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by Abigail Van Buren

Conference Attendee Wants To Stay Out of the Picture

DEAR ABBY: I'm going to a professional conference, which has the usual presentations, vendors and activities. Every time I go, there's always a photographer. It's annoying. When a photographer sneaks up to take photos, it distracts the presenter. Then the camera is usually swung around to shoot the audience.

I have been photographed many times while I was browsing through the vendors. I have never given my permission to have any of them published. The photos appear on state or national organization websites for viewing by association members (not the general public). What are my rights? Am I the only one who is camera shy? -- TEACHER ON THE WEST COAST

DEAR TEACHER: You are not the only person who dislikes having their picture taken -- particularly without permission. Many others also do. However, if the photographer has been hired by the association sponsoring the event, I don't think you have any choice about being photographed. You might be out of camera range if you sit toward the back of the audience. Or, do what some celebrities do -- wear dark glasses.