Security stops photographer from taking photos of umbrellas outside a UK mall

Jul 26, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Security stops photographer from taking photos of umbrellas outside a UK mall

Jul 26, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Earlier this week, 150 umbrellas were put up in Culver Square, a shopping mall in Colchester, Essex, UK. Although photos have been all over Instagram and Facebook, one photographer was recently interrupted by security staff when he pointed his camera to the umbrellas. They allegedly told him that taking photos was forbidden and that he should have permission from the management.

When you look up for #culversquare on Instagram, you’ll see over 1,000 photos with this hashtag, many of them featuring the colorful umbrellas. However, Clive Bowyer says that he had an unpleasant experience when he tried taking photos of the installation. The photographer told Gazette that he went to have a look at the umbrellas and take photos of them. When he took his camera out, someone from Culver Square management approached him and said that he wasn’t allowed to take photos. They reportedly told him that he needed to have permission from the management prior to shooting.

Bowyer believes that it was obvious he was taking photos of the umbrellas, as his camera was pointing upwards. He added that he was not taking photos of people. As a matter of fact, he went to check out the umbrellas early in the morning in order to avoid having people in his photos.

According to Gazette, Culver Square said that professional photographers need permission prior to shooting. The mall management reportedly added that they “have to be vigilant against ‘hostile reconnaissance’ in ‘today’s security environment.’” They also said that, although everyone is legally allowed to take photos in public, the mall is private land. However, they have reportedly apologized to Bowyer after the incident, saying that he shouldn’t have been stopped from taking photos.

As far as I know, many shopping malls don’t ban photography at all. If you’re free to enter, you’re free to shoot. However, many of them do ask for prior permission from professional photographers who want to shoot with extra gear such as lighting and/or tripods, and who bring models. This is at least what I’ve learned from stock photographers who had photoshoots at malls.

Now, there are malls where taking photos is forbidden, and it’s usually pointed out somewhere with a sign. I personally don’t know what photo policy is at Culver Square. But, if no one was stopped for taking photos with a smartphone, why was Bowyer chased away “from the private land” when he pointed a professional camera to the umbrellas? If the policy is not to take photos, then it should be the same for everyone, right?

[via Gazette]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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19 responses to “Security stops photographer from taking photos of umbrellas outside a UK mall”

  1. Adrian Gordon Avatar
    Adrian Gordon

    The Oracle in Reading expressly forbid photography on signs along the Riverside. I’ve shot in malls in the UK and they all want permission agreed before hand for any photographs to be taken so they can put signs out making the public aware that they may be photographed in the area

    1. Jasper Shadloo Avatar
      Jasper Shadloo

      I got moved on from their also, I thought it was a joke until I read it on their website.

    2. Adrian Gordon Avatar
      Adrian Gordon

      Yeah, I was at Westfield in London to photograph for a company with a large stand and they didn’t bother to tell the Mall I was coming, I made my self known and they said I couldn’t. Turns out the person at the company who hired me didn’t think it’d be a problem and just sent me down there. Had to go back a week later once it was all sorted. Mall were nice about it, company apologetic, but it was a faff non the less.

  2. Linda Harper-Hocknull Avatar
    Linda Harper-Hocknull

    Shopping centres in the UK are classed as private property and UK law has made it clear that these area’s are not for photography unless express permission is obtained.

    1. Howardo Mansfieldio Avatar
      Howardo Mansfieldio

      Linda Harper-Hocknull which law is this, please?

      1. Cristian Chelaru Avatar
        Cristian Chelaru

        She doesn’t know.

    2. Alan Chun - Freelance Tog Avatar
      Alan Chun – Freelance Tog

      There is NOT a law against taking photographs in a mall. It is the owners of the private property that have a policy not to allow it. You cannot be arrested for taking pictures in a mall, but you can be asked to stop and/or vacate the premises. If you fail to leave when asked, you could be trespassing, which still isn’t a criminal offence in most cases.

    3. Linda Harper-Hocknull Avatar
      Linda Harper-Hocknull

      You can google it.

      1. Dick Durham Avatar
        Dick Durham

        No you can’t. You are asking Google to prove a negative. Google how that isn’t possible.

  3. Grunvald Avatar
    Grunvald

    Try Birmingham bull ring
    Soon as you get a DSLR out
    Your a professional and need management permission to take a photo
    Even of the statue they do not own!

  4. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
    W Douglas LeBlanc

    If I am on public property with a line of sight of the mall and their umbrellas, I’m free to shoot them from there as long as I don’t come on to the mall’s property. They can do nothing.

  5. John W. O'Brien III Avatar
    John W. O’Brien III

    UK: “No photographing people in public.”

    Also

    UK: *CCTV everywhere

    Me: *laughs in American

    1. Adrian Gordon Avatar
      Adrian Gordon

      You can take a photo in a public place, but you can’t invade the privacy of someone where it would be expected (through a window for example) from a public space (the street).
      Upside if we are asked to move on, we’re not going to get killed by an overzealous copper with a pistol and an ego.

    2. Gavinder Alburino Avatar
      Gavinder Alburino

      John W. O’Brien III a mall, being a privately owned building and area, isn’t a public place. It’s a publicly *accessible* space, but you can be denied access and must obey any rules laid down by the owners.

    3. John W. O'Brien III Avatar
      John W. O’Brien III

      They title says “outside” the mall…. the article says they’ve since apologized and said he shouldn’t have been stopped… so… yeh….

  6. Glen Wilkerson Avatar
    Glen Wilkerson

    I was taking a large format class and set up my camera around a hotel. Security showed up wanting to know what I was doing. When I explained that it was for a college class he backed off.

  7. Mark Janes Avatar
    Mark Janes

    I think the bigger issue here is the creeping privatisation of “public” spaces. In London, large tracts of what you’d imagine to be public circulation space are, in fact, owned by private developers. The whole area around Canary Wharf is a case in point. An exception appears to be the Barbican estate which, I think, is owned by the Corporation of The City of London. I have seen Barbican Centre security guards around there but have photographed many times and never been stopped. By contrast, the area around City Hall, although itself a public building, is privately owned. Security staff there are all over you like a rash if you get a tripod out!

  8. James AUDRY SPENCER Avatar
    James AUDRY SPENCER

    F0ck thoz “Security” guys, i’ve been blocked from getting pictures several times these year, and i’m getting more and more angry everytime. They don’t know shit and get in your way for no other reason than to exist 5 minutes in the day. Stupids.

  9. Dick Durham Avatar
    Dick Durham

    This is some jobsworth security guard / manager implementing a non existent policy under the power he thinks he has been afforded by his high viz jacket. People like this drive me nuts and it’s my mission in life to pull their chains as often as possible.