Um, I’m Going to Have to Ask You To Not Take Photos of the Building

Had a unusually pleasant run in with the local security guard down at 50 Beale St. this morning. I usually don’t blog my pleasant run ins but since I’m still trying to figure out who this jackass is from Bechtel I figured I’d blog it anyway.

Me, minding my own business, taking morning shots of 50 Beale Street…

The Morning Shoot Hosted on Zooomr

Security Guard:
“Um, I’m going to have to ask you to not take photos of the building.

Me: “And I’m going to have to say no.”

Security Guard:
“Are you shooting for the building?”


Security Guard: “The building doesn’t allow the building to be photographed.”

Me: “That sounds crazy, I’m still going to have to say no.”

I'm Going to Have to Ask You To Stop Taking Photos of the Building Hosted on Zooomr

Security Guard, heads back into her little station in the building and gets on the phone.

And I'm Going to Have to Say No Hosted on Zooomr

Me, finishes up my morning shoot and heads off to work.

We Apologize for This Interuption Folks, Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Morning Shoot Hosted on Zooomr

You can check out more of the shots I took this morning here.

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  1. Matt says:

    “The building doesn’t allow the building to be photographed.” – Classic.

    You should go there every morning and take a picture… just don’t get yourself tasered by a rent-a-cop.

  2. Jason F says:

    Sounds like for the most part he was polite, just doing his job and you asserted your rights and just kept photographing as you should.

    They probably prevent a lot of pictures from being taken just by telling people it is not permitted.

    There are legal issues with publishing photographs of some buildings, usually historical buildings and monuments as far as I know (I am no expert here) and maybe this is what he is referring to.

    Of course, there is no law about taking the picture in these cases, just publishing. So, unless your on private property they can buzz off.

    Fun story though, thanks for sharing.

  3. Tim Crandley says:

    What is the the building going to do if you don’t stop taking pictures of it? Fall over on you? Not let it’s doors open if you ever try and go in? Call it’s architect and complain? Move to another, “more secure,” location where taking pictures of buildings is illegal?

    I think there is a YouTube video in here somewhere…

  4. Anonymous says:

    There are restrictions with making money off photos of very well known buildings, private monuments, etc., but there is no law against taking pictures of them.

  5. Ryan says:

    It’s posts like these that keep me coming back. Keep fighting the good fight.

  6. When I read you’re Twitter I almost choked on my coffee…too funny. Had to come read the whole story. Poor building…it must be shy 😉

  7. Anonymous says:

    I was walking in Manhattan by a live photo shoot, they didn’t block off the street, and I was standing behind the photographer as part of the crowd. I took my camera out to snap a few pictures of my own, and the producer/director told me that I can’t take any pictures. I assume the same applies here, that since I was on a public street, that I had the right to take pictures if I wanted. But what about copyright/IP issues with stealing the “images” created by the models on the street?

  8. Sean says:

    So that’s what happened to World Trade Center #7. It wasn’t Bush or the Terrorists. Someone took a picture of it!

  9. Marvin Chery says:

    Thomas, Is there a problem with the zooomr smartsets? Or do I just not know how to configure them. I have smartsets that just dont work.

    Like my most recent one :
    Match all of my “family” tags
    Match all of my “reveiled” owner

    And I still got nothing

  10. O'Bunny says:

    Thomas, have you had any response to the earlier dust-up with the building security guard? It’s been months.

  11. O'Bunny says:

    Thomas, have you had any response to the earlier dust-up with the building security guard? It’s been months.

  12. Eric in SF says:

    Tom – posting shots where details of the *inside* of the building are plainly visible *can* be prohibited. The inside of the building is a private space. Your shots clearly showed the interior lobby.

    Otherwise, I’m behind you 100% with regards to the ignorant rent-a-cops.

  13. shamama1967 says:

    The not-for-profit Blue Shield of California is now the primary tenant of 50 Beale, Bechtel departed last year. The building has been a regular a target of anti-war protesters and the occasional bomb threat, which is why he was likely giving you a hard time … and of course, bomb threats are no fun, especially when you aren’t even the target. And honestly, the building is so damn ugly I’m not really sure why anyone would bother … except perhaps to illustrate a point. If you told me your were photographing the fine modernist architecture I’d kick your ass, too.