Sunday, June 01, 2008

june 2008 theme day: my corner local shop

the corner of orange grove and los robles includes a new pizzeria, a funeral home, and a dry cleaner, but what stands out as my shop is the king ranch supermarket. i enjoy it because i'm a minority when i shop there - the majority of their customers are hispanic - and they offer somewhat unique items to purchase, like fresh cactus.

this photo isn't exceptional, but it turned out to be the only one i could take that day. as i was snapping it off a security guard ran toward me and wondered why i was taking pictures of private property (is a supermarket private property? i was taking the picture on the sidewalk!). i mentioned that it was a photo for my blog and for monthly theme day and that seemed to satisfy him. he mentioned that they had some trouble in the past with people taking pictures... i wonder what kind of trouble?

180 other bloggers are working with this theme today. check them out!

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Neva said...

Amazing, I thought the sidewalk was not private either and what kind of trouble could they expect? Curious. But the awning is certainly colorful....and how would you cook a cactus? nice shot.

Tanya said...

Wow, that's odd that he would get upset over you taking a photo!

babooshka said...

The shop I wanted to photograph, the reation was "we would prefer you not to." You'd think they'd be happy with the publicity. Instead I photographed the Mall the shop was contained in. So yes I empathise with your your photography woes. You got the shop though afterall.

IamMBB said...

Sounds like a security guard on a power trip. With the number of tourists we have, no one here thinks twice about someone snapping pictures.

Petrea said...

Ben, you were within your rights. I've recently dealt with a particularly creepy security guard who had no clue as to the law, so I did some research.

Start here:
and keep going. There's lots of information on the web. Basically, if you can see it you can photograph it, as long as you don't invade privacy. But don't take my word for it, read the law. The law backs you up.

I'm keeping copies in my camera bag!

Kim said...

Ben, Yum! Yo me gusto nopales. Sorry you had the encounter with the security guard. It's happening more and more. If you had been on their property he could have asked you to stop taking photos, but from public property such as the sidewalk and street, you are protected by law. A Seattle guy recently received from the court an $8000 judgment when the police questioned his taking photos from the sidewalk of an arrest he happened to take a couple photos of while he was out shooting buildings on a photo walk and the scene unfolded in font of him. The police took him to the station and held him for several hours without charge. Highly illegal. Security guards do this a lot, and I always comply when someone has an issue when I'm on private property. Most of the time, folks may look but seldom approach even when they are concerned. Two guys who "looked middle eastern" took photos while on a ferry boat here, and passengers alerted authorities and took photos of them taking photos, thinking they might have bad motives. They identified themselves recently through their embassy and it turned out they were just snapping tourist photos while in town for a professional convention. Maybe because I'm a woman I get approached less for this sort of thing than men might.
Seattle Daily Photo

Petrea said...

Kim makes a good point; there's a lot of fear out there since 9/11.

I should point out a couple of things: these laws are national, not local. And there's a difference between trespassing and photography. You can take photos, even on private property, if the public is allowed on that property (except in sensitive government buildings, etc.). If, however, you are asked to leave by the owner or owner's representative, you must do so. If you stay, you're trespassing. You may continue to take photos as you leave, though. If they try to take your camera, they could possibly be charged with attempted theft.

Then we get into *publishing* the photos, which is another story entirely.

It all makes for some interesting reading.

USelaine said...

The CDP blogger named Curly went through some awful hassles in England when he took pictures at an amusement park! Now Parliament is looking at measures to protect photographers' rights. Boing Boing has had good coverage of the issue too.

Ben Wideman said...

thanks for all the lovely comments and great dialog! It was great to come home from a weekend away and find this on my blog.

thanks once again!

Miss Fruitfly said...

I worked in retail stores for many years, it has always been policy not to allow customer to take pictures inside the store because they think you're planning a robbery. But all that was before I guess stores need to get used to it.

Ben Wideman said...

Interesting! Blogs are changing the way the world works!

Anonymous said...

It's entirely plausible that they wouldn't want you taking pictures of their store, although they can't stop you if you're on public property. Big stores like Costco et. al. are paranoid with regards to terrorism and as such try to limit photography of their property as much as possible. Imagine the loss of business that even a failed bombing of a chain store would cause.