Usually when I tell people I am a reporter working on a story, they at least try to be professional because they realize I am there to report the truth.
But Tuesday night when I was working on a story about the full moon celebrations that take place on Miami Beach, I met a guy who took an instant disliking to me and did not hesitate to show it.
The man then spent the rest of the night flipping me off each time I pointed the camera in his direction. It wasn’t even like I was singling him out. He was just part of a group of drummers that were part of a larger celebration with people dancing and drinking and just hanging out.
I didn’t even realize he was flipping me off in the first few photos, but you can see him here in the background with his middle finger extended.
I only noticed later on in the night when I moved to the other side of the group to get a different angle. And once I noticed, I zoomed in on him, which is what you see in the top photo.
Obviously the guy had some issues if he allowed a photographer to prevent him from drumming with two hands as everybody else was doing.
The tension between us started much earlier; just minutes after I arrived on the beach and encountered a group of drummers who were getting ready to perform. I plopped myself down on the sand and started interviewing them.
But this one guy had the attitude that I was going to ruin their little secret, which is not much of a secret considering they’re pounding on drums on a public beach all night long. And the event is posted on several internet forums as well as on Facebook.
“We don’t want any articles, we don’t want any tourists to come here,” he told me, obviously forgetting that the beach is open for all.
My original intention was to videotape the drummers, but that required me to use a light, which is very bright.
I understand this, so I was planning on doing some quick pans of the drummers with the light just to give a sense of what is happening.
But even before I even pointed the light in that direction, he started bitching about it.
So I turned off the light because it still wasn’t much going on at that time. And I was trying to be as unobtrusive as I can.
But he said some smart remark that made the others laugh, which I didn’t quite catch but I knew it was directed at me.
But I ignored that as well.
Then a couple of hours later, after I had taken a bunch of photographs – including the one where I didn’t notice him flipping me off – I got in on the other side of the group because I had not shot from that angle.
That’s when I noticed him flipping me off.
So I moved in closer to him and started taking more photos. That was my way of flipping him off.
He was one of 200 people in the event. And he was sitting smack in the middle of the main drum group. Nobody else had a problem with me taking photos.In fact, there were several photographers there with SLRs. And many more with little point and shoots.
And then he started saying something which I didn’t understand, so I moved in closer and asked him to repeat himself.
He was bitching about me taking his photo. If he wouldn’t have been flipping me off, I would have snapped a few photos of the group and moved on.
So I was pretty annoyed and told him not to tell me how to do my job. Actually, I told him “don’t tell me how to do my fucking job.”
Then the guy next to him, the one who looks as if he is in a trance in the first picture, suddenly pipes up and tells me to “chill out”.
So suddenly I was looking like the ass.
But today, he is looking like the ass.
Read the story and see the rest of the photos on Miami Beach 411.