An Ode to the Bellevue Hyatt and Their No Photography Policy

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    While attending the Microsoft Pro Photo Summit I'm staying at the Bellevue Hyatt. Last night my wife and I were taking a few photographs in the lobby when we were approached by hotel security who informed me that taking photographs in the hotel was not allowed.

    I argued with him a bit and told him that I was only taking pictures of bamboo. He still pressed on with his no photography policy. I finally got him to relent that if my wife were in the photo that I could still take the photo. As soon as he went the other way I started taking pictures again. Illegal, renegade photography.

    I think that it is absurd that any hotel would prohibit photography in their public lobby and will never stay at another Hyatt again unless they change their photography policy and apologize.

    henrikj, Jeremy Brooks, bcwood, and 30 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Jeremy Brooks 82 months ago | reply

      That's crazy. This isn't a chain-wide policy, is it? We've been with troops of photographers at the SF Hyatt.

    2. XOZ ~ 82 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Weekly VIP Photographer/Fotografo VIP da semana, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

      You know what? Starbucks is the same. I figure that it's their right if they don't want you to photograph, but I feel and understand your hurt, Thomas. XXOO

    3. edwardjohnphotography 82 months ago | reply

      Great photo for your last night stay at a Hyatt. I'd like to know the reasoning for the ban on photography. Seems they would want the free advertising.

    4. Richard Parmiter 82 months ago | reply

      The renegade persistence paid off - Great shot!

    5. theeastsidelife 82 months ago | reply

      Thomas - I'm not sure if that is a (Bellevue) Hyatt policy or if it came down from "The Bellevue Collection"....

      One morning a month or so ago, I was taking pictures (on the sidewalk) outside Bellevue Square for my newspaper ( and I was approached by a security kid who tried to tell me that I could not take photos on the property of the Bellevue Collection. I politely pointed out that I was on the sidewalk and he had no say. He actually wanted to argue with me.

      Since the Hyatt is part of the "Bellevue Collection", I tend to think that this foolish policy has been thrown down by Kemper Freeman and Kemper Development. I hope that they get enough backlash that they rethink this stupidity. It only hurts them - maybe it is time that they feel some pain.

    6. David Paul Ohmer 82 months ago | reply

      "I finally got him to relent that if my wife were in the photo that I could still take the photo."

      What a great comeback line. I love it! I think you left him speechless I have a feeling that is the policy with the majority of the big hotels. Some of it I'm convinced has to do with 9/11.

      Anyway, here's a tip I use. I find in advance the shots I really want to take. I don't have my camera with me at this time. When I'm ready I know what to do very quickly. I also make sure the security guard is doing something else. When I'm finally told not to take anymore I already have 2 or 3 photos. I then come back on a different security shift (morning or evening) and do it one more time. This even works if I'm not staying there. Sneaky I know, but we love what we do! Good luck.

    7. ja | castillo 82 months ago | reply very stupid. Great capture though.

      Thank you.

      Seen in my contacts' photos. (?)

    8. Rhett Redelings 82 months ago | reply

      Well that's because you clearly documented key security weaknesses in their organization with this lovely image.

      Stupidness burns my bacon.

    9. electronic alchemist 82 months ago | reply

      Stupid policy, but beautiful image :-)

    10. emeraldengland 82 months ago | reply

      Print this out and take several copies with you :)

    11. Seattle Guy 82 months ago | reply

      That's Bellevue for you. Really stupid!

    12. KurtClark 44 months ago | reply

      Using the Creative Commons license, I shared this photo and discussion on the Bellevue-PI blog today:

      Thank you!

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