after competing in the 400 yard freestyle relay.