25 May 2009

We have indoor plumbing now

On my most recent trip to Walt Disney World I had the pleasure of dining at one of the newest, and most unique, offerings in Walt Disney World’s dining repertoire, Sanaa. While the food is truly beyond description, a few of my dining partners, Glenn Whelan and Marissa Gordon, tried our best to do just that as we sat down to the table with Bryan Ripper on All About the Mouse this past weekend. The fun flows freely whenever I have the chance to join Bryan and Jonathan, but with the more the merrier mentality, this conversation was truly a grand experience. And one I hope that everyone will check out this week, as well as every week.During the course of the conversation, my zeal for photographing the restrooms of Walt Disney World was once again brought to the forefront. The Main Street Gazette has previously discussed how the fixtures and faucets, wall and floor tiles, signage, handles, and miniscule details all create a sense of place for restrooms inside of Walt Disney World. The sense of place is a symbiotic relationship between the restrooms themselves and the land, restaurant, or attraction to which they are tied. The restroom use the existing area’s motif to create its distinctive style and, by doing so, lend credibility to the locale.Now, I understand that there are quite a few people who would find taking pictures in and around restrooms questionable, even in Walt Disney World. As a general rule, especially with my work with preschoolers, I would concur, which is why when documenting such areas I am mindful of my surroundings. I thought it would be prudent to provide the etiquette of photographing bathrooms, as well as a few pointers, in case any of the readers wished to create their own personal restroom collection.
•First and foremost, never take a photograph in a restroom that has people in it. It does not matter if they are in the stalls and cannot be seen. A camera’s flash while someone is using the facilities is obscene and an invasion of privacy.•While photographing exteriors, such as signs or the restroom’s structure, do not impede other guests who are actually attempting to use the restroom for its intended purpose.•Many restrooms that have been built recently, and some that have been retrofitted, include family facilities with doors that lock. For those not wishing to intrude on another guest’s experience, these offer a convenient and out of the way manner in which to document tile patterns.•Time is not on your side. These are not shots to take your time with and try to frame up. Have a camera ready, take the picture, and hope for the best. If the shot is blurry, you can always come back later.•Parades, fireworks, early mornings, and when shows are in progress are some of the best times to take photographs of nearby restrooms as they are likely to be uninhabited until after the show has let out.

3 comments:

GrlNtheBck said...

I definitely am among the members of the restroom appreciation society. Thanks for the post, looking forward to future restroom details.

Scott said...

Great tips! The best tip is your "have your camera ready". The last thing you want is to be taking a picture in the restroom and someone walks in. Oh, the strange looks. One tip I have: I've found that it is much easier to take pictures at the restrooms at resorts.

Chuck Munson said...

Ryan,
As an architect currently working with a team from our firm on the construction portion of our project, a project that is now partially open, I appreciate your mentioning the etiquette of photographing toilet rooms. Architects trying to document existing conditions in any project that contains public restrooms run into this situation frequently. For those of us who love to document the lengths of theming at Disney parks, the toilet rooms may be just about the penultimate proof!