A Bad Experience for Photographers

Feature Photo ©2014 by Kishjar [CC-by-2.0]

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On November 19, 2016, I was stopped by a security guard from taking pictures of the Christmas tree that was going to be lit up later that day.

I was told that I was not allowed to take any more pictures of the tree (the security guard knew that I already had taken several photos) and that to use any of the pictures, I’d have to speak with the shopping center’s management.

Because I did not want to argue with the polite security guard and because I wasn’t sure if there were any rules that actually prevented me from taking pictures of the Christmas tree that was put on display for everyone to see, I simply walked away.

I don’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to take photos of the Christmas tree which the shopping center had been advertising for weeks for people to come and enjoy its beauty.

And why are security guards stopping people from taking pictures instead of (oh, I don’t know) making sure there are no successful robberies or preventing any real public disturbances?

What are the guards going to do when hordes of happy people with holiday cheer come to take pictures of the beautiful attraction that the center specifically set up to lure people to the area?

If people come to the shopping center just to look at the Christmas tree, how are they going to remember their wonderful experiences if they aren’t allowed to document what made their memories special?

As a photographer for my school newspaper and journalism class, I am very irritated because I’m supposed to be photographing these fun events in order to share them with a wider audience.

Still, I’m also fairly disappointed in myself because people are risking their lives trying to smuggle photos out of highly restricted areas like North Korea, and here I am, merely accepting the security guard’s rules instead of holding my ground. I’m not sure if arguing with the guard would’ve helped me, but maybe I could’ve snuck some more photos before I left.

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