Our world is being photographed at a pace that would have horrified my mother. She liked the soft focus of memory.
I carry a camera everywhere. I take photographs of the oddest ephemera of Lakeland. Some people have stood and smiled as I stood, camera to eye, next to one of the swan statues. One even laughed out his car window as I took the love photograph. I’ve taken many photographs of signs around Lakeland. My family is resigned to Dad pulling the car into a parking lot to shoot an unusual sign.
I wonder why public organizations want to limit photography? Photographs in a courtroom…not a good idea. I can also see a problem taking pictures at police stations. You wouldn’t want to accidentally photograph an undercover police officer meeting his captain.
Flash photography might be a distraction. I don’t see a problem limiting that. Or asking a irritating photographer to stop. However, I wonder why so many places ban all photography up front. Why do that? It’s free publicity.
Locally, I’ve only had one organization ask to hold my camera. I had entered their building to attend a presentation.
Photography is not permitted, except by prior arrangement. All camera equipment must be left in the checkroom. — Polk Museum of Art
Of course, the guard couldn’t explain why photography was not permitted…except it is the rule. They also didn’t want to be responsible for my expensive camera. We compromised. As I walked quickly to the presentation room — they watched me closely to make sure I didn’t sneak any photographs of their military secrets.
Why not take photographs of art? Or of people looking at art? It’s a part of life that needs to be remembered. You don’t have to allow it every minute the museum is open. Why not allow it during the free Saturday mornings?
(By the way…it isn’t a copyright issue. Copyright doesn’t cover photographs for personal use. It is concerned with reproductions.)
The Polk is probably not the only company that bans photographs in Lakeland. They’re just the first I’ve run across. I’m sure there are other museums that ban photography. But not all of them:
Still photography for personal use is permitted in collection galleries only. No flash or tripods allowed. Videotaping is permitted in the lobby only. No photographs or videotapes may be reproduced, distributed, or sold without permission from the Museum. — Museum of Modern Art
That’s a pretty busy museum. They seem to be able to accommodate photography.