Where Bloggers fear to tread… Primark

933bloggeroffense-defense-225x300.jpgErr, a funny story this week about how a blogger got stopped by security guards for taking pictures of t-shirts. Joe Madden runs a WordPress blog called Meaningless T-Shirts. It’s about those T-Shirts which have random fake slogans on them often referencing places and dates for no discernable reason – San Marino 1982 etc. Just a nice simple image blog with captions.

So he takes pictures of these T-Shirts in various shops but in both Primark and H&M he was stopped by security, and accused of “spying”. In Primark he was forced to delete the images from his phone.

We’re not even going to go into why this is a stupid reason. But it’s part of a wider attitude to photographers that is making it hard to take photographs in public place. This article covers police harrassment of photographers snapping police action and this one mentions restrictions on street photography in the UK.

Surely neither H&M nor Primark have any right to restrict photography in the public part of their shops..?

Nice post on this over on BitterWallet.

Anna Leach


  • Most professional photojournalists understand that shops/stores require special permission to photograph the inside of. There is intense competition amongst retailers over stock, pricing, layout, design etc, and information on numbers of people visiting specific areas of a store at a particular time is worth a lot to those competitors.

    And as John said, a store is not a public place.

    The blogger getting stopped for taking photographs of t-shirts is not a surprise.

  • This is an interesting point. I do mystery shopping and quite often part of the mystery shopping involves taking photos of shelves in supermarkets. I was stopped by a member of staff in Sainsburys who was totally bemused by my taking pictures of a stack of Pringles! But I’ve never been told not to just get funny looks.

  • Surely neither H&M nor Primark have any right to restrict photography in the public part of their shops..?

    There is no “public” part of their shops, the public are just allowed entry which is entirely different in law, therefore they have every right to restrict whatever they wish.
    This seems to be a common misconception, Shops, Malls, Arcades and the like are not public, they are privately owned and permission is given to the public to use them for the purpose for which they were built, ie shopping.
    The landowner can indeed place any restriction they see fit if the photographer is actually on their property.

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