Since the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, the United States seems to have lost its collective mind when it comes to security and photography. You’d think that people knocked the towers down by throwing camera phones at them.
Despite the fact that there’s never been a shred of actual evidence linking photography to that or any other terrorist event, idiots, jerks, power-hungry fools and other mindless jackasses continue to pick on photography and photographers as if that will magically solve all of our security problems.
The truth is, most of the negative pushback against photographers and photography has nothing to do with security. It’s usually because people don’t like the fact that the camera can record them behaving badly.
Take the bankrupt American Airlines. They have a no-photo policy once on board their aircraft. You can’t even take cell-phone photos out your window because God knows that could be a terrorist act! But the truth is, ever since one of their flight attendants got “caught on camera” acting like a jackass, the company has ramped up its policy. It’s bad for business to let your customers see how your employees REALLY behave so you ban photography.
Since once you step on a plane you are essentially stripped of all regular due process, you have no choice but to comply. My advice regarding such attacks on photography at public buildings, etc is to simply tell the person who says you can’t take a picture that they should eat #&#$&. (As long as you are actually within your rights – such as standing on a public street. Private property is a whole different ball game.) But you can’t do that on an airline. You can’t do it on private property. But here’s what you can do, vote with your wallet.
Simply stop doing business with companies that participate in the war on photography. Contact management, owners, shareholders, etc., and let them know you selected another company to spend your money with because you don’t like the war on photography.
If enough photographers decided that they care enough about photography that they’d go elsewhere, these policies would eventually be relaxed or done away with. But the opposite is also true. If we continue to do business with companies that treat us like terrorists because we use a camera, then those companies will feel emboldened to take even more draconian steps to intefere with our desire to make pictures.
The choice is yours. Spend money with places that are friendly to photographers or not. If you value your right to photograph, then pick the places that welcome you and avoid those that do not.