The photographers' rights


posted on 2nd of november, 2010

1. You can make a photograph of anything and anyone on any public property, except where a specific law prohibits it.

i.e. streets, sidewalks, town squares, parks, government buildings open to the public, and public libraries.

2. You may shoot on private property if it is open to the public, but you are obligated to stop if the owner requests it.

i.e. malls, retail stores, restaurants, banks, and office building lobbies.

3. Private property owners can prevent photography ON their property, but not photography OF their property from a public location.

4. Anyone can be photographed without consent when they are in a public place unless there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

i.e. private homes, restrooms, dressing rooms, medical facilities, and phone booths.

5. Despite common misconceptions, the following subjects are almost always permissible:
* accidents, fire scenes, criminal activities
* children, celebrities, law enforcement officers
* bridges, infrastructure, transportation facilities
* residential, commercial, and industrial buildings

6. Security is rarely an acceptable reason for restricting photography. Photographing from a public place cannot infringe on trade secrets, nor is it terrorist activity.

7. Private parties cannot detain you against your will unless a serious crime was committed in their presence. Those that do so may be subject to criminal and civil charges.

8. It is a crime for someone to threaten injury, detention, confiscation, or arrest because you are making photographs.

9. You are not obligated to provide your identity or reason for photographing unless questioned by a law enforcement officer and state law requires it.

10. Private parties have no right to confiscate your equipment without a court order. Even law enforcement officers must obtain one unless making an arrest. No one can force you to delete photos you have made.


These are general guidelines regarding the right to make photos and should not be interpreted as legal advice. If you need legal help, please contact a lawyer.

Comments (13)

Posted by Demonike on November 27, 2010
Please let me remind you that while you CAN take most of those pictures, it does not mean they are automatically stock oriented and accepted by DT. All identifiable persons still require model releases and all brands and logos must be removed. Plus it must have a general appeal to be stockworthy and actually sell. If you shoot for the sake of art or a project however, then we have no say :)
Posted by Ionutv91 on November 23, 2010
This is it. Thanks...Now I can see for real where I can take pictures
Posted by Kelvintt on November 22, 2010
this is very useful. thanks.
Posted by Chimeandsense on November 20, 2010
I wish the general public knew the rules as regards to the laws and photography, I was threaten by a men, only last week and it has really put off taking my camera out on to the street. I was only taking photos for college
Posted by Hermes-sicily on November 07, 2010
Very useful... nice to see that photographers have some right too :)
Posted by Scottysally2 on November 03, 2010
Thank you for sharing this information, very useful. :)
Posted by Joezachs on November 03, 2010
This is useful info.
Posted by Mmferguson on November 02, 2010
Have you seen the Photographers Rights lens cleaning cloth by zaprag? It has the rights imprinted on a camera lens cleaning cloth, veted by a lawyer, printed both sides - have a look at it http://www.zaprag.com very affordable at $10 and you can also get it printed on a laminated card. They currently offer U.S. and Canadian versions but the site says other countries (like the UK) are in the works. I ordered the US version.
Posted by Arim44 on November 02, 2010
Useful Information, thanks.
Posted by Sobek85 on November 02, 2010
great information
Posted by Egomezta on November 02, 2010
Good to know, although not many people may like it...
Posted by Gregnboutz on November 02, 2010
I've known alot of these guidelines but have run into problems just having a camera at my side. I had a police officer in Jefferson City, MO threaten to be bouncing me off the pavement if I were pointing my camera at him. It seems that the Captain or anyone else I talked to even cared about it taking place.
Posted by Thanatonautii on November 02, 2010
That`s good to know! I have sometimes fears about taking my camera out and start shooting...But now I know that I can shoot almost whatever I want :)
Thanks for sharing this!



Comments (13)

This article has been read 1369 times. 10 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Arenacreative.

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