Worst problem with DSLR - "No Photos Allowed, sir"

Started Sep 25, 2011 | Discussions
Horshack Veteran Member • Posts: 5,803
Worst problem with DSLR - "No Photos Allowed, sir"

I was at a local mall shooting with my Nikon 5100 w/small prime and was stopped by security and told photography was not permitted. I have my own feelings about this but hey, it's private property so it's their prerogative. Out of curiosity I went back to the same mall a few weeks later with my Sony NEX w/pancake lens and wasn't hassled.

The D5100 is probably the smallest DSLR around but it still screams DSLR. The NEX on other hand screams "compact camera tourist". I suspect the 4/3's would in the same category as the NEX, although the NEX looks a bit more like a P&S than most 4/3's.

Anyone else have this same experience regarding DSLRs vs non-DSLR cameras? Seems like a great positive in favor of NEX/MFT.

tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 12,038
Re: Worst problem with DSLR - "No Photos Allowed, sir"

I got kicked out of a mall for taking pictures with a Canon SD1100, which is a very small pocket camera. Most malls aren't big on photography.

Bruce Hunter Contributing Member • Posts: 856
Re: Worst problem with DSLR - "No Photos Allowed, sir"

I usually carry my Canon S90 pocket camera with me and I've run into the same , "No photos allowed , Sir" when taking photos at malls. I comply without protest because I understand the security guard is only doing as he's been instructed. However, I know, if I were using an iphone, I could shoot away to my heart's content.

If I am on any property ( museum, church, shopping mall ) with posted "no photos " signs or told by authorized personnel ,.." No photos allowed ", I comply without complaint . HOWEVER, if I see others taking photos and the security guards or other personnel are ignoring it, I will also take photos.

Selective enforcement doesn't work for me

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Oly Canikon
Oly Canikon Senior Member • Posts: 1,226
I wonder what their concern is?

Steal their soul or something?

wadeinthewater Regular Member • Posts: 217
Re: I wonder what their concern is?

I think that the SLR stigma, is that if you own one, you are a part of a company. I think security specialists will conceive the sight of you using a DSLR as a form of publicity and therefor of misrepresentation.

It's unfortunate though...

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puttin Veteran Member • Posts: 7,301
Re: I wonder what their concern is?

You might be a spy from another Mall stealing their display setting. My company sent me 90 miles to take photos of the exposed spiral duct work that they made. It was a new big high dollar fancy grocery store and they would not let me take any photos. I explained why but the only way they would let me was if I gave them the card so they could email the pics to the main office for them to approve the shots. I would have to sit around and wait on them. I left having better things to do with mine and my companies time.

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drh681 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,742
Re: I wonder what their concern is?

It's just a "control thing".

When I worked for a formerly large camera retailer, we could not leave the store to take a picture of anything but the front of our store.

Part of it is to protect "trade dress", part of it is to keep photographers from cluttering the aisles with tripods(you know you'd do it if you could!)

And another part is to keep a certain control over the property's "image". There are plenty of people that would like to use a mall as the setting for a "comment on our consumer society".
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DenWil Veteran Member • Posts: 3,148
Yes. Perfect for mall shooters. lol

What a pitiful selling point.

Dareshooter Senior Member • Posts: 2,694
Re: Worst problem with DSLR - "No Photos Allowed, sir"

It happens here in the UK too.I was approached while using an slr in a Cardiff mall.

The chief security guy was very nice about it and allowed me to carry on after I politely reassured him that I was just an amateur tog looking for a decent shot or two. He even suggested that the next time I want to shoot there to contact him beforehand so that he supply me with a lanyard to wear in order to avoid being hassled by his staff.Restored my faith in human nature.

Deleted1929 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,050
Clone that guy so we can get some more of him (nt)
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Draek Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Re: I wonder what their concern is?

People get nervous and uncomfortable when having a big SLR camera pointed at them, and nervous customers isn't good for business.

Besides, as another poster said it's not hard to get permission anyways, so it's not like there's a war on photography or such.

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harrygilbert Senior Member • Posts: 2,799
Re: Worst problem with DSLR -

Disappointed me off in Torcello, Venice, where I was told no photos in a church (using DSLR with no flash), while tourists were snapping away with the flash-equipped compacts. Supposedly, the photography ban is to protect the ancient paintings and frescos from degradation caused by flash. Same thing in the Doge's Palace. Bah!

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john9001 Contributing Member • Posts: 610
Re: Worst problem with DSLR -

just use a Minox Digital Spy Camera, you can pretend you are Bond, James Bond. A PPK pistol is optional.

romphotog Contributing Member • Posts: 713
Re: Worst problem with DSLR - "No Photos Allowed, sir"

tkbslc wrote:

I got kicked out of a mall for taking pictures with a Canon SD1100, which is a very small pocket camera. Most malls aren't big on photography.

25 years I've been going to the mall on Pier17 in NYC and never seen anyone stopped or kicked out for taking photos. Just not possible with all the tourists snapping away all around them. If they do that in NYC, the malls will lose %50 of customers.

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sean000 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,348
Re: True. Much easier with my m4/3 gear than my DSLR.

I have been questioned many times while shooting with my DSLR. Even when I lived in Washington, DC (where you can't swing a tripod without hitting a photographer) I stood out because I often used big pro lenses and a tripod. Only in a few situations was I ever asked to stop, but I was briefly questioned more often. I guess in most situations the security or police knew I had a right to photograph... they just wanted to let me know I was being watched.

One place I ran into trouble in the years following 9/11 was in the Washington, DC Metro (subway) underground stations. Now I think they have more clearly defined their photography policy (it is allowed), but some years ago it was vague and difficult to understand. Something about "professional photos not allowed without a permit." Before 9/11 I took all the photos I wanted down there, but after I would be told by Metro security that I was not allowed to take photos as soon as I got my DSLR out. Meanwhile tourists were easily getting away with photography using their small P&S cameras. When I asked about the discrepancy, I was told by one security officer, "We can't see everyone, but we try." I guess it's much easier to spot the DSLR cameras. I believe since I left they relaxed and clarified their policy.

Even where I live now I get more questions and more looks with my DSLR gear... whether from security staff or from other photographers who just want to talk shop. When I shoot using my m4/3 gear I am barely noticed. Nobody cares and I feel more relaxed.

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howard23 New Member • Posts: 9
Re: I wonder what their concern is?
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I can respond to this having formerly been a retailer. REtailers don't want photos taken of their displays, pricing, etc. It's all about competition and maintaining the edge. Therefore the malls will accomodate the retailer and ban all photos.

People are not supposed to take photos in art galleries. The flash will tend to deteriorate the media. Yet I frequently see people holding their phone cameras to record the hanging art. So much for compliance.

howard23 in Sunny Florida

bayville126 Forum Member • Posts: 85
Re: I wonder what their concern is?

I don't understand the no photos in museums. We went to Paris about 5 years ago and no one was restricted from taking Photos in any museum. their were hundreds in line at the Mona Lisa and every one took a picture with and without flash, Thousands take pictures in all of the Paris museums that we went to with and without flash.

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Bruce Hunter Contributing Member • Posts: 856
Re: I wonder what their concern is?

Regarding the "no photo" policy in shopping malls,..... Years ago, before digital compacts and iphones, about the only time one would see people taking photos in a mall was at Christmas time, when there were elaborate Christmas decorations on display...... and then , it seemed to be tolerated or overlooked by mall mamagement. Nowadays, however, most people seem to carry these mini -cameras with them , 24 hours a day...... and that is why the crackdown , in my opinion.

Probably , the same reasoning goes for places like churches and museums....
along with the fact that that rudeness and lack of manners seems to be rampant

these days. Using flash , even when expressly forbidden ..... and lack of judgement or consideration for others , in general. It's a shame but a reality that many places / institutions have decided to just ban cameras altogether ,....because so many people now ,are disrespectful of the privilege.

There is also, the monetary angle...... Certain museums, churches , etc.... have banned cameras in order to make some revenue by selling postcards or photo books . In that case, I might suggest they substitute a photo permit fee, instead. In most cases, I would gladly pay a reasonable fee for the privilege.

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TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,488
Yes, that is the case

I went to a horse show that had 'no pro cameras' out front and on the ticket. Sure enough, a couple of dslr toters were turned away.

No problem with my Pen, even though it was adorned with a pricey PL 25 1.4 lens. Love the little Pen - it doesn't get even a second glance. Very low profile, but you aren't really sacrificing much in terms of practical capability by bringing it instead of a dslr.

xtranch Regular Member • Posts: 347
Re: Worst problem with DSLR - "No Photos Allowed, sir"

I frequently take photos in situations where it would not be appreciated. I use a Olympus xz1 and keep it out of sight, shoot fast, and make my escape.

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