The Night We Almost Got Arrested

You hear stories about photographers taking pretty big risks to get an epic shot. Hanging over a cliff, one hand holding on for dear life while the other is pushing the shutter capturing that impossible…

You hear stories about photographers taking pretty big risks to get an epic shot. Hanging over a cliff, one hand holding on for dear life while the other is pushing the shutter capturing that impossible shot. Their story often times leaves you feeling inspired to take a risk next time you’re out shooting. I wish this was one of those stories.

It was our last evening in San Francisco and we decided to hit up a popular viewpoint, looking towards the Golden Gate Bridge and into the city. It was a beautiful, full moon night. We weren’t the only ones with this brilliant idea and in an attempt to avoid the crowds, we decided to walk across the bridge. There was some pretty big construction going on and apparently a small sign posted forbidding pedestrians to cross. Since I grew up in the area, I shrugged off any apprehension I had walking underneath the bridge along the dimly lit pathway, cars rumbling by above, and convinced Matthew and Kevin to cross with me. We made it to the other side and started shooting away, inching up towards the first tier. By the time we reached it, cars started honking at us. We thought nothing of it and continued shooting. Minutes later, a cop in an enclosed scooter came hauling at us. Before allowing his scooter to come to a complete stop, he jumped out and started yelling something about trespassing. After an attempt to calm him down, he threatened to detain us for 24 hours, claiming terrorist activity and said he would confiscate all of our equipment with no hope of seeing it ever again. Apparently there was something that was not to be photographed on the bridge. He wouldn’t tell us what, but it must’ve been a pretty big deal given his behavior. We, or I should say, Matthew and Kevin managed to convince him of our ignorance and he was pacified by the deletion of Matthew and Kevin’s photos of the bridge. I, on the other hand, managed to slip away with the few I got thanks to my strap hiding my camera behind my back. Now, I only wish I would’ve taken more pictures. The moral of the story? If you’re going to trespass, do it fast and make sure you get something epic. Nah, I’m just kidding, trespassing is bad, very bad and I will not be held responsible if you do it and are detained on suspicion of terrorist activity. Choose wisely.

A night at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

About Michaela Hansen

Michaela is an artist and photographer living in San Diego. She prefers yoga to running, hiking to shopping, and dark chocolate to just about anything else.
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