I’m at the Powerplant Mall almost every day for lunch (not that I’m sosyal or anything, but it’s the nearest eating place where I work). Ever since I got my camera last month I’ve been walking into that mall with my camera in its bag.
There are times when I feel like asking the guard if it’s OK to take pictures, but more often than not I just sit down wherever it is we decide to eat and just shoot away.
There are places where the guard ignored me, like at the top floor when I was sitting on one of the benches where I could see the escalators and the floors beneath. I took pictures of the blue ceiling and of the layers of floors, sitting there for more than half an hour with an SG not 20 feet away from me.
Most of the eating places I’ve been in are very lenient about photography, but it never hurts to ask if its OK to shoot a few. Starbucks on the other hand, will not let you take pictures of the counter/bar, but it’s perfectly all right to take pictures of yourselves having coffee at the tables. The SG on duty at the time when I tried to snap the counter was very affable and polite. Would that all SG’s were like him.
There is a piano at the food court that I wanted to take a picture of, and actually did on one good day, because there were no SG’s nearby. The next day I passed the piano again and thought of another angle, but since an SG was standing by the pillar across from it I decided to be nice and ask his permission. He said it wasn’t allowed, and that I needed permission from the mall admin. I said I wanted a picture of the piano, not of the mall. He then put his walkie talkie to his mouth but I said, “never mind” and walked away. When I was about 20 feet away, I turned around and snapped the piano anyway.
Save for that incident I think most of the guards ignore me because I don’t look like I take pictures for a living. There were even times when I brought the camera in on a lunch bag, and just took it out whenever I saw something interesting coming my way. One thing I do know is that taking pictures inside shops is not allowed, whether it be an RTW store or at the basement where a huge chain carries industrial products.
But this is just the Powerplant. I haven’t tried shooting anywhere else, except at the Almon Marina branch at Megamall Bldg A, and then I asked one of the waiters if it was OK to do so.
I have this feeling I would have a more difficult time if I looked like a real photographer.