Trespassing Question

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by nkmaurer, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. nkmaurer

    nkmaurer TPF Noob!

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    My business has been in my basement.....or now my parent's basement since I just got married and moved out. We are currently renting trying to figure out what option would be best for us. House, where my business would be on the property either in basement or building. Or have my business in a seperate location.

    My question would be.....a couple buildings went up for sale in an area I love taking seniors too. A 'downtown' area of a small town nearby. Usually I just go walking around taking pictures w/ them, but I didn't know if that was even legal. The businesses around have such neat doors, fences, stairs etc....but, if I moved my business over there would I still be able to do that since it would be daily. Do you just ask each business if they would mind or what?? Also, for those who do on location a lot...I take my cousins up and down streets all the time. But from a parent's view, what would they normally think about traffic going by? From a safety standpoint as well as people watching?

    I obviously live in the middle of nowhere right now. Just trying to figure out my options. Thanks for any help!
     
  2. photo28

    photo28 TPF Noob!

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    I think if you ask the store owner if it is ok he'll let you.
     
  3. ksmattfish

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

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    If you really think it's trespassing never involve you clients or business in it. If it's just wandering over to a doorway off a public location, and you aren't bothering the business or their clients then it's probably not a big deal. Asking permission is the best policy, although plenty of people will say no purely because of liability implications.

    EDIT: I was just thinking of all the portraits I've seen with railroad tracks in them. That's always trespassing and it's usually well posted.
     
  4. ShutterBug357

    ShutterBug357 TPF Noob!

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    In addition to asking businesses for their permission, you may want to check town regulations, especially if you're going to take pictures in downtown areas. A lot of cities and towns have codes that require you to get a permit to take pictures. Just something to think about and check out!
     
  5. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Legally in the U.S. you can take photos in any public place and that is defined in law as any place to which the general public has access whether privately owned or not. You can also sell those photos you took, but not for advertising purposes.

    As to tresspassing, unless the property is signed or has a locked gate or fence that you have climbed over etc., then you are not tresspassing until you are asked to leave and do not do so.

    skieur
     
  6. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Just wrong.

    As Skieur more eloquently mentioned, public property can be photographed at all times, and you can take all the pictrues of private property as long as you are not trespassing.

    If (and when) you DO trespas you still retain all rights to your photographs, the act of taking the picture and the act of trespassing are two VERY different things. Unless you were stealing (taking pictures of) business information from a private business, or sensetive government information you can still publish your photos.

    While were on the subject you can also take and sell photos of anyone you see on the street, but you cannot use them for advertisement purposes. You cannot take pictures of people who have a reasonable feeling of privacy, those in their houses with the windows shut, etc. Also, reasonable expectation of privacy includes clothing now, so you cannot take pictures up a skirt, or down a shirt even in public.

    What else am I missing?
     
  7. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Not quite correct. A public place(not necessarily public property) can be photographed without breaking any law or "at all times" to use your words.

    To clarify the issue of private property a little more, taking pictures of private property whether you are trespassing or not, is NOT against the law either. The trespassing may be..but the picture taking isn't. Private property may also be a public place such as a mall, museum, library etc.

    skieur
     
  8. ShutterBug357

    ShutterBug357 TPF Noob!

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    Then the law enforcement in my town needs to be corrected. I was taking pictures downtown and was told that it was against my town's regulations and that a permit was required, especially if the photographs are intended for monetary gain. But who knows. Maybe they are wrong, as they have been before.
     
  9. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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    I can say this from experience, and from other people on this very forum. Usually law enforcement and security arent very informed on photography laws.
     
  10. Easy_Target

    Easy_Target TPF Noob!

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    Absolutely not true. If they do it can be challenged on constitutional grounds for infringing free speech (photography as a means of expressing yourself).

    The law enforcement in your town lied to you, much like most law enforcement. Few if any law enforcement know half (let alone all) the laws currently in effect within their jurisdiction. When they come across something they aren't sure of, they make it up on the spot.
     
  11. ShutterBug357

    ShutterBug357 TPF Noob!

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    Well, awesome. I feel much better now that I know I won't be arrested next time I see something I'd like to photograph downtown!
     
  12. Pure Captures

    Pure Captures TPF Noob!

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    While you may be perfectly in your rights to take pictures of anything in public, you're also doing business. So make sure you are licensed to do business. You don't want to give any cranky cops an alternative reason to harrass you (hopefully you're police are nicer than that anyhow).
    Safety of traffic going by is an important concern, really for you even moreso than your subjects. I wouldn't let it deter me at all, but you should make sure that you don't get so caught up in taking pictures that you forget where you are and end up stepping somewhere you don't want to be (like in front of a car). If you and your subjects stay mindful of your surroundings it shouldn't be a big deal though.

    Matthew Block
    http://www.purecaptures.com
     

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