A little courtesy, perhaps?


Photography has been allowed at Dallas Makerspace with the exception of harassing photography.

Anti-Harassment Policy
Harassment is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Any person who feels they have been the victim of harassment should ask the harasser to cease the behavior, if they feel safe doing so. Members or guests asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Harassment includes the following, without limitation:

  1. Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes


Agreed, and I didn’t say I needed to know per se :sunglasses:


Legality aside, it’s not hard to ask for permission first, even if you’re clearly in a public setting. Most of the time people will say yes and will be thankful you asked, especially if it’s a parent with their kids, or an artist with their art.


Be adults, perhaps?
This entire thread is cancer. Super simple life stuff here:
If you have a camera, don’t be a d_ck.
If you don’t like something someone is doing, kindly ask them to stop. (And also, don’t be a d_ck).

For the record, if someone, in lieu of simply asking me to stop doing something, tapped their fingers and made a face at me, I would without a doubt double down on what I was doing and laugh at them while I was doing it. Passive aggression is for children and Internet forums. I won’t be treated like a child and there’s a reason I don’t keep up with dms talk anymore.


Working pottery is a very physical process, and I could see some people being in a very non verbal, meditative like state while focused on the mechanics of shaping a piece. So now you insist on being even more intrusive to their work, by not only taking a photo they don’t want taken, but also potentially change their workflow to conform to your communication workflow?

It seems rather childish to insist that verbal communication is the only form you will accept.


Widespread casual photography is a ship that sailed going on 20 years ago. As such, an explicit request not to do what has become an extremely commonplace activity is a reasonable expectation.


Just so we’re clear, you’re suggesting that tapping your finger and making an unpleasant face is less childish than saying “Please, stop doing that”? You’re also suggesting that because someone is actively engaged in a physical process, which requires the use of their hands, it’s more conducive to the meditative state to use your shaping hands to tap you fingers, and make a face (which the photographer is not looking at in this case) than saying “Please, don’t film me”?
Verbal communication is the less-logical, more childish approach?

I’m not saying the photographer here is not at fault for being in the way. Being a physical burden to someone’s work certainly falls under the general “don’t be a d-ck” life rule but to defend tapping and making faces as acceptable adult behavior is absurd.


I dunno, I was born in 1985 and I don’t think it’s polite to take anyone’s picture without their consent, whether that be verbal or otherwise. Maybe being 33 makes me behind the times, but I don’t think that the invention of selfie cams has really changed the expected behavior when it comes to photographing people, whether it be in “public” or in a semi-private club or membership based organization.

@beabbott21 call it whatever you want, but people don’t really like confrontation, especially artist types. I think that tapping ones fingers and making a face should be enough of a non-verbal cue for anyone not on the autism spectrum to pick up on.

Would it be more effective to just ask the person to stop shooting? Sure, but I’m not sure I would have said anything either. I would probably scoff, roll my eyes and generally make that person feel unwelcome in my general area because it’s one of those things that doesn’t bother me enough to make a fuss about.

I think what @kbraby was getting at is that someone should not have to stop what they’re doing to give some jerk a lesson on what SHOULD be common courtesy.

@thespacemaker can you please just chime in here and assure everyone that you will say a few words about etiquette when you’re teaching photography classes?


Cool story? I was born in 1978.

I think we can both agree that norms change and it’s better to pick your battles than draw lines in the sand that later prove indefensible or aren’t critical.

I disagree. These norms we’re debating arose from eras when portable photography either didn’t exist or was markedly less accessible than it is now. Technology has made photography ubiquitous and cheap, which has changed behaviors that are pushing norms. Social media is heavily about the pluralism of cheap digital photography/video taken on the fly. We’re an image-centric species thus this should come as no surprise.

And I expect this norm to keep changing. Remember Google Glass? Sure the technology was still in its infancy when released and Google’s process for handing out the devkits curiously favored some of society’s more awkward demographics, but the concept isn’t dead. Police body cams are arguably the first widespread use pf personal omni recorders. I expect the use cases to start opening up in our litigious and contentious society.

I have taken many hundreds of photos at DMS of things and situations I have come across without issue. I’ve published a few hundred to facebook. No one has complained, perhaps because I’m reasonably circumspect and they’re for casual consumption. Here’s a sample:

  • Top Row
    • An awesome lunch during a logistics run
    • The Red Swingline!
    • An amusing sketch someone threw away
    • The Big Bus under construction
  • Middle Row
    • The Big Bus under construction
    • View from the Big Bus under construction
    • The Brandon Table under construction
    • Something I hacked together for Logistics - storage rules sign if I recall
  • Bottom Row
    • The Cruel Bus before it was Internet Famous
    • (last two) Foam insulation/filler I designed for the Big Bus

I knew the couple working on Big Bus and they had no apparent objection to their photos being taken. Sorry, random people in the parking lot, you’re photographic bycatch. Brandon posted so many photos of his table on Talk and other public platforms that I doubt he cared about mine. People working on the Cruel Bus aren’t particularly identifiable nor did they seem to care about everyone else taking their photos.

For what it’s worth I don’t particularly relish being photographed for all the usual reasons and take less comfort in the likely explosion of personal omni recorders, but don’t struggle against apparent inevitability.

There are two general categories here:

  • Bycatch photos where you end up in a photo not as a primary subject
  • Detail photos where you are a primary subject

There are shades of gray between the two and probably some other definitions we could coin, but they seem to suffice.

The former is pervasive and a near inevitability. Struggling against it will go probably nowhere and will result in tilting at windmills for the individual and organization alike.

The latter is where the photographer should exercise discretion and be certain that the subject is willing. And also where the oft-stated in this thread don’t be a d_ck maxim comes into play.

Lastly, if strict privacy or confidentiality is so important to you, why are you in a community workshop?


Let me get this straight, your arguement for no regulation of photography in DMS is around a product that never came to market(google glass) and police body cams which by their very nature are involved in the security and law upholding process and not likely to public review?

My issue with your arguments are that you took pictures without asking in the name of candid, bycatch or detail photos. Since you did this without any outcry or complaint that this should be the new norm and all should accept it?

I realize that cameras are present on all phones and more. Their presence however does not need to lead to what some would view as poor social behaviour by those that think the care blanche behaviour is ok.

Yes, don’t be a dick. Yes, respect others privacy.

DId you ever stop to think that people who come to make may come to the space as not only a means to tool access but as a means to find peace in a creative outlet? For a lot of IT people creation and peace are valued commodities. I could make a connection between the behavior of corporations and the lack of that privacy. While my example does not cover all people who are at makerspace it should serve to provide an alternative to the concept that “its ok since cameras are prevalent and nobody has objected.”


DMS hasn’t defined any rules around this subject, thus public photography doctrine applies. We can surely create rules, however my sense is that the ‘problem’ this solves is less one of invasion of privacy and more one of personal aesthetics.

Google Glass came to market, albeit in limited numbers; I’ve seen them in the wild on multiple occasions - one was at DMS. Other personal omni recorders are on the market (have been for many years), and are markedly less auspicious than Glass or police body cameras.

This is the norm in public. People see something interesting, they pull out their phone or instamatic digicam and photograph it.

DMS isn’t a public space, but we’ve also not defined rules around photography outside of the harassment rule. The only obvious implication of membership or class participation granting access to the facility is that only the great unwashed wandering by on the street are restricted from taking photos or video.

If someone is shoving an unwanted camera in your face or interrupting your workflow, that’s unacceptable. It might even be construed as harassment (#7).

But if your mellow is being harshed by someone photographing the room you happen to be in, a project they’re working on that you happen to be in the background of, or something of yours left out for easy public view, then I think your choice is to HTFU or remove yourself. Seems like every other group on tour night has someone filming their walkthrough. I’ve observed countless other photographs like the samples in my previous posts from DMS and other makerspaces.

I get the feeling that what some are imagining DMS to be co-working, studio, or workshop space where a higher degree of privacy and confidentiality can be assured. DMS isn’t any of these things.


What do you expect from people shooting pictures and video in the Space? Are we all to gauge our behavior on your preferences? Everyone on this thread has agreed that it isn’t permissible to invade someone’s personal space to take pictures/video. It has been established that your image may not legally be used for commercial purposes without your permission. If you have anything protected by IP laws, such images could not be legally shared. The lack of rules around photography except in context of harassment would seem to mean we are free to take photos in the space. While the Space isn’t public, anyone can become a member, as long as they pay the fee. How much privacy can reasonably expected?


To both of you, I’m challenging the concept of what you consider the “Norm”. I still am not buying what you are both selling in consideration of the if there are no rules then it must be fine. I’m asking you to consider social acceptability. I’m also asking you to consider others viewpoints besides your own.


I have considered your viewpoint. I’m not going to agree with you on this. I would expect more from photographers/filmmakers than the behavior described in the OP and borders on harassment, but you cannot reasonably expect that you won’t be captured in some fashion within the Space.


I have thought about and read about this issue quite a bit over the years to arrive at my conclusions.

Indeed it was a degree of concern over norms that kept me from photographing anything at all in public for years. However I realized that the overwhelming majority doesn’t care enough to react in any perceptible way under what seemed to be otherwise acceptable circumstances to my cautious self, thus my apparently inauspicious approach to photography in public (or DMS) is acceptable. There have been numerous things I’ve wanted to photograph but didn’t for reasons other than a I wouldn’t do that nudge from the subconscious. Eliminating time pressures, I’d say the percentage here is >25%.

So while it might have seemed like I’m arguing for I can see it without interrupting you thus I should be able to photograph it, I’m not. It’s just that these cues aren’t something that can be easily encoded into even a set of articulate principles - let alone rules.

It’s entirely possible that I’ve misjudged situations and someone unwilling or their property or project has been the subject of my photography - either because I was not positioned to observe them or their disapproval was below detection threshold. The latter case would suggest a pervasive willingness to suffer in silence; it’s also why I’m suggesting that absent a rule there should be open and explicit communication on the part of someone being unwillingly photographed in situations other than in their face, interrupting their work.


To insist on verbal communication as a measure of adult behavior seems to me to be a poor measure. It disenfranchises all deaf mutes from adult status. It implies that Teller’s approach to magic is targeted at children. Discounting it removes a possible method of communication when two people don’t share a common language. On its face, it appears to imply that body language is not an important part of many conversations. It also suggests that you feel that you are entitled to your preferred form of communication without regards to the other persons preferred format at that point in time. Would you also consider a police officer who points to you and then the side of the road to be childish?

Would speaking up have been more effective? Probably. Would it have interrupted the artwork more? We don’t know. Have I been in metal shop or wood shop when gestures would be more effective than verbal communication? Absolutely.

But the biggest thing that stands out is that suggesting that you would double down takes it from a possible misunderstanding that seems like a direct attempt at communication, and doesn’t seem to fit the usual definition of passive aggressive behavior, and escalates directly to a rather aggressive behavior.


To use verbal communication as measure of adult behavior would, indeed, be a poor measure. However, I think making a reasonable effort to use the most logically effective form of communication available, or generally making logical decisions based on the information available to you, IS a pretty solid measure of adult behavior. I could have responded in emojis, wingdings, or Spanish here but a basic assessment of the information available to me led me to choose a moderately verbose, English response instead.

This is my bad. I was unaware that OP was a foreign language speaking, deaf, mute, magician. Seems a little arrogant of you to assume the photographer wasn’t blind, though. Or we could continue the norm of starting our conversations with probabilistic assumption that most people we interact with will not be deaf/mute/magicians and will have a basic understanding of English (barring obvious context clues that would lead you believe, otherwise) .

I would find it quite peculiar for a police officer who is “practically in my face” to point at me and then across the road, rather than simply verbally instructing me to cross.

Seems like this should be the end of the discussion, but if I missed something, like the part where OP was throwing clay in the metal shop, or if you think of some more scenarios (that are not this one) in which non-verbal communication would be more effective - probably, please let me know.

You are correct in pointing out that “doubling down” and escalating a situation is in poor spirit. In all likelihood, this would not be my course of action (although scenario and mood dependent, I suppose). It would not be the most logically effective or efficient response and thus, hypocritical of me to do so. I was simply trying to say that I would not appreciate someone tapping and making a face at me (something I would reasonably consider to be passive aggressive as compared to directly addressing me) and would in turn be tempted to respond in a more aggressive than necessary way because, as MLK pointed out about human nature, “aggression begets aggression” (I know it’s hate/violence but the point is the same).