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'Amateur Photographer' article on UK Lockdown restrictions for amateurs & professionals


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Useful article on the AP website with links to equally useful information on the RPS & Association of Photographers websites, not particularly uplifting obviously.

 

https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/latest/photo-news/can-i-go-out-and-take-photos-during-the-lockdown-144796?fbclid=IwAR1KpWvo73W4PxeB4P1z1YXaHnh3bZ25x8GvOTidpThNHN6HflcZsZiE364

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Good (mostly) article, and the "gist" is right on... I don't think anyone would decry you for stopping to take a few snaps while out on a walk. It might be harder to justify for those of us going out to take specific photos for Alamy stock or live news, especially those of us who don't hold an NUJ press card or the likes, than those who are "professional" in the more traditional sense of having direct assignments. For that reason I carry a tear sheet with me and a copy of the regulation at all times should the need arise to justify that I am working.

 

There are inaccuracies in the article though. It mentions:

 

You are allowed to go out once a day to exercise in public outdoor spaces ... provided you stay local.

 

We hear this often on the TV but it is in fact only guidance. The actual law states (regarding the relevant section re exercise):

 

"to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household;"

 

... that's it! There is no stipulation regarding length of the trip, the frequency or indeed how "local" you are supposed to stay. Source: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/350/made

 

The 2021 amendments put forth make only very minor changes mostly in relation to the extra powers PCSOs have. Interestingly enough, I can't find an amendment for the fact that we are supposedly now able to exercise outdoors with one other person, so they've either forgot to put it in or I'm not trying hard enough. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/8/made

 

It's also worth mentioning another often misunderstood/misreported point about "essential work"... per the regs, that's not quite right either. The work itself does not have to be essential (perhaps the implication is that all work is essential), just the travel to it. Arguably those of us contributing to Alamy (for the purposes of earning money) can't take photos of a whole litany of subjects from our front living rooms ergo the travel to the location is essential.

 

"to travel for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible for that person to work, or to provide those services, from the place where they are living;"

 

This is not comparable to office work which can be reasonably undertaken from home to the same end result.

 

**I should disclaimer this by saying that I don't think this is justification to break the rules, just that knowing what they are can be beneficial as there is a lot of misinformation out there. While photography is a hobby that I love it is in many cases something I treat as work as the end goal is to make sales, but no-one said you can't love your job! I can already hear the pitchforks being sharpened so with that I will high tail it out of here...

 

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2 minutes ago, Cal said:

Good (mostly) article, and the "gist" is right on... I don't think anyone would decry you for stopping to take a few snaps while out on a walk. It might be harder to justify for those of us going out to take specific photos for Alamy stock or live news, especially those of us who don't hold an NUJ press card or the likes, than those who are "professional" in the more traditional sense of having direct assignments. For that reason I carry a tear sheet with me and a copy of the regulation at all times should the need arise to justify that I am working.

 

There are inaccuracies in the article though. It mentions:

 

You are allowed to go out once a day to exercise in public outdoor spaces ... provided you stay local.

 

We hear this often on the TV but it is in fact only guidance. The actual law states (regarding the relevant section re exercise):

 

"to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household;"

 

... that's it! There is no stipulation regarding length of the trip, the frequency or indeed how "local" you are supposed to stay. Source: The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/350/made

 

The 2021 amendments put forth make only very minor changes mostly in relation to the extra powers PCSOs have. Interestingly enough, I can't find an amendment for the fact that we are supposedly now able to exercise outdoors with one other person, so they've either forgot to put it in or I'm not trying hard enough. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/8/made

 

It's also worth mentioning another often misunderstood/misreported point about "essential work"... per the regs, that's not quite right either. The work itself does not have to be essential (perhaps the implication is that all work is essential), just the travel to it. Arguably those of us contributing to Alamy (for the purposes of earning money) can't take photos of a whole litany of subjects from our front living rooms ergo the travel to the location is essential.

 

"to travel for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible for that person to work, or to provide those services, from the place where they are living;"

 

This is not comparable to office work which can be reasonably undertaken from home to the same end result.

 

**I should disclaimer this by saying that I don't think this is justification to break the rules, just that knowing what they are can be beneficial as there is a lot of misinformation out there. While photography is a hobby that I love it is in many cases something I treat as work as the end goal is to make sales, but no-one said you can't love your job! I can already hear the pitchforks being sharpened so with that I will high tail it out of here...

 

I agree, there’s nothing in law about once a day exercise it is govt rhetoric / guidance.

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What  constitutes being a professional photographer? I made over £1000 on here last year and £12000  from my part time day job will that do, I have been carrying with me a selection of magazines and calender's with my work in just in case I was challenged. 

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5 minutes ago, Nick Hatton said:

What  constitutes being a professional photographer? I made over £1000 on here last year and £12000  from my part time day job will that do, I have been carrying with me a selection of magazines and calender's with my work in just in case I was challenged. 

 

My understanding of the term professional is that you get paid for the work you produce. Google suggests that it is on a full time basis (so, our day jobs) with the definition "semi professional" probably fitting more closely those of us who do Alamy "on the side": engaging in an activity for pay or gain but not as a full-time occupation. 

 

It seems you and I share the same approach re magazine articles/tear sheets though.

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I suppose that we're all going to interpret things in our own ways, I'm not personally looking to push any boundaries because there seems to be far too much activity around here without me adding to it unduly. It's a mess obviously and the situation around the Derbyshire reservoir helped to highlight that. 'Local' is impossible to define but should the worst happen and a fine was issued I think it would be hard to get it revoked unless a National newspaper chose to take it up. I don't go fishing but it seems that since the article was written that has had a reprieve, including sea-fishing which is surprising. Now I've always thought that street photography was rather like fishing....

 

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32 minutes ago, Cee Dee Dickinson said:

"You should carry a valid NUJ or IFJ press card or other professional credentials"

 

Who decides what are and are not "professional credentials"

I carry a copy of my public liability insurance, which has 'Avpics' as my business. It's not as stone cold definite as a union card but it's got a nod from police officers a couple of times when stopped at protests during COVID. Having said that, on personal health and for not wishing to push my luck I haven't travelled much since March. The virus doesn't respect badges.

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35 minutes ago, Avpics said:

I carry a copy of my public liability insurance, which has 'Avpics' as my business. It's not as stone cold definite as a union card but it's got a nod from police officers a couple of times when stopped at protests during COVID. Having said that, on personal health and for not wishing to push my luck I haven't travelled much since March. The virus doesn't respect badges.

Interesting @Avpics and  you are correct, we need to observe the guidelines to protect ourselves, our family and freinds.

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Bit of a sod really as I had plans for when I got my travel pass in September!

Still, it wasn't my custom to travel around London for photography and I'm not likely to start now. That said I've been out to work with my film industry hat on and I don't consider it necessary to be able to justify myself- I have a reasonable excuse and that's that and fortunately film, TV and radio are exempt from premises restrictions. I won't accept a fine.

 

Edited by spacecadet
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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

Bit of a sod really as I had plans for when I got my travel pass in September!

Still, it wasn't my custom to travel around London for photography and I'm not likely to start now. That said I've been out to work with my film industry hat on and I don't consider it necessary to be able to justify myself- I have a reasonable excuse and that's that. I won't accept a fine.

Many places are devoid of people because of Covid and winter, particular the countryside. So i think there are good opportunities for photography  while excercising if you have some  natural habitat nearby.

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Just now, Cee Dee Dickinson said:

Many places are devoid of people because of Covid and winter, particular the countryside. So i think there are good opportunities for photography  while excercising if you have some  natural habitat nearby.

Done that- months ago! Not much stock scope even in Epping Forest. I'm generally staying in.

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7 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Done that- months ago! Not much stock scope even in Epping Forest. I'm generally staying in.

Forests are great. Lots of Flora and Fauna can  be photographed in the winter 

 

Fox had a look at me this morning, but too far away for the 35mm. Plenty of birds looking for food, plants covered in snow.

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4 minutes ago, Cee Dee Dickinson said:

Forests are great. Lots of Flora and Fauna can  be photographed in the winter 

 

Fox had a look at me this morning, but too far away for the 35mm. Plenty of birds looking for food, plants covered in snow.

I hardly need to leave the garden for some of it- we got a lovely show of fly agaric in November and there's winter heliotrope now.

Yes I got a good looking over from a fox just now in the front garden. Not fussed at all. But too dark of course.

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2 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Yes I got a good looking over from a fox just now in the front garden. Not fussed at all. But too dark of course.

I went out just before sunrise. Not another person seen on the Trail.  Winter scenes can be seen on many objects and in many publications. 

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1 hour ago, Cee Dee Dickinson said:

"You should carry a valid NUJ or IFJ press card or other professional credentials"

 

Who decides what are and are not "professional credentials"

 

In the context of acting as a photo journalist or media key worker you are expected to have a press card from one of the gatekeeper organisations such as the NUJ, BPPA or other like body. Google UK Press card and you'll see the list. If you are styling yourself as a media key worker this is how you can be judged.

 

But to be a photographer you do not need credentials.  If you cannot work from home you can still work.  I would have thought Liability Insurance, some evidence of a portfolio and most importantly an open and proffesional demenour would prove you are working and pass the test of reasonableness applied by a PC or PCSO. This worked for me a couple of times before lockdown. I am glad to see I was thinking the same way as some of m'learned colleagues on the forum.

 

Complicated? yes. Confusing, you bet.  As Spacecadet said earlier this year, if the rules aren't confusing you, you have'nt read them.

 

There is however a big but. If you go out at the moment you could kill someone.

 

Two of the news photographers in Bristol have caught the Virus.  We're not invulnerable, but we know that.

 

At the moment I'll go for a walk with my camera, but if I see anyone I'll cross the road. If there's already someone on the other side, well I'm in the wrong place.

 

Stay safe kids.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Cal said:

Good (mostly) article, and the "gist" is right on... I don't think anyone would decry you for stopping to take a few snaps while out on a walk. It might be harder to justify for those of us going out to take specific photos for Alamy stock or live news, especially those of us who don't hold an NUJ press card or the likes, than those who are "professional" in the more traditional sense of having direct assignments. For that reason I carry a tear sheet with me and a copy of the regulation at all times should the need arise to justify that I am working.

 

 

 

 

 

 

good ideas there.  i've also now added an identifier KW which means i can show my news portfolio if questioned, as we have similar convoluted rules in place in Ontario today.

 

 

my issue is more, can i justify taking bird pictures as News, as i had anxiety issues late last year that i am not ready to face

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6 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

good ideas there.  i've also now added an identifier KW which means i can show my news portfolio if questioned, as we have similar convoluted rules in place in Ontario today.

 

 

 

I would consider a tear sheet over showing your port. I chose one specifically that had the full name credit... it wasn't my first choice because there are perhaps more pertinent or convincing publications but unfortunately they are either bought through distribution (so not even a credit to alamy, let alone me) or just credit alamy alone. Ironically, the tear sheet I use was one of my first sales. Depending on the kit you carry also, and to a certain degree your demeanour, will be enough. when I'm out with both bodies (camera, that is!) slung over my shoulder particularly with one of them bearing the large tele-zoom most comments/questions I get are am I press, what photos am I selling, etc etc. Great conversation starter, it has to be said.

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7 minutes ago, Mr Standfast said:

 

 

But to be a photographer you do not need credentials.  If you cannot work from home you can still work.  I would have thought Liability Insurance, some evidence of a portfolio and most importantly an open and proffesional demenour would prove you are working and pass the test of reasonableness applied by a PC or PCSO. This worked for me a couple of times before lockdown. I am glad to see I was thinking the same way as some of m'learned colleagues on the forum.

 

Complicated? yes. Confusing, you bet.  As Spacecadet said earlier this year, if the rules aren't confusing you, you have'nt read them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

you should see my new rules.  We are to "stay and home".  But i am allowed to go work- documentary photographer is essential.  I am allowed to exercise, not defined, so is stopping to take a picture while walking allowed?....  To make it more complicated as a single person living alone i am actually allowed to meet another household outside. 

 

oh and use your judgement, and police have extra enforcement power, but not for people driving their car....  

 

 

my rule however:  5m distance from humans.  NO restriction with my owl friend that i have designated as my Mental Support. 

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2 minutes ago, Cal said:

 

I would consider a tear sheet over showing your port. I chose one specifically that had the full name credit... it wasn't my first choice because there are perhaps more pertinent or convincing publications but unfortunately they are either bought through distribution (so not even a credit to alamy, let alone me) or just credit alamy alone. Ironically, the tear sheet I use was one of my first sales. Depending on the kit you carry also, and to a certain degree your demeanour, will be enough. when I'm out with both bodies (camera, that is!) slung over my shoulder particularly with one of them bearing the large tele-zoom most comments/questions I get are am I press, what photos am I selling, etc etc. Great conversation

4 minutes ago, Cal said:

 

I would consider a tear sheet over showing your port. I chose one specifically that had the full name credit... it wasn't my first choice because there are perhaps more pertinent or convincing publications but unfortunately they are either bought through distribution (so not even a credit to alamy, let alone me) or just credit alamy alone. Ironically, the tear sheet I use was one of my first sales. Depending on the kit you carry also, and to a certain degree your demeanour, will be enough. when I'm out with both bodies (camera, that is!) slung over my shoulder particularly with one of them bearing the large tele-zoom most comments/questions I get are am I press, what photos am I selling, etc etc. Great conversation starter, it has to be said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I built the portfolio to have only Live News image with name in Caption.  Electronic tear sheets also saved.  

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Just now, Cee Dee Dickinson said:

Yes. Recording  the impact of climate change on birds is envronmental journalism.

 you and I know that.  also weather impact is news.  

 

Just might be interesting if i had to  justify to policeman that it was essential to do it today...  but in honesty, i'm a middle aged white man, i am the least likely to be questioned....I do feel worried for already marginalised groups.

 

.  Snow storm coming saturday so that should be fine 🙂 

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2 hours ago, Cee Dee Dickinson said:

"You should carry a valid NUJ or IFJ press card or other professional credentials"

 

Who decides what are and are not "professional credentials"

The gatekeepers! THE UK PRESS CARD AUTHORITY

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