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Photographing street vendors ("No Photos")

Started Oct 24, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Photographing street vendors ("No Photos")
Oct 24, 2010

Today I went to a street fair in a small town here in California and among my casual snapshooting of crowd scenes and such took a quick photo of an interesting metal craft vendor booth from the center of the street. The vendor immediately held up a "No Photos" sign (which seemed to be on the back of a clipboard; I did not notice it and haven't reviewed my photo yet to see if it was visible on its own).

My cropping (wide) and intentions (the overall look of the booth was interesting; I don't care to reproduce his products) were not known to the defensive vendor, but it raises an important question:

Can such vendors request that no photos be taken of their booths in an obviously public place (on a closed-off downtown street)? The only caveat I can think of is they rented the space they occupy; otherwise there's nothing private about the openly visible location.

After this minor incident I noticed at least one other booth displaying such a sign. I did photograph my daughter looking at necklaces and such in various other booths and no one else said anything, even though I was much closer to the products in those cases. And I had my camera away from my face (perhaps even hanging unused on my shoulder) while walking past a photographer's booth and I could swear he was giving me the evil eye for no reason...

I'm tempted to post the photo so you can see what I'm talking about ;-).

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