Posted by: Waheeda Harris | June 12, 2012

No photos please

Its a rare place that says no photos please in the 21st century. We’re all so used to being able to take a photo – and with digital technology, everyone of us has a camera with us at all times.

Its meant the increase in sharing our moments and being able to prove where we are, what we saw and keeping that moment in a digital version.

So when we’re told no photos, how do we share? Even as journalists, who are given access to many areas that others aren’t, there are still times when we’re told, sorry no photos.

Should we feel insulted? Should we always allowed access? Should we try to sneak a photo anyways?

When I arrived at the Frick Art & Historical Center, the grounds were so beautiful and it was hard to resist taking photos. But before my tour of Clayton House, the home of the Frick family, I was told no photos inside.

I put away my camera and let my senses take over – and despite the lack of images in my possession, I can recount the tour in my mind’s eye. I can remember the entrance, with its high ceiling, the discreet mother of pearl call button and the amazing wallpaper. I can picture the dining room, with its formally-set table and its antique furniture.

Walking into the childhood bedroom of Helen Clay Frick, I can still see her small desk, the twin beds, her books and her dolls, ready to be played with if she walked back into the room.

So although I was not allowed a photo, I have a vivid memory of a home that was lived in, that had public spaces and private spaces, art and antiques – and I realized that just because I could take no photos, didn’t mean the experience was any less memorable.

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