Many times, photographers are assigned to take pictures of people who are less than thrilled to have their picture taken.
Back in the 1950's, one photographer, the legendary Charlie Trainor of the Miami News, seemed to have an uncanny ability to capture confrontations between news photographers and their reluctant subjects.
Trainor - with Speed Graphic ready and loaded for bear - always knew when to snap the shutter at just the right time!
On Oct. 16, 1957, Trainor got word that a camera-shy Dade circuit judge named Stanley Milledge had just attacked four photographers outside his courtroom.
By the time Trainor arrived, the judge had retreated to his chambers.
TIME magazine wrote about the confrontation that soon took place:
[The judge] was just coming out of his chambers when newly arrived Herald Photographer Steve Wever, 41, caught the judge twice in blinks of his strobe light.Earlier that year, Trainor was ready when sports photographer Herb Scharfman was attacked by a cop a baseball game in Miami.
"I've had enough trouble with you photographers," roared Milledge. "I want that film. Bailiff, get this man! Take his film!"
Photographer Wever, who stands 5 ft. 4 in. and weighs 115 Ibs., was all but smothered in the arms of the law. Bailiff Charles Michel rushed him head on. while the judge himself grabbed him around the neck from behind. Before they sent his camera and strobe unit crashing to the floor, Miami Daily News Photographer Charles Trainor leaped out of a phone booth in time to get the shot that best pictured the law taking things into its own hands.
And a year earlier, in Feb. 1956, Trainor photographed fellow Miami News photographer Don Wright as he was attacked outside the home of a doctor on Palm Island where the wife an atomic spy was speaking.
But back then photographers didn't make a federal case over such confrontations. It was just all in a day's work.
(Note: I wrote about Charlie Trainor and Don Wright, who, in Aug. 1956, photographed Elvis Presley when he came to Miami for two days. Read that story here.)