Busted in Footscray


Irony: They’re unhappy about me taking photos but are only too happy to take mine.


Following an interesting discussion at the Ausjazz Blog of my good buddy Roger about the ethics and protocols of taking photographs in performance-type situations – including eateries – it seemed only fitting that I would find myself confronting the practicalities firsthand.

Having sauntered into Footscray Market, I snapped off a few pics in the market’s food hall.

At which point I was accosted by a somewhat officious security guard who informed me that not only was I not allowed to take photos but also I would be required to “destroy” those already taken.

When I pointed out to him that my intentions were honourable and that the entrance I had used boasted no signage saying the taking of photos was a no-no, he called his supervisor.

That gentleman informed me that if I wished to take photos I should seek approval of the manager.

When I trekked up two floors to the manager’s office, the two gents there curtly made it clear that the taking of photos was indeed forbidden.

And that was that.

Little Saigon Market, anyone?

Kenny’s new rule: Always ask.

12 thoughts on “Busted in Footscray

  1. Ridiculous! Good point too about them being able to take photos/film of you, but you not being able to take it of them. Bizarre rule that makes no sense. Same with bank people and others who ring you, being in possession of your phone number, full name, banking details and quite possibly your address. Yet they refuse to tell you their surname.


    • Yep. I understand their concerns in some ways, but the whole tone of the encounter was a little more strident than strictly necessary. I ain’t no crim! However, I’ve sent them a letter telling them who I am and what I’m up to, and also requesting official permission to get snappy. It would be a shame if coverage – mine or anyone else’s – of western suburbs food culture was absent the Footscray Market!


      • I have only taken photos in there the once, when I was on the “Taste of Vietnam” tour run by the Council. No one said anything, and I had no idea of their policy.

        As ausjazz said below, what have they got to hide? Isn’t it far better to assume the best, that people want to take pics of the market to celebrate it and promote it?

        I have only ever been told not to take photos once, in a bakery in Footscray. Everyone everywhere else has been either happy, slightly bemused, or couldn’t care less really.


      • I suspect there is a disconnect between how the likes of how you and I, and maybe even most of the wider community, might see the Footscray Market, and how those who own it or run it might see it – strictlty as a business, would be my guess. Certainly, there was no sense of humour or bonhomie emanating from the two management gents I talked to yesterday. I suspect people with cameras – be they enthusiastic foodie bloggers or rubbernecking tourists or photog students – would be seen by such management as nothing but a potentially messy hassle.


  2. It will be interesting to see what they say in response. What could they possibly have to hide, unless it’s unacceptable food-handling practices or unhygienic conditions. The only thing I can think of is that some customers may not like being photographed. Officiousness and bureacracy seems to be the order of the day.


  3. That’s very odd. You’d think they would appreciate publicity for the market. I don’t understand this attitude at all. Must remember to keep the camera out of sight there!


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