“I’ve become very comfortable dealing with cops because of all the years of riding, and more recently the addition of photography to street riding. I play the student card every time I’m hassled while shooting street (I’m a college student studying photography and was assigned to do a project on sports and I thought that photographing stunt bmx riders would be different than the rest of the class’s projects). It’s a fail-safe rant in urban Nashville because a huge chunk of the city is Vanderbilt University, and the cops really have better things to do than hassle kids on bikes. However, when I visit my hometown in suburban Kansas City, the Nashville rant requires modifying.
This photo was taken at about 1 a.m. because my friend Kyle Wedd here gets off work about then. I think I only had a day or so left in town, so we went out late and tried to shoot something Kyle had been eyeing-up on a banked bridge right next to a massive upscale country club surrounded by a rich neighborhood. Of course, right after I set up all my flashes and get ready to shoot, three cops pull up and give us shit. I told them we are shooting senior portraits and we really liked the bridge in the background. My standard college student alibi turned into the more believable suburbia senior portrait version where we were just “out at 1 a.m. cause it’s nice out this late, the bridge looked cool in the background, and we brought bmx bikes cause that’s what we thought would look cool as props.” We then proceeded to shoot these bullshit photos right in front of the cops (using the pop-up flash and not even using the bridge as a background).
Needless to say, we were dying laughing cause the cops ate up everything we said and they thought it was fascinating to see a ‘real live photo shoot’ happen.”