is it legal to take pic of other ppl's dog on street

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bearbo, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. macrumors 68000

    bearbo

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    #1
    so i was in NYC, i was overjoyed by the amazing number of dog (walked by their owner)... and i was taking pictures. a non-photographer friend of mine kept on telling me i should ask them before taking the picture...

    but this is the thing... sometimes the dogs are across the street or far away from me, and more importantly if i were to ask them, they'd stop and stand still, and the picture won't look natural anymore...

    what should i do?
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #2
    you really should have absolutely no problem from a legal standpoint taking the pictures of the dogs, especially from a distance. The only thing that you should be somewhat careful of is taking a picture that is primarily of the person walking the dog, which I know you are not. These are not trademarked or copyrighted material or anything of that sort so there is no issue.
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    Actually, my understanding is that this varies from state to state, and sometimes from city to city. I guess it might be different when there are no humans in the picture, but in certain US locations, it is not legal to take unconsented public pictures of others. I kind of want to say that NYC is one of them.

    Anyway, though, there was a detailed discussion of this relatively recently at FredMiranda.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68000

    bearbo

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    #4
    if you were the dog owner, would you be offended?

    i was concerned about legal standpoint, as well as physical standpoint, as is the dog owner gonna feel the urge to beat me up?
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #5
    I know you cannot sell pictures of people without their consent, but you can offer them for editorialized uses, from reading stuff on stock photo websites.

    I would think if you just took the picture for the heck of it, and weren't making money on it or sellling it as porn, you'd be fine. If they took you to court and tried to make a big hullaballooh over some arcane, archaic law, no judge would do more than tell you to stop.





    *as a disclaimer, I'm not a lawyer, but I think you could easily argue your way out of it.
     
  6. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #6
    Taking personal pictures for personal use of people and pooches in public shouldn't be much of a problem, however using the pictures for commercial gain likely requires a release, or payment.

    If you are going to include the dog in a portfolio, art show, etc. you'd also likely want to get a release -- or a permission on tape.

    If they do find you using the dog in an ad campaign, their lawyer would likely stick your wallet and bank account in the washer.

    * Getting a release isn't too hard, look at all the idiots that sign them for COPS.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 68000

    bearbo

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    #7
    oh, i'm using it for no more than just to show to friends and family... the most i'd do is sticking it on flickr and the like.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #8
    There are three situations you can look at.

    1. Personal use: No permission needed ,for your property or public spaces, but it is always appreciated. If none is given and you are in a public place or your property shoot away, just don't harass or break private property laws. Also don't be a jerk and stalk your subject.

    2. Journalistic or editorial: No permissions needed. But the trespass laws thing still applies. If you are on private property and someone says no photos they have that right. Also try not to be a jerk. This can be put aside in some cases not many. An example of putting this aside is during a prisoner walk down. The person may not want a photo taken but you have to get in their personal space to get that photo. Don't be a paparazzi under any circumstance. I don't consider them to be journalists but they can tread that fine line between any photo in public and harassing their subject. There are journalistic situations where you need a photo release. A hospital patient is one of those for instance. New health regulations protect patients from journalists intrusion.

    3. Commercial: Don't press that button without permission. This permission could also include the location. An example of this would be doing a fashion shoot in a state park. It is public property but you don't just show up and go to work. If you want to use a photo commercially you need a signed photo release.

    Now all this said none of this guarantees the person having their photo made will want you to take it. You might have the right to do it but that does not make your subject willing or cooperative. With the case of animals they don't have to work with you under any circumstance and don't really obey the law if they don't want to.

    Note on #2: The National Press Photographers Association puts out guidelines on the law and photography. The last time I looked at the law it said clearly that a photographer can take a picture in public of anything they can see. Even it what they see is on public property as long as they are on public property.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 68000

    bearbo

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    #9
    can someone provided some link and such published article on this? thanks a bunch
     
  10. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    hi,

    i have no answer for you, but i find this question sad from a societal point of view...nothing wrong for you asking.

    we are so headed the way of fahrenheit 451, that it's sad and pathetic.

    i was told that i'm not allowed to take video or pictures of my kid's swimming class. i told them to politely bite my hiney and if they had to, call the cops or whatever dumba$$ made that rule and i'll chew them out :)

    BUT, i would think that as long as you are not selling the images, you'd be fine.

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  11. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #11
    Are you sure? Photographers/paparazzi, and even random people can take photos of celebrities, sell the photos, and make money. :confused: These celebrities can even be doing something mundane like walking the dog, or just breathing, and it seems to be OK.

    Are there different rules for photographying famous people?
     
  12. macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #12
    Yep. If you're a public figure, it's a whole different ball game. Plus celebrities would be doing nothing but suing photographers if they went down this road.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #13
    I'm reading Fahrenheit 451 right now, and hadn't thought of how it relates to photography. Thanks!
     
  14. macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #14
    While you'd need a signed release for the person *and* the dog if you were selling the pictures for advertising purposes, not all[1] commercial use requires a release. Fine Art sales have historically been just fine without a release, as have photos of "public figures" when not used for advertising, since they're seen to have different standards of reasonable expectation of privacy by the courts.

    [1] US-centric, consult your lawyer, not legal advice, yadda yadda

    1. Typically they're for tabloids which is "editorial use," neatly skirting most issues.
    2. Yes, public figures have a decreased expectation of privacy in the US, making them fair game.
     
  15. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #15
    I really like my two dogs. If someone wanted to take a picture of one of them, I'd be happy. :)
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
  17. macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #17
    Good point. I had forgotten to put the fine art photo in the commercial area. I was thinking of print as printed publication. I forgot to think about photo print in the gallery.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #18
  19. macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #19
    FWIW, it's not true- some US Government entities can prohibit photography from public property, such as the DoD and military installations. You may also run into issues photographing infrastructure these days (regardless of the legality.)
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #20
    That is a good point to clarify. I was using public property in the traditional sense of streets, parks etc. Military property is one of the sticky areas.
     
  21. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #21
    no prob! :) as you read along, it relates to everything. in a few decades, if the planet lasts that long, we're going to be so regulated, it won't be funny :)
     
  22. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #22
    [This is the way it is in the US:

    People who are out in public have no expectation of privacy. You can take photos of anything you can normally see with your eyes so long as you did not have to do something like climb over a fence or up into a window, use a telescope or whatever. But if the subject is in normal view of everyone else there is no question you can take the photo.

    Now the nest question: What can you do with the photo? The basic rule is that if you use the photo for any commercial work or publish it you need a release form signed by the subject. But for your own use you do not.

    There is one more thing. Some owners of private property may not want you to use your camera while you are inside their property. Example would be a department store or shopping mall. But even there you could shoot the outside of the property from a public location and use the image for your own use.

    Next issue: common sense. You really should ask people first. Even if you have the right to take a photo you would be better off to ask. Say "I like your dog. May I take some photos? Here is may email address (hand them a card) I'll send you copies if you ask? What's his name?..." If you do this not only are you being polite you may get cooperation from the owner and better photos, much better photos.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 68000

    bearbo

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    #23
    see, now i understand this, that it's only nice for me to ask for permission, and such.. and i did, when the person is within normal talking distance, and not apparently trying to get somewhere fast... but is not asking, given the dog is far far away and/or on the other side of the street or everyone is hurrying somewhere, horribly impolite?
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #24
    ^ no. They probably won't know or care that you took a picture of their dog, and it's beans' difference to them if you did. They are walking off their morning coffee, let them be!
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Pac a Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #25
    Certainly in the UK photographing dogs without permission, hanging about out side kennels in long raincoats and offering puppies candy will get you a beating from the doggy police.

    Seriously though, I guess it is just polite to ask:)
     

Share This Page