This past Saturday afternoon my wife and I were strolling down North College St at Charlotte when I wanted to take a picture of her with the height of the Hearst Tower behind. As I was beginning to take the picture a female security guard came out and alerted us that we can not take any picture of this tower. “I don’t want to have to report you and file a report, I would rather not do that.”, she said. I almost laughed at her, but I let her speak. I told her I don’t think I am going to stop, and now more than ever this photo will be taken. We were located on a public sidewalk taking a picture of a building view-able from a public way. She immediately got on her radio and began to call it in.
We walked to the other side of the building and took the picture I had intended on taking on the previous side, before we were interrupted buy security. So what is going on here? I wonder who gave her those orders, or did she mis-interpret them? Laws regarding photos from public access are clear as glass. The ACLU has a page that even a 1st grader could follow.
So I decided to email the Hearst Tower after finding no information on their website regarding taking photos of the building from a public way. I am awaiting a response.
My take: I believe it’s a homeland security leeway law that allows towers over a certain height, or certain landmarks that might be a target of terrorist to treat law abiding citizens like shit. Sure security gave us a hard time, interrupted a beautiful moment my wife and I were having, but that was all they could do. When a 22 year old security guard tells you to stop photographing, there may be larger things at play. Would this be one of those confirmations that corporations do run the country, and that our elected political leaders are just as linked to the Hearst Corporation as they are to the office they were elected to serve in? Would you be surprised?
Regardless of what response I receive, next time they will have to pry my camera out of my dead cold hands!