How do you guys get access into different places? - Dreamstime

That's my question for now,

how to get access with a dSLR into places like malls and the likes without a pass or ID?

and to make it even more challenging, all this in a place where people think that photographic equipment is worse than a loaded shotgun...

I never had this problem on the country side or on public events but when it comes to dealing with city folks it's a whole new story.

It's not the first time when I was told to buzz off by random buyers from a PUBLIC market after taking 2 photos (I was not even taking photos of them),

or had to deal with security in a mall's parking lot, or chased away from an old petrol station that was out of use since I was 18 years old, the new ones that are in use are paranoid when it comes to taking some photos at the pumps.

I even missed a great opportunity because they didn't allow personal cameras in a circus....

So how to get access to places like those mentioned above without being chased away?

because I find it easier at the moment to deal even with homeless people, at least those are happy to pose in exchange to some food (only problem is a model release here, because they don't have a phone or a stable address)

I'm really curious about how to get around this,

I'd be grateful if somebody could give me some advice because I'd really want to try something else than just isolated food and objects.

Photo credits: David Máška, Stuart Miles.

Your article must be written in English

November 24, 2013


Thank god that i am not alone facing similar problem. Really there are some people in cities and public places who think we are smuggler or terrorist. Even you shoot your family in a public society place, they think your are shooting him standing behind or side by the actual subject lol and strange that there is no such problem in countryside places where people are supposed to be conservative, in fact i find them helpful. But i like the suggestions given by Alvera. lol if nothing works then one should try his tips lol.

November 23, 2013


It's all about attitude and an understanding of what is private. Malls of course allow full public access, but they are private property. I have shot a good few times at my local Mall with no issues. However I know that if you go to the management office and ask, they'll give you authorisation as long as you agree to their conditions, I.e. Not causing an obstruction. Local markets have not been an issue either, however I move quickly.

Guess my basic technique is to carry little equipment, act like you should be there, keep moving and smile at everyone. Be aware of what is going on around you, know when to move on, I have rarely been challenged!

November 22, 2013


ask directly to the authorized. some places have different rules.

November 21, 2013


Here is a small blog I wrote some time ago, it may help:

If you don't ask, you don't get!

November 21, 2013


I think it's down to how someone handle's themselves.
By that i mean general behavior when in that area. I was never chased away from something, but then again i am living in a place that's a bit more relaxed i think when it comes to photos.
When i do go to someplace, i don't go all guns blazing with a big lens sticking out. I sit around for a good 20 minutes just sitting there with the camera in plain site but not holding it.

If i do see something i like and shoot it i try not to be concealed. And if someone is bothered i wave back and go towards them to explain. I also try to have some business cards with me. For some reason people get the idea "oh he is serious".

If you seem jittery and anxious, people will respond back in the same way.

November 21, 2013


Homeless people if asked agree to be photographed then submit as editorial.......... I have one or two on DT........... One was in Edinburgh

November 21, 2013


LOL Alvera thanks for the laugh but I'm not that crazy :))))

November 20, 2013


Do like me and you will succeed in EVERY PLACE. Fresh shave, short hair, black suit with tie and black shoes. Bring your camera in a white metallic case. Put on your phone some walkie talkie communications sound effects - only the buzz, not talking. Start the sounds and put them in a loop. Enter in the building and go straight to the first employee, look into his eyes and speak loud: "POLICE. EVERYBODY OUT!" After this you will have about 15-30 minutes of free time for doing photos. Good luck, you will need it! :) (Take with you a flashlight, you will spend the night at the real police station and will be funny to take pictures inside - soon, all the police officers will be your friends/models/referrals.)

November 20, 2013


Don't worry! Be happy, Szebas! Just shooting! Everything will be alright! Good luck! :)

November 20, 2013


Thanks all, I've tried some of the suggested techniques and didn't have any problems this time,
even with a gripped dslr and a bulky 50mm prime lens, some people still gave me some dirty looks but soon forgot that I was even photographing near them.

On a second thought when I had a problem in the market was because I must have gone out in the wrong place in the wrong time because we also have some contraband tobacco smugglers around here that I forgot about, must have been their time I guess.

P.S. Lenutaidi, I'm also from Romania, the Vest part of the country, but around here malls and hyper super duper markets crawl with security guards that prohibit anyone to take photos inside the isles (Selgros even has a sign up that photography is prohibited for example)

On the other hand the city museum wouldn't be a problem as I know some people there, ex teachers of mine work there :)

November 19, 2013


I recently checked out a museum where photography was "encouraged" but not tripod and the light of course was terrible but I brought my monopod and had not problem. Typically I just act like I'm suppose to be there and haven't had hardly any problems. Many times its really just flash photography they don't want so if you explain that you won't be using a flash some times that works.

November 19, 2013


It also helps if instead of a 1000 horsepower camera with a humongous lens you are using a small pocket like, (the emphasis is on like) camera. There are some very good ones out in the market today like the micro 43 types or even the Sony full frame camera, that are very good quality but much less threatening. Don't carry a huge lens bag which screams I am a pro photographer. If your camera allows, use live view. This is typical of dilettante amateurs. It is less conspicuous. It is less obvious somebody is taking a picture especially if holding the camera at waist level. They will leave you alone.

In a mall or a museum it is strictly forbidden to use a tripod. But this does not mean one needs to take pictures handheld. Use a wall a door or any stable object to hold your camera against, it is just as good if it works out. I am using this in museums a lot.
 Napoleons chambers in Louvre Paris 

I took this photo at the Louvre no less.

 Detail of cathedral 
This is inside Notre Dame in Paris.
And finally one should not be shy, the worst thing it can happen is they tell you to stop. if this happens stop and move on. The pictures you already took are yours.

November 19, 2013


This is a great topic because I've had people totally freak out in some locations when I was doing some photography. The best one was when I was trying to get a shot of "fast-food pickup window." I parked by the pickup window and just started clicking away from my car. Next thing I know a group of men had crept up behind my car and then jumped in front of me and said something like "what the hell are you doing! You're freaking out the employees here. The police are on their way!" So the lesson is, GO ASK FOR PERMISSION IN PLACES LIKE THIS. Otherwise people may seriously freak out!!

November 19, 2013


I'm agree with our colleague Dudau! Is very important to try to stay with a smile and be friendly with security officer when he comes to you...and just say that you understand and move on. You can try and be a paparazzi sometimes but do you think it's worth the risk? So, don't worry! Be happy! Go to the mall! Malls and supermarkets are an inexhaustible source of images that you can do some penny on stock photography....:) And is funny! Go to the supermarket! Let's spend the money but let's make money! Go! Good luck! ;-)

November 19, 2013


Okay, I started a response to this, and it quickly became so long that it was ridiculous for a mere comment, and I realized that I really could do a whole blog on the subject. So that will be coming soon. But, here is my #1 tip: If you think you are going to a location where someone will have a problem with you and your camera, but you REALLY think there is a valuable shot in there for you, do this... Go in, keep your camera concealed if all possible, and just walk around 1st. Identify the ONE thing that you would be happy with having a shot of, if you only got one picture opportunity for the whole day. I know, this is really hard, lol. But do it. When you have your one shot chosen, move in, get it done quickly, and see how it goes. If you someone jumps in to forbid you to shoot anymore at that location, at least you got your one valuable shot (If you were very swift and well prepared). But, maybe no one stops you, and you can proceed. In which case, follow the other advices given by these contributors. I'll post a full blog on this topic very soon.

November 19, 2013


It is true that people in public places seem more and more anti-photographer. I was told the other week by that i could not take photos in a public re-cycling rubbish center by an employee there. I asked him why, he said he didn't know the answer to that. I purchased the canon powershot S-95 for the purpose of editorial. A small but very good camera that is not obvious fits into my pocket and doesn't seem to worry people as much as a full size camera around my neck. Most photos taken are accepted here.

November 19, 2013


I try no to push my luck too much, act as if it is the most normal thing to do, take the photo and move on. Most of the times I dont have time to take more than one photo, and hope the one photo I took comes out ok.
Better than shoot nothing.

November 19, 2013


I do take quite a lot of editorial pictures of people and places- only one time I wasn't lucky and a security car chased me through the Sydney container terminal telling me to delete all my pictures of some containers!!! But I pretended I understood them and showed them when deleting the pictures. I really wondered why they had made such a fuzz - later on heaps of those guys got arrested because of smuggling... so many times people do have something to hide or feel uncovered. I try to avoid that people see me taking photos - good for that is a camera like the Canon G1X - it just doesn't look professional when taking photos not through a viewfinder - many times I'm just quick - see what I want - go for it - and disappear in the crowd - perhaps you should also not look like a reporter :) - don't know how a typical reporter looks like though.

November 19, 2013


I'm not trying to photograph in places or the places where the forbidden sign is showing,
just public markets and other similar places,
didn't have any problems inside the flea markets just the city's public market, a parking lot and an old gas station.

Thing is I never had any issues when I was in college, at least then I could explain what I was doing without much explanation and people were more than happy to guide me around and let me photograph even in places where others didn't have access...

However it's pretty hard sometimes to keep smiling after getting pushed around a couple of times because the majority of people think that I must be from the news or something...
And talking with people from the markets sometimes proves useless.

However asking for permission and a little chat allowed me access to a private football and tennis field so far but not inside the city's municipal/public market.

November 19, 2013


I guess it has something to do with your shooting behavior. If you're acting natural and relaxed, you'll have much more success.

Don't avoid eye contact, don't be stressed, don't hurry. In public places, try to act like you belong there, and always keep a friendly smile on your face, it does wonders sometimes.

However, you shouldn't push your luck too far, cause in most places where photography is forbidden, there is a reason for that restriction. When notified about a photo restriction, don't try to argue with security or authorities, just say that you understand and move on.

Related image searches
Places related image searches