How creepy is it to have a blogger take photos in: bathrooms, lounges, jets or other places? What is OK etiquette for travelers?

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jake redman modhop loo photo in centurion lounge lga

Humm, bathroom photos? Are they OK?

The other day my fellow blogger Jake Redman from Modhop (one of my favorite blogs here on BA) posted a photo on twitter of the very nice soap and lotion in the LGA Centurion Lounge that I happen to have reviewed. I responded, as you can see, that as a blogger it is a little bit creepy getting your camera out and snapping shots in a men’s bathroom.

I have to tell you there are many circumstances that taking photos as a blogger is a little bit weird. I have posted and reviewed all 10 of the Delta Sky Clubs in Atlanta so that you yourself can see which one you would most like to visit if you have a long layover in Atlanta. But in one of the clubs the agent checking me in all but FORCED me to delete a photo of the front desk that included her in it (I could have taken it from outside the club btw). In all the other Sky Clubs I had no issues but it does bring up the point of the semiprivate nature of Sky Clubs and whether or not photos should be taken. Right now there is a heated debate on FlyerTalk whether or not you should have the right to privacy and not be photographed in Sky Clubs. Personally, I feel if you are in public you have given up the right to not be in photographs.

rene with kid on mileage run

Yeah, it was a long flight!

Even on airplanes I feel you have to expect to be photographed. I had one unique situation where I was in first class and a very young person was plopped down next to me and I naturally took the photo you see above. The mother made it very clear to me that she did not want her child in a photograph to be posted on the Internet. As you can see I blurred child’s face as I always do whenever I can when  I notice that a child was in one of my photographs as you may have noticed from my post yesterday from the PIMA Air & Space museum.

However this gets back to the question I started this post with, that is, what about situations that are really awkward. For example, is there any way to properly photograph a men’s bathroom without it being really weird (and frankly uber creepy)? I will tell you even with Club attendants when I tell them I want to take photos of the showers in the clubs but I don’t want to use the shower it results in a look.

When it comes to photographing airplane seats I often try to board first to be able to get seat shots when no one is sitting in them yet. But one time when I boarded first as a diamond, and then was scurrying around the coach cabin and taking some photos including exit row photos, a flight attendant rushed up to me and with some degree of understandable concern asked me what I was doing. Thankfully I had flown with this flight attendant before and she recognized me and said “Oh, you’re that blogger, that’s fine we just wanted to know what you were doing.”

Let’s jump back to the bathroom shots one more time. As a male there is sort of an unwritten rule of bathroom etiquette. Especially so when you are in the act of using the facilities, then you do not make eye contact with your fellow bathroom passengers (nor ever let your eyes wander around). You definitely do not , when in a lavatory stall, make any attempt to contact the gentleman next to you for any reason.

However, my wife informed me that there are times when ladies will use a lavatory, before they realize there is no toilet paper available, and then I am told in such situations a hand will appear under the wall accompanied by a voice requesting paper. Now as a gentleman I cannot imagine ever doing that. First off, I would have checked but beyond that I would never, ever request of the gentleman next to me to hand me toilet paper no matter how dire the situation was. I have been told that all girls know this etiquette (do “boys” know this and I am just clueless)?

You know even discussing this topic is kinda creeping me out. I guess my question to you this weekend is are there social lines that are simply inappropriate when it comes to travel? Are there times that photography in the bathroom is just fine or in other places like clubs or aircraft? Have you ever even thought about issues like this. Let me know but please keep it clean. 😉 – Rene

 

 

 

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18 comments

  1. That picture of you and that young child is really creepy and the mother has every right to be upset at you.

  2. So what if it is in a washroom? It is where you point it that could be problematic….

  3. What I like to do is a time lapse video, the first 20 minutes of flight and the last at every airport I go to. So when I have my phone outside the window for 20 mins, people has given me strange looks before. One person actually asked about I was doing and when I showed her the time lapse video, she thought it was awesome!
    I also get similar looks when it comes to snapchat, my main rule of thumb is I try to not get anyone’s faces in the shot if I’m going to put it online.

  4. My only beef with the restroom pics is how many pictures of toilets, urinals and bidets really need to be posted? (Several other BA bloggers seem to be guilty of this, not you so much Rene) Unless its something really special (maybe gold plated or something), then its just a commode, something that the average person uses multiple times a day. No need to glorify it.

  5. If I were a blogger who earns money by blogging, I would check with a lawyer about copyrights and permissions necessary to portray people and items. Most trustworthy endeavors ask for opt-in rather than opt-out. Your “feelings” are irrelevant in a court of law (just watch Judge Judy).

  6. I don’t think my going out in public gives a private individual the right to photograph me at all. And, if I saw a picture of me on the internet, I’d be furious and looking into my legal options.

  7. The airport and airplane are not public areas – they are private properties. If you are walking down the street, of course you can expect to be photographed, as its a public forum. Airports are not. See here:
    .
    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/access-public-property
    .
    As for your photograph – why did you need to include the child? Why not just photograph yourself at an angle that doesn’t include other people? Seems like you were causing a problem.

  8. It’s all about respecting people’s privacy. As long as the bathroom is empty, I see no reason why it should not be photographed.

    Lounges are not open to the public. They are for members only. I do not take pictures including strangers in lounges. It feels invasive.

    Airplanes are open to the public. (Anyone can buy a ticket). While I might take a picture of my empty Business or First Class seat, however, I consider it rude to take pictures that include strangers.

  9. I don’t mind pictures being taken on planes, even if I’m in them ( although as far as I know none of me has ever made it onto a blog review)
    It is a bit funny to see so many people taking pics of the food and drink offerings in hotel lounges. I guess most are just personal ones but I did notice that 4 different people came through the lounge of a Hyatt the other day and all took a huge number of pics of EVERYTHING. It raised the question in my mind about consent by staff: is it sought, is it required ? (at the property concerned they seemed happy enough to oblige.)

  10. @lopere – I know that the parents paid for their ticket and have EVERY RIGHT to be in 1st class just like me but the kid did cry and fuss for 4-5 hours of the flight. So, again, I get they have the RIGHT to be there but am towards the camp that 1st or biz could be a child free zone. Yes, I was trying to achieve an annoyed look and think I pulled it off quite well! 😉

  11. @mbh – Then don’t go looking at your house or other places you have been on Google earth. You may not like what you find. I am sure many photos of you are all over the web. Photos of just about everyone is on the web. It is 2016 for crying out loud!

  12. @Pedro – For that shot getting the kid in the photo WAS the point of the shot. No problem, they were in public (and I blurred the kids face). Now the mom I would have included in the shot if that was just a cabin shot.

  13. What an interesting subject!! My daughter is a professional photographer and there are definitely rules/laws but by in large you can photograph anything in public as long as you are not a nuisance.
    I recently celebrated a birthday at a casino and forgot no photos allowed and boy did security quickly come to delete my deletes!, didnt know you could even do that? Lol
    Rene i enjoy your reviews but i wish you and others would rally the troops to insist on changes, how about photographing the worn out club seats or nasty old bathrooms on some planes? Snap snap

  14. @Steve – Thanks and thanks for your good point. I try to call it as I see it including when seats are shot etc. I will try to have an even more sharp eye when I see such things and post them clearly. Much appreciated

  15. I’m a millennial, so maybe it’s a generational thing, but in this day and age with cameras on everyone’s phones and social media, I can’t imagine ever thinking that people don’t have a right to take my picture. As long as my clothes are on, and I’m out in what I would consider “public” (that includes airports IMO), they can take whatever photos they want, cause honestly, why would I care? Do I like having my photo taken? No, but that’s mostly because I don’t look like Charlize Theron. Often when I see a camera pointed my way and know that I’ll likely be in the background, I simply shift my head or turn my body so you can’t see my face. But if I am caught in the background? Welp, that’s life. Who cares. They don’t know my name, phone number or home address. I am one out of literally billions of others who have been caught in a stranger’s photo. You’re living in the digital age now, folks. I feel like some of the posters here are channeling Ron Swanson in Parks and Rec when he finds out about how the internet works.

    I like seeing photos of airport lounges, even the bathrooms. I check Yelp before I go to a restaurant I’m not familiar with to see if it’s something I’d like to try, why wouldn’t I want to do the same thing with an airport lounge? Also, seeing the bathrooms are important to me. I’m often changing during a layover and like to know if the bathroom stalls are big enough to bring my carry-on into (in the event that there’s no changing room, that is). However, I would wait until the bathroom was empty to take a photo. I personally also take photos of airport lounges so I can show other people what they were like and because it helps me remember – I’ll scroll through my pics and go, “oh yeah I didn’t like so-and-so lounge because they didn’t really have any good food options.”

    I don’t think it’s creepy in this day and age to take photos wherever you go. It’s the norm.

  16. Hey Rene! Forget Delta, this is your most viral post of the year! Haha. Well, I think its fine if you dont (deliberately) include people directly on the pics. If its fine or not to take pics of everything? Yes its fine, and it is merely personal. People find it rude to take pics at food in restaurants! Not me.. The law here is don’t cross the line where other people’s opinions come into place…

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