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Submitted on
September 6, 2012


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On Photographing Robots in Public

Journal Entry: Thu Sep 6, 2012, 6:05 PM

So apparently, the question on people's minds is: "When you take pictures of Transformers in public, how do people react??"

I cannot believe how many times I've been asked this question recently. I didn't realize this was such a hot topic, seriously. :D At first I tried answering people individually, but that got to be a bit of typing, so I thought I'd just put this journal together. So, by popular request, I give you people's reactions to me taking pictures of robots in public, whee!

1. People ignore me. Seriously, this is what happens about 95% of the time. People just act like I don't exist.

2. People look at me sideways. Honestly? I think most of these people are just curious about what I'm doing, but are too shy to ask.

3. People look freaked out, or even upset. This happens less often, but it does happen. I think people are just afraid of what they don't understand, and it ruffles their feathers that some weird girl is snapping pix of robots in the middle of Walmart. I often wonder what they think it is I'm doing. :)

4. Groups of 12-25-year-old girls sneer at me. But really, sneering is so fashionable now that I can't tell if it's directed at me, or if their faces are just frozen that way. ;) Fun fact: one girl is too chicken to even look at you, while two girls will only look. It takes three or more to get a good sneer going. Bok, bok!

5. People will ask me what I'm doing. Good for them! That's an honest question, and I just tell them that making photo comics is a hobby. Most of them think it's neat.

6. Adults will pull their children away from me. True fact. Kids usually want to know what I'm up to, but I think their parents are afraid I have rabies or something. ;)

6. People ask me if I made the robot. Yes, really. I have been asked this many times. Why yes, I made Wheeljack, thank you. /fail

7. People tell me their life story. If I shoot in a public space, some people think that means that I'm there to socialize. That is the point at which they tell me about their Aunt Bertha who moved to Alabama, but then lost her job and moved to Cincinnati, but then she got a cat, and her son's brother's room mate once removed had a Toyota that broke down…and by then I just walk away. Which means they follow me talking, and so I walk faster until I lose them.

8. People ask me if I'm a teacher, and I'm taking pictures for school. I get asked this a lot, and it's also irksome. I don't blame people for asking, because I can tell that it's all they can imagine. But that's the thing isn't it? So many adults have lost the ability to imagine. I think there's a thought that imaginative, creative "fun" or "playing" is for kids, and that bothers me. Because it's not just for kids, and fun is more than the "acceptable adult pastimes" like golfing, or drinking, or paying bills (all of which hold about the same allure for me). For some people, fun is playing with robots. And I think that's ok. :)

9. People ask me if I need medical assistance. Yes, really. :) I think they see me crouching down, or on my knees, and think I've keeled over. God bless them, they don't realize I'm just playing with plastic robots. ;)

10. I run into Transformers fans! This happens less often than you'd expect, but it's always fun when it does -- and it's not always the same age group. Sometimes it's kids, and sometimes it's some 40-year-old dude gushing on about Bumblebee and Jazz. It's so much fun meeting other TF fans. You guys are great! :D

11. The baristas at Starbucks think I'm barking mad. But they put up with me taking shots of my TFs anyway. I love you, Starbucks baristas! :heart:

Other things that have happened:
- One neighbor asked me if I got paid for doing comics. When I said no, he told me to keep up hope. I tried to explain that this was just a hobby, but he seemed to think that anything you're not getting paid for isn't worth doing.

- Another neighbor said that she liked Sunstreaker. What she really said was, "I like the yellow one," but this was incredibly hip, since she's too old to have ever been into Transformers. Right on, cool neighbor lady! :)

- My least favorite neighbor threw a stick at my robots. I'm not kidding. I think there's a chance she was trying to throw the stick for my dogs and just hit the robots by accident, but let's just say that she is not invited over anymore. Ever. >:[

- I got kicked out of a store once for taking photos. In the store's defense, I think they thought they were being spied on by one of their competitors, so maybe it's best to ask permission before taking photos inside of stores. Of course, I would never, ever recommend just taking your pictures on the down-low, and only snap shots when no store employees are present, no. I would never do that. :)

- I got once got busted by security for taking pictures at work. Again, in security's defense, they probably don't dig people taking pictures on the premesis, since I work for a pretty big company, and all companies have privacy issues. (No, I will not tell you where I work.) So of course this does not mean that I take pix of my robots on the down-low, making sure never to include any incriminating evidence in any of my shots, no. :)

And I'll stop there. I'm sure a ton of other goofy stuff has happened that I'm forgetting now, but I've probably rambled on enough. Suffice it to say that if you want to take pictures outside of your house, you just have to get out there and do it. You will experience most of the above, but the most interesting shots are the ones with people and places in the background -- which of course means going out to the places and being near the people. But people don't bite, and at the end of the day, you'll love the shots you get.

If you're shy, my advice to you is to take someone who's small, and easy to set up. Start small. Take a Kreon to Starbucks, or to Chipotle. Snap a pic of a Kreon standing on your burrito. Or go to the grocery store. Snap a picture of Optimus Prime standing by the apple cart. Honestly? Most people won't even notice. They'll think you're tying your shoe, or that you dropped something (or that you've keeled over and need an ambulance ;)). Once you get used to taking small shots, you'll find more interesting shots to take, and before you know it, you'll be a serious street photographer. :D

Good luck, and best of all, have fun!

What I shoot with, for anyone who wants to know:
- Nikon D60 DSLR
- iPhone, mainly using the Hipstamatic app. (Link to Hipstamatic app:

And of course, a very appropriate shot for the day. FOC Shockwave, sitting on a sign at work somewhere totally and completely random! :D

Private Property

Visit The official Facebook Page for TransformAway!

Also visit my Twitter Account, where I will spam you with post daily photos! :)

I support Israel by LenaRaskin Sideswipe stamp by Vampiric-Conure Coffee stamp by sjthunder Corgi Love Stamp by cloudrat Stamp: Prowl Fan by The-Starhorse Stamp: Aerialbots R Luv by The-Starhorse I love tea stamp by capitaljay Stamp: Jet Judo by The-Starhorse Starbucks by angelslain Prowl Stamp by TheCelestialDemoness Nikon D60 Stamp by SoaringWind

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  • Watching: National Geographic: How the Earth Was Made
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Kestrel-ShadowTalon Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
Hahaha people honestly think you need medical help? Woooow.....And yeah starbucks people are awesome in so many ways. Last year I'd stop by a starbucks on the way between 1st and 2nd period(at two different schools :)) and the lady cuted out at our sheltie riding with us and gave us some "puppy whip". Needless to say, give my dog free food, and you've made a friend for life. 

Sadly I'm not sure if I can do that this year since I'm now only going to one school and might not have the time to stop there. But if I do, I will :D
xNARAx Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Bless you! you just gave me hope, i realy want to start my own TF PhotoComic, but never realy had the courage to do so.
especially in public.... and finaly i got The lambo twins and im only waiting for red alert, drift and blurr ^^
GreatTeacherDiCenso Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Good advice. I've taken a few photos outside in my neighborhood with my MLP:FIM Blind Bag Figures. I did in secret, when no body was around, but I should not feel embarrassed. Next time, I'll just say "art project."

You can see my stuff on my DA page. Let me know what you think.
bladewyng Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
My brother got quite embarrassed when I pulled out the vehicon that I had just got at a restaurant...but he did not seem too embarrassed when I pulled out a puggle at another place. Weird.

I love the adventures, even though I'm horribly behind on reading them.

stay sweet ^_^
Metallikato Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Maybe Neighbor-Lady thought you wanted a prop or-- nah, she's just being unpleasant. I've got to say that you are far, far gutsier than I could ever be with my TFs in public.
NewArtist19 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012
SigmaCore Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, so that's the "secret." You are so much more gutsy than I am for doing these and letting people see you. Especially your neighbors. But you do impressive photography, to say the least. ;)

Maybe I'll get me a Kreon and start doing that random thing in cafés and such. Pretty big and cooky city where I live so I'll just fit right in. :nod:

Incidently, did you throw the stick back at your neighbor? She kinda deserved it. Throwing sticks at Transformers. Pfff... :shakefist:
Bittythings Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012   General Artist
Sometimes I take pics outside too, only of my toys so far, but I'd like to do it with my other work.

I haven't done it often, but I find that 'ignore' reaction is what I get too. That or mild interest. Most people don't care, or are curious. Eek at the ones' who chat at you and follow you around though!

And btw- very, very super jealous of your TF collection
Cerulean452 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012
Here's another question: do you ever worry about people swiping your transformers?

I took my pony Fluttershy to the butterfly conservatory last winter to try and get pics of her with butterflies. My lens fogged up and they didn't turn out. Boo. Next time I'll let the camera warm up a bit. ;)
The-Starhorse Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yep, I do worry about that. I make sure that my purse is zipped, and my robots are shielded so that if someone makes a grab, I'll either see them coming, or they'll have to literally get past me first. It sounds worse than it is, and all it really takes is a bit of situational awareness. Just be aware of people getting too close, and be ready to scoop up your guys if you need to.
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