Photographers as scum

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phil from seattle
phil from seattle Senior Member • Posts: 2,764
Photographers as scum
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I had a strange experience last weekend. Was staying at a very nice hote, The Houstonian in Houston, TX where my niece was getting married.  The grounds of the hotel are lovely so while my wife was getting a pedicure, I went out  to shoot the grounds.  It was about 9:30AM on a Saturday. I was carrying an Olympus EM1 Mark ii with a 12-40mm lens - it's a relatively compact package, nothing close to what a paparazzi would carry.

The camera was still cold from the AC so I was sitting on a bench outside waiting for the fog on the lens to dissipate.  A hotel employee came up to me and said pointedly,  "You can't take photographs here."  I was stunned by his words and attitude. "You have to get permission from the manager." I said I was a guest and that didn't seem to matter to him. He said something about not taking pictures of people and I assured him I was just taking pictures of the grounds and flowers. He repeated the whole thing again, sounded like it was straight from a training session or something. He then walked off.

I got up and started walking towards the front of the hotel and about 2 minutes later and other employee accosted with almost the exact same words.  "You can't take pictures here" and so on.  At this point I was getting pretty p!ssed and pulled out my smartphone. Asking the guy if he tells people they can't use it to take pictures and do I need the manager's approval for that?  He got a weird look on his face like his programming had just crashed and then repeated the whole thing again.

So, I walked over the front desk and asked for the manager.  He came and acted very surprised by my story. Said there is no such policy and then asked if they were members of the "loss prevention" team as if I would know. I would guess that they have some famous people that stay there and are being over zealous in protecting their privacy but would think that they would train their employees to be a little more respectful and try to find out what their intention is first.

Anyone had something like that happen?  I've stayed at a lot of upscale hotels and this was a first.

Olympus E-M1
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