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A strange day today.

I was out this lunchtime taking pictures of local people sledging and playing in the snow for the live news feed and didn't have any problems.

An hour later my missus pointed out a picture making the rounds on Facebook which looked like me (but with more hair) and holding the camera badly, taken literally around the corner from my house, of a man taking pictures in the snow.

This man was probably a paedophile and needed a good kicking said many of the commenters as they happilly shared it over 300 times.

I commented and tried to educate them that, wether they like it or not, it's NOT illegal to take pictures of kids in public and even publish them, (unless they are demed indecent) and he may just have been taking them as a record of the weather.

I wasn't really getting anywhere and was called a paedo myself when I said I was happy to do it.

After a big list of aggressive threats and comments about the man, a local 'Press Photographer' who's relative is the Chief Reporter on our local Newsquest rag piped up and asked for the picture and post to be removed as the person (not him he says) was just doing his job and is a genuine press photographer who shoots for a news agency and he had been asked to do some shots in that area.

He went on to say that you DID need permission to shoot kids and no paper would publish them without names and details.


I would of course ask, as a matter of courtesy if I was taking pictures close up, but as far as I'm aware I do not, and never have need permission shooting in, or from a public place no matter the age of the person.

 

So... have i got it completely wrong, or has something changed.

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Oh dear, that doesn't sound like fun!

 

As far as I am aware it is not illegal to take pictures of kids in public, assuming a set of conditions are met. From the IPSO guidelines:-

 

6. *Children
i) All pupils should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion.

ii) They must not be approached or photographed at school without permission of the school authorities.

iii) Children under 16 must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult consents.

iv) Children under 16 must not be paid for material involving their welfare, nor parents or guardians for material about their children or wards, unless it is clearly in the child's interest.

v) Editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child's private life.
7. *Children in sex cases
The press must not, even if legally free to do so, identify children under 16 who are victims or witnesses in cases involving sex offences.

In any press report of a case involving a sexual offence against a child -

i) The child must not be identified.

ii) The adult may be identified.

iii) The word "incest" must not be used where a child victim might be identified.

iv)  Care must be taken that nothing in the report implies the relationship between the accused and the child.

 

https://www.ipso.co.uk/editors-code-of-practice/

 

However, I try to avoid it where possible. Partly because most of the time I simply don't want children in the frame but also because I think unless you can prove you had a good reason for doing it you will get absolutely thrown to the dogs. That said, I have a couple of images in my port which are undoubtedly focussed on under 16s, but both for very good reasons: one was a child at a protest showing his agreement with the cause (within a crowd) and another was a pair of young buskers (with adults nearby). I checked IPSO and re-read every bit of it probably 3 times before uploading the images in confidence that I wasn't breaching any laws.

 

I also think a lot of it is how you come across as a person. I have been in plenty of situations now to realise the "everyone thinks you're a pedo if you carry a camera in a park" is a massively overblown narrative, but then to be quite frank I don't act like a complete creep. Most of the time if I take photos of anyone in a public setting it's because I've engaged with them first or during, or they are part of a much wider crowd. I am overwhelmingly met with positive responses, and to be honest I wouldn't even consider myself that much of a people person.

 

As for the paper saying you do need permission to take photos and publish them I have never heard that but it is of course the discretion of the outlet to do that and some may to avoid potential bother.

Edited by Cal
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Cal said:

 

 

As for the paper saying you do need permission to take photos and publish them I have never heard that but it is of course the discretion of the outlet to do that and some may to avoid potential bother.


I'm sure that a picture editor would use his judgement.

I should really have screenshot his reply as now people who read it will be under the impression that he was correct.

He did say along the lines of , but very clearly "no newspaper will publish without the childs permission between 16-18years old, or the parents permission if under 16!
He also said the photographer had knocked on a door and asked for permission to shoot the kids.
 

I couldn't challenge him as we have history as he was a big supporter of Newsquests Facebook Photography Clubs to get free content for newspapers from local photographers.

Unfortunately his response, although resulting in the post being removed, sent the wrong message to the mob in my opinion.

I'm now worried that if I'm seen out and about taking pics I'll be jumped on by paranoid parents who know thw facts from a proper press photographer.

Edited by mickfly
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2 hours ago, mickfly said:


I'm sure that a picture editor would use his judgement.

I should really have screenshot his reply as now people who read it will be under the impression that he was correct.

He did say along the lines of , but very clearly "no newspaper will publish without the childs permission between 16-18years old, or the parents permission if under 16!
He also said the photographer had knocked on a door and asked for permission to shoot the kids.
 

I couldn't challenge him as we have history as he was a big supporter of Newsquests Facebook Photography Clubs to get free content for newspapers from local photographers.

Unfortunately his response, although resulting in the post being removed, sent the wrong message to the mob in my opinion.

I'm now worried that if I'm seen out and about taking pics I'll be jumped on by paranoid parents who know thw facts from a proper press photographer.

Public place = no implied right to privacy, unless the pictures taken are indecent. It's up to the publication to decide whether the content is suitable for their usage, and they ultimately bear responsibility for publishing.   In the eyes of the law, you're not doing anything wrong. As an experienced press photographer once told me - there's a difference between taking a general shot of a crowd, and going right into somebody's face (whether physically or with a zoom lens) for a shot. 

 

Edited by RyanU
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Yes, it's a tricky situation even if the law is on your side.  People are rightfully protective of their children and if they don't know you and your intentions, you could very well be perceived as a threat to their kids.  It's the mother bear instinct.  I have been in this predicament too.  I have had assignments from  magazines to photograph communities and the people of that community using the parks.  Well it is tough to run around and introduce yourself to everyone and I don't have and i.d. to show I am freelancing for any publication so it puts me in a awkward spot.  Not easy and not fun.

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I have over 300 images that are of or include children. Half or more of are family members, but many are not. Never at any time has anyone challenged me. Sometimes I have chatted with parents and asked if they minded, more often I just take them.

Most of them have a story, like yours “children playing in the snow”.

I do realize I have a pleasant face, dress decently and have been of an age that some of the children could have been my grandchildren.
This one, a hot day, children enjoying a splash park, and I sat on a low retaining wall among the parents/grandparents. I think anytime you are taking pictures of children, it’s wise to have an unobtrusive camera. One of the RXs or a smaller mirrorless.

When I shot one of my honking Nikons, I caught attention. The small cameras? Nada.

EWXY9E.jpg

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27 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

 

I do realize I have a pleasant face, dress decently and have been of an age that some of the children could have been my grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

maybe i am making a wrong assumption, but i think you are missing to one big difference,

 

27 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I think anytime you are taking pictures of children, it’s wise to have an unobtrusive camera.

 

 

 

the rare times i do, i personally go the other way.  I want them to notice, so no one thinks i am doing it trying to be undetected. i make it as obvious as possible.  I have nothing to hide. the last thing i want to do is give any impression that i am hiding what i am doing

 

 

Edited by meanderingemu
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Just now, meanderingemu said:

 

 

 

maybe i am making a wrong assumption, but i think you are missing to one big difference,

What is that? The sex of the photographer? I realize I live in a less suspicious country. It seems I can take pictures of anything I want without National interference.
Funny thing, back when I carried a big Nikon, people would occasionally ask if I were shooting for the newspaper, and seemed to think that was ok. Most didn’t ask, but it appeared to me they assumed it to be true. Must’ve been the big bag and monopod I carried.  Although I wasn’t shooting children at those times other than parts of crowds.

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Just now, Betty LaRue said:

What is that? The sex of the photographer? I realize I live in a less suspicious country. It seems I can take pictures of anything I want without National interference.
Funny thing, back when I carried a big Nikon, people would occasionally ask if I were shooting for the newspaper, and seemed to think that was ok. Most didn’t ask, but it appeared to me they assumed it to be true. Must’ve been the big bag and monopod I carried.  Although I wasn’t shooting children at those times other than parts of crowds.

 

 

not sure it has to do with suspicion, but more to public perception, likely supported by facts,  that child molesters  and paedophile are in majority male

 

i will not address your other statements 

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17 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

not sure it has to do with suspicion, but more to public perception, likely supported by facts,  that child molesters  and paedophile are in majority male

 

i will not address your other statements 

I understand what you are saying. Women mostly get a pass on that. My husband used to drive to a park small parking lot to do his daily bible study because he had trouble concentrating at home, plus he liked looking up at the birds. He simply sat in his car to read his bible and eat his McDonald’s breakfast burrito!  
Somebody reported him and he was rousted by the police, told to move along. The park was 95 percent walking trails with one or two things a kid could climb on. I don’t think I ever saw kids there myself when I went to shoot birds.

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12 hours ago, mickfly said:



After a big list of aggressive threats and comments about the man, a local 'Press Photographer' who's relative is the Chief Reporter on our local Newsquest rag piped up and asked for the picture and post to be removed as the person (not him he says) was just doing his job and is a genuine press photographer who shoots for a news agency and he had been asked to do some shots in that area.

He went on to say that you DID need permission to shoot kids and no paper would publish them without names and details.




 

So... have i got it completely wrong, or has something changed.

Nothing has changed. The local presser was, shall we say,  being unhelpful.  The user/customer decides whether a model release is required.

Info from Police  https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/ph/photography-advice/

 

 

Edited by Cee Dee Dickinson
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Some 15 ago I was taking pictures of my daughters in local playground. Later the same day one of neighbors told me she had been warned about bald man in a leather jacket shooting pictures of children. 

 

Are pedophiles actually interested in pictures of clothed children? If they are, there is plenty to be found in the internet with no risk of being attacked by the mob.

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Well done for standing up for the photographer, and the rights of photographers, by getting involved in that discussion. The press photographer was clearly wrong ( in the UK anyway) and now the post has come down the victim is the truth and many people will be left with the wrong information. It seems also that this is a microcosm of what is happening elsewhere in the world where social media can quickly whip up an angry storm out of nothing. I don't do Facebook (not that this would help me in similar circumstances) but I know our local 'Nextdoor' community got excited when someone published pictures captured by their security camera of a suspicious individual going in and out of gardens in the middle of the night apparently at random. It was quite a long angry thread before someone pointed out that it was the milkman.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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6 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

I have over 300 images that are of or include children. Half or more of are family members, but many are not. Never at any time has anyone challenged me. Sometimes I have chatted with parents and asked if they minded, more often I just take them.

Most of them have a story, like yours “children playing in the snow”.

I do realize I have a pleasant face, dress decently and have been of an age that some of the children could have been my grandchildren.
This one, a hot day, children enjoying a splash park, and I sat on a low retaining wall among the parents/grandparents. I think anytime you are taking pictures of children, it’s wise to have an unobtrusive camera. One of the RXs or a smaller mirrorless.

When I shot one of my honking Nikons, I caught attention. The small cameras? Nada.

 

I have taken candid photos of children I don't know, usually without problem. I also am female and of an age. Sometimes, after I take the photo I will smile at the adult with them and say something like: "She has such a sweet smile" or "Her hair is so beautiful" and  they usually respond well, thanking me and not acting suspicious. I have a small mirrorless camera too. There are times that I have refrained from taking a photo because I felt the adult would not be pleased. I don't usually ask permission because I want to capture the candid moment, which I feel asking first would ruin. There are also times I've gotten pretty close to someone, quickly snapped a photo and walked on and they had no clue anything just happened. Quite fun, actually. I did get into an argument once with a local newspaper photographer,  when she said it was illegal to take photos of children without permission and I said it was legal.  She said her paper would never publish a photo of a child without permission. I guess there is a difference between what is actually "legal" and what some consider "Best practices" and the line is not clear.

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34 minutes ago, JSaunders said:

She said her paper would never publish a photo of a child without permission

Interesting that this is the same 'advice' offered by the other press photographer mentioned in this post. Whilst presumably true for them and their papers it is not at all relevant to whether it is legal to photograph children in a public place without permission. That's not to say that I go out of my way to do it but it's important that it doesn't become perceived wisdom that it is against the law. Thank goodness for guidelines such as those linked to above but I seem to remember that those principles had to be fought for.

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I've often taken photos in public places that include children. I've never yet been challenged - perhaps because I don't act furtively and I use a big DLSR that maybe looks more professional, who knows? If I was ever challenged, depending on the level of hostility my most likely response would be "Why don't you call the police? I'll be here for a while".

 

Alan

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I'm going to venture into another dangerous area—ethnic generalities. I found that Latino, Hispanic, people are less concerned about having their children photographed. I shot the top one in Mexico and the other in Spain by asking for permission with a gesture. I must say that my attitude in shooting for stock is that if any age person objects to my picture taking, I offer to delete the images. Back when I was a PJ on assignment, you would have to kill me to stop me from snapping pics. 

 

P53170.jpg

R1ENWK.jpg

 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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7 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

I understand what you are saying. Women mostly get a pass on that. My husband used to drive to a park small parking lot to do his daily bible study because he had trouble concentrating at home, plus he liked looking up at the birds. He simply sat in his car to read his bible and eat his McDonald’s breakfast burrito!  
Somebody reported him and he was rousted by the police, told to move along. The park was 95 percent walking trails with one or two things a kid could climb on. I don’t think I ever saw kids there myself when I went to shoot birds.

 

Yes, this is certainly one area where women have an advantage and for good reason....very few female pedophiles out there. 

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4 hours ago, JaniMarkus Hasa said:

Some 15 ago I was taking pictures of my daughters in local playground. Later the same day one of neighbors told me she had been warned about bald man in a leather jacket shooting pictures of children. 

 

Are pedophiles actually interested in pictures of clothed children? If they are, there is plenty to be found in the internet with no risk of being attacked by the mob.

 

 

it is a problem.  we had a man in our neighbourhood who was driving around taking pictures of kids who we found out had been wanted by authorities in another one for approaching kids.  i can understand why parents are worried.  

 

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2 hours ago, JSaunders said:

I have taken candid photos of children I don't know, usually without problem. I also am female and of an age. Sometimes, after I take the photo I will smile at the adult with them and say something like: "She has such a sweet smile" or "Her hair is so beautiful" and  they usually respond well, thanking me and not acting suspicious. I have a small mirrorless camera too. There are times that I have refrained from taking a photo because I felt the adult would not be pleased. I don't usually ask permission because I want to capture the candid moment, which I feel asking first would ruin. There are also times I've gotten pretty close to someone, quickly snapped a photo and walked on and they had no clue anything just happened. Quite fun, actually. I did get into an argument once with a local newspaper photographer,  when she said it was illegal to take photos of children without permission and I said it was legal.  She said her paper would never publish a photo of a child without permission. I guess there is a difference between what is actually "legal" and what some consider "Best practices" and the line is not clear.

 

 

i do think that because something is legal, it doesn't mean it is correct.  i do agree with you about permission, which is why i would make sure in these rare cases that i am obvious about what i am doing and inviting approval as i am doing it.  i would not be able to go ahead with any way that makes it look like i was hiding that i was taking photos,  

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2 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

I found that Latino, Hispanic, people are less concerned about having their children photographed.

In India I have had people hand me their babies and children to hold so that they can take their own photo with me in their family group. Culture Shock does not exclude Culture Delight. I personally find paedophilia paranoia much more prevalent in the UK than in Quebec. Maybe still a hangover from the toxic newspaper campaign from 25-odd years ago (and I'll raise a hat to the fantastic Chris Morris and his episode of Brass Eye here)

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My local newspaper asks if I send in images with only children in it I give a telephone number they can double check its ok. Never had a problem myself. 

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3 hours ago, JSaunders said:

Sometimes, after I take the photo I will smile at the adult with them and say something like: "She has such a sweet smile" or "Her hair is so beautiful" and  they usually respond well, 

I think there is definitely a gender difference. Couldn't imagine what would happen if I said those things (not that I take pictures of kids.)

 

25 minutes ago, Colin Woods said:

In India I have had people hand me their babies and children to hold so that they can take their own photo with me in their family group.

In Africa somebody gave me their baby and told me to keep it!

 

Ohh, and if you're wondering I didn't

Edited by Martin L
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