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My First Time

While on my dinner break I was hastled for taking pictures for the first time ever. I've taken pictures in lots of places and I've never had anyone yell at me about it before. I've had people tell me politely that it isn't allowed, at which point I put away my camera and say "ok, no problem." But this was something else entirely. And I know that people have had much worse experiences than what happened to me!

I have a couple burned out lights at home, so I decided to go over to Sprawl-Mart and get some new light bulbs and a couple other little household things I needed. I saw a display of pumpkins for kids to put candy in while trick-or-treating and I thought they looked cool. So I stopped and pulled out my camera. There was a "team member" nearby and he told me (nicely mind you) that photographs weren't allowed. "ok, no problem" and I put away my camera. I figured that was the end of it.


5 or 10 minutes later I was browsing the book section when a manager type came up and very rudely and loudly, I think she was just one notch short of actual yelling, said "you can't take pictures in here." Needless to say I was quite surprised by this. I thought I had already had this conversation and it was done and no problems. I said "I wasn't."

Again, she almost yelled at me "Well, someone said you were taking pictures."

"No, I wasn't. I took out my camera, was told within a few seconds that pictures weren't allowed, and I put it away. That's it."

More almost yelling, "You can't take pictures in here."

"I wasn't."

I kinda turned my body away from her a little at this point because she didn't seem to be understanding me and I wanted her to go away.

She got off one last shot, "Well, you can't!"

"Whatever" escaped from my mouth, but she either didn't hear me or decided to ignore me.

I just stood there for a little bit, I think because I didn't really believe that what had just happened had really happened. I thought about just buying my stuff and leaving, but then decided that I was going to make a point instead. So... walked to the front and found another manager type, asked if she was a manager, "of the front end". OK. "I just wanted you to know that I was going to buy this here tonight, but I don't appreciate the way in which I have been treated, so now I'm not."

She wanted to know what had happened, and I explained to her and she appologized. She was actually very nice and understanding, so that at least was one positive note for the evening. I ended up walking out light bulb-less, but feeling good about how I handled myself.

Once I got back to work I went and looked up The Photographer's Right just to make sure I had it in my head what my actual rights are. Turns out I was completely right in how I handled it and if that manager had gone just one step further they would have been violating my rights. That was what I had thought, but I just wanted to make sure. So that was my adventure for the evening!


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Comments (2)

I'm waiting for my turn with that.. I've taken about five thousand shots in Wal-Mart.


It was interesting to say the least!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 21, 2004 8:20 PM.

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