I wasn't going to post again this weekend but today something happened that got me thinking about my blog so I thought I'd share.
Simon and I popped out to the local shopping mall to one of our favourite lunchtime restaurants which is tucked away in a hidden corner of the shopping centre. We love it and it's definitely a favourite with other local bloggers as I've seen it pop up time and time again.
We had a really lovely time and I took some great photographs of all the yummy food which I shall be sharing with you at some point over the next few weeks.
After our meal I decided to head upstairs to an area of the mall that overlooked the restaurant, as I liked the idea of getting some nice photographs to offer my readers the perfect view.
I'd taken a few when suddenly I was approached by the mall's security who asked me to stop taking photographs as it wasn't allowed. To start with I thought they were joking and so just stared at them thinking that sooner or later one of them would crack a smile and tell me they were just kidding. But no, they were being serious! Apparently, me taking external photos of the restaurant was considered "stealing the design" and I'd have to stop immediately.
Simon, being the wonderfully polite man that he is, apologised to them and we walked away, me feeling a little shocked and confused.
I spent the next 30 minutes or so debating the issue in my mind. I've been blogging now for 9 months, I have a small amount of really lovely readers and feel like I'm getting slightly more involved in my local community. Most local businesses and restaurants here in the North East seem to really embrace bloggers and we all work well together. I love promoting local business and I'm very passionate about the North East which is why it's the main focus of my blog. I like to think that my tiny little corner of the web might inspire someone out there to maybe come up north and take a trip to Newcastle to see all that it has to offer.
My blog is my hobby and it's a hobby I love. I'm not a professional blogger, I don't carry a massive camera, I'm not talking to thousands of readers. I'm just little old me, sharing what I love with the few people that enjoy reading my ramblings.
Being the law abiding lady that I am, on the way home I decided to pop into the mall's Information Centre to check if I'd done something terribly wrong. I spoke to a lovely lady who told me that there's not really a straight answer about when you can and can't take photographs inside a shopping mall, it depends on the mall in question and their rules but if in doubt it's probably best to contact the Management and ask them in advance if photographs are allowed.
I've spent a little bit of my afternoon reading up on the issue of taking photographs, and in general it seems to be that you are able to photograph what you like if you're standing in a public place (ie the road outside) but the problems arise when you are taking photographs on private property (ie in a shop or restaurant).
This obviously becomes a little bit of a grey area where you consider how techy our world has become. Everywhere you go people are in restaurants, bars and shops taking photographs with their phone, sharing them on Instagram and tweeting them for the world to see. I doubt all of these people have the permission of the owner.
Even before I started blogging I'm very much a person who always has a camera in her handbag. Over the years I've taken photos of anything I love the look of including interior shots of bars, hotels and restaurants - anything that catches my eye and looks beautiful I've always felt the need to want to capture it.
Being a lifestyle blogger I don't always know when I'm going to want to take a photograph, it's not always something I've planned in advance - sometimes something just catches my eye and inspires me to take a snap. Now I think I'm going to have think twice before pulling my camera out.
Not being a professional photographer, blogger or journalist, this isn't really an issue I've ever really considered, which is perhaps a little silly of me. I obviously don't want to get myself in trouble or upset anyone so I think in future I shall be asking anywhere I blog about if they mind me taking photographs of their interior and product.
With my blog being so new I still feel like I'm finding my feet with it. I love it but I'm probably a little way off wanting to walk around waving my "New Girl in Toon" flag in every establishment I walk into. However, this encounter has made me realise that I am going to have to come out of my blogger shell to tackle this issue.
I'd be so interested to hear your thoughts. Has anyone else ever been told off for taking photos? How did you deal with it? Do you now ask permission before you take photographs for a blog post?