Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Please Don't Shoot the Mannequins (or Vice Versa!)

Hooray! At last it's Carly's turn in the Round Robin Photo Challenges! Her topic is "Mannequins." Sounds fun and easy, right? But sometimes things are not what they seem....


I headed over to an Unnamed Mall Department Store after work. I'd seen some interesting mannequins displayed there. I spent a few minutes discreetly photographing some of the better ones, and was on my way out when a security guard caught up with me. He very politely told me that no photography was allowed without prior permission from Customer Service, and that furthermore, the mall as a whole had the same policy. (First I'd heard of this, having taken lots of photos in the food court, in front of the outside entrances, and even in this particular store with a clerk's permission a year ago.) I explained that I was supposed to take pictures of mannequins, and he said he understood that sometimes people have "projects" to do--but not without permission. So I thought I'd go ask at Customer Service, and that's when he added the words, "during business hours".

Really nice display, but they kind of look like guys to me.

"Too bad," I said, "I got some good shots, I thought."

"Well, you already have them."

"But you don't want me to use them."

" what you have to do. But next time, ask first."

Another great display, and somehow the faces look more feminine

So I will. I'm not naming the store or the employee. I don't want him to get into trouble for being nice.

Many of the dummies had finely patterned cloth for "skin"

I went to another store after that, not at the mall. They said I'd need to call the district manager for permission to take a photo. I told them I would do that - if I ever again needed to take photos at their store! Seems unlikely. This is the second time I've run into hinkiness about photos at a place of business. Bummer.

A total stranger rescues Rose from shop window dummies

I'm going to cheat now, and use screen captures to show you what mannequins really mean to me. In England they're called "shop window dummies," and they can be deadly -- at least on Doctor Who! See, there's this alien called the Nestene Consciousness, made of living plastic. It can take control of anything made of plastic, including dolls, plastic flowers, and shop window dummies. The Nestene's killer mannequins are called Autons. They first appeared in the very first serial about the Third Doctor, Spearhead from Space, back in 1970. They returned, in cahoots with the Master, in his first appearance a year later, in Terror of the Autons. Then in 2005, Rose Tyler faced death by Auton in a locked cellar until a stranger grabbed her hand and said, "Run!"

Clive looks down the barrel of an Auton gun, and knows he's doomed

Don't ask me how, but a Nestene-controlled shop window dummy comes equipped with a recessed gun inside its wrist. When a conspiracy theorist named Clive sees an Auton, he knows a) that he was right about the Doctor, and b) he's about to die.

Auton brides break through a display window to attack Jackie Tyler

Attack of the Brides, thwarted at the last second by Rose.

When Rose and the Doctor confront the Nestene Consciousness, it captures the Doctor and sends a signal through the London Eye (a giant observation wheel), causing the Autons to attack. Rose's mum, Jackie, is on the verge of being a statistic when Rose rescues the Doctor, causing his vial of "anti-plastic" to fall into the Nestene's vat. The Autons collapse, and Jackie is saved. Hooray!

So I'm wondering, are there any sinister secrets in those dummies I photographed today? Should I be afraid?



Now go see the other entries in this Challenge, and maybe join in yourself--if you dare!

Linking List

Carly - POSTED!

Nancy - POSTED!
Nancy Luvs Pics

Karen - POSTED!
Outpost Mavarin

Janet - POSTED!
Fond Of Photography

Tammie Jean
Long Drives To Nowhere

Vicki - POSTED!


Carly said...

Hi Karen

WOW! How weird is that? I have never heard of that, in fact, I have been photogrpahing mannequins for years all throughout the Bay Area. Well, I m sorry you had to deal with a conflict. I guess with "Big Brother" watching every move we make, folks are getting a paranoid. :(

julie said...

Some places are starting to get really nasty about people shooting pictures. Stores claim trade secrets, but if the competition sends in someone who is a keen observer, they can get all the details they need.

Check out this page about photographer's rights. Bert P. Krages III is an attorney and photographer who has also written an excellent reference book on the topic. He's distilled the basics into a PDF that you can print and carry with you.

(Nice of Blogger to check my HTML, BTW.)

Janet said...

You're right, those mannequins DO look like guys!

Like you, I've been told I can't take pictures inside some stores, too.

Shelly said...

I take my mannequin shots from outside, of the window displays. I get nifty reflections that way, too. Got a couple of lovely shots yesterday of the window displays in Daffy's -- rear views of naked mannequins. WooHoo!

Nancy said...

Very well done! Whew! I'm exhausted just looking...I can't imagine all that effort! You should be proud of the great shots you got...and yes they do look manly. (You should see My second THAT'S manly)!
You did some Good cheating work there too!


MyMaracas said...

Jeez Louise. I wonder what the issue is with photography inside a store? It's a public space, after all. You did get some really nice shots there, and I love the Doctor Who story.


Tammie Jean said...

I guess I haven't taken many photos inside the mall, because I've never heard of needing permission. Glad you got some good shots before they asked you to stop!

And wow, those brides are freaky!

gina said...

it surprises me that they objected to you taking the pictures! i had to miss this challenge due to being out of state and no computer access :(, but i would have been doing just what you did...going to the mall. lol wonder what my reception would've been??!!