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06/09/2005 01:40:35 PM · #1
Heard on BBc radio tonight that Ken Livingstone (Mayor of London) is warning about the taking of photos of children in public. Wants police to have stronger powers to stop this as paedophiles are taking photos with digital cameras. Parks to have "No photography" signs up, no children should be in frame if taking a photo of a street or famous place. Apparently Westminster Police have arrested 17 people this year for taking "inappropriate"(?) pictures of children. Another MP is trying to stop him to protect amateur photographers being harassed.

Thoughts?

Pauline
06/09/2005 01:50:55 PM · #2
a bit extreme and restrictive...'specially since i take pics of my kids at the park...
156914.jpg 156912.jpg 164015.jpg

And this pic 184122.jpg is from a parade...
06/09/2005 01:52:32 PM · #3
Sad world we live in...

Soon, you will not be able to take a picture of a street without previously contacting each architecture company that designed the buildings in the photo, and without getting a written permission from car manufacturers of all the cars that could be recognized in the photo, and without the asphalt (or concrete) manufacturer's permission since your photo may show a pothole that is a bad marketing for the above mentioned company...

As far as the people in the photos are concerned, the people will gradually disappear from the streets, afraid of their own shadows, so model releases will become obsolete.

yuck. I am disgusted.

Edit: removed a reference to religious institutions and paedophilia.

Message edited by author 2005-06-09 13:54:09.
06/09/2005 01:53:48 PM · #4
I was taking pictures at the school the other day waiting for Ellie and was approached by the principal asking if I had releases from all the children and their parents that were in my shots. I told her, "Well, no because none of the children are in my shots except my own, but thank you for asking."

As a parent I would not like other people taking random shots of my kids and putting them up on the internet without my permission. When I shoot people or kids in public I try to respect their privacy and will only publish the shot if you can't really tell who it is. Otherwise I do get permission.

Deannda
06/09/2005 01:59:15 PM · #5
That's a good idea I mostly just take pictures of my GrandChildren People can get all kins of ideas as to what you are up to
06/09/2005 02:03:05 PM · #6
What about those of us that have no kids of our own? You must admit that children tkae to the camera better than us stuffy adults ever will. If a stranger was to walk up to most people and ask to take pictures of there kids they would either instantly assume there perverted and cuss them out or gahter there kids into a car and run away. I have found this to be annoying but I can understand the parents fear. I usualy just wear a press pass and look proffesional. I have rarely been questioned then. I forget my pass or don't carry enough gear with me and some of the parents can get quite Irrate. (BTW the press pass was created by me for my personal use and has no real merit what so ever)
06/09/2005 02:07:36 PM · #7
I agree that if you are taking a pic of a specific child in a public place or peering over a fence at a school yuyou ought to ask permission unless you want trouble but what happens when the scene you want to take for a challenge or a portfolio just happens to have a group of children in it, perhaps in the background? It would be impossible to find parents to ask permission. Try taking a photo in London in school holidays WITHOUT having children in it somewhere!

Are we becoming paranoid and will it be another intrusion by the "nanny" state?

Pauline
06/09/2005 02:10:46 PM · #8
Oh well, that just means more bird pictures from me :P
06/09/2005 02:21:05 PM · #9
This issue has been going on for a while now. I first read about this in Amateur Photography, there was a 70 year old man who was taking photos in Trafalgar Square of Nelson's column and he was arrested by police who susupected he was a paedophile.
Last week issue of A.P. brought the news of Ken Livingstone wanting to ban ''people using mobile phone cameras and digital cameras'' and one of his ideas was to put signs up in parks banning their use. However there is no intention, at this time, to do this. I find it so sad. I take many photos of my grandson Luke and would love to take photos of othere children as they make wonderful subjects.
I have travelled far and wide in this world and this only appears to be happening in the so called ''civilised western countries''.
In Egypt, India, Turkey I am able to take photos of children without fear.


06/09/2005 02:27:52 PM · #10
There have been lots of times I wanted to take pic of kids playing, etc. in public places. However I never would around here. I was on the college campus, obviously older kids, and the police were called only because I had my camera. They wanted to know what I was taking pictures of since someone had complained I was taking 'inappropriate' pictures. I really felt like arguing with them but I figured the smart thing to do was just show them my pictures. He was shocked when he saw not only that there were none that were even remotely inappropriate, but NONE of people period. He did apologize but it didn't make me feel any better.

I can't imagine what would happen if I showed up near the local playground with my camera.
06/09/2005 02:31:27 PM · #11
I have two daughters (11 and 14) and try to protect them as any mother would.
Whilst I wouldn't want them to be the sole interest of a stranger with a camera (which is quite different to being a PART of a photo), I refuse to get paranoid about it.
I know I'm a bit naive in these things at times, but just how much damage can someone do with a photo of a fully dressed person/child in a public place (name and address unknown to them)?

The sickos are still only a very small minority, and I will not allow anyone or anything to make me live my whole life in fear over something that could possibly happen (but is very unlikely).
I'd never leave the house, in that case.
06/09/2005 02:37:04 PM · #12
This is leading to a lot of self censorship.

Last Sunday, I found myself at an outdoor Jazz function in the middle of Colombo. It was held at a rugby club, and there were lots of expatriate families, including tons with young children, enjoying the day. I took my camera with me, but ended up not shooting anything although the sky was blue, lots of laughter about, and plenty of potentially interesting shots of frolicking children.

Had these been Sri Lankan families, I wouldn't have hesitated. But with expatriate parents, I didn't want to deal with any negativity that would have spoiled my day, and theirs. I have no idea whether or not they would have reacted badly to me taking shots, but I didn't want to risk it. Too bad, I guess.
06/09/2005 02:44:58 PM · #13
This issue has been raging in Amateur Photographer for months, as mentioned above. What everybody seems to forget is that the original story concerned a gentleman who was taking photos of a NAKED child in Trafalgar Square. Not quite as black and white nonsense as everyone is making out, but as a result everyone has jumped on the bandwagon that apparently photographers are not allowed to take photos of ANY children. This has been questionable until the idiot London mayor has decided to try to ban taking any photos of children in London parks. Ludicrous. It's not actually against the law, but you may find your cameras and computer gear being confiscated for months after an arrest before they let you off.
I'm glad I have ID from the local magazine confirming I'm a photojournalist, although I'd still be VERY careful in London.
06/09/2005 03:15:31 PM · #14
Originally posted by Beetle:

I have two daughters (11 and 14) and try to protect them as any mother would.
Whilst I wouldn't want them to be the sole interest of a stranger with a camera (which is quite different to being a PART of a photo), I refuse to get paranoid about it.
I know I'm a bit naive in these things at times, but just how much damage can someone do with a photo of a fully dressed person/child in a public place (name and address unknown to them)?

The sickos are still only a very small minority, and I will not allow anyone or anything to make me live my whole life in fear over something that could possibly happen (but is very unlikely).
I'd never leave the house, in that case.


Ever hear of photoshop? I'm not trying to make you paranoid or anything but anyone could take a head shot of your child and put it on the body of another, it happens all the time.

As far as group shots of kids I don't know, again, I try to make sure you can't tell who the children are in the shot, faces turned away, backs to me, things like that, unless I know the parents and they have given me permission to photograph the child. It's my own personal censorship.

Deannda
06/09/2005 03:25:56 PM · #15
"I usualy just wear a press pass and look proffesional. I have rarely been questioned then. I forget my pass or don't carry enough gear with me and some of the parents can get quite Irrate. (BTW the press pass was created by me for my personal use and has no real merit what so ever)"

Why does it disturb me, that someone would create a fake press pass to take pictures of children? I have had members of the press ask to take pictures of my children at events and I would never do that either, but I know that many parents would. It is a crazy world and parents need to be paranoid...it sucks, but it is the world we live in. I would be careful, because I know many a good parent that would not look lightly upon someone using a fake pass to shoot their kids. No disrespect meant, just my opinion.
06/09/2005 03:27:14 PM · #16
Yeah and anyone could replace Santa with Satan, God these threads of the last few days about what is right and wrong in photography are killing the point of being a photographer. Are we all supposed to take still life shots of a jam jar??????????? Let's get back to reality here, most of us are not perverts and normally small to early teenage children are accompanied by mature adults, who in my opinion are quite capable of looking after them. The world is going bonkers!!!!!!!!!!

Message edited by author 2005-06-10 00:23:36.
06/09/2005 03:30:17 PM · #17
Originally posted by Neuferland:

[Ever hear of photoshop? I'm not trying to make you paranoid or anything but anyone could take a head shot of your child and put it on the body of another, it happens all the time.


You mean like this: (sorry, strikeslip):
slipmuscle.jpg

C'mon, it happens all the time? You base this statement on what facts?
I know that I cannot do anything to promote freedom in the wild west, but I just want to mention that my parents used to let me play out for hours without worrying too much about what would happen to me (that was in non-free parts of the europe) and now I am uneasy with my kids playing in front of my own house - in the free world.

The problem is not that we did not have maniacs and paedophiles and such, the problem is that over there if someone tried to molest a kid, there would be enough people on the streets to react and beat the heck out of the intruder. Over here I am not sure if my first neighbor (for whom I'm not sure I know their full name) would even call the police.

On the other hand, let's lobby our representatives (or whatever form of local gov't you have) to enact the law by which all lenses > 50mm would require a license.
06/09/2005 03:34:58 PM · #18
No disrespect taken: However I should probably mention that I am considerer a professional by some standard. I have had over twenty art shows, I have sold my photography and I have done work ranging from cover art to Modeling portfolios. My badge does not state "press pass" It actualy I am a photographer on assighnment. I have a valid company with a physical address and phone. I have always been willing to allow conserned parent to view the photos and have a bussiness card. I also cary a small binder with samples of my work with me. Quite often the same parents who were conserned before are asking to purchase the photos I was taking or ask to schedual a private shoot. Not meaning to scare anyone before. But felt I owed an explanation.
06/09/2005 04:16:44 PM · #19
Politicians are very bored these days,I'm keep hearing of new stupid idiotic laws every day recently !

Sid you hear of the new law in California for ticketing drivers who smoke with passengers (kids),or new proposal in Santa Fe NM to put pets in seatbelt.
06/09/2005 04:32:58 PM · #20
Originally posted by pitsaman:

Politicians are very bored these days,I'm keep hearing of new stupid idiotic laws every day recently !

Sid you hear of the new law in California for ticketing drivers who smoke with passengers (kids),or new proposal in Santa Fe NM to put pets in seatbelt.

Cosidering that cigarette smoke is both a known carcinogen and toxic, I don't see why that should be so controversial. Add to that the fact that smoking while driving markedly increases your chances of causing an accident -- possibly affecting others besides your own family -- it's not an unreasonable measure to prohibit smoking while driving anyway.

Many years ago, I heard of an interesting case where the accident rate for a particular car model increased some huge amount (like doubled) from one year to the next. It turned out that in re-styling the interior they had relocated the ashtray six inches further away from the driver.

Driving is one place where the current culture of mandatory multi-tasking should be discouraged.

Shooting photos in kids in public places is also way different than publishing/posting them. I shoot a lot of photos of my kid, and the other kids he's around. I don't post or sell those photos without the parent's permission, unless the other kids are unidentifiable.

But a public place still belongs to the public -- I think if you don't want people photographing your kid in a public place, then don't go there, or make him wear a burkha. People are not entitled to a right to personal privacy in public spaces, and I don't really see why your kid should be treated (in this case) differently than the parent, their dog, their lunchbox, or anything else.

None of this, of course, applies to commercial use of the image -- that still requires a specific, written release.
06/09/2005 04:33:29 PM · #21
Originally posted by BobsterLobster:

This issue has been raging in Amateur Photographer for months, as mentioned above. What everybody seems to forget is that the original story concerned a gentleman who was taking photos of a NAKED child in Trafalgar Square. Not quite as black and white nonsense as everyone is making out, but as a result everyone has jumped on the bandwagon that apparently photographers are not allowed to take photos of ANY children. This has been questionable until the idiot London mayor has decided to try to ban taking any photos of children in London parks. Ludicrous. It's not actually against the law, but you may find your cameras and computer gear being confiscated for months after an arrest before they let you off.
I'm glad I have ID from the local magazine confirming I'm a photojournalist, although I'd still be VERY careful in London.


Was the old photographer related to the child? or was he babysitting it, or something like that? What about the parents who let their kid go naked in a public place? In the US I would think the authorities would be going after the parents.

Wouldn't it make more sense to ban naked children from public parks instead of baning all photography?

I think everyone is at their own risk in a public park. You might get photographed. You might cross paths with a pedophile. If you can't handle those possibilities I guess you better go somewhere private.
06/09/2005 04:51:25 PM · #22
The naked child was unkown to the photographer. His defence in Amateur Photographer was that if he was taking indecent photos, the child should not have been naked there in the first place.
06/09/2005 05:17:40 PM · #23
Originally posted by BobsterLobster:

The naked child was unkown to the photographer. His defence in Amateur Photographer was that if he was taking indecent photos, the child should not have been naked there in the first place.

In the US the photographer could probably sue the parents for depriving him of the use of a public space ... if they're not already in the hands of CPS and the District Attorney.
06/09/2005 08:24:33 PM · #24
I was on a public sidewalk and stopped to shoot the outside of a 2 storey office building with mirrored glass windows in order to get the reflected landscape scene from across the street. I had taken a couple shots when the owner/manager hurriedly came out of the building demanding to know what I was doing. On another occasion I had a street artist in my viewfinder, before I could snap he looked up from his easel and saw me. He put his hands over his face and said I would have to pay him (the equivalent of) $20 to take his picture. As friendly as most Brazilians are, a lot of them are mighty skittish about having their picture taken.
06/09/2005 08:52:12 PM · #25
i learned first hand exactly what they're talking about when i was shooting in trafalgar sq back in early march. you can read the details in the photog notes...

i had shot this
157837.jpg

but wanted something like this,
157838.jpg

when i went for a better shot i got this
157839.jpg

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