February 2014. Client: BITC
My equipment was stolen! Ouch. My Nikon D3s (serial number 2006381) and 24-70mm F2.8 Nikon lens (serial number 20010612) . Can you check in your camera bag if you’ve bought these (and send them back to me – Thanks!)
So I had a two day job covering BITC’s Leadership Summit at Tobacco Dock in Shadwell and after Day One I thought I would leave my camera bag in their cloakroom overnight (so as I could travel unencumbered the next morning because there was a transport strike on). Prince Charles was arriving for Day Two so the place was on a security lock down, I was told. The next morning at 9.15am I discovered the camera and lens were taken from my bag. It took me a while to understand as I stared blankly at the space in the bag where it should have been. Two thoughts vied for space in my confused brain: 1. – Who has stolen my flipping camera! and 2. How am I going to photograph Prince Charles in 15mins without a camera?
The show must go and I am insured.
For 1. I told the client to call the police for me and 2. asking around we found a very wonderful person called Oggi Tomic from the production crew who lent me his Canon EOS 5D Mark 111. What a saviour. Thank you Oggi.
With a few minutes to go I did a some tests. I found out a Nikon Speedlight won’t communicate with a Canon body (no great surprise). In these situations switch everything to M (manual) and punch in the settings yourself. I rushed to the start point of the day which had enough daylight and thankfully the main sponsor Jaguar-LandRover had conveniently cut a Range Rover in half so I didn’t have to do any extra thinking about what to use as a backdrop.
Back at the crime scene I was dismayed to see it hadn’t been cordoned off with the main suspects being rigorously questioned under hot lamps (which I could have provided). Tobacco Dock’s Private Security, Tower Hamlets Local Police and the Met Police for all Royal Security weren’t there. But they did make sure they never got in each other’s way.
So what did I learn? CCTV footage needs a director behind the camera; Don’t leave anything in the cloakrooms at Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Shadwell, London E1W 2SF (that’s right, I’m naming and shaming); Be insured and fight the loss adjusters at every turn.