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December 30, 2005

If you can see it, you can shoot it

Andrew Kantor at USAToday.com has offered up a great column yesterday, New digital camera? Know how, where you can use it. It completely covers Photographer's Legal Rights, where one can and cannot shoot pictures legally.

If you like to shoot pictures of strangers while you're out and about this is an excellent read even if you don't have a new digital camera.

Let's get the easy stuff out of the way. Aside from sensitive government buildings (e.g., military bases), if you're on public property you can photograph anything you like, including private property. There are some limits using a zoom lens to shoot someone who has a reasonable expectation of privacy isn't covered but no one can come charging out of a business and tell you not to take photos of the building, period. ... You can take photos any place that's open to the public, whether or not it's private property. A mall, for example, is open to the public. So are most office buildings (at least the lobbies). You don't need permission; if you have permission to enter, you have permission to shoot.

Kantor also published a five-page PDF file on his web site called "Legal Rights of Photographers" (PDF, 151K.) Print it out and keep a copy in your camera bag. While you're at it also grab Bert P. Krages' The Photographer's Right.

Note: Kantor points out that he is not lawyer (and neither am I) but his findings are in agreement with what my lawyer has advised me.

Posted in Photography by usrbingeek at 2005-12-30 23:27 ET (GMT-5) | 0 Comments | Permalink



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