"The Photographer's Right" printable flyer

That's interesting, I think I will print the sheet. I have been stopped or questioned by police on multiple occasions, usually checking to see if my vehicle had broken down or to ask about the weather. I have been stopped on private property twice while shooting video and asked to leave which I did to a nearby public place. My philosphy: don't ask, just do and beg for forgiveness later. I think using a TRV-900 is less conspicuous than a VX-2100 and I am able to blend in with tourists and amateurs. Keep in mind that somep places ban (or want a cut) when people are doing commercial photography but don't care about Average Joe.

Bill Hark
Thanks for the info, cleared some stuff up about taking pictures about property. This is because I was once asked to stop taking pictures at a mall one time. This made me confused about if you had to ask permission to take photos from on or off their grounds, but this cleared that up...
The general rule is so long as you are in a public place, you can shoot anything and anyone. This includes people in their vehicles, and even events or things happening on private property so long as it is visible from a public place.

As a matter of convenience in TV news, if we're doing a negative story about a business or person, we won't even bother trying to get on their property to take pictures. We'll simply stand just over the perceived property line on another business property or on a sidewalk. It's usually just not worth the trouble.

Also, typically, if sidewalks extend from land parcel to parcel (i.e. not installed just on the grounds of the business in question) it is considered public property. This can be debated, and it's usually just easier to move than get into a confrontation.

I agree with the attorney that most law enforcement know photographers' rights. I have never encountered any resistance from law enforcement. However, my experiences have been on the behalf of working media, and not as a private photographer.

BTW, courts are less tolerant if the photographer goes to lengths to get pictures otherwise not possible from a normal position (i.e. climbing a tree), etc.

Then why don't people sue for helicopter shots? Interesting.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

The answer to that question is yes. You'll commonly see television or newspaper images of people shopping, or of stocking up before a hurricane.

If the crew has been allowed into the store and videotape a customer, there's really nothing that person can really do. The people photographed can ask the photographer not to use their image, but have no legal recourse. Typically, management of a store has allowed the camera into their store, so the customer only has the manager to complain to.

Now, we are often asked by folks once they see us, "Please don't put me on TV!" I have always made sure their request is honored. There's usually no good reason not to. However, we sometimes do stories about people speeding, and one time a came up to a guy who was speeding and stopped at a stop light (an assistant shot him with our radar gun up the street). He said several times in a tough guy manner, "Don't put me on TV. You'd better not put me on TV."

Well, what's a SURE-FIRE way to get on TV? Bingo... get an attitude. When confronted with a situation like that, I'd suggest two things that would have made that guy look not quite so bad. 1.) Kind of sheepishly say "Sorry. Made a mistake!" People like folks when they admit they're wrong. 2.) Lie or beg. He could have said "Dude, my wife's gonna kill me. Please don't use me!", and I probably wouldn't have used him.

Anyway, back to topic: If there has been a stated or posted prohibition from taking pictures inside a store (a place with public access, but privately owned), and the only way an image could be procured would be by entering the photo-restricted place, then that could be either trespassing (if an individual has been prohibited), or it could possibly be a civil tort. Personally, I would consult my management (who would get an answer from our lawyers) before I would ever proceed like that. Now, if a store (as has happened countless times) has ordered us off the property, then we can shoot anything and everything visible from off-premises and air it, and be in the clear.

Now, if there was no stated or posted prohibition and you took pictures, then were ordered off the property, then we usually run the situation through counsel before running the material. You're in a gray area and must decide whether it's really worth the fight. Sometimes it is, sometimes it's not.

NOTE: I am not a lawyer and anyone can sue for anything on any given day and possibly win given a favorable judge and jury. These are just generally the ground rules understood by most media. 8)
Then why don't people sue for helicopter shots? Interesting.

Most airspace is public, usually only restricted over important government and military installations and around airports... and if your flying with your instructor over the White House, heh. Think that guy got one heck of a scare.
Travel photogrophers often use telephotos to get close up shots of people. Rather than sticking a camera in their face they take the photo from far way. This might be helpful if you are running into constant problems with harassment.

It may be true that photographers have rights, but its not gonna stop somebody from yelling at you or smashing your camera. So the photographers rights sheet is no golden ticket. Just be smart with you expensive equipment.

I'm not sure how this works, but I always thought if you are shooting news or a documentary (either photo or video) you don't need permission to publish the image of a particular person. That's why the media shows images of criminals, but the show Cops often has to block out their faces. It was also the defense of the those "Girls Gone Wild" producers...after all, they were just making documenaries.
One needs to remember in all of this that no personally identifiable information was provided. Was there a SS number floating in front of the face's of customers? I thought not :)

No worries, if one needs to know who they are they can always ask George Bush..

Yes, I believe that the average person has just as much right to stand up for themselves, and for there own privacy...

But don't you waive some of those rights when you enter a public domain? Don't want to start a legal battle, but from my understanding, if you enter a public place, you may be photographed with little you can do (assuming no laws were broken). Now if someone was taking photos of me constantly and I asked them to stop, they refused, and I relocated myself and they followed, then the situation might change.
I think the reason alleged perp faces are (sometimes) blocked out on "Cops", etc., is the principle that you may not have an unrestricted right to publish a photo that unduly defames, damages, or holds someone up to ridicule, especially when that is suggested by audio or text captioning.

Speaking of privacy, Britain is fixing to monitor every vehicle: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/transport...ticle334686.ece

IMO a timely reminder of why we revolted against them! :)
The act of *taking photographs* in public of anything and anyone is a fully protected right of the photographer. However, what you *do* with that photograph after the fact is where legal issues arise.

'News use' of any publically-obtained image is fair game (such as TV or newspaper) as long as the person is not being cast in a misleading way. One example would be a news segment on shoplifters where the cameraman got some filler (b-roll) shots of an innocent woman in a store or on the street, then showed her in the segment in a way that one might deduce that she was a shoplifter. In that case, the person *does* have legal recourse and can sue for how she was wrongfully protrayed.

Now if the photos/video of a person's likeness are being used in a commercial non-news work such as a documentary, advertisement, movie, etc. Then the filmmaker/production company needs a signed release from the person granting permission. They don't need permission to *take the picture*, but they do need it to use the footage in a final work. This is why COPS blurs out faces, because the show is a 'non-news' work and blurring is easier than getting signed permission from the suspects.

The implication for chasers is not so much taking pictures of people in public as it is shooting lightning over a city or a bridge, shooting a supercell in the country, or shooting storms, flooding, snow, etc in urban areas. It's not something we'll run into all the time but it will happen to you sooner or later.
One needs to remember in all of this that no personally identifiable information was provided. Was there a SS number floating in front of the face's of customers? I thought not :)

No worries, if one needs to know who they are they can always ask George Bush..


Except just what you look like....which is a big thing...
What you look like doesn't ID you in any way to a complete stranger. If a friend noticed you on video, or in a picture, chances are you already told them who you are :)