“No Photographers Allowed!” Kansas City Businesses Shut Down Impromptu Photo Shoots

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It stinks when we can’t have nice things.

And the authorities in Kansas City have decided that photographers can’t have access to some of their hottest landmarks.

Why?

taking photo photography disallowed forbidden
Image by Jaymantri

You already know the answer: Because of a few people who don’t know how to act, everyone is getting punished.

Of course, this isn’t a new story, especially if you’ve followed this blog.

Many different landmark locations around the world are dealing with the rise of obnoxious photographers, many of whom are tied to certain social media platforms.

Needless to say, trying to get likes and follows sometimes results in the destruction of natural environments and people putting themselves in mortal danger.

So, Kansas City has had enough of that.

But the problem doesn’t just seem to involve social media photographers – it also involves some professional ones as well.

Apparently people are just showing up at public locations and setting up impromptu photo shoots, many complete with props. This is the motivation behind many places just banning photographers outright according to a report from PetaPixel.

Brett Judson told local news outlet FOX 4: “[F]amilies open the front doors and set up like it’s their home photos, so they have like props and everything at the door…Besides setting up their fake house in our lobby, in our front door, they will block all the traffic under the 12th Street bridge to get that like beautiful family photo or a wedding photo.”

It probably goes without saying that people who show up for impromptu photo shoots aren’t always the cleanest people. A lot of places are also complaining of the trash left behind in the wakes of these photo grabs.

A spokesperson for the city, Chris Hernandez, told FOX 4: “The city doesn’t have any specific laws that would ban taking photos while the photographer is on public property, such as sidewalks, streets, etc….If private owners have signs posted banning people from entering their property to photograph their property (or enter for any other reason), that’s more of a trespass issue.”

You can watch a news report on it over on YouTube by clicking here.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

I guess I have a different perspective on this.

For the aspiring photographer, there should be a lot of places you can go to shoot and practice and in a respectful way to not ruin the enjoyment of others in public places. But I’m talking about a public park, a green space, an out-of-the-way neighborhood.

What I think is happening here is that non-professional, not even serious hobbyist, photographers are taking advantage of popular places for shoots on Instagram and Facebook and the like. It’s not really ruining a space for more serious, respectful shooters, only those who want to do the same thing with self-aggrandizing social media shots. If I can explain…

I went to London this past year and the best tour experience I had was in Buckingham Palace where no photography was allowed. Absolutely none. People actually LOOKED and EXPERIENCED the space instead of trying to document it and make it about them. Everyone was respectful of others’ personal space. No one had to wait for others to get their Instagram shots in front of a famous painting or sculpture (what is with the selfies anyway!?!). No one was bumping into others while trying to line up a shot.

And I think your argument would be “but serious photographer won’t have a chance to capture photos there either.” And I say “fine with me.” The palace probably has thousands of documentary photographs of the place to begin with. Your images will be for you and not the space you’re visiting. And even professionals get in the way of others in a public place. New York City has rules about photography in parks that disallow any permanent or temporary structure (like a tripod) that interfere with anyone else using that space. At the same time, they have a clear process to receive permits for that as well. It seems the right balance to let all people use a space equally but then also make accommodations for professionals who follow the rules where a photoshoot is important enough to make those plans. If you get paid for your work, don’t be offended you can’t use a free space freely.

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