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Archive 2012 · How to Gain Building Access?
  
 
tonyhart
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How to Gain Building Access?


Hi all,

I've been commissioned by some friends of mine to shoot a pair of images of London, from the same location, one during the day, and one at night. They're going to hang on the wall in their living room. I'm still researching exactly where I'm going to shoot from, but it's becoming more and more clear that I'm likely to want to shoot from an elevated position, perhaps from the roof of a building.

In this post 9/11 world I recognise that simply walking into a high rise office building and expecting to gain roof access isn't going to cut it so I wanted to ask if anyone has experience with how to go about this sort of thing and any advice you can offer on how to gain access to a building's roof area.

Once I've identified the building I need to access, I'd presume that an email or a letter to the relevant person - maintenance or security dept (I'd guess) - would be the way to go. What are your thoughts?

Tony



Feb 29, 2012 at 06:34 PM
harrygilbert
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How to Gain Building Access?


I've always contacted the building owners or managers first, assuring them that I know enough to stay on the roof walkways (never walk on the roof surface, and if you use a tripod, put some 1x1-foot plywood squares under the feet to prevent damage to the roof membrane). It helps to have a business card, and a portfolio of sample photos, and to offer to donate a few nice building photos for their use. If you are nice, chances are they will allow the building maintenance to escort you to the roof. Giving that person a tip always is helpful, especially if a return trip becomes necessary.

Don't try sneaking in -- chances are that access to the roof has been locked.



Feb 29, 2012 at 09:01 PM
tonyhart
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How to Gain Building Access?


Definitely not going to try sneaking in! Thanks for the info Harry. Do you find a particular approach to be most applicable? Email/Phone/Letter etc?


Feb 29, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How to Gain Building Access?



Phone call might be the most effective, maybe after a quick email to tell them a little about you and your project, end it by saying you will contact them 'next Monday' and then contact them.



Mar 01, 2012 at 08:17 PM
harrygilbert
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How to Gain Building Access?


tonyhart wrote:
Definitely not going to try sneaking in! Thanks for the info Harry. Do you find a particular approach to be most applicable? Email/Phone/Letter etc?


I typically call first to get specific names and mailing addresses (management is sometimes at a different location), then send a letter (unless the person is in Linked-In). emails typically are ignored, and are only used as a follow-up to confirm date/time of visit.



Mar 04, 2012 at 10:13 PM





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