I’m not sure if I have a blinking red light above my head that I can’t see, but yet every law enforcement agent can or if I’m the most ditzy girl around when it comes to national security.
As I sat out with my camera for a senior photo shoot this week, I found myself having flash backs. This precious senior is involved in debate and going to college to study international law and she wanted a creative picture at the courthouse. No problem, I thought!
As we arrived at our destination we gathered our props — she had a cart with two big black boxes and I had my camera equipment and backpack. Walking up the sidewalk we sensed these men following us. They eventually call out — it’s security cops.
They want to know what we are doing — why we are there — what’s in the black boxes — why do we have a camera — and many other random questions, questions, questions!
We explained ourselves and what we were doing to which the security cops explain, “No one is allowed to take pictures at the courthouse. Are you sure those black boxes are empty? Ma’am, do you realize we are under a heightened security alert?”
I did know that! Just wasn’t thinking of it at the time.
“Ma’am, do you know Bin Laden was killed a couple of days ago?”
All of a sudden, I could see the full picture of what they were seeing. Black boxes, huge backpacks, and both of us dressed in black. As I was cracking up on the inside at my lack of being aware, I apologized and thanked them for doing their job. A job they did amazingly well, actually!
As I walked back to the car, I was pondering what is it with me, my camera, and national security?
I have so many stories, but just to name a few:
In Paris at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, I wanted a shot of the magnificent ceremony going on so I climbed up on this brick wall. Only to have the Paris police come by and force me down. Come to find out I was on part of the Arc-de-Triomphe, a national monument, and was showing disrespect.
Traveling to Greece on a military flight, we made a stop at an airbase in Turkey. We were only going to be there for a short layover, but the sights were so stunningly different from anything I’d ever seen. Dusty. Barren. Desert. It was definitely something to capture on film because I figured I’d never be back. As I’m walking around the base taking pictures, a Turkish police comes and confiscates my camera. Rude!!! Come to find out you couldn’t take pictures on that base for national security reasons.
You can just imagine the list of my crazy adventures since I was a military wife for 23 years. However, I must clarify that I’m a huge fan of the RED, WHITE, AND BLUE and would never do anything to jeopardize our country’s security, let alone all those that serve.
I guess it’s just that I love my camera and my country so I want to capture it all . . .