I’m the first to admit that I can be an asshole when confronted by some jackass who is ordering me to stop taking photos in public.
My reaction usually is to point the camera in their direction and snap away. That usually enrages them more, but I’m hoping it will eventually teach them a lesson in photographer rights. Especially when that photo pops up online.
But I’ve noticed that most photographers are much nicer than me.
For example, a guy who goes by GothamGuy on Flickr tells the story of how he was snapping photos of a Banana Republic storefront in Manhattan when the manager came running out, ordering him to stop snapping photos.
The manager kept telling him that he was not allowed to take pictures inside the store, but he was not even in the store. He was standing on the sidewalk outside. You can read the story and see the picture here.
This is how he describes the conversation:
Store manager: Sir, you cant take photographs. (Louder) YOU CANT TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS
GothamGuy: Or I can.
Store manager: It is against our store policy to take photographs in the store.
GothamGuy: I’m not in the store. I’m on the sidewalk.
Store manager: Well, it’s our policy that you can’t take photographs in our store.
GothamGuy: Again, I’m not in your store. I’m on the side walk. Tell you what. I’ll stop taking photographs because it’s actually not that interesting. But you should go in your store and google photographers rights. Have a good day!
And GothamGuy has the nerve to say, “I’m such an ass sometimes.”? This guy should spend a day shooting with me.
But he also acknowledges that he really doesn’t know the law in these situations.
Now here’s my question – What is the law on such a situation? I don’t actually know. Anybody have any ideas??
The law is clear. If you can see it from a public sidewalk, you can photograph it. Especially that jackass who is ordering you to stop taking pictures.