No Photos, No Stories

"Secret" iPhone photo of some coffee and ta pots.
“No photographs, please.”

I put my iPhone away. “No problem, sorry. Great shop you have here” I say. I was about to snap a photo of the awesome tin skeleton mariachi sculptures but I didn’t get to. The photo of the coffee and tea pots was all I had been able to get before the shop owner laid down the law.

In the shop’s defense, I show complete respect when someone does not want photos taken, especially when I’m a guest in their space. But it did make me wonder why. It used to be that stores where fiercely protective of their interiors, products, etc., but nowadays I feel those photos help tell their story. This particular shop was filled with great folk art, beautiful coffee and tea services and a fantastic collection of Día de los Muertos skeletons – really eclectic stuff. I wanted to tell people about it, with my photos, with social media. To me that seems like a great thing. Photos are for sharing the moment, the emotion, the place, the excitement. Photos are little stories. And people like stories.

But, I couldn’t share. The no-photo policy is a shame because if you wanted to know where to get one of these coffee or tea pots you’ll have to go find the shop on your own…


  1. by jason on April 29, 2011  12:32 pm Reply

    wow. millions of people shooting pics probably frays the nerves of some, but what an interesting response from somebody whose success arguably depends on people coming in, checking the wares out and occasionally purchasing something. wacky. I like your response. a mysterious tease of a treasure trove that will now be all but impossible to find.

  2. by Wendy on April 29, 2011  1:58 pm Reply

    I hope you get some responses 'cause I'd be interested to know too. I bet this was the old Pannikan (sp?) downtown...

    • by Gary Allard on April 29, 2011  2:04 pm Reply

      I sure wish I could tell you where Wendy, but I'm trying to protect innocent store owners here ;)

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