AUTHOR'S NOTE: Most of the details are specific to me, and may not represent all elevator enthusiasts. However, I think all elevator enthusiasts would agree in general that they want you to know these things.
1. We're not a threat
Most security guards and building owners are under the false impression that allowing photography of a non-tourist facility compromises security. Popular Mechanics proved in 2010 that third party cameras actually enhance the security of the facility. Now if we're physically interfering with normal operations or police operations, then you can be concerned.
2. We're all different
Just like any enthusiast group, we have issues with the ways others do things. Since there is a large age range for elevator enthusiasts, some may be more or less experienced than others. Just because one enthusiast comes in to a facility and does something he shouldn't doesn't mean that the next enthusiast will.
3. We have a respect for the handicapped others don't
While I don't have any disability, many of us do. Autism is the most common among elevator enthusiasts, primarily Asperger's syndrome. Also, those in wheelchairs can greatly benefit from our videos.
4. We love to talk to people
Sometimes being antisocial is part of elevator enthusiasm, since we try to film at times in which we can disturb the fewest number of people. But if you ask what we're doing out of interest and not out of suspicion, we'll open up about it.
5. If you have a problem about one of our videos, take it directly to us
Every now and then, we'll find an elevator that is not so stellar, or has some problem with it. If you own the elevator in question, the best thing you can do is fix it and invite us back. Now if something in the video is questionable, see #9.
6. We respect private property, but we want you to know what we do.
But a lot of places do not explicitly state photography is banned, which leads to mixed signals. We'll stop if you want us to stop, but we want to make our case too.
PS. Non-residential buildings on public universities are not private property, unless it's designated as a restricted area.
7. We have opinions about elevator companies
Almost all elevator enthusiasts have strong preferences for older elevators, because they have "character" to them (i.e. distinguishable personalities). Most modern elevators, regardless of brand, are generic. At the same time, many older elevators set the standard for quality because they have withstood the test of time, and most modern elevators can't always live up to that. Some elevator companies do it better than others though. It seems like a taboo topic that shouldn't be. I notice trends among companies and any bashing I do is well-deserved.
8. But that doesn't mean we're biased
We'll try to show every elevator we can in a good light as much as we can. Modernizations are hard. While it replaces old, aging parts with newer ones and makes elevators last longer, it tends to take the character and historical aspect away from the elevator.
9. We don't mess around
We've ratted out our own on illegal actions (e.g. using elevator keys without permission or authorization, minors under 18 operating freight elevators, tampering with emergency equipment...etc). Feel free to call us out, but be professional about it. Older elevator enthusiasts (over 18) are generally more trustworthy.
And the most important one is...
10. We're normal people
We have social lives outside of elevators. However, they are a passion of ours, so expect to hear some about it. Sometimes, we prefer to be quiet, and we hate to see people we know personally when filming elevators. See #2, as everyone has different tastes and preferences. I keep my personal life and my elevator filming separate.