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View Full Version : The Ten Legal Commandments of Photography


|Zach|
03-17-2008, 11:31 AM
I. Anyone in a public place can take pictures of anything they want. Public places include parks, sidewalks, malls, etc. Malls? Yeah. Even though itís technically private property, being open to the public makes it public space.

II. If you are on public property, you can take pictures of private property. If a building, for example, is visible from the sidewalk, itís fair game.

III. If you are on private property and are asked not to take pictures, you are obligated to honor that request. This includes posted signs.

IV. Sensitive government buildings (military bases, nuclear facilities) can prohibit photography if it is deemed a threat to national security.

V. People can be photographed if they are in public (without their consent) unless they have secluded themselves and can expect a reasonable degree of privacy. Kids swimming in a fountain? Okay. Somebody entering their PIN at the ATM? Not okay.

VI. The following can almost always be photographed from public places, despite popular opinion:

* accident & fire scenes, criminal activities
* bridges & other infrastructure, transportation facilities (i.e. airports)
* industrial facilities, Superfund sites
* public utilities, residential & commercial buildings
* children, celebrities, law enforcement officers
* UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, Chuck Norris

VII. Although ďsecurityĒ is often given as the reason somebody doesnít want you to take photos, itís rarely valid. Taking a photo of a publicly visible subject does not constitute terrorism, nor does it infringe on a companyís trade secrets.

VIII. If you are challenged, you do not have to explain why you are taking pictures, nor to you have to disclose your identity (except in some cases when questioned by a law enforcement officer.)

IX. Private parties have very limited rights to detain you against your will, and can be subject to legal action if they harass you.

X. If someone tries to confiscate your camera and/or film, you donít have to give it to them. If they take it by force or threaten you, they can be liable for things like theft and coercion. Even law enforcement officers need a court order.

DBO82
03-17-2008, 11:34 AM
Um...ok

StcChief
03-17-2008, 11:34 AM
thanks. I had an argument earlier last year regarding this.

|Zach|
03-17-2008, 11:35 AM
thanks. I had an argument earlier last year regarding this.

What were the different takes?

StcChief
03-17-2008, 11:37 AM
What were the different takes?in a bar photographing band at Halloween. our esteemed County councel man and wife show up dressed as KidRock and Hooker....

they didn't want a photo taken in the bar. I explained the public place and rights, I promised not to use it against him (give it to a future opponent) and would send him a copy.

I asked him to check the laws on the books. He had been to a private party at another place earlier that evening, I'm sure that in Old town ST.C. they would have to leave and could and probably were photographed by local papers.

and the bar locals tended to support his "rights". even the owner.

Direckshun
03-17-2008, 11:39 AM
Aanybody who has ever watched the paparazzi physically overwhelm Britney Spears as she gets into her car and crowd around her so excessively that she can't move her vehicle without hitting someone will realize this list is missing a couple commandments.

Brock
03-17-2008, 11:40 AM
I still think papparazi should be a legally hunted species.

Iowanian
03-17-2008, 11:44 AM
I agree with Brock.


You don't HAVE to answer....but if you're a stranger taking pictures of my kids in a public pool or fountain, it would probably be the safest thing to do.

|Zach|
03-17-2008, 11:45 AM
Paparazzi thing is tough for me, I don't really support it and couldn't in a million years imagine doing it or enjoying doing it even if the money was there, which it seems it is.

But, I have run ins weekly with average citizens and security guards about me taking photos. It is usually pretty ridiculous. I am pretty laid back generally...on the street I rarely take photos of someone's kids without permission but I also do a lot of architecture and buildings and just interesting things I run across on the street.

Some guy with a new top flight security patch sewed on to his shirt tries to come up and be a hard ass telling me I can't take photos of his building...

There just seems to be a lot of people...even people who are pretty smart and informed about a lot of things over what is and isn't legal when it comes to taking photos.

Fire Me Boy!
03-17-2008, 11:46 AM
II. If you are on public property, you can take pictures of private property. If a building, for example, is visible from the sidewalk, itís fair game.
Just a note... while true, it should also be pointed out that you cannot use a zoom lens (or any lens) to gain "access" to something that would not normally be visible from the public venue. For example, you can't stand on the sidewalk and zoom in through the curtains to get a good shot of a woman bathing.

|Zach|
03-17-2008, 11:48 AM
Just a note... while true, it should also be pointed out that you cannot use a zoom lens (or any lens) to gain "access" to something that would not normally be visible from the public venue. For example, you can't stand on the sidewalk and zoom in through the curtains to get a good shot of a woman bathing.

True but...it isn't because of the zoom lens.

It is because that person has a "reasonable expectation to privacy".

That is a huge phrase in any of this.

Iowanian
03-17-2008, 11:49 AM
I support your right to take pictures in public, but there are reasons people might question you


Maybe you'll recall that after 9-11, people taking pictures of structures and buildings was listed as an event to notice and report.


Taking pictures of kids can get you confused with some pedo working on a spank bank.



Someday....a celeb is going to pull out a couple of glocks and put rounds into about 100 paparazzi...and its going to be one of the greatest events in history.

Fire Me Boy!
03-17-2008, 11:53 AM
True but...it isn't because of the zoom lens.

It is because that person has a "reasonable expectation to privacy".

That is a huge phrase in any of this.

My understanding from a media law class was specific to using a lens or any unnatural manner in which to get the picture. Could be wrong. Meaning, basically, if you could get it with a normal lens, you could have it.

I understand all about the expectation of privacy, so I know exactly what you're saying. Just passing what was taught in the media law class. Which, admittedly, was some time ago and I could be remembering it incorrectly.

Chiefnj2
03-17-2008, 12:10 PM
Comandment 11

Thou shalt not take pictures of Mrs. Kidman.

http://www.flynetonline.com/2008/03/exclusive-nicole-kidmans-bodyg/

Frazod
03-17-2008, 12:13 PM
I still think papparazi should be a legally hunted species.

Bigtime agree. That entire industry is pure scum.

And if you buy tabloids or watch those stupid shows, you are part of the problem.

Mr. Laz
03-17-2008, 12:40 PM
Bigtime agree. That entire industry is pure scum.

And if you buy tabloids or watch those stupid shows, you are part of the problem.

yep ...

imo all they have to do is pass/modify the law that private pictures can't be published without permission (no public figure exclusion). Also expand the private property to included even from a distance. Technology has made the "we can see it while standing on public property" a completely different animal.


this kills alot of the revenue for the paparazzi


it's the "public figure" exception that allows them to go nuts.

Chiefnj2
03-17-2008, 12:47 PM
Bigtime agree. That entire industry is pure scum.

And if you buy tabloids or watch those stupid shows, you are part of the problem.

Stars make money off of it as well. They get paid to hold a starbucks cup or other product in public.

Iowanian
03-17-2008, 12:53 PM
Why are so many of the paparazzi immigrants?

Mr. Laz
03-17-2008, 12:53 PM
Stars make money off of it as well. They get paid to hold a starbucks cup or other product in public.
fine .... and they can continue to do that.


it's about choice


people don't deserve to be STALKED whether they are a public figure or a private one.

All These bottom feeder paparazzi wouldn't want to be treated that way or anyone they cared about to receive the treatment they make a living doing.

Chiefnj2
03-17-2008, 12:58 PM
fine .... and they can continue to do that.


it's about choice


people don't deserve to be STALKED whether they are a public figure or a private one.

All These bottom feeder paparazzi wouldn't want to be treated that way or anyone they cared about to receive the treatment they make a living doing.

They could fight back if they wanted. All they have to do is get the name and address of the paparazzi and pay some homeless and college kids $15.00 an hour to sit outside the paps house and follow and photograph everything they do for a week.

Mr. Laz
03-17-2008, 01:08 PM
They could fight back if they wanted. All they have to do is get the name and address of the paparazzi and pay some homeless and college kids $15.00 an hour to sit outside the paps house and follow and photograph everything they do for a week.
yes ..... i supposed they could. ROFL

but then again they shouldn't have to .... cut the money, cut the problem.

if magazines etc can only use public pictures or approved pictures then it will stop this "stalking" and also stop the little game that some public figures play about "pretending" to not want their picture taken.

if they aren't at a public event then any pictures published will basically be approved by them. Because the law provides protection so they can stop them if they choose.

Frazod
03-17-2008, 01:21 PM
Stars make money off of it as well. They get paid to hold a starbucks cup or other product in public.

There is a difference between attention whores who deliberately put/keep themselves in the public eye and people who happen to be stars who try to lead normal lives.

Big difference between Brittany parading her naked snatch all over LA and Reese Witherspoon attempting to take her kids to the park.

|Zach|
03-17-2008, 01:41 PM
yes ..... i supposed they could. ROFL

but then again they shouldn't have to .... cut the money, cut the problem.

if magazines etc can only use public pictures or approved pictures then it will stop this "stalking" and also stop the little game that some public figures play about "pretending" to not want their picture taken.

if they aren't at a public event then any pictures published will basically be approved by them. Because the law provides protection so they can stop them if they choose.

Not trying to start shit but I would say posting pictures of every female celeb who has ever put on a bikini on this board for everyone isn't exactly fighting the good fight for this cause.

Direckshun
03-17-2008, 01:51 PM
Paparazzi thing is tough for me, I don't really support it and couldn't in a million years imagine doing it or enjoying doing it even if the money was there, which it seems it is.
It's not hard to reconcile it, Zach. It's entirely possible to tack on a couple other commandments to restrict what they do while still allowing you to do what you do.

XI. You will not restrict the pathway of your subject in any unreasonable way. If your subject wishes to continue walking down the sidewalk or wishes to drive off in their car, you cannot interfere.

XII. You must give your subject reasonable room for space, let's say 10 feet.

|Zach|
03-17-2008, 01:57 PM
It's not hard to reconcile it, Zach. It's entirely possible to tack on a couple other commandments to restrict what they do while still allowing you to do what you do.

XI. You will not restrict the pathway of your subject in any unreasonable way. If your subject wishes to continue walking down the sidewalk or wishes to drive off in their car, you cannot interfere.

XII. You must give your subject reasonable room for space, let's say 10 feet.

Sounds quite reasonable to me. Maybe this is strange to some but I didn't even think about paparazzi when I made this thread. I don't even see that as photography. It is obviously the most front and center examples of the grudge match between what photographers should and shouldn't be doing.

But there is a big attack on the ability for photographers to do what they do. There has been a big crackdown in some of the bigger cities to interfere with photographers. Alot of it is an information thing, a lot of people don't have it.

StcChief
03-17-2008, 02:01 PM
Sounds quite reasonable to me. Maybe this is strange to some but I didn't even think about paparazzi when I made this thread. I don't even see that as photography. It is obviously the most front and center examples of the grudge match between what photographers should and shouldn't be doing.

But there is a big attack on the ability for photographers to do what they do. There has been a big crackdown in some of the bigger cities to interfere with photographers. Alot of it is an information thing, a lot of people don't have it.
I never assumed it either, but we don't have to deal with these bad examples of trying to make a living off photography.

the don't block path and 10 feet rule sounds very fair even for these scum

Demonpenz
03-17-2008, 04:54 PM
whats the rule in photographing your wang. Can you use different lenses for more length and girth? Thx in advance

CrazyPhuD
03-17-2008, 05:09 PM
Actually for all things there just really need to ever be only one commandment.

Thou shalt not be a dumbass.

Pretty much all issues result from failing to follow this simple commandment.

Mr. Laz
03-17-2008, 05:14 PM
Not trying to start shit
yeeeaaaaaa riiiiiigght

|Zach|
03-17-2008, 05:53 PM
yeeeaaaaaa riiiiiigght

So you didn't find it funny?

ChiefaRoo
03-17-2008, 05:53 PM
You know life is full of subtle differences. I mean there, take masturbation for example. No one cares if you masturbate while looking out of a window, but if you do it while looking into a window all hell breaks loose.

88TG88
03-17-2008, 06:04 PM
I still think papparazi should be a legally hunted species.

I used to feel this way to. But, then I heard how much they're pulling down. Snapping pics of celebs > hauling boxes of tiles up stairs.

Mr. Laz
03-17-2008, 06:08 PM
I used to feel this way to. But, then I heard how much they're pulling down. Snapping pics of celebs > hauling boxes of tiles up stairs.
why would their salary make a difference?

what they do is just pretty slimy, whether they get paid a million or a hundred doesn't change anything.

|Zach|
03-17-2008, 07:06 PM
So you didn't find it funny?

I guess not.

unlurking
03-17-2008, 09:09 PM
Not trying to start shit but I would say posting pictures of every female celeb who has ever put on a bikini on this board for everyone isn't exactly fighting the good fight for this cause.



Rep!! :D

Chiefmanwillcatch
03-18-2008, 01:48 AM
Papparazi are running a business on public streets.

How is it right to swarm someone like that?

jjjayb
03-18-2008, 06:15 AM
The last time I went to the overland park arboretum, a public park, they had signs that said photography was prohibited. It really struck me as odd. I couldn't figure out why. Is that legal to prohibit photography in a public park?