Elevator photographer strikes again. And is harassed again.

Carlos Miller

To the casual observer, Andrew Reams appears to have an unhealthy obsession with elevators.

The 32-year-old Virginia man has spent almost two decades filming his rides up and down elevators.

He has also posted more than 800 videos of these joyrides on his Youtube account, where he calls himself “America’s original elevator photographer”.

And he has even been featured in the local newspaper about his “hobby”.

Remarkably, Reams is not alone in his obsession. Almost 1,000 people eagerly subscribe to his videos, which for the most part, are about as exciting as elevator music.

Lately, however, he’s been getting harassed over his quirky, yet harmless – and legal – hobby.

Earlier this month, Reams got chased out of the Campbell Court Building in Roanoke, Virginia by a hostile janitor who ended up calling the cops.

And now he has been harassed again after filming a joyride in an elevator outside the Bedford County Courthouse.

The footage of that ride is in the above video where he and a buddy take a ride in a Schindler elevator.

In the video, Reams and his buddy are unimpressed with the mediocre quality of the Schindler elevator, pointing out how this particular brand is always hot and stuffy inside and how it always takes a few seconds for it to level with the floor.

They take the elevator to a couple of levels in the parking garage where the doors open and close without them ever stepping out. The elevator then returns them to their starting point where Reams brazenly pushes the alarm button before stepping out, causing it to ring for a split-second.

As they were walking back to his car, three cop cars pulled up and demanded to know what they were doing.

Unfortunately, he did not capture this on video because he had run out of memory by then.

It is probably best to let him explain it (here is his unedited version from Flickr):

Here is what happened, I started on the first floor of the parking garage which has a PUBLIC elevator, I videoed a ride (I thought) on the elevator. and when I was on my way walking back to my pickup 3 police cars pulled up and one officer on foot with the old man (that was taking a walk where I was taking pictures) that called 911 for me taking photos. saying “yeah thats him” then 5 officers surrounded me and demanded my ID and camera, he started looking thru my photos and while i tried to see what he was looking at, demanded i step back!!! upon finding no photos, he handed me back my camera and told me i am not to take photos of the courthouse ANYWERE on the grounds but ONLY from the sidewalk and then asked me what i was doing there after closing,
THERE ARE NO SIGNS that say the parking area is off limits after closing and as a matter of fact, the elevator is part of a walkway! (attached to the courthouse) I know photography is prohibited inside courthouses but as you can see in my older video i was NOT in the courthouse. (you have to go thru security to get in the courthouse) ALSO if it was closed after hours, why is there no sign that says “no trespassing between the hours of x:xx and x:xx??
ALSO why did the officer demand my camera? ONE MORE funny thing, He said if you are a photographer, why are you using this little point n shoot, most photographers have big cameras which makes this look even more suspicious!!.. after they ran my ID and looked at my pix they told me “i was free to go” I have posted a pic to the group and once it shows up you will see the courthouse and supposedly i am NOT allowed to take pictures from anywhere past the sidewalk.
i am going to call the police to voice my concerns, please advise me as to what i can say, i want to be polite but very firm about them violating my 1st and 4th ammendment.


War on Photography