Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:45AM
Ok. I was in downtown San Diego today next to a high-rise office tower which is next to a San Diego Trolley stop. I was shooting a bicycle that was chained to a street sign when I was contacted by a security guard to said she worked for the Irvine Company which owns the office building. She told me I was not allowed to shoot there as it was private property. I disagreed and advised I was in a place clearly open to the public (a sidewalk between a Starbucks and the trolley tracks which had pedestrians all around - of which I was not blocking any movement). I told her I was fully within my rights to shoot anything I wanted there. She again told me it was private property and she has called the police and had people arrested there before for trespassing. I chose to stop shooting to avoid escalating the contact further.
This is not the first time. I just emailed a complaint to the owners of the building, but what else can we do? I am truly sick and tired of security guards telling me I can't photograph in an area that is OBVIOUSLY open to the public. Any advice would help! I don't want to just sit back and accept this anymore! I figure others here have likely experienced similar encounters...
Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:32AM
What you can do is to wait while the police are called and see what they say. If it's public land then I don't see what they can do.
Or go to a police station and make inquiries directly.
Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:46AM
I would let them call the police, actually would welcome it.
edit to add and be clear, I would make sure I was on public land of course. If it is a sidewalk ajacent to the street, you would almost for sure be on public land, if set back from the road a bit, it might be private.
(Edited on 2012-10-21 07:06:42 by RyersonClark)
Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:01AM
There is also the possibility that the land is owned by the office building just like Disney owns everything around it. When I was in that situation, I waited for the police to come and got my shots
Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:50AM
You could always ask the security guard to show you where the company's private property (real or imagined) ends and public land begins.
Posted Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:00AM
Seriously agree with all of above. Call their bluff! IMO hired security often doesn't know any of the real rules - they're just kind of making it up as they go. Sometimes uniforms do that to people. Actually, I'd say call the police yourself as Roger suggests. You are the one being harassed, not them.
Posted Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:27PM
Years ago, that happened to me too, but I was the one who called the police. After they came on site, they asked if I would allow them to have a look at the photos, all of which was shot using no wider than 70mm, they then turned to the security and asked them to relay to the management of the property, that if they wanted to implement no photography regulations, they will have to put up signs, and be indiscriminate, i.e. even phone cameras aren't allowed. With that, the cop gave me his direct contact, that should I encounter a similar case at a different location, to call them and they'll be there to assist.
I certainly took more pains and time to go through this than to just walk away, but it sure gave me a boosted morale and confidence thereafter.
Edited: BTW, all these happened within private property ground, the issue at hand in this case was discrimination of photographer, which at the point I was confronted, I saw numerous people especially teens with handphone cams snapping away. In the case of public walkway, its public.
(Edited on 2012-10-22 20:30:46 by Nikontiger)