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Ed Rooney

Those Items on Supermarket Shelves?

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In New York, from time to time, I would take pictures of items on supermarket shelves. And sometimes they would sell. Here's one:

 

cage-free-grade-a-large-fresh-brown-eggs

 

 

Today I was at a local M&S Food Hall. I planned to buy a few things, but the mobs of pre-Christmas shoppers changed my mind. So I started taking snaps of the food on their shelves. Doing a re-edit, I became aware that the M&S logo is on every item. So I'm wondering . . . have I wander into a danger zone? I always mark the box that says I have no releases but I'm shooting in their store -- private property -- And come to think of it, the boxes of cage-free eggs in NYC were snapped in a store also and they have the name of the producer on them. ???

 

What do you think? And what do you think about me doing this in the UK? Hmm. 🤔

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11 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

In New York, from time to time, I would take pictures of items on supermarket shelves. And sometimes they would sell. Here's one:

 

cage-free-grade-a-large-fresh-brown-eggs

 

 

Today I was at a local M&S Food Hall. I planned to buy a few things, but the mobs of pre-Christmas shoppers changed my mind. So I started taking snaps of the food on their shelves. Doing a re-edit, I became aware that the M&S logo is on every item. So I'm wondering . . . have I wander into a danger zone? I always mark the box that says I have no releases but I'm shooting in their store -- private property -- And come to think of it, the boxes of cage-free eggs in NYC were snapped in a store also and they have the name of the producer on them. ???

 

What do you think? And what do you think about me doing this in the UK? Hmm. 🤔

 

 

I no longer try and take pictures inside shops/stores because I have been stopped by staff several times and have not enjoyed being challenged by them. It is private property.

 

I did have a sale the other day of an old one taken inside a large DIY store.

 

I see that there are lots on Alamy but not for me. I prefer quiet country churches these days!

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19 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

I no longer try and take pictures inside shops/stores because I have been stopped by staff several times and have not enjoyed being challenged by them. It is private property.

 

I did have a sale the other day of an old one taken inside a large DIY store.

 

I see that there are lots on Alamy but not for me. I prefer quiet country churches these days!

Im with Ian I can do without the hassle. 

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Too much grief in a shop, but a market is an easier place to get an interesting picture and you are more likely to be interact with someone who is not obeying instructions from head office.

 

Employees in shops like M&S are under a lot of scrutiny to perform and comply with in house rules and a stranger sanpping away at their shelves with a camera will put them on edge anyway.

 

cheers

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Never gave it too much thought. I recently shot inside (and out) a new Trader Joe’s that opened in Wichita, and employees saw me and didn’t object.  I have shot inside Walmart, Ulta, JC Penny’s, shopping mall halls, and other shops. And there are lots of other Trader Joe’s food images on Alamy. I have searches and sales of indoor-taken shop images.  One recent search was “employee stocking shelves” or some such. I have three that fulfill that search term.

Of course that’s in the U.S. not the U.K. And I’m female, you sinister males, you!  I wouldn’t worry about your NYC images, Ed, but offer no advice about UK. I’m slowly coming to realize we have quite a bit of photo freedom here compared to some other countries whose backsides seem to pucker when they see a camera.

Betty

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I have  a photo of some lemons and limes I shot in a supermarket that sells fairly often, but no logos on them. I have another couple of shots of the gluten free aisle in the supermarket. As long as it's sold editorially, I'm not worried, but I live in New York, a state where the law tends to be very favorable to news photographers, new organizations, and the first amendment, at least last time I checked. 

 

I tend to use my iPhone for in-store shots, worried about taking out my camera, even if I've been out hiking and have it in my bag. The one exception was when I spotted President Clinton in a local Walgreens last winter, but I checked with his secret service guy first and then Bill had one of his neighbors get a photo of both of us. Nice to have.  And no, I'm not making any political statements. I'm sure you can easily guess my feelings toward the current occupant of the White House. 

 

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And Betty that last statement wasn't aimed at you ... we were typing at the same time. Democracy means we are free to chose. 

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Betty, now that you mention it, there's a really nice outdoor mall in Columbus and I felt very comfortable taking photos outside of the shops and shoppers. One with my daughter on her cell phone taken from the side and mostly behind has done particularly well, as have a few others, all online as editorial. I actually thought of yo and all your smart storefront photos when I was shoe shopping a couple months ago and took some iPhone pix of DSW and Barnes & Nobel. 

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It's not onsite employees or security guards I'm concerned with. It's selling without permission or a property release that concerns me. 

 

Back in the long long ago, when I was a PJ working on assignment, I played by one rule: get the picture. When shooting these days for editorial stock I avoid subjects and situations that require a lot of special effort. On the one hand, my guess is that M&S would benefit and approve of having an image of their products appear editorially . . . free advertising . . . but I'm not sure that's the case. 

 

Edo

Edited by Ed Rooney
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16 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

It's not onsite employees or security guards I'm concerned with. It's selling without permission or a property release that concerns me. 

 

Back in the long long ago, when I was a PJ working on assignment, I played by one rule: get the picture. When shooting these days for editorial stock I avoid subjects and situations that require a lot of special effort. On the one hand, my guess is that M&S would benefit and approve of having an image of their products appear editorially . . . free advertising . . . but I'm not sure that's the case. 

 

Edo

 

Well put.

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43 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

It's not onsite employees or security guards I'm concerned with. It's selling without permission or a property release that concerns me. 

 

Back in the long long ago, when I was a PJ working on assignment, I played by one rule: get the picture. When shooting these days for editorial stock I avoid subjects and situations that require a lot of special effort. On the one hand, my guess is that M&S would benefit and approve of having an image of their products appear editorially . . . free advertising . . . but I'm not sure that's the case. 

 

Edo

 

 

Just my impressions because I have no hard facts.

 

I think that they are far more worried about what you are doing with a camera in their shop than if one of the pics was used editorially. 

 

Maybe there is a sort of rule here. If you know what the answer will be if you do ask maybe you shouldn't do it without asking?

 

On the other hand if a photo-journalist was trying to show something or other of public interest and concern it would be different.

 

But for stock, for me, I'll keep clear of shop interiors.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

 

Of course that’s in the U.S. not the U.K. And I’m female, you sinister males, you!  I wouldn’t worry about your NYC images, Ed, but offer no advice about UK. I’m slowly coming to realize we have quite a bit of photo freedom here compared to some other countries whose backsides seem to pucker when they see a camera.

Betty

 

 

yeah, i do wonder if the Female part can be helpful in these circumstances.  i'm Nomadic, so i've taken shots of stuff through places acting like "i'm a tourist, just showing the difference to my mom" many times.... 

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7 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Never gave it too much thought. I recently shot inside (and out) a new Trader Joe’s that opened in Wichita, and employees saw me and didn’t object.

 

TJs in the last year has been posting signs in stores (all over the country) saying no photo or video allowed inside the store. YMMV obviously but you could get a store or employees that are enforcing it... but if you were "caught" I don't know what they will do--take away your two buck chuck? :)

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1 hour ago, Lori Rider said:

 

TJs in the last year has been posting signs in stores (all over the country) saying no photo or video allowed inside the store. YMMV obviously but you could get a store or employees that are enforcing it... but if you were "caught" I don't know what they will do--take away your two buck chuck? :)

😁

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Many years ago, when I was shooting a lot of cars, I read an article by an IP attorney about such topics. As applied to my cars and being in the USA, this is my memory (so take it with a grain of salt). I was barely a car photographer and certainly not a lawyer.

 

I could walk into someone's garage and take a pic of a car. The car manufacturer and the paint shop flames would be copyrighted but there is no legal penalty to taking a picture. The copyright problems come from the picture use and especially if it can imply commercial use or commercial recommendations of the copyright holders. Editorial photo use should not be a problem. The car manufacturer may or may not press for Copyright depending on the image use and viewing audience. The paint shop is not likely to have registered a copyright on the flames paint job and is likely so limited in a Copyright suit to make it not worthwhile to pursue.

 

The garage is private property, and the owner has control, so the owner can control whether you photograph or not. Even if you photograph against his wishes he has no control over that photograph. The owners control is only about the property, the garage, itself. If the garage door is up and you shoot from the public street, there is little he can do (other than a loud rant and rave), except the remote possibility of invasion of personal privacy (if he is changing clothes in the back of the garage). If you walk onto his property he could call the police and throw the book at you for trespass. He could further ban you from his property, even as far as a legal injunction to keep you away. If the door was locked he might get you for breaking and entering. If you paid for an access ticket he could get you for breach of contract, assuming the contract indicated no photos. This is all about being on the property, not the photo itself.

 

There is another legal term called Conversion. Say, you agreed and borrowed a friends truck to move your couch. But while having his truck, you hauled a load of turnips to the next town and made a handsome income for your effort. Your friend did not agree to free use of his truck for an income profit venture and your (now ex) friend can make legal claim against your benefit. There are a bunch of subtle points to the legal definition of Conversion, of which I no longer remember. However, the claim of Conversion, as applies to a photograph, was a very long and tenuous thread that very likely could never be met.

 

So the bottom line, as I recall, is taking the actual photograph will likely never be a legal problem in any of these private property cases. Property access might be a problem during or after the photography event. Conversion very likely does not apply. But, even if the photographer expects to win all the legal challenges, the costs of his defense may not be worth the possible confrontations of shooting on private property without permission.

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I often use a cell phone to record a item on the shelf in a store. But I do it to recall the packaging, model number, shelf price, and the phone GPS location - all as a reference for shopping. I have never been accosted by any of the store employees. If I was approached, I would indicate the above reasons for shopping with a phone and if they didn't want me to consider buying at this store I could erase the image from my phone. I also have used a phone app for price comparisons against Amazon, online, and local stores. We have the technology and I figure this store has to compete. I have not been accosted for such use either.

 

I certainly will not pull out my big-boy camera and shoot inside a USA store. I did get requested to stop as a tourist in Shanghai one day though I had photographed on other days with no comments. I do consider each time I am on private property if the big-boy camera might draw unwanted confrontations. Security guards like to protect there turf. I've even had 3 police stop while I was photographing a hospital front while I was on a public sidewalk. No real problems from them, so they said, but just doing terrorist checking. But I don't like these confrontations and it tends to blow my creative moments in photography.

 

I have photographed cars in the parking lots of malls, shopping centers, and large stores. For prearranged car events I expect zero problems. When I and just one car owner make such a stop I have not been accosted by any security when out at the far end of the lot and it's obvious I'm not trying to include the store or the private property - just the car. This is a little different than photographing inside the building and of the merchandise.

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On 21/12/2019 at 04:41, geogphotos said:

 

 

Just my impressions because I have no hard facts.

 

I think that they are far more worried about what you are doing with a camera in their shop than if one of the pics was used editorially.

 

Possibly they're afraid of comparison shopping or scouting the store for a robbery.   Probably more the former but I suspect that's done more with cell phones with one person in one store and another in another, comparing prices and packages between the stores, and each picking up the best deal for an item at different stores.   Third reason may be protecting the privacy of their other customers.

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I've done a few sets of shots in UK supermarkets, but I don't make a meal out of it (sorry!) Camera in a dull non-camera bag in the trolly pre-set, see the shot, without any fuss pull out the camera, snag the shot, camera back in the bag. Never had any hassle. Jeff Greenberg was your man, that was one of his favourite subjects but he's gone off the radar of late. Still with Alamy but re-started his collection from scratch for some reason. Probably the 50% exclusive arrangement. Not worth asking why because I hardly ever understood his responses

 

As has been said, markets are better and have much less branding so an easier ride. My camera is not in the Big-Boy category. And I'm a grey-haired codger! almost as invisible as a senior gal. 

Edited by Robert M Estall

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These photos do sell, I come across them regularly when checking to see what the papers are using. I have taken photos in smaller shops having asked permission of the manager/owner and on the few occasions that I have asked, have never been refused. However large supermarkets are something else entirely. They have CCTV cameras to deter shoplifters and bored security staff who will probably react if they see someone taking pictures. Don't expect there would be any legal consequences, but expect hassle. As others have said, for me, not worth the bother.

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Yes, JeffG did shoot a lot in supermarkets . . . but then he shot a lot period. He mostly captured the wider scenes. If you click on my blue images number, you can see my M&S closeups.

 

Coming up with subjects to shoot in this damp, dark winter is not easy. 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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27 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Yes, JeffG did shoot a lot in supermarkets . . . but then he shot a lot period. He mostly captured the wider scenes. If you click on my blue images number, you can see my M&S closeups.

 

Coming up with subjects to shoot in this damp, dark winter is not easy. 

 

Subjects?

Ehh..: Damp, Dark Winter.

How can be a problem though.

😁

 

wim

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I'm gonna leave that subject to you, Wim. 😎

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I think quick photos without the store logo are less paranoia making. I sold a photo of wine bottles in M&S to the Guardian. 

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