Hi +Tim van Rooyen
- I'm replying here because for some reason there's no reply link next to your comment. I gleaned the information from several conversations I've had with other photographers and a couple of legal acquaintances.
Security guards can be very difficult indeed. I have without any provocation been sworn at and threatened by a security guard, which led to a complaint against him with his employer but that really is the exception. I find that generally a smile and a patient explanation of what I'm doing and why often makes a difference. I do think that law enforcement, both public, and private security are extremely badly informed about photography and, in the absence of certainty, can sometimes opt for a hard-line aggressive response, perhaps to compensate for feeling so unsure. Confrontation is the last resort as far as I'm concerned and often I've simply said "Good day" and walked away. One place where I do insist that I am allowed to shoot is on the steps of Artscape here in Cape Town - it's a publicly funded entity and part of the common public space and so I do insist that I can shoot there. I've had some long but non-aggressive conversations with the security there which have ended when I've asked them to call their manager and that while I'm waiting I'll finish making my shot.