Let me get this straight: You park your car, eat your ice cream, buy a drink, have some food, buy the T-shirt and somehow you think a professional photographer up in a woods, plying their trade, creating images that you may never view is somehow "more in your face" than those who have just bare-faced taken money off you?
You rock up to a public event, in the full knowledge that people will be taking your picture "and trying to sell it to me for profit" and somehow now we're (photographers) parasites because you assume, in your shocking ignorance, said photographers are neither sanctioned nor welcomed nor embraced by the organisers and that they haven't at any stage approached the organisers "or at least offering or getting the official nod".
Who the Hell are you to make such sweeping criticisms & statements? I attend many of these events and so do other photographers. This is a service we provide free gratis to the event, and don't you forget it. I know at each event there are photographers providing images for the various web forums, the mountain bike magazines, for some of the exhibitors and also the sponsors themselves. I know they’re looking for anecdotes and images for a book about Bonty right now.
What do you possibly know of the contractual agreements that are / might be in place? Do you appreciate the relationships that are at play here between the organisers, the photographers and the end users, because the above post seems singularly ill informed and bizarrely, self-defeating?
What are you actually worried by? Because you say someone taking your picture is “in your face” seems somehow to be more of an offense than any other point you have made, or tried to make. The event receives far more exposure by having images taken than adopting your cap-in-hand approach. Am I correct in thinking you work for a 3rd party and don’t own your own business?
There is always at least one official photographer taking pictures for sale to the public. Two photographers that I know of at SITS, about a dozen that I could ascertain at BikeRadar Live. Odd then that you somehow question that “the organiser that it is a "service" they wish have present even if no money changes hands” when it’s advertised as such at each event; this isn’t rocket science.
The best bit though: “and taking photos for money without making a contribution from your profits to the running costs of the event”
God preserve us from such moronic sentiments about events held in public! You make sure you tell us all on here of your race numbers in the future and we will make every possible effort never to photograph you at any event in the future. Hope this at least in part goes some way to meeting your bizarre sensibilities.