Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Tag Archives: Public space

Photographers, Know Your Rights!

Every so often we hear stories about a photographer who has had their rights violated by the police or some jobsworth. The law in the UK is relatively simple, you can take any pictures you want as long as you are in a public space, the law does vary around the world. This article on Lightstalking by Jason D. Little explains some of the complexities of being a photographer and how you might resolve rights issues

We have previously posted about this subject here






Photographing in public: When the police gets it wrong

Who would you count on to know and understand the law, probably a member of the police I would guess. Here is a sorry tale from the ‘ police don’t know what they are talking about’  folder. The people over at Photocritic.org have a tale from an amateur photographer who was given a right run around by the police for doing something that is completely legal. Here is the start of the article which in it’s fullness is shocking

“A few days ago, I received an e-mail from a reader who had been through an interesting ordeal by the hands of UK police. They wanted a bit of advice, and I figured more of you might like to learn a little bit more about what happens when you are given a stern talking to by police about taking photos in a public place.”...more

I wrote about this problem recently and if you have a look here you will find a full and reasoned article from a person who does understand the law, I would suggest you download it and print it off it is from the Sirimo people and is called UK Photographers Rights. You can show it to the ignorant person who tells you that you cannot take pictures here.

Street Photography for the Novice

When I was younger street photography was not a problem, even if people didn’t like having their pictures taken there was rarely a problem just a poor shot. These days everyone thinks they have rights, even though in a public space they don’t, which means try pointing your camera at people in the street and you will get some trouble. This article By Kimberly Gauthier on the Digital Photo School site is actually full of good suggestions.

“Street photography is a fantastic idea in theory, but when I first took a crack at taking pictures on the streets of Downtown Seattle, I got nothing. I walked around for an hour, spotting great photo ops, holding my camera tight against my chest, waiting for someone to either yell at me for taking their picture or steal my camera. It took a couple of years to get up the nerve to start taking pictures and now I always take my camera into the city. Here are 10 tips that helped me get over my street photography shyness.” ….more

Here are some images from the greatest street photographer