Starsphinx

Do we need to start carrying copys of legal status of photography with us

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That is actually a question I am seriously considering.  I have had, like most photographers, been asked when taking photos on the street or a park, if it is legal for me to do so and I don't I need the people's permission and isn't it illegal to photograph children but last night it reached a whole new level.

I was shooting an under 18s FA cup match - with obviously the permission and approval of the ground I was at and hosted by the coach/manager of the home team.  This game was at a regular team ground and was fully open to the public (not always the case with youth teams).  At halftime I was approached and challenged by the referee on safeguarding issues - was it acceptable for me to be taking pictures of a game involving some 15-year-olds.    Now I have to say I was so not expecting the question that I did fumble a bit with the answer due to my mind boggling and told him the only permission I needed was that of the ground owner and that taking photographs in a public place or a place where there is full public access is fully legal no matter what the age of people in shot.  I did go over after the game and explained a bit better but I have to say I was rocked that a match official could be considering stopping photography.    After he approached me he did go and talk to both managers and was told by the home manager that they film every game (the game was also being videoed by the club which is used for match analysis) and the away manager said he knew about it and did not have a problem.

Now don't get me wrong I do shoot a fair amount of youth games and I am well aware of safeguarding issues - as I explained to the referee after the match there is a difference between a game fully open to the public last night and a game taking place in a closed situation  -  in closed games I make sure both teams are comfortable with there being photography and check for any safeguarding issues which I make sure to comply with.  My concern is that if officials at open games are so ignorant of the laws around photographers is it time to start carrying them with me before I find myself prevented from shooting because someone does not know the law.

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 On a visit to Oxford earlier this summer I was walking by the canal taking photos of a lock and narrowboats. A group of primary school children and their teachers were approaching the lock and when they drew level with me one of the teachers told me not to take photos due to safeguarding and "child protection" issues. I said that I was on a public spot and had every right to take photos if I wished but in order to avoid confrontation I said that I didn't actually want any people in my images so hadn't shot any with the kids' identifiable. When shooting stock I try to avoid people where possible unless they are a fundamental part of the image. This is, of course, a sad reflection of the times we now live in.

 

It would be a pity if carrying something becomes the norm, however, I think it wouldn't do any harm.  The Bureau of Freelance Photographers in the UK, before its demise, produced a card outlining Photography in Public Places which sometimes lives in my camera bag. So far I have not had the need to show it - it wasn't in my bag on that day in Oxford, but I'm not sure if it would have carried any weight with these particular teachers!

 

David

 

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It's getting ridiculous - I mean you would think (hope) that the training for likes of teachers and referees and others who have direct safeguarding responsibilities would include very clear simple explanations of the law on photography so that those whose job it is to look out for safeguarding actually know exactly what they can and cannot do in that role.

And as I always point out (and yes did last night and I don't think the ref liked me for it) it's not the people with the big cameras and lenses they need to worry about  it is all the other people with mobile phones who could be quite happily shooting away without people even realizing.

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I was in our local wildlife park shooting wildlife/plants/insect etc the other day with a medium size camera and long zoom lens as well as a small camera (RX100 mk3), and as I walked around I went by the coffee shop and children's play area (which has recently been refurbished with new interesting kids rides/slides/swings and a zipwire). As it was the school holidays there was a lot of activity so..........

 

Thinking there could be some good photos to be had I unshipped my RX100 and started looking for shots. As I did this I saw a male person with his child/children looking at me and the long lens hanging around my neck and everywhere I moved to his eyes were burning holes in me so to prevent confrontation with him, and all those other jumpy parents around too, I turned my back on the area and left without even raising a camera to my eye.

 

Allan

 

 

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22 hours ago, David McGill said:

 On a visit to Oxford earlier this summer I was walking by the canal taking photos of a lock and narrowboats. A group of primary school children and their teachers were approaching the lock and when they drew level with me one of the teachers told me not to take photos due to safeguarding and "child protection" issues. I said that I was on a public spot and had every right to take photos if I wished but in order to avoid confrontation I said that I didn't actually want any people in my images so hadn't shot any with the kids' identifiable. When shooting stock I try to avoid people where possible unless they are a fundamental part of the image. This is, of course, a sad reflection of the times we now live in.

 

 

 

Those responsible for so-called "safeguarding" (you're not) should be doing it properly, and ignorance of the law and effectively calling a member of the public a paedophile isn't doing it properly. If you have the time to spare let them call the police and see where that gets them. Bad practice needs to be challenged.

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meanwhile people take exactly the same pictures on thier camera phones, and nobody bats an eyelid.   As if taking pictures on a camera was any different. 

 

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10 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Those responsible for so-called "safeguarding" (you're not) should be doing it properly, and ignorance of the law and effectively calling a member of the public a paedophile isn't doing it properly. If you have the time to spare let them call the police and see where that gets them. Bad practice needs to be challenged.

Absolutely but most photographers have neither the time or patience to wait while police are told and turn up to sort things out - not to mention there is a high chance the police will not know the law either and might make things worse - I freelance on a local independent set up and the editor strongly recommends carrying a copy of the official chief constables information on shooting crime scenes (which is half law and half good practice). To be fair I have not had any problems with police officers the most I have had is a request for certain officers to be pixelated  with the reasons given and that was easily done (the reasons were valid) although I have had a run in with a paramedic who had a patient not keen on having his photo taken.  The paramedic did know the law and that I had every right to shoot so tried invoking "hazardous working area" and chased me back to where the rest of the public had their mobiles out - I just shrugged - its what I have a 300mm lens for lol.

7 hours ago, marc said:

meanwhile people take exactly the same pictures on thier camera phones, and nobody bats an eyelid.   As if taking pictures on a camera was any different. 

 

2

Yep, this is my stock answer to anyone challenging in a public place - you do not need to worry about the one with the huge camera and lens worry about the tens of other people who all have mobile phones and are happy shooting away while you fuss over the one with the different kit.   I mean I am not taking photos for nefarious purposes but if I was going to do so, for a fraction of what I have spent on cameras etc I could get a nice sneaky setup no-one would ever see me using.

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Slightly off subject, but maybe relevant, I was taking pictures from a public street of a building in London when the security 'chief' left the building , crossed the street and demanded to know why I was photographing 'his' building, to which my response was " because legally I can and why is your building filming me?", pointing to the security cameras all around the place. Something few people realise is the fact that they are being captured on camera and recorded almost everywhere in a town or city nowadays and that includes children!

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23 hours ago, Dave Richards said:

Slightly off subject, but maybe relevant, I was taking pictures from a public street of a building in London when the security 'chief' left the building , crossed the street and demanded to know why I was photographing 'his' building, to which my response was " because legally I can and why is your building filming me?", pointing to the security cameras all around the place. Something few people realise is the fact that they are being captured on camera and recorded almost everywhere in a town or city nowadays and that includes children!

 

What was his response?

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5 hours ago, chris_rabe said:

 

What was his response?

Just a sheepish acknowledgement I was within my rights and he left.

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Hi all,

 

You all need to come and photograph military bases and airfields, no problem there!

 

Seriously though, yes I understand and agree, especially with the comments about holding large lensed, professional looking cameras nowadays, and the double standards compared to the social media generation taking pics on camera phones every 30 seconds.

 

Gary

 

 

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1 hour ago, Gary1701 said:

Hi all,

 

You all need to come and photograph military bases and airfields, no problem there!

 

Seriously though, yes I understand and agree, especially with the comments about holding large lensed, professional looking cameras nowadays, and the double standards compared to the social media generation taking pics on camera phones every 30 seconds.

 

Gary

 

 

Well, at least the military are getting their training right.  It's just hard to believe that professionals with safeguarding responsibilities - in my case the referee and in someone else's the teacher - have such a poor understanding of the legal aspects.  Theoretically, these people have been on safeguarding courses so surely those courses should cover the fact that in public places there are no restrictions on taking photographs of children.

I am also not sure about what seems to be the standard advice to people doing street photography - that although you do not need permission it is always recommended to get it anyway.  This can tend to reinforce Jo publics perception that we have to ask permission.  Besides what is going to happen if you ask someone, they say no, and then you shoot anyway?  I mean that is incredibly rude but not illegal.   My practice when doing street (not football matches as I am there with permission for a purpose) is to take the shot and then inform the subject(s) I have taken them and offer to send them copies - and to date that has just resulted in very happy strangers lol.  

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We have this in the US: http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

 

Maybe you folks can find a UK attorney to draw up something similar in accordance with UK law.

 

Of course, given the current Resident, who knows how long we'll be able to use this over here? November is coming though.

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19 hours ago, TABan said:

We have this in the US: http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

 

Maybe you folks can find a UK attorney to draw up something similar in accordance with UK law.

 

Of course, given the current Resident, who knows how long we'll be able to use this over here? November is coming though.

There was a link to a UK version on there but it predates some terrorism laws which have some impact (and which surprise surprise are misused and abused in attempted prevention of photography)

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Check this out. 

i did take a couple of copies at the time.

 

Allan

 

 

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19 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Check this out. 

i did take a couple of copies at the time.

 

Allan

 

 

Useful bit of literature, Thank you.
Although not too sure what a referee concerned I am taking pictures of 15 old football players would make of it lol.

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2 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

Useful bit of literature, Thank you.
Although not too sure what a referee concerned I am taking pictures of 15 old football players would make of it lol.

 

In your case as mentioned above I think you would need to get the necessary permissions in writing from whoever.

 

Allan

 

 

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22 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

In your case as mentioned above I think you would need to get the necessary permissions in writing from whoever.

 

Allan

 

 

Seeing as the club chairman was within a few feet of me I think it was fairly obvious I had the clubs permission - not to mention the referee then went and talked to both team managers who told him that it was fine (and the manager I shoot for said most of his games are filmed either still or video or both).

I mean I think the referee was under the impression that even with club permission to be present I was not allowed to take pictures due to national law because some of the players were under 16 - he did not think I was shooting without permission he thought there were legal barriers to taking photographs of children.  As referees do do some safeguarding courses as part of their training I was rather shocked that he still had this idea that taking photos of children is illegal.  Again not only were the managers who had legal responsibility for the teams there but also the parents - and as I wear a high vis vest with my logo plastered on the back (yes I do feel a complete ninny but these days it is all in the promotion) I doubt anyone missed what I was there for - and they were not objecting (and yes a couple of parents ordered pictures)

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Well, investing in some "Press ID's" might be a good idea. I will be getting some IDs to help with my work for montfortacademy.edu and tfpstudentaction.org. It is still a good thing to have written permission when necessary/possible, so I try to procure what official paperwork I need.

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Kind of difficult to get official paperwork for a law that does not exist.

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The definitive England Wales police policy is here: https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-content/engagement-and-communication/media-relations/

 

Particularly note 'Reporting from the Scene' - this has all been agreed, I believe, with the major media bodies such as NUJ.

 

I do carry an official UKPCA/NUJ press card (rarely use it), in the UK any 'press' ID that is not UKPCA is not worth the plastic it is embossed on. It might impress a gullibloe security 'official' but should not wash with a police officer. There may be an additional ID (Metropolitan Police) required at some public locations (Palace Green, Westminster?) in London I seem to recall and of course a Press Card does not give you access to private property, that requires separate accreditation through the venue or, usually, the event organiser. Usually needs to be arranged well in advanmce, I have already had notice about accreditation for events in February/March next year.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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2 hours ago, Martin P Wilson said:

The definitive England Wales police policy is here: https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-content/engagement-and-communication/media-relations/

 

Particularly note 'Reporting from the Scene' - this has all been agreed, I believe, with the major media bodies such as NUJ.

 

I do carry an official UKPCA/NUJ press card (rarely use it), in the UK any 'press' ID that is not UKPCA is not worth the plastic it is embossed on. It might impress a gullibloe security 'official' but should not wash with a police officer. There may be an additional ID (Metropolitan Police) required at some public locations (Palace Green, Westminster?) in London I seem to recall and of course a Press Card does not give you access to private property, that requires separate accreditation through the venue or, usually, the event organiser. Usually needs to be arranged well in advanmce, I have already had notice about accreditation for events in February/March next year.

4

I already have an electronic copy of this - for use with police officers who have forgotten the rules.

The problem is it is focused on police relations which people associate with blue flashy lights etc.  The problem that caused me to open this thread is I was working in an official position (club photographer) at a publically accessible event (Youth FA cup)  with the permission obviously of the ground owner, and full knowledge of the  opposition team management (I am kind of hard to miss in a hi-viz vest lugging cameras up and down the touchline).  I was challenged by the ref that it was illegal to take photos of under 16s without specific permission from each parent/guardian because of safeguarding.  Now as every photographer knows there is no such law - if you are in a public place or a place with the reasonable expectation of public access (like a football ground that has been advertising the match for a week) the only permission that might apply is if the place is privately owned where you need the owners permission (which I had).   The problem is so many of the public believe they need to give permission for themselves to be photographed - and that even more permissions are needed for photographing children.

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If the police do not have those rights (which the guidance makes clear) than no one else does, at least in a public place.

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Thicken your skin.

 

The great movie director Werner Herzog once said that he would never hire anyone who had not been arrested at least once.

 

Here is what Herzog teaches at his film school, from his Wickipedia entry.

Dissatisfied with the way film schools are run, Herzog founded his own Rogue Film School in 2009. The program is a 4-day seminar with Herzog, which occurs annually (the last of which was held in March, 2016 in Munich). Courses include "the art of lockpicking. Traveling on foot. The exhilaration of being shot at unsuccessfully. The athletic side of filmmaking. The creation of your own shooting permits. The neutralization of bureaucracy. Guerrilla tactics. Self reliance."[21] For the students, Herzog has said, "I prefer people who have worked as bouncers in a sex club, or have been wardens in the lunatic asylum. You must live life in its very elementary forms. The Costa Ricans have a very nice word for it: pura vida. It doesn’t mean just purity of life, but the raw, stark-naked quality of life. And that’s what makes young people more into a filmmaker than academia."[22]

 

His Wickipedia entry should be required reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_Herzog

 

Read his book:

Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed, Conversations with Paul Cronin (London: Faber and Faber Ltd., 2014, ISBN 0-571-20708-1)[44]

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To be daring as an artist is all well and good but Herzog makes me very uneasy.... This is about the filming of "Fitzcarraldo"....

 

"The production was also affected by the numerous injuries and deaths of several indigenous extras who were hired to work on the film as laborers, and two small plane crashes that occurred during the films' production which resulted in a number of injuries, including one case of paralysis.[7] Another incident during the production included a local Peruvian logger who was bitten by a venomous snake, who made the dramatic decision to cut off his own foot with a chainsaw to prevent the spread of the venom, thus saving his own life.[8][9]
Herzog has been accused of exploiting indigenous people in the making of the film, with some drawing similarities between Herzog and Fitzcarraldo. Michael F. Brown, a professor of anthropology at Williams College, notes that initially Herzog was on good terms with the Aguaruna people, some of whom were hired as extras for the film and for construction. Relations deteriorated, however, when Herzog began to build a village on Aguaruna land, failed to consult the tribal council, and tried to obtain protection from a local militia. In December 1979, Aguaruna men burned down the film set.[10]"

 

Paulette

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