Photographer Harassed by Woman in Park

Photographer Harassed by Woman in Park

A family photographer who was in the middle of photographing young children in a public park was verbally harassed by a woman who was upset that the photographer was using the park for photo sessions earlier this week.

In the NSFW video, the woman, after a profanity-laced rant toward Nickolette Mottola, the photographer, can be heard screaming, “This is not your studio! This is a park for kids and children and people; this is not a place for you to conduct your business!” She was extremely upset by the benign family photo session taking place. The children — whom Mottola was photographing — can be heard crying in the background, presumably upset by the tantrum-throwing woman.

This incident certainly isn’t the first time a photographer has had a run-in with an angry person over photos being taken in a public space and highlights a disturbing mindset by some that photography is somehow a public nuisance. 

Reportedly, the woman seen in the video owns a home located against the park in question and has complained publicly regarding the activities that are allowed to take place in the park by the local parks department. After Mottola posted the video of the incident on Facebook, another photographer came forward in the video’s comments explaining that the week before, she and her clients had been sprayed by the same woman with a pressure washer from the woman’s backyard. The photographer said she’d obtained a permit from the parks department, which cost $12, and that the woman called the police on the photographer. The woman was angered when the police refused to do anything because the photographer had obtained the proper permitting to conduct professional business within the park. Mottola was taking photos of a friend’s children, and not conducting professional business.

Should Photographers Be Considered a Public Nuisance?

Far too often photography is lumped into park or public space rules along with other seemingly nefarious activities like skateboarding, graffiti, and drug use. Visit enough parks, and you’ll run across a “park rules” sign stating “no photography” along with the activities listed above.

Obviously, the reaction of the woman in the video above is an overreaction, but does the public really have reason to view photographers in such a negative light in regards to conducting photo sessions in public spaces, particularly if the photographer has obtained proper permission and permitting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Danette Chappell's picture

Danette is a Las Vegas-based wedding and elopement photographer who's photographed over 1,500 weddings and elopements in 14 different states. She has a passion for teaching business and helping other creative entrepreneurs succeed. She also loves cats, Harry Potter, and the occasional video game.

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That women must be mentally sick and must have had a difficult life.

Don’t take it too literally. All I am saying is that a normal person does not behave that way. There’s definitely something wrong with her though, maybe it’s her childhood or her marriage she seems to have a lot of grudge against others and acted like a two year old screaming in public space....probably 10 times more annoying than any negative impact anyone had caused at the park.

Read other reports to supplement our understanding here, such as:

https ://coralspringstalk. com/neighbor-angered-with-residents-taking-family-photos-in-public-park-21238

Yelling like that in public is a social dysfunction, worthy of sub-clinical categorization of "... mentally sick and must have had a difficult life ...", no one is making a clinical diagnosis, only assessing the situation for how to respond, and perhaps conclude that reason is not a tool to deal with the yelling person.

Given your own manifest issues of anger and irrationality, and the fact you accused someone else of being a domestic violence offender (this person being someone who was trying to de-escalate your behaviour), perhaps you should stfu.

That's the spirit, Jack. As always, you believe the defect lies with EVERYONE else on the planet. You couldn't possible have any issues at all.

I still have strong suspicions that you are a serial rapist, or inclined in that direction - only being restrained by the possibility of prosecution.

OK, Rapey :D

Yeah, I'm gonna have to go with full blown crazy.

Bah c'mon mentally sick? People sometimes just hit a breaking point. If someone looked at you the last time and said "felix is sick and mentally unstable because of a bad childhood" from a 10 second interaction that might be a bit much. Or perhaps you're projecting your own bad relationships and bad childhood on to this woman? :)

Do you yell out loud in front of children? Do you water spray people in the park? If you do I suggest you call help because there’s definitely something sick about this behaviour.

It is pertinent to note that norms of behavior on the internet are bleeding through to real life.

I don't think this is true at all. People have always been this way.

We just see more of it now when everyone carries around a photo/video device.

Possibly; however, the normative frame is shifting.

Maybe she's doing something illegal in the park and is afraid that it will be captured on camera.

I' upset that skateboarding is lumped in with drug use. lol

I was just going to comment on this. WTH?

Serious?! What's up with that?

The NIMBY woman is annoyed because the public park has become a photographer's destination of an outdoor studio for more than the odd photoshoot. The NIMBY neighbor is perturbed because the park is no longer simply a place for recreation but for photographers to conduct their business in.
Now if someone was taking photos with a smartphone, its okay, because it isnt a "camera".
Best to do the photoshoot discreetly so as not to trigger the snowflake NIMBY neighbor.

I don't think people need to be recreating in this park. If she was this upset about someone taking pictures, imagine if they were recreating? HOLY HELL! =P

Ok ok i should proofread before posting.

“You don’t care about anyone but your own godd*mned self”, she said completely unironically in a park full of children.

I’ll never understand why so many people get annoyed at photographers who aren’t being intrusive. Would she have responded the same if it was a yoga class? A painting workshop? A Sunday afternoon improv class in the park?

I hope she’s able to get whatever’s up her butt surgically removed.

...then again, a fresh set of batteries might have her enjoying what's up her butt and put her in a better mood...

Damn... bro... you's a savage. Stop it, its offensive to the other females man. LOL.

Eventually people do get annoyed. A couple years ago in Santa Monica there were so many Tai Chi, Yoga, Boot Camp, Stair climbing, clown college, etc classes going on the parks were full of instructors using public facilities for their classes running classes all day long.The city cracked down to limit the biz in the park . To be honest Improv classes should be banned everywhere. And Mimes.

Mentally troubled?

Maybe she is, maybe she isn't, who knows? #BeBest

No, photographers should not be considered a nuisance in public locations where photography is allowed. They were not doing anything illegal, and had the proper permits needed to shoot there. She doesn't own the park, and has no right to shoo them away from there. If she wanted peace and quite near nature she should move into the mountains.

The number of permits is irrelevant if it’s legal and they aren’t harassing anyone. She can be annoyed about it, but it doesn’t make it right to harass the photographers.

It would be like flipping out because “you have a picnic here every weekend”.

Nonsense! Public parks are for public usage regardless if there is a professional photoshoot or not. Parks that are locally controlled by the city need funds to maintain said park. Parties, and permits are part of that funding. This isn't some freaking HOA blocked park, it's open for anyone not just that neighborhood. She's probably harassed people just doing free shoots there as well.

This woman is a nut case, and a drunkard(with a DUI mind you). She's harassed not just photographers, but parents at kids parties(who PAID to host a party there) and other park goers for no reason She's gone to the city about this park numerous times for various different issues, and yet they aren't doing anything because no one is violating their laws, and is doing everything by the book. It's HER, not everyone else, and no they aren't pushing permits like it's crack. If you watch the video there is next to no one there.

The fact is this woman is a total cunt.Yelling at pregnant women, cursing in front of kids, making them cry, being belligerent and acting like she has legal ground to harass people.. NOPE! She has no damn right. The neighborhood is blocked by a line of trees outside their fences that face the park.So her issues of privacy or whatever bullshit she's spewing are negated. She has gone out of her way to harass people, spray them with water, and invade what they've paid for.

Jack, do you have to constantly pick apart everything anyone says here on fstoppers? It’s not what you’re saying but how you say it that annoys people here.

Not trying to silence you but rather help you consider the way you go about your commenting. No need for the personal attack.

Hypocrisy strikes again!

@fstoppers - why are people wiith 0 images on their profile allowed to comment at all? if its a photo forum they should be contributing content and not barfing comments...

Some of us just aren't as good as you and don't feel comfortable submitting pictures. Maybe we are here to learn and love f-stoppers reviews. Get over yourself.

Photography also includes people who are subjects of photography, and people in the photographic audience, the photograph consumer, not just photographers ( and photography sellers, too ).

Plus, public display of one's photography, of one's copyright work, is kind of hard to demand of anyone, especially publishing to the public world wide web where once a copy is handed over, it just keeps going and going and going, no control over copies whatsoever.

You are probably trying to find a round-the-corner way of saying "be nice, be kind".

So whether or not someone shares their photos is probably irrelevant.

Let's go with "be nice, be kind", okay?

Sorry but its a photo forum. Put up (images) or shut up. This idiot is just looking to get a rise out of people who are staying on point concerning photography.

You see it every single day when you look in the mirror.

Personally, I find people like you fascinating (you are by no means unique). The behaviour set is symptomatic of a range of psychological issues.

More uniquely to you, I find it amusing how you regularly throw around the label 'fascist'. You (and those in your class) don't have enough insight to understand that it is not 'everyone else' who had an issue.

I'm starting to hope they don't ban your account, as you make for an interesting subject.

*sigh* Out of everything I wrote you chose to quote that and disregard everything else?

Grandpa get off the internet. You're annoying everyone again.

Hey Bob, maybe I was enjoying some time off for the holidays and not reading every last comment on the site, when once again, I got dragged into something you’re involved in with you spewing insults at me (remember what I said about indirect insults?). As you know, we have a reporting tool on the site; feel free to use that if you want to bring something to our attention, because despite what you think, I don’t sit here, reading every comment 24/7. Must be exhausting constantly playing the victim.

Wow, only took 6,000 comments and bouncing back and forth between us and DPReview before you finally showed your true colors instead of trying to dress them up in pseudo-clever wordplay! Thanks for confirming what we knew all along. Now, go eat a Snickers; you seem particularly grumpy today.

You are so much awesome. Feel like being a subject is a study?


Oh, that's cute, it responds with emjoys. Not that I have any idea what they are, as all I see are rectangles.

Calm down, rapey.

Snowflake and Fascist in the same post! Use "Libtard" and you'd win the trifecta!

You do know that you behave just like the woman in the video ?

Had to google DUI; don't think we use that term in the UK, understood the C word though :-) I've had this before on different levels worst case was when my son was made captain for his senior football team; soccer for you guys, on his 18th birthday and I had my camera to take pictures of the games. After a winning game I was called a Pedo from some of the opposition, for taking pictures of a football match where my son was playing . Let's just say it got a but tasty after that and thankfully I had someone to hold my camera.

Crystal, you must live close by given what you say. While obviously knowing nothing about this lady, imo clearly she has some serious psychological issues going on that make her look ridiculously ignorant. I found her attitude to be totally unwarranted and outrageous. If I was that photographer I would be lawyering up, going after her with a lawsuit for egregious behavior that intimidated and frightened my clients, for illegal harassment, and anything else I could think of. This woman needs to be stopped, now, and held fully accountable for her actions with severe penalties applied.

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