Polly didn’t want a picture

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As 11-year residents of Folsom, and infrequent visitors to local Renaissance festivals, my family decided to visit our town’s event. I found the experience a mixed bag of entertainment, enjoyment and frankly, disappointment. My wife and daughter really enjoyed the jousting. We had a chance to learn something about wool working, chain-mail construction, and blacksmithing from exhibitors that were friendly and willing to answer questions. We also enjoyed a smoked turkey leg and crepe from the food court. From there, the experience went downhill. As I carry a camera almost everywhere I go with photos being cheap mementoes of my experiences, I was using one on Saturday. As I passed a Celtic art vendor, (north end of park) I noted a fellow photographer being demeaned by the proprietor. She said she hoped that the photos would not appear later on the Internet for sale. If the vendor was so concerned about potential copyright infringement, why not display fewer pieces or cover them in some way that would challenge the Photo-Shop skills of any would-be-digital thief? What did the photographer do as a paying visitor to have his integrity challenged so? Later, when I approached a group of parrots on perches and took some footage, I was met with demands of “Pictures are $5.” Rather than survey the area for evidence that notified visitors of such an obligation, I paid one of the “demanders” with a $5 bill and we left the park. This incident was all the more interesting because I had photographed two beautiful hawks earlier, on the other side of the park, without yells or costs. I recall no other fair visitor, guild member or vendor demanding money for taking their picture. If I was remiss in seeing some fee scale when I took the parrot footage, I am at fault. Perhaps this “vendor” would have pointed the sign out, or he could have volunteered to point it out. Perhaps he wasn’t a vendor at all and I was “scammed” out of my money. If so, shame on me. How many other fair visitors shared the same “friendly” exchange? I have visited the Parks and Recreation folks and am awaiting a reply. If others had a similar experience, I encourage them to contact Parks and Recreation as well. James Griffis, Folsom