No (Flash) Photography

A Week in the Life has raised some comments out there in cyberspace about restrictions on photography.
These restrictions force scrapbookers to tell the story in a different way. Instead of photos, you might have to just use words, collect memorabilia, or be more creative with the photos you can take.

Here are a few places that restrict photography:

  • Daycares and schools
  • Court and prison or jail
  • Museums
  • Performances
  • Places of worship
  • Work

Has your photography ever been restricted? What strategies did you use to compensate for this restriction? Comment below or join the conversation on facebook or twitter.

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  • Nat

    I’m glad you brought this up.  I think we as memory keepers should be responsible for knowing when it’s appropriate and not appropriate to take pictures.  It drives me bonkers when people are taking pictures in places where it’s not allowed because I follow the rules.  When going to a museum, for example, I always check the website to see if the rule is no photography, no flash, no tripod or a free for all.  

  • When I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, I was yelled at by security for taking a flash photo. I didn’t mean to. I was actually using another tourist’s camera and neither of us realized the flash was still enabled. The tourists were international, so they didn’t understand what the security guard was saying. I apologized, but I do think that museums that allow photography, have to be ok with flash photography sometimes happening. A person can follow  the rules as closely as possible, but accidents and miscommunication does happen. It is interesting, though, I can’t recall any magazine articles or even blog articles that have really focused on strategies for when you can’t take photos but still want to record the memory. Thanks for commenting.

  • Nat

    Oh I totally agree that there should be allowances for slip-ups.  I don’t see museum employees going after people every single time when the flash goes off.  I’m concerned with the brazenness when it’s clear that no photos are allowed.  I went to the CA Academy of Sciences in SF.  They have this albino alligator and stuck right on the glass that you have to look through to see him is a big picture of  a camera with a red X.  You can’t miss it.  People were still taking pictures.  

    Sometimes people don’t know how to turn the flash off on their cameras (this is aside from accidents, I’ve had accidents before).  I think everyone needs to know how to do that.  On my recent trip to Egypt, no one is allowed to bring cameras into the Valley of the Kings, period.  This is because they used to allow cameras but no flash.  Too many tourists didn’t know how to operate their cameras and the flash was destroying the paint on the tomb walls (this is what my guide told me). Because of that, we couldn’t even bring our camera into the Valley and get pictures outside the tombs.  We took a picture in the parking lot before we went in and I made sure to keep the ticket!  I’m not sure how I’m going to scrapbook that yet!

  • Now that I think about it, I know the U.S. Mint does not allow cameras at all. They did not have a place to keep your camera while you toured the place so my husband went in and I just hung out outside the mint with my camera. I know someplace in Memphis had a place to check your camera…I think it was the Loraine Motel (where MLK, Jr. was assassinated). It’s got to be really hard to police camera use anymore with everyone having cameras on their cell phones. Oh, one other place where cameras aren’t banned but incredibly disrespectful: Amish country. I actually live around Amish people and you are not supposed to photography them. Seems obvious to me that people are not tourist attractions, but when Amish culture is being used as a tourist attraction, people can cross the line and think that photographing the people is ok, too.

  • jenn05042005

    it is difficult, but something related to think about also is the balance between actually “experiencing” what you’re doing vs. just “taking pictures” of what you’re doing. If we’re always “behind the camera” then we (possibly) aren’t as engaged in the activity. If you aren’t allowed to take pictures, then you’re forced to experience the activity differently (be more present, possibly), which isn’t always a bad thing.

  • I go back and forth about who experiences something more: the person documenting the experience or the person not documenting the experience (beyond their memory). I think when you are documenting, you do view things differently. You focus on things you otherwise might ignore. On the other hand, your quest to document could cause you to miss out on something that is happening. Thanks for commenting.

  • This post brought two thoughts to mind.  A big part of my son’s day is spent at daycare, which is a challenge to document for Week in the Life.  I saved the weekly menu and some of his daily reports and art work.  I still need to find more ways to document this part of his life without taking my own photos.  Some of the teachers to take photos.  I was able to include a photo of my son at 5 months old doing his first painting in his scrapbook.    

    Then my thoughts went to one of the times that I thought a parent went too far with taking photos at orientation.  Our college freshmen receive group academic advising in a large ballroom.   Each advisor sees 6-8 students grouped by college.  The parents can be in the room but not at the table for privacy reasons.  One mom wandered around the room taking some photos.  Even as a scrapbooker, I thought that it was too much.  It was distracting as I was trying to do my job.  I try to be courteous of others as I take photographs and blog.  

  • That is challenging. On the one hand they can’t sit at the table for privacy reasons, so they probably shouldn’t be taking photos, either. I really struggle with taking photos that involve other people. I was just in Vegas and thought of taking photos to use as examples in my classroom, but it still felt a bit strange to do that so I didn’t. Thanks for commenting!