Thomas Hawk
The Dunsmuir Estate’s No Photography Policy Sucks, Oh Yeah and So Does Their Bait and Switch Admission Scam -
The Dunsmuir Estate's Stupid No Photography Policy
It's like Hot Tuna's no audio/taping policy...when are these people gonna get it?...They might be able to stop it for now but eventually the equipment is going to get so good they can't step it... - Tyler Sid
the thing that bums me out is that if you are going to have a no photography policy, you should make that information available both on your website and also at the ticket box office. Seems to me that they'd rather not discourage people from visiting with an unfriendly no photo policy but are more than happy to deny you that once your inside and have shelled out your money. Of course today was supposed to be a free family day too but apparently free means $18 to these folks. - Thomas Hawk
And this bad publicity for them.. is gonna be more than $18 !! on a bettter note... did the kids have a good time? - Rob Sellen :o)
actually the kids didn't really like it inside. They were bored and kept wanting to leave. They had a croquet set up outside though and my oldest son and I Jack played croquet there and he liked that part. They didn't want to stay very long after that though and wanted to get home so we left. - Thomas Hawk
I was pretty bummed inside carrying my camera around and not being able to use it though so some of my negativity might have rubbed off on them. - Thomas Hawk
aw well.. at least you know where to NOT take them next time ;o) - Rob Sellen :o)
I can't understand why Dunsmuir would ban photography (unless it's flash photography of fragile objects). I agree with you that the policy should be clearly stated on all publicity (web, answering machine, ticket office, fliers). - Spidra Webster
exactly, Rob, and so will a lot more people now that this report shows up on on the first page Google search results for "Dunsmuir Estate." At least other photographers won't be blindsided by their no photography policy going forward. I hope they change that though. - Thomas Hawk
OUCH ;o) - Rob Sellen :o)
Spidra, it's typical proprietary BS. They dump you off at the end of the tour in their gift shop. They'd rather you buy their photos than take your own. It's too bad though because it's an interesting old house and I think a good strong set of images profiling their property on say Flickr would be good promotion for them, especially since they rent the house out for weddings and people considering that could get a better idea what the place was like that way. - Thomas Hawk
They will learn the hard way now lol ;o) - Rob Sellen :o)
Yeah, that was the only reason I could figure. I haven't managed to get to the Dunsmuir in 20 years of living in the Bay Area. Wasn't sure how many postcards & books they had to flog. Still, every time I go to a museum, even major ones, they don't have pictures of the things I liked the most. - Spidra Webster
The good news is that lots of museums are in fact coming around. More and more are opening up their permanent collections and liberalizing their photo policies. You used to not be able to take photos at the SFMOMA, now you can. - Thomas Hawk
Spidra, I agree on that for sure. It means so much more to me to be able to shoot exactly what I see and what I want, and how I see it, than to buy somebody else's postcard in the gift shop. It's a far more meaningful experience and I probably wouldn't even have been put off as much by the bait and switch admission thing if I at least could have gotten that out of it. - Thomas Hawk
So if you have a wedding there, are you not allowed photos of your wedding? - Tristan Seligmann
Tristan, I'm sure you are. I can't imagine they'd prohibit that. But then again, who knows. Maybe they insist on it being their photographer or something and it's another way to extract more money out of people. - Thomas Hawk
You know another interesting thing that I thought was funny about the whole thing was that on the tour they tell you that all the paintings are on loan from the Oakland Museum of California. Of course the Oakland Museum of California is a museum that allows photography. - Thomas Hawk
I hope that this incident persuades them to change their no photo policy. Seems ridiculous to not allow it especially since they could not provide any valid reason for it. I'm also curious to hear their response to you being chared $18 on a 'Free' day. - Jeff P. Henderson
The house looks beautiful from the outside. Seems like if they are strapped for cash, as most non profits are these days, that they would go out of their way to be nice to patrons. If I attended a Free event and really enjoyed the experience, I would consider giving them a donation, buying a membership or at least visiting again on a regular admission day. - Jeff P. Henderson
So if they rent out the house for weddings, do they still have a no photography policy? Seems unlikely and quite arbitrary! (Sorry for the dupe comment, hadn't read Tristan's comment yet before posting.) - Jeff P. Henderson
At least you paying the $18 has been beneficial to everyone else in that you have exposed another silly product of merchandization (is that a word ;)). Looking forward to seeing how this one will pan out. I HATE gift shops at the end of a tour and whilst I am happy to donate to to these types of institutions I would never 'donate' to gift shops as they should not be encouraged. - travispuk from iPhone
+1 Scott - James Myatt
The Dunsmuir Estate has responded to this post and have said that they'll issue a refund as well as that they are considering opening up the property to photography in the future. I updated my blog post on this with their emailed response. - Thomas Hawk
good stuff. ;o) so the kids may get a better day out there next time, without dad being "grumpy" about not being able to use his arm...I mean camera. ;o) - Rob Sellen :o)
Did they say why they charged for the kids when their invite was free to 11 & under? - Mrsth
they didn't say, they chalked it up to miscommunication with their ticket takers I think. A refund is on it's way in the mail. - Thomas Hawk
Thomas thanks for all you do to promote access to photographers. - Alan Morris from iPhone