Long time followers know of my goal to photograph all of the California Missions. And many of you have seen posting for San Juan Capistrano and other Missions here. On a recent visit to photograph Mision San Luis Rey de Francia, we became aware of newly instituted photographic restrictions. Aimed mostly at Commercial Photographers, but I'm sure that the are some amateurs out there too that have committed violations in Sacred Spaces. San Juan Capistrano has stricter rules, calling into question whether or not I can ever display publicly photographs that I have taken in the past.
So lets discuss some ground rules for visiting Sacred Places. These are my personal rules, but I think everyone should keep these things in mind:
- First, this IS a Sacred Space. YOU do not have an express right to be there.
- Even if YOU are not a believer, you need to respect the beliefs of the Faithful, and the intended use of the Space.
- Your photography should not disturb the religious activities of the place.
- That means clicking (or beeping) away as people nearby try to pray or meditate
- Taking photographs during services
- Climbing up on the Altar to get a better shot
- No Trampling Flowers or other Tourists
- Do Not Block Access trying to get the perfect shot (this is a problem for tripods users)
- Feeling Entitled to be there (because You are not)
This is not a joke. Some Japanese Temples have already completely Banned Photography due to rude behavior of Tourists (Read More from PetPixel). And I remember visiting Westminster Abbey once, and a volunteer had to tell visiting tourist to respect the Church; the parents had allowed their children to play toss with the kneeling cushions!
So, I didn't get the images that I wanted.......in B&W. And without a tripod, the interior images (even digital) are a bit blurred. But at sometime in the near future, we'll explore San Luis Rey de Francia, and hope that I don't get sued for posting on my Blog. Does this count as personal use?