Monday, June 19, 2006

Photography at the mall - Is it okay? Follow up

Please see my earlier post.

After sending an email off to Westfield Shopping Town's recommended contact and receiving no response, I finally made another visit to the mall. This time I stopped at the customer service desk and ask for policy sheet.

Very polite ladies behind the desk had to search for a minute but were able to turn over to me a "Courtesy Guidelines" card. The printing on the card is black on white thankfully and an easy to read font. One size up would have been slightly better though. Anyway, I'm rambling.

On the card are 15 guidelines, as well as phone numbers to mall management, security, and emergency. Bravo! The relevant guideline for mall photography appears to be guideline number 4.

4. Photography of friends and family is welcome. Videotaping and/or photography of the shoppingtown, stores, or the shoppingtown's operations is not allowed without prior consent of shoppingtown management.

Because I'm slow, I asked for some examples. One of the ladies explained that photographing structures and stores is prohibited, as well as photographing strangers. She did indicate though that I could pretty much snap pictures of friends and family just about anywhere in the mall, and implied basically that I'm not otherwise being a disturbance.

I was very satisfied until she made one final comment along the lines of "not like those strange ones taking pictures of people and things." I about fell out. My wife will back me up that she said something along those lines.

The better part of valor was to thank the ladies and move on. I did that becuase they honestly were helpful and had the best intentions, but walked off with a laugh and a smirk at the comment. Yeah, us photography folks are a bit weird.

Thanks for checking back.

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