A New Jersey Police Officer Told Me That I Was Not Allowed to Make This Art

A New Jersey Police Officer Told Me That I Was Not Allowed to Make This Art

"You can’t take pictures in here," said the New Jersey police officer.

"What?" I answered back.

"You can’t take pictures after the screening area," he clarified.

"Ok," I answered back, moving my camera from my eye to around my neck…

…until he passed and I rounded the corner up there on the left at which point the camera came right back out again and continued shooting.

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  1. Andy says:

    Good work – this really is the best way to deal with troublesome security – just agree with them until they go away and then get right back on it.


  2. Jose-Miguel says:

    The world is become crazy. Just give a uniform dress to a “normal” person, and will see how this “normal” becomes a guard, becomes authority, and losses all normality.

  3. Richard says:

    I have had several issues even while engaged in nature and travel photography in obviously public places. Today one bastard who owns this cafe in the Angeles National Forest had the nerve to get in my way and tell me that I couldn’t take anymore photos of his cafe from outside on the forest land. In his own warped mind, he says that Jeep had to pay a lot of money for a permit to film there and that I had to pay too otherwise “get out of here.” and that he didn’t care that I wasn’t there for commercial photography. He obviously is unaware of the power of the internet…

  4. @andy, I like the idea of being non-confrontational. However a police officer is not a security guard. The security guard has to call the police to really do anything to you. The police officer doesn’t need to call anyone.

    Just a thought to consider…whether he’s confused or doesn’t understand the law correctly, you still should be a bit careful with real cops. Simply because when law enforcement officer gives you an order, and you don’t obey, he/she can detain you at least.

    Now, I know you’re probably willing to go that far, to prove your point. I just wanted you to be aware.

    Just consider this when you’re out with the wife &/or kids. That kind of imposition can be quite troubling.

  5. Thomas Hawk says:

    Trevor, very good point indeed. As a matter of fact I’d probably take it that far in terms of being detained to make a point. I’m pretty sure that there is no law against shooting photos at an airport and the resulting publicity of my being detained when the story hit Boing Boing and digg and every place else would only raise awareness towards photographer’s rights that much more.

    If I was detained it could also be potentially embarrassing to the law enforcement officer when I used the publicity opportunity to name him publicly for detaining me for doing something that is not against the law.

    If I’m wrong and it is in fact illegal to shoot at airports then I suppose egg would be on my face over the whole affair.

    But in either case I’d be perfectly willing to suffer the consequences of my actions — even if it ruined a day for me as I take the right to shoot in legal public areas pretty seriously.

    Your point is good though because others might not be willing to push it that far and certainly directly disobeying an officers directive would potentially anger then to want to hassle you.

  6. grunyen says:

    I just found your site via the picture of Fatty Mc’Baldhead who was hassling you outside that building.

    What’s the follow up?!?
    I see you’re still running afoul of the forces that maintain goodness and morals.

    I was crushed when I got to the bottom of the fatty blog and there was no resolution, and it was 2006!

    I must know where it ended!

  7. Jasmeet says:

    Thomas, I’m not a 100% sure on this, just something I read somewhere else on the Internet, but airports aren’t considered part of a state, or something like that. Supposedly, it’s like being in International waters.

    Then again, part of that same story, the TSA had more authority in the airport than the cops.

    I guess it’s sorta like shooting in a parking lot. Supposedly, if it’s a parking lot of some shopping brand name, it’s considered their property, not a public parking lot.

    I’d like to pick your brain some day about matters like this.