It was the sweetest of summertime rituals — a mother taking photos of her 1-year-old daughter splashing in a park sprinkler.
But Margo Gibson squeezed off just three frames on her camera before a Park worker rushed over and ordered her to stop — and Gibson is miffed.
“I never heard of being ordered to stop taking pictures of your kid,” Gibson said. “She was being cute, so I wanted to take some pictures.”
There were only three or four kids besides her daughter, Severine McQueeney, in Clinton Hill’s Underwood Park when the man in the green uniform asked her to holster that camera.
Gibson said the worker explained that the photo prohibition as “a safety precaution,” enforced by the Parks Department to ensure that other kids would not inadvertently end up in the photos.
That, however, turned out to be untrue.
When contacted by The Brooklyn Paper, a Parks Department spokesperson said that adults are allowed to take photographs of children in playgrounds — if they’re taking shots of their own kids, that is.
As a result, the Parks worker’s intimidation “was probably a misunderstanding between him and the parent,” said the agency’s spokesman, Joe Eastman.
Indeed, just a week earlier, Gibson had been able to take pictures of Severine in the same park.
The inconsistent administration of enforcement power is what bothers Gibson and her husband the most.
“Park workers look the other way at folks breaking all the posted rules,” said Severine’s father, John McQueeney.
“But [with the photo ban], they are trying to enforce an unconstitutional secret rule.”
That enforcement left the Gibson-McQueeney clan with precious few shots of little Severine splashing about on a hot day.
“I only got three pictures and a one-minute movie,” said Gibson.