Here, you can’t take pictures [165/365]

Just read in a friend’s blog, that it’s forbidden to take photos in WalMart. Googled it, to see if they, themselves, had any official statement on their website. I got hundreds of hits, got a little tired reading, but I believe it to be true.

Never yearned to take photos in there anyways.

It has happened to me, twice, that I’ve been told not to take pictures. Both times in shopping centres — one in Quebec City [Fleur de Lys] and the other, here in Saint John [Brunswick Square]. In Quebec, there was this store owner who came running out, all up in arms, when he noticed me taking a generic mall picture. He even wanted to check and see so that I really deleted the photos from the memory card!

The second time, here in Saint John, we were a whole group of people, out on a photo walk on a Sunday. The security guard came up to us and said it was forbidden.

I should add, that both times I’ve been told not to take pictures, I’ve carried my DSLR camera.

The above picture is from our local grocery store. It was the same day I’d got my 50mm prime lens, I saw these bottles and wanted to try it out. Wise, from my previous experiences, I asked the store manager whether it was okay to take a picture in there. Apparently, he had not heard about rules like this, because he looked baffled, but said it was totally alright.

In today’s day and age, when more or less everyone (with very few exceptions) is equipped with some sort of camera phone, I just don’t know how they enforce rules like that. It’s easy for them to go after people that have big, bulky DSLR-cameras — they’re so obvious — but all the phones?! I just don’t get it. If I go to Walmart, I’m totally aware of that I’m in a public place where anyone can see me, and I don’t feel ashamed of going there either. I hereby state publicly, that I  go to Walmart every now and then! Imagine … I could be BANNED from there, if I took a picture! I’d be doomed! =LOL with a sarcastic twinge to it=

They probably have surveillance cameras everywhere, so I’ll be caught in photos pretty much anywhere I go, but that’s a whole different discussion.


35 Replies to “Here, you can’t take pictures [165/365]”

  1. It’s funny, but I just experienced something similar last week.

    I was in a shop with my cousin from Holland and she took out a pencil and piece of paper to sketch a dress she saw that she liked. I offered to take a photo instead. She was shocked and said ‘no, the store clerk would see us’. I was puzzled by her reaction and took the photo without incident.

    … but a few shops later, there was a store with signs everywhere ‘No Photos’. I was totally surprised.

    I can understand if the thing being photographed is proprietary/ patented in some way. I even understand in some busy public places like shopping malls, there is a concern about security and the privacy of individuals being photographed without their knowledge or permission.

    Otherwise, like you, I don’t get it.

    1. Next time I go to Walmart, I’ll check and see if they have any sticker on the entrance. They probably do, but I never bothered to look.

      Yes, one can look at this from many, different angles, with face recognition apps at play, and all that stuff.

  2. I have noticed stickers with NO PHOTOS on malls here. Of course everyone takes phone pictures, but DSLRs are conspicuous. Not sure what the point is. So far I’ve bee sneaky enough and haven’t been caught 😉

    1. Of course they go after the DSLRs. The phones, they’re less likely to notice. I’m not sure what to even think about these things. Surveillance is a big thing nowadays, and I don’t know what to think about that either. At the same time as it makes me vaguely uncomfortable, I’m sure CCTV in London, for example, has helped solve many a crime. After the Boston bombing [the marathon], the police asked the public for help by turning in the photos and videos they shot during the event. They did get pictures of the perpetrators.

      1. I guess no one likes to be under surveillance but I accept it as necessity in public places. I wouldn’t object to anyone taking general shots of me among a crowd in a mall or something. It’s a public place after all. I was wondering if the shooting ban is connected to concerns about terrorism – but it doesn’t look logical to me that a terrorist would go in a mall and take photos of the layout so as to blow the whole thing up later.

        1. I don’t mind either, when I’m out in public.

          I don’t know if it’s about terrorism or what — there are always so many aspects of this, so one gets all mixed up. I do think they’ve done that, though … taken pictures in order to blow it up later.

          1. I know it’s done, that terrorists take pictures of their target, but in a mall? It’s a bit of a mystery to me… Probably because I’m not a terrorist, obviously.

        1. I don’t care either, but perhaps that’s the reason LOL — the people who wouldn’t be caught dead in there 🙂. People need their privacy when they go to Walmart.

  3. I take photos in my Walmart all the time. Usually to see if Sarah needs something or P while I am there. I take a shot and send to them. I have never been approached. Any kind of photos are forbidden in the casinos though. Angles of cheaters trying to cheat at games and such. I was accosted one time trying to take a picture with my phone of mom because she got so intent on it. When I explained they stood there while I took the picture and let me go ahead and take it. We don’t have any restrictions in malls or anywhere else that I am aware of.

    1. I honestly didn’t know about Walmart and all this stuff before. I’ve taken pictures in there too. The downtown mall, I knew, because we were approached by the guard. But we were all carrying the DSLR cameras. How can they enforce that stuff with the cellphone cameras, I wonder.

  4. Wal-Mart is such a weird store; company…I have not been AT ALL this year.
    I shop anywhere else.
    So many rules also……dumb rules. And you are right there is so much camera surveillance there really is little privacy anymore! We got surveillance in Housing a few years ago…so even walking down the hall is monitored. It is for when the mental health clients derail Housing has video….sort of a necessary evil….
    And since the cameras have been installed the woman who was bothering me has stopped… sometimes it I a blessing Rebby!

    1. That’s interesting, about the surveillance in the Housing. They should have that here too, at least in the laundry room. So many break-ins because of the $ in the machines. Now they’ve put a lock on the door. One time someone stole the leather couch in the lobby! Imagine that … stealing a whole, big couch!

  5. We have a camera in laundry rooms here too! People tried to rip off the machines for the $$.
    And we HAVE to have surveillance with mental health patients in the building. Sometimes it feels like I am living in an asylum rather than an apartment building!
    How did anyone manage to steal a couch from your lobby??? Bloody bold if you ask me!!

    1. Yeah, it’s been a couple of years now, but the weirdest part that it supposedly took place in the daytime. Amazing that there’s a Seinfeld episode for every part of life — one is about a stolen couch from an apartment building LOL. Perhaps the thieves had seen that one.

  6. This is interesting. I hadn’t heard of the WalMart rule before but I’m not entirely surprised – probably has something to do with prices/competition and the website. No doubt some of those shining examples don’t exactly help their reputation O:-)
    I’ve noticed the same thing with the DSLR vs the phone. I suppose stores can try to enforce such rules but these days, particularly with the way phone cameras are improving, it’s going to be increasingly difficult!

    1. No, it won’t increase their reputation, and now — here in Canada — they won’t accept VISA anymore. There’s a big hoopla about that …

  7. I’ve thought about the same thing: this “no photo”-rule only applies to DSLR’s or other large cameras. There’s no way they can enforce that rule when everyone has crappy cameras on their phones. Then they’d have to ban phones at the mall.
    I was stopped once at a shopping mall in Israel for taking photos. It was OK when I explained the security guy that I was Norwegian tourist.

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