Last summer I was mentioned in a Metro Vancouver news article about being a local blogebrity. While the story was very flattering and had good intentions at one point the writer mentioned I took photos at Wreck beach. Of everything, this disturbed me the most as I know proper beach etiquette and would never do such a thing. This afternoon while at the very same beach John and I witnessed a bit of a scuffle regarding said etiquette.
6. Get nude! Respect nudity and the privacy of others and experience the joys of naturism! Gawking, staring, or making rude comments is not appreciated! If nudity offends you, please check out Vancouver’s many other beautiful beaches instead of mocking our naturist lifestyle. Ask prior permission to photograph. No unauthorized film-making! [Wreck Beach Etiquette]
A man had come down to the beach and was taking general photos of the beach, people and scenes with what was described as a “telephoto lens”. As he made his way down the beach some regulars took notice and decided to let him know that the community does not appreciate having their picture taken.
This escalated and about 6 males from the beach confronted the man, they asked that he please delete the photos he just took since a) he didn’t have permission b) the community frowns on such things and c) he could have been taking photos of children and that’s simply unacceptable. As the man refused, the accusations that he was doing something “creepy”, “dirty” and “sleazy” especially in regards to children started to fly. He defended himself saying he was just a photographer out on the beach for a day but the men from the beach refused to accept this and repeatedly asked him to delete the photos in front of them. At no point did it get any more violent than this but from the mumurs around us up on shore, apparently this wasn’t the first time a photographer has been given a hard time.
After about 20 minutes John and I got up to play frisbee, the police had been called and we don’t really know how the rest panned out.
There are pages of Wreck Beach photos on Flickr that I can find, and 98% of them are of sunsets, sand, tidal pools and the forest. The others are direct photos of other people, e.g. if John would have just taken my photo sitting at our blanket. I can definitely see how people would get on edge and how there must be rules to help a society like this survive. Thinking about yesterday’s situation, you’d think it would have been solved if the man would have just opened up his bag, taken out the camera and deleted the pics. But it doesn’t seem as simple as that.