26 Jan 2008

Photographers' rights

There is a very interesting thread running on one of the photography forums right now about the legal rights of photographers, and how they affect you taking photographs in the street.

I have already made my thoughts very clear about the freedom of photographers to take photographs what they wish in a public place. However, there is a link on this thread that UK photographers might find very useful. It is to a downloadable pdf file setting out the legal position. It was written in 2004 and is due for an update so bear that in mind.


That forum group is something very special to me. I did not start it and do not have any say in the running of it. It was started by a group of my former students and is going from strength to strength. There is a great deal of sharing of information.

I know that the moderator, Maria, would make you most welcome if you wanted to join and I’m convinced you will enjoy the fun company.
Go take a look…


I’m running one of my Photography Weekends here in Kirkcudbright this weekend so my time to post on the blog is pretty limited. I’m working with a great group of photographers and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves – keep you fingers cross for us tomorrow – we need some good light and weather.


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of an article I read some months back. A guy was taking photographs at a carnival / parade, a public event in a public place.Private security staff drew him on one side and told him to stop. He protested, so they called some police officers over.The police(in a rather difficult situation)suggested that he should accept a 'verbal caution' for 'unauthorised photography'So he made a formal complaint.He eventually received a rather dismissive letter from the Chief Constable 'regretting the misunderstanding' and citing 'anti-terrorist'legislation.Having spent 24 years in the police, my mind boggles. I have a theory, for what it is worth, that the alleged conduct of the paparazzi pursuing Princess Diana has coloured the public view regarding street photography. Together with a general view that any activity has to be licensed or controlled in some way. Which has nothing to do with photography as I understand it.

Dennis COCC Roadtech said...

I have had situations also here in the US. I was in Boston and found a building that was lit with cool colors that I wanted to photograph - a large security person came out and told me I cannot citing Sept. 11. He was nice about it and I stopped. I had a restaurant owner come out and tell me to stop taking pictures of his entrance (nice Asian decorated doorway) - I was on the public sidewalk. I was at a mall taking sunset pictures from the parking lot and the security guard driving around asked me what I was doing and said it is a private place and he was going to take down my license number. I told him I had the right and he said I didn't. He radioed his superior who told him to drop it. I was in Boston another time in a public park taking photos of the boats on the harbor. A guy drove over to me and asked me what I was doing and said they don't like me taking pictures of the boats.

Here are a couple of news stories from USA Today about it (I had to use tinyURL because it was cutting it off):


Here is from the writer of the story:


I really cannot stand people sighting the Sept. 11 and trying to rob me of my rights (not to mention trying to scare everyone - that is more than the terrorists could have asked for).