This is another shot from our San Francisco photo walk on April 21st but this one has another security guard story associated with it. While wandering around downtown, we noticed this very ornate doorway and decided to stop to take a few shots. Within about 20 seconds, a security guard appeared and informed us that it was illegal to take pictures of the building and especially illegal to include the address plate seen on the left side of the doorway.
We informed him that he was incorrect and that, since we were standing on a public sidewalk, we were perfectly within our rights to take pictures of anything that was visible but he insisted that we were engaging in illegal activity and returned to his desk to call the police.
Once we finished shooting, the police had not arrived so I headed into the foyer, left him a business card and got the address of his manager so that I could write and pass on information on photographers’ rights so that he could be more correctly informed next time anyone shows up with an interest in his doorway.
If you take pictures in large US cities, you have almost certainly had a similar experience. To keep yourself informed and ensure you have ammunition on hand next time this happens, head on over to Bert Krages’ photographers’ rights page and print a copy of his photographers’ rights overview to keep in your camera bag.
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