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10/29/2004 02:41:21 PM · #1
news from the UK (sorry if this has already been mentioned)

from Amateur Photographer:

[quote]
I would like to draw your attention to a very serious problem facing photo enthusiasts who enjoy taking images in the style of the late Henri Cartier-Bresson Ė you could be arrested and detained in jail. Why? Because the police say so, regardless of either the law or common sense. This situation has come about because of concern regarding paedophiles and their use of photography. Therefore, the police have decided that any photographer taking pictures in a public place where children are present is liable to arrest. This is exactly what happened to a 70-year-old AP reader recently in Londonís Trafalgar Square and is reminiscent of the problems faced by black youths in the 1970s and í80s, when they were regularly arrested Ďon suspicioní. While there are few, if any, crimes more disgusting than those perpetrated on children, it is unnecessarily harsh to target photographers simply because they have a camera. We have produced a special news report (see pages 4-7) this week highlighting the problem. I suggest you read it and then lobby your MP.

Garry Coward-Williams,
Editor
[/quote]

link
10/29/2004 02:48:50 PM · #2
Hmmm...that's unfortunate. Speaking of UK and Street Photography, everyone should take a look at the work of Nils Jorgensen.

It's that type of work that inspires me to get out of my shell and do more of this type of photography. I've been enjoying it so far but I have gotten nervous on the few occasions in which there were children in my photographs.
10/29/2004 02:51:25 PM · #3
I'm sorry but I've known for a while that taking pictures of children without their parents knowing is a big problem, even if it isnít against the law. Those parents will flip out if they catch wind to you snapping off a few of their child. Back in high school I went to a park and saw all these kids having fun, swinging, sliding, and all other sorts of playground manner. I just walked up with my camera, hadn't even taking a picture yet and a mother came running over telling me that I had to leave and I had no right to be their unless I was a father of one of the children, which I was way too young, or related somehow. So I left and that was the last time I tried anything like that again. Taking pictures of kids is just asking to get into a big heap of trouble, unless you have permission.
10/29/2004 04:11:11 PM · #4
Originally posted by TomFoolery:

I'm sorry but I've known for a while that taking pictures of children without their parents knowing is a big problem, even if it isnít against the law.


As a mother of three I personally asked one lady in the bus to stop making pictures of my children. I can understand the parents. I had no idea why is she making them pictures, what is she going to do with them later on, etc. There is a lot of mad people around which could kidnapp or harm my children. I didn't want to take the risk.

PS. I just wanted to make sure I totally support the opinion of TomFoolery. Children photography is a sensitive subject. Nils Jorgensen photography given as an exapmle is not about children.
Edited to add PS

Message edited by author 2004-10-29 16:14:29.
10/29/2004 04:17:03 PM · #5
I can understand the reaction of the Police and of parents, anyone who is foolish enough to be taking pictures of or near children these days is asking for trouble. If someone came up and began photographing my grandchildren, I would insert their zoom lenses where the sun don't shine!

I have never had any problems photographing in public places in the UK, mainly cos I don't aim at or want photos of other peoples' children. We have to act as respectable and responsible photographers, whether pros or ams...we have adhere to the code...privacy is paramount.
10/29/2004 04:35:55 PM · #6
As a parent, I don't take my kid out in public if there's a reason he shouldn't be seen.

I have to say that unless there is some reason your child should not be documented being in a public place -- i.e., you/they are in a witness-protection or domestic violence restraining order-type situation, or your child is naked or commiting some illegal act, that there is a huge amount of over-reaction being expressed.

Exactly what do you think could someone "do" with a photo of your kid sitting quitely on a seat in the bus? I'm concerned that your imaginations may be more "out there" than the average photographer's.

One can also be "discreet" in compositional technique.

I am often at my son's school, and I always have my camera. Usually, the parents/teachers just want prints ...

Proof Boys and Girls are Inherently Different: small.jpg

Kid pictures at pBase.

112190.jpg 114161.jpg 1399.jpg 1818.jpg
10/29/2004 04:55:35 PM · #7
Originally posted by GeneralE:

As a parent, I don't take my kid out in public if there's a reason he shouldn't be seen.

I have to say that unless there is some reason your child should not be documented being in a public place -- i.e., you/they are in a witness-protection or domestic violence restraining order-type situation, or your child is naked or commiting some illegal act, that there is a huge amount of over-reaction being expressed.

Exactly what do you think could someone "do" with a photo of your kid sitting quitely on a seat in the bus? I'm concerned that your imaginations may be more "out there" than the average photographer's.

One can also be "discreet" in compositional technique.

I am often at my son's school, and I always have my camera. Usually, the parents/teachers just want prints ...

Proof Boys and Girls are Inherently Different: small.jpg

Kid pictures at pBase.

112190.jpg 114161.jpg 1399.jpg 1818.jpg


Just look back at the Soham case in UK!!
10/29/2004 05:04:25 PM · #8
Not be be completely biased - but come on......an old man taking pictures of kids? That's got 'law suit' written allll over it.

It's not even just about the pervert-factor. To put it another way, no one here wants their photos used without their permission, so why would any parent want pics of their kids used without their own persmission?
You take their kids picture, but they don't know what happens after that, you could be selling it for an ad campaign making yourself some pretty coin.

It's about egos, tempers, rights, fairness, and well, no doubt money.

10/29/2004 05:11:36 PM · #9
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Exactly what do you think could someone "do" with a photo of your kid sitting quitely on a seat in the bus? I'm concerned that your imaginations may be more "out there" than the average photographer's.


I don't know - that is the problem. She didn't ask and I don't like such behaviour.

Originally posted by GeneralE:


I am often at my son's school, and I always have my camera. Usually, the parents/teachers just want prints ...


Me too. And also there is no problem with that, because they know me, I know their kids, they come to visit my children.

Can't you see the difference?

PS. Are you sure those pictures where taken by the strangers and without parents approval? I would never make a picture of a child I don't know. Even in a public place. If I'm in the public place does it mean anybody can take a picture of me? Do I have on my forehead "Come on! Do what you wish!"

I just don't like the idea. Maybe that is why I'm shy to shoot people on the streets.

Edited to take the thumbs out and add PS

Message edited by author 2004-10-29 17:15:36.
10/29/2004 05:11:39 PM · #10
Originally posted by GoldBerry:

Not be be completely biased - but come on......an old man taking pictures of kids? That's got 'law suit' written allll over it.


What for exactly ? Which law would you like to make up that's being broken ?
10/29/2004 05:12:16 PM · #11
Any street photographer can make any of his subjects uncomfortable by taking their photo if he isn't careful.

After reading the interviews on the In-Public site (a great street photo site) which I linked below, I've decided the way to get the best street photos is to be quick, discreet and unapologetic (not sneaky).

If a street photo I'm about to take has children in it, I would not go to great pains to make anyone aware I was doing so but if I thought I could get body-language permission from a parent (raise the camera and be acknowledged with a smile and nod) without ruining the photo I would likely do so.

I know this might bug some of you parents...sorry...

Message edited by author 2004-10-29 17:13:14.
10/29/2004 05:17:55 PM · #12
Originally posted by thatcloudthere:

Any street photographer can make any of his subjects uncomfortable by taking their photo if he isn't careful.

After reading the interviews on the In-Public site (a great street photo site) which I linked below, I've decided the way to get the best street photos is to be quick, discreet and unapologetic (not sneaky).

If a street photo I'm about to take has children in it, I would not go to great pains to make anyone aware I was doing so but if I thought I could get body-language permission from a parent (raise the camera and be acknowledged with a smile and nod) without ruining the photo I would likely do so.

I know this might bug some of you parents...sorry...


This one is fine. Providing I will give you "a smile and nod". And I might if somebody asks.

You are perfectly right about discomfort street photography may cause.

Edit: some typos

Message edited by author 2004-10-29 17:18:35.
10/29/2004 05:21:54 PM · #13
Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by GoldBerry:

Not be be completely biased - but come on......an old man taking pictures of kids? That's got 'law suit' written allll over it.


What for exactly ? Which law would you like to make up that's being broken ?


Pardon moi? I wasn't being entirely serious, Gordon. Howevah- there's a reason celebrities win law suits all the time for having their photos take without their consent. And er, what the heck are model releases for then by your logic (I use the term loosely)? It's too late, your post has gone and angered the colony. "Bees: assemble!!!"

:-)

Message edited by author 2004-10-29 17:25:45.
10/29/2004 05:28:15 PM · #14
Originally posted by rennie:

\I don't know - that is the problem. She didn't ask and I don't like such behaviour.


You're perfectly within your rights to ask people not to take photos of your children.
Some people just like to have a record of the beautiful things they see in this world, and photography is a way to do that.. and children are a beautiful part of the world aren't they? So, I understand why photographers want to take pictures of kids. Especially if they don't have access to their own, or relatives', or friends'. *HOWEVER*, this doesn't give anyone a right to do it inherently.

In a situation like yours, with your kids on the bus, and you obviously right there.. there's no reason that the photographer shouldn't have asked for permission. I think your attitude might have been entirely different if she'd been polite and up-front from the get-go, no? You might still have said no, but I have a feeling you wouldn't have been so uncomfortable.

Now.. for the *rest* of the thread.. the situation in Trafalgar Square and what seems to be being said about the UK is utterly ridiculous.. A public place where children may be present?! That's just about *EVERY* public place that I know of.. lol. Are we really *THAT* paranoid?! Are you letting your children run around nude in Trafalgar Square.. and if you are.. it's the photographer that's standing right out there in the open that you're worried about? Come on..

We need to get a little more sense.. and arresting people because they have a camera and are standing where a bunch of children are or may be gathered is.. unreal.

Just, I think a little common sense needs to be exercised here. I think, (as an in home care-giver of two little girls), that I take on the responsibility of knowing that when I take those girls out of the house.. we become, in a way, public. The public is an open entity. People are going to be in public taking photographs, and once in awhile, kids are going to be a part of those photographs. Knowing that, we, as care-givers and parents, can take those extra little precautions to make sure our personal comfort levels aren't being encroached on by public photographers. We can relax a little. We can scan areas where our children are playing. We can approach people we see and politely ask them to make sure our kids aren't in their shots specifically (99% of photographers will have no problem with this, I'd think). We can do any number of things. Just remember.. you've brought them out into the public domain.. and you have to realize, that this means, once in awhile, someone is going to take a perfectly innocent public interest. Kids are cute, they are fun, and they are a natural draw for a camera.

Message edited by author 2004-10-29 17:30:16.
10/29/2004 05:28:28 PM · #15
Taking the photo isn't illegal, Goldberry.
10/29/2004 05:35:53 PM · #16
Originally posted by Artyste:

Originally posted by rennie:

\I don't know - that is the problem. She didn't ask and I don't like such behaviour.


You're perfectly within your rights to ask people not to take photos of your children.
Some people just like to have a record of the beautiful things they see in this world, and photography is a way to do that.. and children are a beautiful part of the world aren't they? So, I understand why photographers want to take pictures of kids. Especially if they don't have access to their own, or relatives', or friends'. *HOWEVER*, this doesn't give anyone a right to do it inherently.

In a situation like yours, with your kids on the bus, and you obviously right there.. there's no reason that the photographer shouldn't have asked for permission. I think your attitude might have been entirely different if she'd been polite and up-front from the get-go, no? You might still have said no, but I have a feeling you wouldn't have been so uncomfortable.

Now.. for the *rest* of the thread.. the situation in Trafalgar Square and what seems to be being said about the UK is utterly ridiculous.. A public place where children may be present?! That's just about *EVERY* public place that I know of.. lol. Are we really *THAT* paranoid?! Are you letting your children run around nude in Trafalgar Square.. and if you are.. it's the photographer that's standing right out there in the open that you're worried about? Come on..

We need to get a little more sense.. and arresting people because they have a camera and are standing where a bunch of children are or may be gathered is.. unreal.

Just, I think a little common sense needs to be exercised here. I think, (as an in home care-giver of two little girls), that I take on the responsibility of knowing that when I take those girls out of the house.. we become, in a way, public. The public is an open entity. People are going to be in public taking photographs, and once in awhile, kids are going to be a part of those photographs. Knowing that, we, as care-givers and parents, can take those extra little precautions to make sure our personal comfort levels aren't being encroached on by public photographers. We can relax a little. We can scan areas where our children are playing. We can approach people we see and politely ask them to make sure our kids aren't in their shots specifically (99% of photographers will have no problem with this, I'd think). We can do any number of things. Just remember.. you've brought them out into the public domain.. and you have to realize, that this means, once in awhile, someone is going to take a perfectly innocent public interest. Kids are cute, they are fun, and they are a natural draw for a camera.


I wouldn't explain it better. I just wanted to defend my right not to agree to everybody to take the photographs of my children (now even less - I was more concerned when they were small).

I'm totally against arresting people for walking around with camera. That is rudicolous.

BTW There was a big news in Poland not so long ago, when police arrested French guy who was taking pictures of the Gas Plant. Those days full of terrorism, pedofils and so on - everybody is going crazy.

Message edited by author 2004-10-29 17:36:21.
10/29/2004 05:45:16 PM · #17
As I understand it, if someone is out in public, and I shoot them, there is no reason for me to worry, so long as I do not attempt to make money on the image or use the image in such a way that the person pictured can be considered slandered or defamed. If I am interested in using the image in my portfolio, or for display or sale, I always ask for permission, and have the person (or parent) sign a model release. Otherwise, a person in public has no reasonable expectation of privacy by virtue of the fact that they are in public.

Naturally, requests not to photograph a person are honored.

Just my 2c.

Message edited by author 2004-10-29 17:46:20.
10/29/2004 05:48:42 PM · #18
Originally posted by thatcloudthere:

Taking the photo isn't illegal, Goldberry.


Are you sure? I'm not trying to be facetious, but do you have formal training in law? The problem I see is there are so many laws that overlap other laws and when you consider human rights and freedoms, some of that goes right out the window. Making assumptions about laws can be risky!

Message edited by author 2004-10-29 17:49:37.
10/29/2004 05:56:34 PM · #19
if you have ever taken your kids to the gas station, the mall, the grocery store, Wal*Mart, the airport, in a taxi, Starbucks, a pro sports arena, on the subway, etc, etc, their image has been recorded.

some recent reports state that your image is recorded up to forty times in a day (in a large city I would imagine)

we no longer have a reasonable expectation of privacy when out in public.
10/29/2004 06:02:38 PM · #20
Originally posted by GoldBerry:

Originally posted by thatcloudthere:

Taking the photo isn't illegal, Goldberry.


Are you sure?


Yes. Taking the photo is not illegal.

In some cases, selling it, trying to profit from the person's image, etc may require their approval. However, taking the picture in public is not illegal.
10/29/2004 06:03:44 PM · #21
Whether it should be or not, taking pictures of non-released items (not just children or people) is asking for some litigation. It's a sad but simple fact that you simply cannot go snapping away at anything you like and expect to be able to publish and/or distribute the image in any way.

I've even heard of people needing to get releases on buildings in the background of a shot from the owner. Children in public places happen to be a case where legislation and precedent has become quite far-reaching, making it a particularly risky subject to shoot.
10/29/2004 06:05:15 PM · #22
The Law, In Plain English, For Photographers by Leonard D. Duboff is a good starting point for the US perspective.

10/29/2004 06:06:46 PM · #23
Originally posted by bledford:

Whether it should be or not, taking pictures of non-released items (not just children or people) is asking for some litigation. It's a sad but simple fact that you simply cannot go snapping away at anything you like and expect to be able to publish and/or distribute the image in any way.

I've even heard of people needing to get releases on buildings in the background of a shot from the owner. Children in public places happen to be a case where legislation and precedent has become quite far-reaching, making it a particularly risky subject to shoot.


Buildings are subject to copyright. Children tend not to be. While you may think it is a fact, it isn't actually true. Also, there is a difference between your rights to take the images and your rights to distribute/ profit from those images.
10/29/2004 06:08:45 PM · #24
In the USA, if you are in a public place, and the photographer is in a public place, they can take your picture. The exception (and the fact that there is an exception proves the general legitimacy of the action) is in public places where you may have a "reasonable expectation of privacy." Taking pictures (of people) in a bathroom is illegal. Taking a picture of a bunch of kids playing soccer in a public park or riding a merry-go-round is not.

Subsequent use of the photo may or may not be legal, but taking the picture is legal.

They cannot be used for commercial purposes (without a release). They cannot be used for illegal purposes (such as fraud or extortion). They can be used for personal, journalistic, or educational purposes.

Originally posted by jazzmik:

if you have ever taken your kids to the gas station, the mall, the grocery store, Wal*Mart, the airport, in a taxi, Starbucks, a pro sports arena, on the subway, etc, etc, their image has been recorded.

some recent reports state that your image is recorded up to forty times in a day (in a large city I would imagine)

we no longer have a reasonable expectation of privacy when out in public.

10200.jpg

Message edited by author 2004-10-29 18:10:21.
10/29/2004 06:09:02 PM · #25
It is somewhat worrying to see the amount of fear in this thread.
Fear of being arrested as a terrorist

Fear of being arrested as a paedophile.

You are allowed to take pictures.
The US government hasn't made that illegal yet. The British government seems to be heading that way.
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