The photographers' rights

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.

Photo credits: Arenacreative.

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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 :)

November 23, 2010


This is it. Thanks...Now I can see for real where I can take pictures

November 22, 2010


this is very useful. thanks.

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

November 07, 2010


Very useful... nice to see that photographers have some right too :)

November 03, 2010


This is useful info.

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 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.

November 02, 2010


Useful Information, thanks.

November 02, 2010


great information

November 02, 2010


Good to know, although not many people may like it...

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.

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!

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