The Photographer's Rights

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There is a reason I'm a landscape photographer; People drive me up a wall. My friend Ryan and I have a constant back-and-forth over how boring it is to photograph things that largely don't move vs. trying to capture that fleeting moment in street photography. This weekend Ryan gave me yet another reason to avoid people when carrying my camera — as we've read on BB, street photographers are still being victimized and harassed. While many of us understand that photography is a right and only under certain circumstances can you be banned from taking a photo in public; surprisingly mall cops, petty bureaucrats and even our own police are constantly over-stepping boundaries and harassing photographers.

Ryan was harassed for using an antique camera in public. He blogged his story here. Someone thought he was taking upskirt photos from a long distance with a Twin Lens Reflex camera. Its pretty impossible. Shortly after sharing his story, Ryan flooded me with examples of other photographers being harassed in similar ways. Blake Andrews, a street shooting colleague of Ryan's, had a near identical experience (except it was children he was accused of inappropriately photographing.)

Anyhow, its wrong. Photographers have rights and if you love to take pictures you should know them. Bert Krages has prepared The Photographer's Rights page and offers a pdf to help you know what is ok to photograph (most everything,) what isn't, and what to do if someone wants to question you. The Photographer's Rights