Archive | July, 2008

Saving Mayberry One Picture at a Time

This evening, after dressing each child in Sunday-type nice clothes, curling my 3 year old’s fine wisps with a hot iron for the first time, making them eat dinner with dish towels for bibs, scrubbing faces , retouching the hairdos, (all of this by myself – my husband is at a class) and finally walking to our desired site… the unthinkable happened.

I got kicked off the property.

Our site of choice: An apartment building two streets over that is getting a facelift. This is a complex that when I first moved to town 10 years ago, I saw this place and instantly fell in love with it. It oozes character (which my camera did not capture, I’m sure – I should’ve used a wider lens) complete with big trees, large grassy courtyard, and balconies. However, they are in the process of replacing the windows and stuccoing the whole place a lame peachy terra cotta color with a pukey gray trim. Yes, let’s succomb to following the masses and kick our plantation-style uniqueness out into the street. Naturally, I wanted to shoot there before it went the way of all the world. (You can see the patching around the windows if you look close)

We had only been there for 10 minutes when HE approached. Actually, I saw two other residents first. One, a mom with a small baby watching us from her balcony. Two, a man going in and out of his place, moving some things, who was very friendly and commented that I picked a great place because there was lots of room for the baby to crawl around.

Just as I was saying, “Two more pictures. Just sit real quick for two more pictures,” Three arrives.

“Do you need some help?” He asks. I should’ve said, “Yeah, can you hold the baby while I get the other two to sit in their spots. And when they do finally sit, stand behind me and act like a monkey to get the baby to smile.” Instead I explained I wanted some pictures of the kids on the grass. He proceeds to tell me I am in his front yard, and the posted signs say this is private property and yes, he’d like me to leave. After struggling through the 10 minute shoot that we did do, I was not in the mood to put up a fight. He walks back to his camp chair, at least 80 feet away, where his lady friend was also sitting. They were not there when we first arrived at the scene – I know, I surveyed. I then had to convince the children that it was now time to go. And wouldn’t you know it, now they wanted to sit and get their picture taken. The kids were all tears and “No! I’m sitting! Mommy, please!”

I hope he feels good about himself, making my kids cry, almost making me cry! Sure, I understand that, yes, it is someone’s property and I suppose I should’ve gotten permission. However, do I think he was the owner? No. As far as I know, said place is an apartment complex, not condos. I guess there is a 2% chance he is actually an owner of some sort. I don’t think fast enough to come up with sharp comebacks when I am in a confrontational situation like that. I was just so dumbfounded that someone would be so unfriendly…

He can have his crummy peach stucco job.