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Canon 5D Mark II Stolen During Wedding

Otto Haring , Aug 15, 2010; 10:56 p.m.

Yesterday somebody stole my camera while I was shooting a wedding at Signature Grand at Davie, FL. I just put it down at a table for a few minutes to take pictures of the bride and groom with my other camera and when I wanted to pick it up it was no longer there. The management wasn't particularly shocked when I announced the case....
Please be very careful when you shoot weddings there!

I always pay attention to make sure that my equipment is secure but I never thought that somebody could take it in less than a minute during a wedding. The bride and groom's getting ready pictures were on the card... SO BE CAREFUL!

Also, please contact Broward County, FL police department if somebody tries to sell you a Canon 5D Mark II with the following Serial number: 2764B003AA or contact me via haringphotography.com

I hope this helps!


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Nathan Gardner , Aug 16, 2010; 12:40 a.m.

keep an eye out on craigslist for it.

Alan Bryant , Aug 16, 2010; 01:15 a.m.

Also watch eBay. You can create a saved search that looks for items posted in a geographical region, like within 200 miles of a particular zip code. It will email you daily with any matching items put up for sale. Good luck, hopefully you'll have it back soon.

Josh Root , Aug 16, 2010; 01:29 a.m.

Just because they are guests at a wedding, doesn't mean they are good people. I hope you were insured, every working photographer should have liability and equipment insurance.

Mark Kissel , Aug 16, 2010; 06:44 a.m.

Sorry to hear of your troubles. I know that had to be a shock. Check the local pawn shops.

Sarah Fox , Aug 16, 2010; 10:40 a.m.

Pawn shops are actually pretty tightly regulated and aren't used that commonly for fencing stolen goods anymore. Craig's List seems to be the most common venue.

You should report the theft of your camera to Canon and have them note it in their service records. If anyone calls to check the service history of this camera they're considering buying (which I've done), Canon will be able to tell them it's stolen. They might even be able to note that a reward for info is available and to put the inquirer in touch with you.

It would be great if there were some web crawler service that would scan Flickr and other sites for serial numbers of stolen equipment in EXIF information! (Maybe there is...)

Steve Wagner , Aug 16, 2010; 11:18 a.m.

I just had my 5d2 and everything else I own stolen in Costa Rica and can sympathize with the OP. Thank God for State Farm is all I can say.

Nadine Ohara - SF Bay Area/CA , Aug 16, 2010; 11:42 a.m.

Years ago, there was a ring of thieves in my area stealing gear from wedding photographers. Not only cases and bags, but gear left for just a few moments. One photographer had his camera rig stolen when he put it down by the cake table to go to the bathroom.

I had a case of gear stolen at a wedding reception. The thieves actually cut through the tripod bag handles to get to the gear, since I had cabled it up. My gear went from Northern California to Southern California in 2 weeks, and one of my cameras ended up on e-bay.

Insurance is a good idea, of course, but consider that if you file a large claim, you stand a good chance of being dropped, and you will have to find another carrier. Happened to my associate, whose $10,000 of Hasselblad lenses got stolen.

Moral of the story:

1. Never leave any gear lying around. Set up so that you can carry your active gear on you. Never put a bag of gear down where you do not have your eyes on it constantly. If you need to go to the bathroom, take your gear with you.

2. Get an alarmed cable lock. Use it. I use hard cases that can't be cut. Also, good locks. Realize the alarm will not be heard over loud dance music. I carry two cables, in case I want extra security.

3. Never trust venue personnel to do any watching for you, even in a 'protected' back room. Never rely on the DJ, bartender, or anyone else, such as an assistant or second shooter, unless the assistant's only task is to sit on your gear. The associate mentioned above set his bag by the DJ. The DJ also got his camera stolen. DJs and your assistants or second shooters have other things to do besides watch your gear, and thieves know it. And guests, even if they see your gear being stolen, have no idea it isn't your assistants lifting the gear. Guests saw the thieves that took my gear, but said nothing, of course.

4. If you have back up gear in the trunk of your car, secure it, and don't go in and out of the trunk unless absolutely necessary. People are watching.

5. Always put all memory cards in a case on your person--not in your bag. Before leaving for the day, take used memory cards out of the camera, in case you are robbed. Nothing--not even insurance--will get your wedding client's images back, once they are gone. I read about a photographer who had a secret pocket sewn into his pants leg for the memory cards.

Sarah Fox , Aug 16, 2010; 11:53 a.m.

Just a thought for you wedding photogs: Would it be feasible to put a clause into your contracts that the client becomes liable for any gear theft/destruction while you are on the job? I recall reading of an event photog whose gear was trashed when the participants got roudy. I thought at the time that crowd control should be the job of the event organizers, not the photog; therefore, liability for the equipment damage should really have fallen on the organizers for failing to control their guests.

Dan South , Aug 16, 2010; 12:44 p.m.

Wow! My heart goes out to everyone who has lost gear in this way. :-(

Also to the poor bride and groom who lost irreplaceable photos.

I have often wondered what security measures event photographers can take when they leave at the end of the night. Losing gear is bad enough, but losing the entire night's work would be tragic for everyone involved except for the dirtbag thieves.

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