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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Photography and the law....We're all concerned about current problems with terrorism and paedophiles. I am particularly careful about shooting where there are children ...
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Old 24-02-2006, 17:10   #1 (permalink)
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Photography and the law.

We're all concerned about current problems with terrorism and paedophiles. I am particularly careful about shooting where there are children or in certain public places and buildings. Well...there's an excellent article in this month's Digital Camera Magazine which covers the legal side of photography.

It goes in depth with subjects like travel terminals, children, private property, privacy & harassment and model releases in the UK. It also gives a precis of shooting in the various hotspots throughout the world. Definitely worth a read and if you don't fancy buying it, it gives a good link to Photographers Rights in the UK

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Old 24-02-2006, 17:15   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for that.
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Old 24-02-2006, 19:09   #3 (permalink)
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That chap is registered on our forums and pops in from time to time

We have linked to him from the homepage, a very valuable read indeed.
Maybe worth having one or two folded up copies in your bag when you're out and about.
 
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Old 24-02-2006, 20:45   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Marcel - I never thought of carrying a copy.

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Old 24-02-2006, 21:00   #5 (permalink)
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There is nothing mentioned about taking pictures of children. I take my camera along to my sons football matches, and the other week i got told i couldn't take pictures because of the child protection act. I wasn't sure if this was true so stopped, but would like it clarified whether it is true so i can start taking pictures again.
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Old 24-02-2006, 21:03   #6 (permalink)
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Thanx for the HU Stepheno ... always good to know where we stand !
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Old 24-02-2006, 22:35   #7 (permalink)
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Mark - taking photographs of children has nothing to do with the Child Protection Act. You are at liberty to take shots of people (which includes children) in a public place. If you wish to publish those photographs then you, legally, need model release from everyone in the photograph.

The Child Protection Act is to ensure that no child suffers harm through abuse or neglect. Therefore it is what you do with those photographs afterwards that may be contravening that law. However, people will always think the worst. Also you may be doing something which contravenes other statutes. So - yes, you can start taking photos again but you may not wish to face the aggo from ignorant people.

As a secondary thought, and this is true, many schools forbid the use of cameras and camcorders at school events not for the protection of children but so that there is no photographic evidence which may be used against that school - eg teacher negligence at a school sports day. HTH.

regards

ps I am not a qualified legal eagle so what I say is up for debate but I do work in a profession which deals with the protection of children and vulnerable adults.
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Old 24-02-2006, 22:43   #8 (permalink)
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Cheersn for that Stepheno, i only mainly take the pics of my son, obviously others will end up in some of the shots. I have no intention of publishing the images and it is solely for me and the kids. I do print some of them again just for my son and he quite often shows them to other players on the team and a few prints are done for them.

So on this understanding i should be fine to take pics. On the note of the school we have to get permission from all the other kids parents who may end up in the shot, other than that they have no qualms with picture taking at special events.

Thanks again for your reply.
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Old 24-02-2006, 22:55   #9 (permalink)
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No problem Mark. I would add one caveat - if the football and hence the photography is on a school field then that is a private place and legally you do need permission from the owners.

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Old 24-02-2006, 23:03   #10 (permalink)
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no, its on the public playing fields
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Old 27-02-2006, 02:53   #11 (permalink)
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Taking pictures of any sport involeing children there should be forms handed out on both sides. E.g I'm assistant coach/team manger of a basketball team under 16's. before the season starts there are forms with a letter handed out to parents telling them about any photos or video the parent then has to sign this form which allows a parent with the coachs permision on both sides to film or take photos. hope this helps. Ally

p.s The law could be diffrent in Scotland ?
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Old 27-02-2006, 08:33   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ally
Taking pictures of any sport involeing children there should be forms handed out on both sides. E.g I'm assistant coach/team manger of a basketball team under 16's. before the season starts there are forms with a letter handed out to parents telling them about any photos or video the parent then has to sign this form which allows a parent with the coachs permision on both sides to film or take photos. hope this helps. Ally
In effect, does that mean that one parent who doesn't sign the form can stop 40 odd other parents from taking a snapshot, of their child, for the family album? I don't think so.

You are right that many schools ands clubs take that approach but it is not a legal requirement and has no standing in law unless it involves private property. It is a tactic used by many schools and organisations to try to avoid any legal involvement. I spent many happy years photographing my sons playing football on school pitches and nobody complained or thrust a form under my nose....and there would have been paedophiles then, they just weren't in the public eye.

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Old 27-02-2006, 10:52   #13 (permalink)
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The rules in very simple black and white for England are so…

If its private property, you are controlled by whatever rules the people that own that property set or the ones that have hired it, no matter how sensible or stupid they may be. There is no variance at all on this.

If its public property, you can take pictures of whatever you want period. It can be football matches, girls’ hockey practice or kids playing in the local fountain. It doesn’t matter if its school organised, a private group or just happens to be some place were some children can be found together. Legally the only thing that can happen is the parents remove their children from the area so as they are not in any photos.

The problem is that if you were to publish any photos, if they contain others that are recognisable and you do not have written permission from them (or their guardians if they are under 18) then you are breaking the law.

A little story to back this up, a friend of mine and myself were doing photography in the centre of Manchester last summer, there are a load of fountains/water jets that all the children play in during the hot weather. We set up there to catch the enjoyment of these children and were minding our own business; there were many other people with cameras there also taking photos and obviously many, many people around the area, some with children and some without. Within about 10 minutes of us being there we were approached by a policeman that said he had received complaints about us and asked what we were doing. As I had nothing to hide and knew my rights I explained exactly what we were doing and offered to let him view my pictures. He said that he believed us but asked us to move on. A long discussion developed and in the end he conceded that there was nothing legally he could do and it was the parents that were in the wrong, however he was just one policeman and there had been complaints by several parents. If we didn’t move and the parents decided to act themselves although they would be breaking the law, he felt it would be in everyone’s best interests that we moved on.

The moral is that although you may be correct and have the law on your side, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is wise to do it.

HTH
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Old 02-03-2006, 03:23   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
In effect, does that mean that one parent who doesn't sign the form can stop 40 odd other parents from taking a snapshot, of their child, for the family album? I don't think so.

You are right that many schools ands clubs take that approach but it is not a legal requirement and has no standing in law unless it involves private property. It is a tactic used by many schools and organisations to try to avoid any legal involvement. I spent many happy years photographing my sons playing football on school pitches and nobody complained or thrust a form under my nose....and there would have been paedophiles then, they just weren't in the public eye.
I totally agree with you , 99% of the time perents will sign these forms with out any problems i have only ever had one case where a perent would not sign and it was a very valid reason even then as long as thay where not in the photo the parents did not mind. At the end of the day people should not bother about who thay are taking photos of. A good quote i remember to this "The person that is doing some wrong is the one that has something to worry about". Regards ally
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