In a Washington Post piece entitled I was taking pictures of my daughters. A stranger thought I was exploiting them, web designer Jeff Gates explains how he has taken photographs of his two adopted Chinese daughters hugging every year for the past 14 years on a ferry boat before the family leaves for its annual summer vacation to the Jersey Shore.
However, on this occasion, Gates' experience was ruined by a federal busybody who thought that sticking his nose into a family's private business was part of his job as a Homeland Security employee.
Gates takes up the story;
Totally engaged with the scene in front of me, I jumped when a man came up beside me and said to my daughters: "I would be remiss if I didn't ask if you were okay."
At first none of us understood what he was talking about. His polite tone and tourist attire of shorts, polo shirt and baseball cap threw us off. It took me a moment to figure out what he meant, but then it hit me: He thought I might be exploiting the girls, taking questionable photos for one of those "Exotic Beauties Want to Meet You!" Web sites or something just as unseemly. When I explained to my daughters what he was talking about, they were understandably confused. I told the man I was their father. He quickly apologized and turned away. But that perfect moment was ruined, and our annual photo shoot was over.