Photographer Problems: Photog Stopped at Six Flags for Wearing ‘I Shoot RAW’ Shirt

Many photographers love photo-themed T-Shirts — from camera brand-specific ones, to the cool offerings of Dodge & Burn, all the way to funny and maybe inappropriate shirts like the Camera Sutra. But, as Fro Knows Photo photographer Jared Polin learned recently, you might wanna leave the photo-themed T-Shirt at home when you visit your local amusement park.

Polin, who explains the entire encounter in his “Six Flags Rant” above, recently visited Six Flags amusement park… or rather tried to visit Six Flags. As soon as he got past the main gates, he was stopped by security and told he would have to change his I Shoot RAW photography-themed T-Shirt.

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Fro caught the altercation on his smartphone (vertical video warning…), and in the video you can see him asking the guards to please explain what was so inappropriate about this shirt that, as he points out, has never caused him any grief in the past. He never got a straight answer, but apparently the potential double entendre of the “I Shoot RAW” shirt was more egregious than the “Size Matters” roller coaster shirt in the Six Flags gift shop.

You can see the incident for yourself and hear the full story from Polin by checking out the video above. In the end, he was able to stay at Six Flags, but was forced to buy another T-Shirt. In quintessential Fro Knows Photo style, he chose a very loud green and pink ‘VIP: Very Important Princess’ shirt as a substitute… hmmm… I wonder which shirt drew more attention…

  • Victoria

    The same thing happened to me at Six Flags St. Louis 16 Years ago when I was on a senior class trip. I wore a shirt that said ‘Don’t piss me off, I’m running out of places to hide the bodies.’ My mom thought the shirt was funny, the security guard did not. He tried to make me buy a plain white t-shirt from them for $5, but since it was an undershirt, my colored bra would have shown through. So I argued that was inappropriate for me. Then he offered the option of their over priced gift shop shirts, which was what I had to do before they would let me any further into the park. (Of course these things happen AFTER you have already paid their ridiculous admission price). I don’t think that Six Flags is lacking a sense of humor, I think that they are using our ‘inappropriate’ shirts as an excuse to up their t-shirt sales. But the funny part is, I bought the least expensive shirt that I didn’t even like because I was mad. If it had been any other trip, I would have spent way more money buying useless things I didn’t need because I was a teenager with extra money. My mom was so mad that she never bought a season pass after that. They obviously didn’t go under because we refused to spend any more money there, but they are only hurting themselves. I am now a mother myself and we only go to Six Flags when my son gets the free passes from school for different achievements. I still have never spent another penny there.

  • Andrew Rodney

    Probably due to using caps (RAW instead of Raw). It’s not an acronym so the guy probably deserves a redesigned shirt .

  • Christopher McRae

    So weak.

  • David Vaughn

    I don’t think knowing the basic meaning and implications of the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights is “legal prowess.”

  • markz

    wearing a t-shirt with “raw” capitalised…

    pftt gets no sympathy from me

    remember folks, raw is not an acronym.

    this message bought to you by The International League of Pedants

  • Jared Polin

    I have no desire to take it further. I wasn’t really that upset, I was more laughing that they couldn’t explain it and two were selling very sexual shirts. I was just pointing it out. thats all. No need to get some kosher pickle lawyers which is a very poor way of saying Jewish by the way.

  • Ralph

    Gonna play the foreigner card here, because i have no clue what could have been implied with I shoot raw. Someone care to enlighten me?

  • Christopher McRae

    What a sad post. Jealous of somebody else doing what they love and succeeding are ya? Why would you write an attack post on this thread bashing his style and photographs? Grow up.

  • Christopher McRae


  • Jared Polin

    Actually I once wore a sign on my shirt that said SANTOURM with a red line through it when I went to vote.

  • Gritty

    What are you smoking honey? It is either extremely potent or you have one heck of an imagination…. Anyway, I am sure you have a yoga class to attend or some butterflies in your garden to go talk to….enjoy. And remember … it’s ALL rainbows, pink ponies, lollipops and unicorns.

  • sean lancaster

    “Shooting raw” could mean a guy having sex without using a condom, for example.

  • Lambert Schlumpf

    yeah, me too, what else can it mean?

  • ThatGuy

    What Six Flags did here was ridiculous, but that doesn’t matter. It’s private property and you can enforce whatever policies on your property you want no matter how silly. I never liked Six Flags anyway. It’s too much money to spend the day standing in lines full of punks.

  • Lambert Schlumpf

    you learn new things every day…

  • Gritty

    Hey Jared.. Keep doing what you do man. You have helped countless numbers of folks get into and enjoy photography.

  • David Vaughn

    The amount of viewers he has is irrelevant to the claim that he is a narcissist (probably not since that’s a legit mental illness) or just….very full of himself. It does kind of come off that way in his videos.

    For example, when Martin Schoeller talks about shooting *insert famous person*, I think, “Wow, how interesting and informative. I wish I could have coffee with this person.” When Fro talks about photographing *insert famous band/person*, I think, “What a self-important d*uche.” I can’t explain specifically why that is. It just…is.

    As Zack Arias has said, there’s this atmosphere of personality-driven photography that has sprung up with the popularity of internet video and the glorification of photographers. Fro is a decent shooter (I think?), but the last thing I think about when referring to him is photography. Mostly I think about his marketing, the fro, the merchandise, his rather loud half-screaming way of presenting. I’ve never seen his portfolio. Ever.

    Of course, this is just personal taste. I prefer the more subdued style of communication and presentation of Schoeller and Arias. Others enjoy the more enthusiastic, vibrantly marketed approach of the Fro….I still think Fro could tone it down with the self-importance though.

  • Mike

    No raw shooters and dogs allowed?

  • Mike

    Yeah! Raw is just raw. Like raw meat.

  • Gritty

    I was referring to “Pickle’s” statement; “If he were honest with himself, he’d admit that his only claim to fame is his funny looking haircut. It sure wasn’t his photography”. … I seriously doubt 50k viewers watch his YouTube video just to get a look at his “fro”.

  • David Vaughn

    Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I mean, I think he’s a good shooter. I THINK he’s a good shooter. I’ve never seen his portfolio, like I said, but I have seen some of his stuff. Or at least I think it was his stuff. He has a lot of guest shooters on his site.

    Sometimes he just seems like he’s the Buzzfeed of photography trying to act like the New York Times.

  • Peter “Pots”

    I seldom see such animosity elsewhere about such a stupid happening that doesn’t deserve any airing whatsoever…sorry, folks, but the bitterness is kind of underwhelming.

  • Future is Now

    “Many photographers love photo-themed T-Shirts …” No, actually genuine photographers generally prefer to remain unobtrusive. It’s young people seeking association identity that wear clothing that screams.

  • Mike Lerner

    God this makes me so happy. This guy is such a tool.

  • Jack B. Siegel

    This is a contrived debate/offense. First, this is private property. Six Flags has a rule. It is open-ended, which provides those enforcing it with some discretion/flexibility. They don’t have to justify their rule–the market will serve as the Supreme Court. Congress has enacted plenty of open-ended law. We seem to live with them.

    Second, the reference to RAW is a double entendre. If not, why didn’t the shirt designer use the phrase, “I shoot DNG.” Polin knew this, so why did he want the security guard to say it. Why does everything have to be an argument?

    Third, I agree that there is some hypocrisy in terms of the shirts that Six Flags sells, as described in the video. However, it sounds like Polin became aware of those shirts after his confrontation. Consequently, the hypocrisy does not justify his boorish behavior at the gate.

    Fourth, not everything has to be blown out of proportions (or videoed), which this was. Had I been the security guard, after thirty seconds, I would have walked him to the box office, refunded his admission fee, and told him to come back another day.

    Fifth, I don’t know whether Polin was there to ride the rides, to photograph, or to do both. However, if your are photographer and your intent is engage in some sort of street/candid photography, it is best to dress in a manner that allows you to blend in. This shirt draws attention–both the slogan and the color. Not a good strategy.

    Six, as photographers, we are all part of a community. What one of us does has an impact on all of us. Over-the-top obnoxious responses simply make it tougher on the next photographer to come along who encounters these security personnel.

  • Basil Malik

    ???? they werent forced to shoot a wedding they were sued. THe reason they were sued is because they gave a discriminatory reason for not shooting the wedding.

  • Cy Sawyer

    Nailed it,

    Jared is a decent/average pro photographer. But he is what he is today because of his marketing and need to be liked.

    If you look at his music work, it is good, but he is just now learning portraits, lighting, and lifestyle.

    His earlier videos were a lot less arrogant, almost genuine. Now, I can’t stand to see him on video. The mention of his name irritates the crap out of me.

  • KJ

    Does anyone think it ironic that in order to make a family, for which the park is marketed for, unprotected sex is commonly required? It’s embarrassing and painful to explain that in America, no longer is context relevant to balance- Moderation and reason have been replaced by the Ego of Authoritative Righteousness empowered by uniform in numbers…

  • kristine

    Yes I totally agree. They were completely hypocritical, and this situation is ridiculous. I understand about people being “sensitive” about anything that has to do with violence and guns, but they need to understand that our society promotes scary, action, violent movies, video games, and other parts of culture. That in it’s self is hypocritical. —- That being said, it’s a true case of ignorance to not understand slang and REAL terms that photographers use daily. You kept your cool very well, which I would not have been able to do. Six Flags should be completely embarrassed and ashamed.

  • pgb0517

    You make some good points. However, what this guy did was completely appropriate. Customers have every right — in fact, I would suggest that consumers have an obligation — to contest bad business policies, and to do so forcefully and clearly. Businesses should be able to articulate the reasons for their policies. If they can’t, it is the business that looks stupid, not the customer.

    This grinning, idiotic buffoon of a security guard did not do a good job of representing her employer. I think she could have said: “Sir, surely you can understand that to some people, the word ‘shoot’ can have a violent meaning, and the word ‘raw’ can have a sexual meaning, so just to keep other guests from being alarmed, we’re asking you to change the shirt. As a goodwill gesture, we’ll give you 50 percent off any shirt in the gift shop. We value you as a guest at Six Flags.”

    What happened in the store only made things work.

  • pgb0517

    The guy isn’t saying Six Flags doesn’t have the right to enforce its policies.

  • pgb0517

    I like your point, but in this case, the all-caps RAW could have just been for graphic emphasis. But yes, it is raw, not RAW.

  • pgb0517

    Well said! Security goons have way too much power, not much of it located between the ears.

  • pgb0517

    He didn’t say Six Flags doesn’t have the right to make rules.

  • pgb0517

    Look at the video. It was the supervisor with the stupid grin on her face who couldn’t answer the question.

  • Carlini Fotograf

    Do you really think a security guard who makes minimum wage has the power to give 50% off on one of their overpriced gift shop shirts at a corporate ran multi million dollar theme park…lol

  • ThatGuy

    Who said he did? Point being there’s no sense in standing there arguing with them.

  • pgb0517

    LOL. No, I don’t. But it should be park policy. After all, that’s what guards are allegedly hire to enforce, right? So someone smarter than the guard should make a smart rule to try to keep customers happy in a day when everything winds up as an online video. ROTFLMAO. HTML, good buddy.

  • Pickle

    That’s the low hanging fruit of internet photographers. How about being good enough to help out advanced photographers?

  • Pickle

    Are you new to photography? Are you looking to get out of Auto Mode? If so, I don’t blame you for being a fanboy.

  • Pickle

    Seriously, is there something wrong with your keyboard? Lots of random caps.

  • Pickle

    Ok, respect there.

  • Chang He

    They gave a religious reason for it. It’s not discriminatory.

  • Jack B. Siegel

    I agree Six Flags could have a better or more responsive policy. Dress codes at fine dining establishments are much more relaxed than they once were. In the old days, if you didn’t have a jacket and tie, many upscale restaurants would hand you a blue blazer and a rep tie.

    This is why I said the marketplace will ultimately be the arbiter.

  • Pickle

    How many of those 50k viewers sit through 2 hours of his weekly show? Some might, but I bet the majority listen to 2 minutes of it and turn it off and it still counts as a view.

    Do you know of any of his photographs on top of your head? I can think of Joe McNally and instantly think of a couple of dozen pictures that show his style and skill. Zack Arias is a great teacher and has a great knack of thinking on his feet. Even the Digital Rev guy has some nice skills to go with his personality.

    Any style of the Fro stand out to you? Ok, he shoots in raw, never crops (although he often should), and he’s in manual mode. What else?

  • Bewar3them00n

    HE would’ve been OK with a I shoot JPG tee then?

  • Hanafi Ishak

    the amazing irony is u re a photographer.. u shoot RAW.. but u re a Vertical Video Syndrome?

  • Gritty

    Wow… could you be more condescending? Obviously there is an audience for everything and there are plenty of others filling the need for more advanced “photographers”

  • Rick Scheibner

    I suppose that means I’ll need to leave my “I shoot film” t-shirt behind on my next trip there.

  • Jz Mora