street photography and the law

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by fulcanelli, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. fulcanelli

    fulcanelli TPF Noob!

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    Greetings. I do some non-professional street photography in the U.S. and am concerned about the law. I'm shooting in a large urban setting, on public streets, people just being people. I can't seem to get a good definition of the law on this. While I'm walking/driving around capturing images, it wouldn't be practical to acquire a model release for each shot I fire off, and quite frankly, some or even many will not work, or be used. And these days, I doubt that many people would agree to sign.

    I've been asked to leave malls, and learned fast that the turf is off limits to photographers. It's funny...I was at one that caters to a rather affluent crowd, and didn't realize that I wasn't allowed to shoot. My auto-flash (digital) no doubt alerted the authorities and I was approached immediately. They were pleasant enough about it, but still insisted I stop. Many of the customers at this mall walk around with cell phones, cell phones with picture taking capabilities. How easy would it be to take a picture with a phone!

    But back to my question, I am strictly an amateur and just like shooting and sharing my photography. Does anybody have hard information on the legality?
     
  2. doxx

    doxx TPF Noob!

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    it is legal to photograph people in public in the US, there will
    be a ban on photography on the NYC subway. It is illegal to
    photograph bridges in NYC.

    If you want your work to be published you will need to have
    a model/property release in many cases, there is no need
    to worry for personal use

    [​IMG]
     
  3. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    so if i take a photograph of a person in a public space, do would I have to have their permission to have it published?
     
  4. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Hey Doxx, I'm a long time admirer of your works! :thumbsup:

    Do you have a press pass while you photograph in the streets? I know you dont need it, but how would you respond to a cop query?

    When can we see your new pictures?
     
  5. doxx

    doxx TPF Noob!

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    thank you!

    no press pass over here :roll: Actually it happened to me a few
    times that a cop stopped me. Once I photographed close to a bridge
    and he informed me friendly that it is against the law to photography
    bridges in NYC. I took the pic anyway. :lol:

    Another time a cop stopped me photographing at the parking lot
    behind our local police station. I told hime the truth - I'm an amateur photographer testing film (outdated slide film for cross processing)
    for a color study.

    One time a cop stopped me coz they were looking for a convict in
    the neighborhood. :lol:

    new pics are soon to come, I just have to prep them for the web..
     
  6. doxx

    doxx TPF Noob!

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    most publishers won't accept pictures of people without a proper release
     
  7. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    So you mean to say the photojournalists get the releases from all the people, say a disaster struck area?
     
  8. doxx

    doxx TPF Noob!

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    nah, I was talking about an amateur wanting to show their artsy-fartsy
    stuff
     
  9. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    what about museums or other exhibition spaces?
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Although they worked in other times, do you think Henri Carter Bresson or Gary Winnogrand ever got a model release signed? As I understand it, they never did.
     

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