The relationship between spy photographer and prototype engineer is something akin to hunter and prey. Engineers often do their best to evade the prying lens by fleeing but will, on occasion, try to attack the photographer.
In this instance we see an angry Swedish Volvo engineer trying to protect the XC40 concept from KGP photographer and Jalopnik contributor Brian Williams, up to the point of attempting to break his equipment.
Here's how it all went down.
Talk to any spy photographer and they'll tell stories of engineers slamming hoods on their cameras, charging at them with cars, and otherwise trying to make their lives hell (returning the favor, I suppose). Yet, as long as the photographers are in a public area what they're doing is neither illegal nor unconscionable.
The unwritten line appears to be at harming/touching. A spy photographer won't touch or hop into a car (so far as we've heard) and an engineer won't physically assault someone with a camera.
No one told the Swedish Volvo guy, who grabs Williams' camcorder in an attempt to get him to stop filming. Why would he go to such lengths to protect something as boring as an XC40? Williams gives a little insight.
I was filming the Volvo XC40 testing in the Rockies when the engineer lost it. He decided that I had filmed enough and wanted to break my camcorder. My wife was in the car so it made things a little interesting. After the video ends he approached my wife at which point I said "If you go near her I'll knock you out" and at that point he came to his senses.
I told him that you can't just attack people for videoing in public and told him that I knew he was here on a visa. He started apologizing and explained that he gets chewed out every time the car gets video'd/photographed, but his bosses don't understand that you can't hide a car that looks like a zebra.
I told him I wouldn't show the video to local police, and I never saw him again. I ended up having a bruise on my arm for about two weeks.
Happy ending, however, in that the zoom started working again. Just to think, car companies are now giving out "spy" photos of their cars for people like us to publish.