“Foreign Talent” Photographer Flagged for Charging Tourists to Take Pictures with the Merlion. But is this Illegal?

He’s decked out like a professional photographer, and charges S$5 for a photo with the Merlion.

The only sticking point – he doesn’t have a license.

Apparently this man isn’t the only photographer who’s sprung up at the Merlion Park near One Fullerton offering such services, according to tour guides.

The man reportedly speaks like a China National, and tourists appear to be satisfied with his services, and the price he charges.

But tour guides aren’t happy because the photo-taking stalls group tours. Also, they’re concerned that should there be any problems with the photographs, their tour group members might not be able to seek recourse.

So is this practice illegal?

Lawyers say it’s a gray area, when it comes to governing laws, and it’s not certain if what the man is doing is right or wrong.

Tourist attractions in Singapore tend to have appointed photographers to take photos of guests, which they can later purchase.

To put prices in perspective, the Singapore Zoo charges guests S$18 per photo, while attractions in Resorts World Sentosa such as Adventure Cove charge S$35 for a framed picture.

So look on the bright side – at least this chap is helping you take a nice shot and not ripping you off for it.

And, you don’t have to look like a total loon capturing that perfect shot with a selfie stick!


Former NSP chief Goh Meng Seng has clarified that the photographer in question is not a foreigner, but a local. You can read his explanation in the comments below. It’s good to know we’ve enterprising Singaporeans around who don’t whack people with cut-throat prices for their services!

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Goh Meng Seng

    February 27, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I met this photographer while I brought my family to Merlion a couple of years ago. He recognized me and approached me to ask whether I am Goh Meng Seng and show a photo of me from google search. Initially I thought he is PRC but no, he is true blue Singaporean! He speaks good Engish!

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