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UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > Success rate of asking permission from owner (Viewed 4470 times)
rob9701 


Location: Toronto
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Success rate of asking permission from owner
< on 10/26/2009 12:45 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
After reading the trespassing post in the other forum I'm wondering about a particular situation.

An industrial building is in the process of being converted into a retail use building. There is a demolition company on scene inside removing all of the current walls and piping, ducts etc. in preparation for a construction crew.

What are the odds that the owner of the building (and the demolition company on scene) would let an urban explorer inside with a camera? And if they did would they allow you to be on your own in this place or would they accompany you? I know the building well as I worked there for years in its previous incarnation, for the previous owner.

I'm just wondering about the risk of some careless person getting hurt in a situation like this and as a result the owners not wanting any part of visitors.

Would a contact e-mail or call to the owner (a developer) bring a favourable response? Anyone has any experience with a situation like this?

Thx.



yokes 


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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 1 on 10/26/2009 12:48 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
The odds are precisely 32.9485%.

"Great architecture has only two natural enemies: water and stupid men." - Richard Nickel
Boffo 

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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 2 on 10/26/2009 12:53 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Just ask. The worst thing they can say to you is no.

Most of the times I've had legal permission to go through a place someone has been there watching me closely, or at least chatting with me while I do my photography thing. And almost always they cut things short.

Here's a lockpick. It might be handy if you, the master of unlocking, take it with you.
Intrinsic 


Location: Collingwood
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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 3 on 10/26/2009 12:57 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
The odds depend on the contractor. The last guy I spoke to was a goldmine of information. He told me about upcoming locations in the city that he was being contracted out for. I did a bit of Googling and sure enough, the locations he mentioned are up for demolition.

When I asked him if I could go and take some photos, he replied, "Under one condition". The condition being I give him copies of the photographs so he could use them for his business portfolio. No problemo!

The location prior to this one, that owner simply declined and told me he wasn't interested in advertising his location as a heritage site. I felt he just wants to rip out the guts of the place and rent out the properties. He'd been up against a lot of resistance from locals looking to save the building, and I think he felt that I would be only adding to his pain.

In the end it comes down to this... you have NOTHING to lose.

Edit: Don't just call and ask if you could go in to take photos. The initial reaction will be to respond with a NO. Explain your position before they can respond. "I'm a photographer who documents locations within the city of XXXXX. I have an interest in documenting places before they are wiped off the map."

Or you could try, "I like peeling paint and want to take photos for my Flickr account and UER winz" but the success rate may not be as high.
[last edit 10/26/2009 1:06 AM by Intrinsic - edited 3 times]

Jennasaurus Rex 


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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 4 on 10/26/2009 3:11 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
The only time that I have ever asked permission was to enter what was supposedly an old insane asylum in Witchita Falls, TX. The owners were getting ready to tear it down to build some brand new McMansion or some-such...

They not only said "yes" they let us camp there overnight and said that we could take anything we wanted with us, as they were just going to doze the place, anyway. (I snagged some books that seem to have been lost in one of our many Army-induced moves.) The owners even informed us that it was NEVER an insane asylum, but rather a TB hospital...

In that particular case, I am beyond glad that I asked... But, IMO, it is better to apologize later than ask permission and be told "NO!"

XOXO!!!

Jenni
35mmVAman 


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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 5 on 10/26/2009 4:15 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I personally never worry about asking unless its a particularly minty or historically significant location. I mean if its tagged up and shitty looking the owner obviously doesn't give a shit so come and go as you please I say.

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justakitty 


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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 6 on 10/26/2009 5:40 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I asked once, got a yes, still need to go there...

My thought is that you can ask and be told no, and STILL say sorry later if they catch ya... LOL

rob9701 


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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 7 on 10/26/2009 8:26 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Thanks to everyone that answered.

I will come up with some sort of request for them using the suggestions above.


Neptune 


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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 8 on 11/1/2009 4:38 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I have a bit of experience when it comes to asking for permission. Always call. DO NOT EMAIL. Calling will make the request seem more sincere. You can also get a feel for what the person on the other end may be like, and I always prefer real human interaction to email anyday. Never lie to the people you're trying to gain access from, either. You can always stretch the truth. I usually say I am a historical photographer working on my portfolio and that I will be bringing an assistant. In reality, I'm just some chick with a camera who may someday create a portfolio, and my "assistant" is just a friend without a camera.

Asking permission first is always your best bet as far as I'm concerned. If they say yes and hover over you and cut it short, at least you have an idea about how to get back in on your own. If they say no, just wait a few weeks and go anyway.

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Banditt 


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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 9 on 11/1/2009 5:44 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I used to be a skeptic, but what can I say... It can and does work. It is all in your approach.

It certainly worked on an otherwise closed location but a few hours ago.

FLICKR
junkyard 


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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 10 on 11/3/2009 9:31 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Rule #4 in a not-yet-abandoned brewery states that "It is easier to obtain forgivness than permission." Good rule. So I just say what's up to the security guard as we pass him on the street on the way home. Had I asked, he most surely would have said no.

I drink gasoline for breakfeast and beer for dinner!
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yokes 


Location: Toronto
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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 11 on 11/3/2009 9:52 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Permission not sought is permission not denied.

"Great architecture has only two natural enemies: water and stupid men." - Richard Nickel
hatsumi 






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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 12 on 11/4/2009 12:10 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 

technique recently used. technique recently resulted in win.



drainasaurus maximus
Intrinsic 


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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 13 on 11/4/2009 12:29 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I have to share this story because it demonstrates how this method can sometimes fail.

I became aware of a hotel being demolished in my area, and picked up the phone to contact the owner [This is not the Hanmer Tavern by the way]. It went something like this:

Me: "Hi, could I speak to xxxxx please?"
Her: "What is this about?" (I had asked for the male, not for her)

She sounded agitated and pissed off in general, not at me, but just had one of those voices that said to me, "I'm an old cranky bitch and I hate my life." It was clear right from the first sentence she spoke over the phone. I can't put it into words, but she sounded like she hated her life.

Me: "I'm looking for the owner of the xxxxxx hotel. Are you the current owner?"
Her: "Yes."
Me: "I'm a photographer who takes pictures of Sudbury area buildings. I like to photograph places before they are demolished or otherwise lost in time. I was told that your hotel is going to be demolished."
Her: "I'm closing it for the season."

Now an employee had told me earlier in the week that it was closing for "renovations" which means that at some point it would reopen, right? This woman told me it was closing for the season. I had already seen the legal document sent to the city by this couple, asking for a permit to DEMOLISH the property. Did the lady lie to her own employees? You don't renovate what you're seeking to destroy.

Me: "So it's going to reopen next year then?"
Her: "I don't know what I'm doing with the place."

My questioning apparently made her miserable disposition only worse.

Me: "It's not going to be demolished then?"
Her: "You're asking a lot of questions."

At this point it just went downhill so I cut to the chase.

Me: "Would I be able to take some photographs of the hotel?"
Her: "I can't stop you from taking photos of the outside."

It was obvious that she was not going to consent to interior photos and her voice was showing more agitation. Granted I was a stranger and was gently prying but her attitude pissed me off. The conversation ended with me saying to her, "You sound like a cranky old bitch." to which she responded, "Thank you."

I decided to show up on the last day of business and walked inside. I proceeded past the front desk and upstairs. The place was a dump, the reviews of this hotel were well founded - it was disgusting (in my opinion). As I was walking around, I heard a familiar voice from downstairs. It was the miserable old bag working the desk.

Anyway I got some photos (to be posted over the winter) but in this instance there was no way that this woman was going to be civil.
[last edit 11/4/2009 12:36 AM by Intrinsic - edited 1 times]

rainman8889 


Location: H.T.S.F.C. Time to gain and a time to lose.


Bye for now.

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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 14 on 11/4/2009 3:28 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I've been pretty lucky.

I've been given permission a few times and the tenant in one occasion pointed out a few details that were really neat. Another time, the owner not only gave permission but was very happy to chat with me about the place.

Doesn't hurt asking and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Gone for a while. Be back when I'm back.
Neptune 


Location: Maine
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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 15 on 11/4/2009 5:03 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by rainman8889
I've been pretty lucky.

I've been given permission a few times and the tenant in one occasion pointed out a few details that were really neat. Another time, the owner not only gave permission but was very happy to chat with me about the place.

Doesn't hurt asking and you may be pleasantly surprised.


Exactly. Sometimes I don't even mind getting followed around. If I have a question, whoever is giving me a tour is quick to answer. A lot of the places I visit are not well known and hard to research, so it's nice to get the inside scoop.

UE Magazine: http://www.uemag.c...home1/about-3.html

http://www.flickr....s/smsailorneptune/ http://smsailorneptune.deviantart.com/
rob9701 


Location: Toronto
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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 16 on 11/4/2009 6:18 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Well I did go by again in the daytime for a look. I was unsure about just when I wanted to do the whole permission thing because of the "work in progress" idea. As it turns out they've done a lot more to the old place than I thought they had based on my nighttime "reconnaissance".

I was there for awhile and hoped one of the demolition guys might come outside where I was peering through a window in a doorway right near their trailer (on the other side of their fence though).

I've lost some enthusiasm though since there is no light in the place at all. The tiled ceilings have been removed and with them went the light fixtures. There is demolition equipment inside that I saw through the window, but the only illumination in there seems to be the headlights on this equipment. I don't think I'd get many decent photographs.

But I will go by again and see what's up...I'd even be content just to hear what the plans are from the guys working there. My old access card doesn't work anymore...



rascal 


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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 17 on 11/4/2009 10:12 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by hatsumi

technique recently used. technique recently resulted in win.




ditto, the owner actually asked us to take the building off his hands

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TurboZutek 

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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 18 on 11/4/2009 10:46 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by rascal
ditto, the owner actually asked us to take the building off his hands


Well damn no wonder - even a small building on top of your hands is going to hurt! Did you help him/her out?

Chris...

We all had ostriches. My dad had an ostrich farm! I remember one day someone came in and said the high altitude bombing of Kosovo had been a limited success, so we all went out and celebrated… by killing an ostrich and boiling it in kiwi fruit.
injektilo 


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Re: Success rate of asking permission from owner
<Reply # 19 on 11/4/2009 11:37 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
tl/dr
I've asked at a few churches and have gotten permission to shoot them, however I was limited in how much time I could shoot and what I could shoot.

I also asked permission at Chicago's Uptown Theater and got a full on tour by the construction manager but was not allowed to take any pictures.

IMO it's better to just do it and only ask permission if there is someone on-site when you go to visit (instead of just turning around and leaving)

If I was really created in God’s image then when God was a boy he wanted to grow up to be a man, a good man, and when God was a man, a good man, he started telling the truth in order to get honest responses.
UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > Success rate of asking permission from owner (Viewed 4470 times)
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