DerekJr.

Taking photos at car dealerships

17 posts in this topic

I'm a car enthusiast and an even bigger BMW fan. Due to this, I like taking photos of cars for my personal use (Instagram, facebook etc) be it at car dealerships, car meets, or on the street. I would like to know if any one had any problems/issues taking photos of cars inside a dealership? 

 

The reason I ask is that I had a situation today regarding my local BMW dealership (Snows Portsmouth). I went to buy some screen wash and while I was there I decided to take a browse to see what models they had in the showroom. They had a few nice cars including a Snapper Rocks Blue 4 series, M2, i8, and an M3 amongst other models. I decided that they were nice enough for me to take a photo with my DSLR camera. Before I went to the car to grab my camera, I asked the receptionist for permission to take a few photos of the cars. She called over another male colleague and they both agreed that it would be okay. To be honest, I wasn't expecting anything else as I've done it plenty of times in the past and I spend so much time and money there that the parts department and the man who stands in the car park know me well.

 

Anyways, I make my way around sitting in the cars, taking photos of the interior and exterior of the cars, and some detailed shots. I get to my last car (M3) when I am approached by an older gentleman who starts to question me, "What are you doing other than taking photos?" At this point I am confuzzled because 1) I thought he was another customer, and 2) It's pretty obvious I am taking photos with my DSLR. But I reply with "Just taking photos of the cars". He then asks if I got any permission to take photos, to which I reply "yeah, I asked the receptionist and she, in turn, asked another male colleague" to which he replied "You should ask me for permission then we can make a booking through email" and very bluntly told me to stop taking photos. He was about to turn and walk away without giving me his email address. I asked for his business card/contact details and followed him to his office. I felt like a naughty child going to the headmasters office haha. On the way to his office, he turns to the receptionist and tells her "in future, you send them to me" He gives me his business card (turns out he is Managing Director), then I ask if I must still make a booking even if the photos are for personal use. He then proceeds to tell me that it is because they have had burglary incidents. I say thanks and leave.

 

I sent him an email from my car outside regarding when I am allowed to take more photos. He replied about 2 hours later saying that they are not happy for me to continue taking photos within their building due to safety reasons. It goes on to say that he was sorry it wasn't made clear to me earlier before I started taking the photos. How come he didn't say this to me earlier instead of giving the whole "make a booking through email" excuse? I wasn't impressed with his attitude towards me or the receptionist. I have no idea whether he was having a bad day or what.

 

This is just a rant.

 

 

Loadmaster likes this

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Sounds like the MD totally misjudged and mishandled the situation. I wonder if he knew you were a regular customer who helps to pay his salary!

 

Sent from my Vodafone Smart ultra 6 using Tapatalk

 

 

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Instagram and Facebook are not personal use.

 

The DP is perfectly entitled to limit who takes photos on his premises maybe you weren't wearing an appropriate Anorak ;)

 

Just accept it and go elsewhere.

Chu likes this

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The DSLR will have done it. 

 

I've been there - I'm a bit of an amateur photographer and was taking photos outside the Echo Arena in Liverpool at night so had a tripod etc with me. Within 10 minutes I was approached by security saying I had to have written approval to take photos of the building and I would have to leave if I didn't have it or the police would be called. The building had nothing on that night so it was relatively quiet with just a few people wandering around. I asked why (bearing in mind I'm on the footpath outside not even inside the building) and I just got the same thing repeated. So I asked him why I couldn't but he was not bothered about the people walking about taking photos using their phones. He couldn't give a good reason but I left anyway. Unfortunately it's just one of those things. Some people just don't like it and will use the excuse of its a security risk etc to get you out of there. 

 

I know exactly what you mean though. You can be made to feel like a criminal for doing something completely innocent. 

Edited by Mashed Potatoes

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9 minutes ago, Mashed Potatoes said:

The DSLR will have done it. 

Obviously photo equipment, but what's DSLR (Digital SLR?). Looks professional enough to raise suspicions?

 

I can quite understand that permission should have been granted and Derek did the right thing - I would too. But to then be approached and treated like that was not on. The MD should have queried with his staff, or he should have been made aware of the situation, by his staff who granted the 'OK'.    

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2 minutes ago, Loadmaster said:

Obviously photo equipment, but what's DSLR (Digital SLR?). Looks professional enough to raise suspicions?

 

I can quite understand that permission should have been granted and Derek did the right thing - I would too. But to then be approached and treated like that was not on. The MD should have queried with his staff, or he should have been made aware of the situation, by his staff who granted the 'OK'.    

 

Correct, digital SLR. It depends on kit and what was being used but just by being a bit 'bigger' than a normal camera, they can look professional without trying.

 

I fully agree though. Asking permission in a dealership is definitely the correct thing to do. Or anywhere really where it's on someones property. It just doesn't seem to have been handled at all well.

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I understand their concerns but as above the MD handled it badly, to the point where he came across as a prick.

 

Personally I'd have retorted but that's just me.

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I wrote a paragraph on how shabbily I thought you were treated.

 

Then I deleted it because 'the guy is a plank' sums it up better 

Mashed Potatoes and 711jrp like this

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Agree you were miss advised then poorly treated, par for the course in my experience of Dealer Principals etc.

 

But I can see their point, they perhaps thought you could have been taking pictures of the building/entrances/security features under the guise of taking pics of the cars.  They may have thought you were casing the joint to make a break in at a later date and take some precious metal off their premises.

 

After all its not unheard of things to missing from Dealers....

 

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1 hour ago, sshooie said:

I understand their concerns but as above the MD handled it badly, to the point where he came across as a prick.

Well, in his defense, he does work for a BMW main dealer... :roll:

sshooie likes this

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6 hours ago, Alexak said:

Instagram and Facebook are not personal use.

 

The DP is perfectly entitled to limit who takes photos on his premises maybe you weren't wearing an appropriate Anorak ;)

 

Just accept it and go elsewhere.

 

Except I don't make money from either and I don't use a business account for them. If I was from a car magazine, or from a rival manufacturer or such, I would have understood.

 

I'm not having a rant that I was stopped by the MD. By all means, he has every right to question people and stop them doing things that are of safety concern to him. It more to the point that his attitude could have been better, not only to me, but also towards the receptionist. I expected better from a MD from a large company such as BMW. On top of this, he should have just told me that no photos are allowed to be taken in the showroom instead of giving me the runaround. All the staff at Snows BMW are great, it's just that on this occasion, it left a sour taste in my mouth when I was dealing with the MD. 

 

As for the equipment, its just a Canon 100D with the standard lens (no tripods, lights on poles, silver reflective umbrellas, or any of that stuff). 

 

Everyday is a learning curve. Some dealerships love you taking photos and now I know others don't. Nothing is going to change on my behalf. I know I did nothing wrong and I will always ask permission to take photos. 

 

Cheers for the input guys!

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2 hours ago, DerekJr. said:

 

I expected better from a MD from a large company such as BMW.

 

Ah, that's where you are wrong!

 

He works for the dealer, not BMW. The dealers are merely a franchise of BMW. I found that out when dealing with   BMW when my first E60 was stolen with the keys from a dealer. BMW basically told me to go do one as it had nothing to do with them, it was down to the company i.e. the dealer who just so happened to sell BMW cars on their behalf.

 

Thats why standards vary wildly between dealers based on our experiences, we are all dealing with very different companies that just happen to sell the same things but manage the selling and maintaining them very differently.

GStarrr likes this

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14 hours ago, 535i Andrew said:

 

Ah, that's where you are wrong!

 

He works for the dealer, not BMW. The dealers are merely a franchise of BMW. I found that out when dealing with   BMW when my first E60 was stolen with the keys from a dealer. BMW basically told me to go do one as it had nothing to do with them, it was down to the company i.e. the dealer who just so happened to sell BMW cars on their behalf.

 

Thats why standards vary wildly between dealers based on our experiences, we are all dealing with very different companies that just happen to sell the same things but manage the selling and maintaining them very differently.

Get your point Andrew but they should meet the standards set (and expected) by BMW (in this case).

 

Or rather that's what you'd like to think anyway...

Edited by Loadmaster

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Burglary?

 

Like a burglar can't actually just walk in and look for himself? Oh no the crafty devil sends a man to take photos of the cars first!

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Hey Derek,

 

Sounds like you may have crossed swords with Mark T.

 

His way of giving me advice for my Bronzitbeige Eta a few years back went along the lines of: "We sell new replacement bumpers for those you know".  To which my reply was "No you don't, you only stock and sell 66% of the chrome front bumper and 0% of the chrome rear bumper otherwise we would not be having this conversation because I would already have changed them if you did".

 

He is a little bit out of touch.

 

Regards,

 

Mick

 

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18 hours ago, Piper said:

Burglary?

 

Like a burglar can't actually just walk in and look for himself? Oh no the crafty devil sends a man to take photos of the cars first!

 

I thought of this as soon as I left. What would stop a burglar making mental notes in his head about the layout and cars in the showroom? If I was going to do something bad, surely I would have just used my phone instead of a DSLR camera.

 

12 hours ago, Ordnator said:

Hey Derek,

 

Sounds like you may have crossed swords with Mark T.

 

His way of giving me advice for my Bronzitbeige Eta a few years back went along the lines of: "We sell new replacement bumpers for those you know".  To which my reply was "No you don't, you only stock and sell 66% of the chrome front bumper and 0% of the chrome rear bumper otherwise we would not be having this conversation because I would already have changed them if you did".

 

He is a little bit out of touch.

 

Regards,

 

Mick

 

1

Ha! Yup, he was the guy. Comes across a little bit rude. Do you know how long he's been working there? It was my first time seeing him there. 

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