View Full Version : Photographers Rights

Feb 24, 2006, 11:53 PM
I found this link on another forum and thought i would share it here. It is full of great information on what is and is not legal when it comes to photography in public and private locations.


Enjoy :)


Feb 25, 2006, 09:41 AM
Cool, no need for the waivers I've heard people talk about.

Clix Pix
Feb 25, 2006, 09:59 AM
Proceed with caution, though.... For example, the article mentions that you can go into a mall and shoot photos. Maybe. Many stores prohibit people from taking photos, especially of their store displays and such, and many malls have policies, too, about taking photos within them. Yes, it may be considered a "public" place in one sense but in another if a mall is privately owned then taking photos on mall property can be considered trespassing.

Years ago when I was taking some photography classes I went to the local mall in the middle of the night and shot some night scenes of the lighted store windows and of the eerily empty parking garage. A day or two later I went to the mall itself during dayight and started shooting inside the mall. Security hustled right up to me and asked what I was doing and why. I was using film then, so couldn't just show them, but explained that I was doing this for a photography class assignment. They were OK with that, but then I again ran into the same issues in a couple of stores. A small digicam is going to go unnoticed but if you're walking around the mall with a big DSLR and a large lens, be prepared to be questioned!

On the other hand, if a store is really busy employees might not even notice what you're doing or might be indifferent to it. When I was in SF last month at the Apple Store on Market Street, I took photos in the store, especially of the beautiful glass stairs and no one confronted me or said anything. I suspect that in that store, they're accustomed to people going ga-ga over the store itself, its appearance and of course its contents!

Before taking photos of strangers it is always a good idea to ask if they mind. Be especially careful when it comes to taking photos of children..... Be prepared to explain exactly why you're taking the shot(s) and what you're planning to do with them. Offer to send a print or digital file to the person or people involved in the photograph. Respect others' privacy even in public settings.

Feb 25, 2006, 10:03 AM
The mall is private property, so they can say whether you can take pictures or not, but if you use pictures of people you take IN a mall, they are in a wide open public place and it's somewhat assumed that they give up some of their rights to privacy. Like if you take pictures of someone walking on the street.

You won't catch me selling an image of a person for non-editorial purposes without a model release, though. ;)

Feb 25, 2006, 12:30 PM
Cool, no need for the waivers I've heard people talk about.
Er, not if you intend on ever using that picture for something commercial (an ad for something). It's always good to get a release if you can though, just to cover your ass.

Clix Pix
Feb 25, 2006, 11:02 PM
You won't catch me selling an image of a person for non-editorial purposes without a model release, though. ;)

Amen to that! In the long run, it's best to get that model release because then you're covered in whatever way you use the image, whether it be immediately, as in something specifically planned, or later, when you think, "oh, yeah, that particular image would work really well in this project I'm selling...."

Apple Hobo
Mar 4, 2006, 11:51 AM
When I took a photography course a while ago, the instructor gave us a packet of photographer's rights. One of the items was ThePhotographersRight.pdf (http://concertshooter.com/v-web/images/ThePhotographersRight.pdf), which is a small guide written by a lawyer/photographer. This stuff is important with the terrorism hysteria of today.