This holiday season we went back “home” (to Brazil, though as a friend always says, home is where you have you bed) and I took my gear to shoot Christmas, new year’s, birthdays (mine and my son’s) and the general family shots. Even more this year that my brother was also around with his newborn daughter, the cutest kid (after mine ).
Bird eye view of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (photo from totaldecadence.com).
This period I even did some portrait and head shots for my brother. Great learning! I need to do it again immediately. I could not direct him as well as I wanted. Gotta practice this!
Back to the topic. Yes, gear for indoor events. The protected way, from home to the place, by car, back home. I really did not have the guts to take the gear on the street and photograph something! Not saying I didn’t shoot anything at all, there’s always a small point-and-shoot in the pocket, but the outcome is nothing compared with a dSLR would have done.
Amazing, isn’t it? Is the land I grew up, a place I’m supposed to know how it works, and probably this is exactly what prevented me from doing it!
Every time someone I know goes to Brazil I get a call/email asking for information and tips. I would probably do the same if I go somewhere I’ve never been before. The information I pass along is “don’t be alone, don’t be distracted, go as unnoticed as possible”. Wallets, cameras, phones and other devices attract attention from the thieves. Fact! So basically going around one the wonderful places cities like Rio de Janeiro (and why not some parts of Sao Paulo) have to offer would be a violation of my own rules!
On the one hand, there are several photographers who do that often and “survive” the experience. On the other hand is very common to receive “someone stole my gear” kind of information, from friends or their friends.
The matter is not only the material side. It’s hard to think of the gear I worked hard to buy going to the hands of someone that didn’t earned it, but the problem is more than anything your physical and psychological integrity. If you’re not physically hurt when robbed, how will your mind deal with the gun you had in your head while your gear was being stolen?
I’m really not into taking this chance.
The additional problem comes with the extrapolation of “where would I go with my gear??”.
To go to Paris or to Venice, for example, I gaffer taped all brands of my gear, to keep some mystery and try to divert attention, but those places are not dangerous places to go, they are just not as safe as Munich.
But I think, I would love to shoot exotic places like Egypt, Turkey or India. Would I dare taking my gear around while visiting it? Would I be a easy prey while shooting?
Still wondering … I put some more thought (and probably get an insurance) when I have the change of doing it.