Know your rights as a photographer

April 14, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

You have rights, whether you take your pictures with a high-end DSLR or a Smart Phone. You should check before you shoot, see Photographer's Rights

I normally shoot barns, sheds, country landscapes, etc. Usually, I'm on a country road. Anywhere public is OK, city sidewalk, the mall, the beach. Anywhere the public congregates does not need permission. But your rights vary from state to state, especially in foreign countries. So check before you shoot.

If I want to go on private property, I always ask permission. I've asked permission many times. Most ask why, I tell them, and all have been happy to allow me to wander around their farm. 

I've never had a problem until last week. When I was much younger, all my friends and classmates went to a swim club, and spent a lot of time there in the summer. It was closed in the 80s, and went to seed. I've passed it many times in recent years. It looked abandoned and deserted. I decided to stop and take a few pictures to show people how it looked today. There were no signs saying "no trespassing, private property, keep out. I just thought it was another abandoned property. So, I pulled in and took a few pictures.

When I was walking back to my car, another car pulled up behind me. An irate gentleman jumped, yelling that I was on private property. He asked me why I was there, I told him. I also told him I'd delete the pictures and leave. He said, "Don't delete the pictures, and don't leave, I'm calling the sheriff." This guy wanted me arrested. So I went to my car and waited for the sheriff. 

When the sheriff got there, he merely told me to leave the property. I left to take more pictures. The guy who called him was not happy.


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