Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Smile, you're on the newspaper....

I saw a photographer inside my BART train today (with a press badge, or at least something official looking around his neck). He was just snapping away nonstop. He took photos from all angles imaginable with passengers in them.

I made an effort to cover my face with a magazine. Why you ask? For one, I do not even know what type of article this is for...what if it is an article that talks about BART passenger satisfaction rating at a decade-high? I don't want to be the face associated with being a satisfied customer. You get my point? Secondly, I am tired and slightly grumpy in the mornings. The last thing I am looking forward to is a snappy photographer taking close-ups of me and the passengers around me. I do not want to be surprised with a photo of me in tomorrow's paper. Especially if it's a bad photo of me, I do not want it to be circulating without my permission.

Some people may really want to be in these random BART photos, but not me. They should ask willing passengers to do a casual pose instead of just snapping away at everyone! I know that is too complicated and they'll never take that approach, so I'll just continue to hold my magazine or book up high when I see a press photographer snapping away.


Anonymous said...

I can fully understand your desire to be disincluded in any random BART photography. However, a larger issue is at stake here.

As Train Operators, for security reasons and to keep the system safe for our passengers, we are constantly on the lookout for things out of the ordinary, including those shooting photographs or video of BART trains, stations, etc. Other than the obvious tourist snapping a photo or two with his cell phone or disposable camera, we ask that you kindly report to the train operator or station agent IMMEDIATELY any person or persons taking pictures in/around BART property, regardless of how professional or well-intentioned they seem. If you have to, call from an intercom in another car on your train, or call BART police at 510-464-7000.

We, as employees, report these things immediately to BART Operations Control Center on our radios and they are check out. Even the press has to have a clearance with BART police to photograph on BART property and many times they are escorted by a BART safety monitor while doing this.

It's a team effort. Thanks for helping to be the 'eyes and ears' of our BART system.

Anonymous said...

Good points and information. The only problem is that if there really was a security issue and no BART police officer happened to be on-site, who knows how long it would take for one to respond? It is simply amazing, particularly in these supposed security-conscious times, that BART does not have police on-site at every station. Clearly there is plenty of work that BART police could be doing at the stations.