Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Daily Archives: December 12, 2014

Copyright © What and where can you photograph and who owns your pictures

Perhaps once a week I have a discussion with someone about copyright. The rights that a photographer has to their images but also the rights say the owner of a property has when it is photographed, or say an individual photographed in the street. There are many untruths put about with regard to what you can photograph, people claiming rights and demanding you delete your pictures or pay them or they will call the police.

Sal Shuel has written a very informative article for the Canon Professional Network which I urge you to have a look at.

Whoever presses the button owns copyright, no ifs no buts. If a picture of yours is used without your permission you have a case to ask for payment.

What can you photograph?

“Photographic restrictions are manifold. Steer clear of (amongst many other things) schools, playgrounds, hospitals, children (particularly if naked), army camps, power stations, military personnel, London’s Trafalgar Square, Paternoster Square and Canary Wharf (all private property believe it or not), plus National Trust properties, road accidents and police arresting people. Anyone working in uniform unless they are on show are also ‘no-nos’, as are airports,………In some countries it’s necessary to seek permission before photographing the exterior of a building but not in the UK. If it’s visible from a public right of way it’s fair game although the security guards will claim otherwise.”

The rules obviously vary in different countries, France is pretty much a no go zone for everything, as is Uluru in Australia, if you are travelling check the local laws before assuming what goes in the UK goes everywhere.

As I said if you are worried about what you can photograph or that someone has used your images then read this excellent article


I definitely pressed the button! ©Keith Barnes