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Candid Pics Ethics & Legalities

 
 
Jim Redelfs
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-25-2004
Paparazzi 101, anyone?

What are some of the more common legal issues to consider when confronting an
unfolding event, camera in hand, before wading in and firing away?

Before departing, do you introduce yourself to one or more of the principals
of the event and had out a business card?

Of my work over the years, my best stuff is portraiture and still life.
However, if provoked, I will easily brag about one or two candid shots.

Now, with a new SLR (my first digital camera), my interest in photography
appears to be rekindled. I have begun bringing my bag (and even my heavy
Bogen tripod) in the car at virtually all times. The reason for doing this
should be obvious to any adventurous photographer: Encountering unexpected
things and events that would make for interesting pics. (Yes, including
accidents.)

I recall an incident where a photographer was penalized for failing to come to
the aid of an accident victim(s), having opted instead to continue shooting
the event. Does this sound familiar?

Topical Requisite: All photography referred to or implied herein
was/is/should be done using DIGITAL equipment.

Thenk-kew!

JR
 
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John McWilliams
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-25-2004
Jim Redelfs wrote:
> Paparazzi 101, anyone?
>
> What are some of the more common legal issues to consider when confronting an
> unfolding event, camera in hand, before wading in and firing away?
>
> Before departing, do you introduce yourself to one or more of the principals
> of the event and had out a business card?
>
> Of my work over the years, my best stuff is portraiture and still life.
> However, if provoked, I will easily brag about one or two candid shots.
>
> Now, with a new SLR (my first digital camera), my interest in photography
> appears to be rekindled. I have begun bringing my bag (and even my heavy
> Bogen tripod) in the car at virtually all times. The reason for doing this
> should be obvious to any adventurous photographer: Encountering unexpected
> things and events that would make for interesting pics. (Yes, including
> accidents.)
>
> I recall an incident where a photographer was penalized for failing to come to
> the aid of an accident victim(s), having opted instead to continue shooting
> the event. Does this sound familiar?
>
> Topical Requisite: All photography referred to or implied herein
> was/is/should be done using DIGITAL equipment.
>

Well, if confronted, you can look 'em squarely in the eye and announce
that there's no film in the camera. You can say, "I had this only 8
days!" You can .....

There have been lots of posts on people being rebuffed or threatened in
sensitive areas, such as the GG bridge in SF, various D.C. monuments,
etc. but these quickly fall into political discourse, to put it politely.

--
John McWilliams
 
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Gene Palmiter
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-25-2004
I shoot for three ways. As an artist I can shoot anything a sell prints.
Most people are flattered...and those who aren't might try a complaint. But,
they were in public and were fair game. As a photojournalist (and the
Supremes have said (I heard) that a web page is media) I can shoot and
publish anything I can see. As a commercial photographer I have a client and
they ask me to take the photos. Only in this last way is a release really
necessary...and that is the clients job.

Lets look at a case...Miss America....posed for some slightly naughty photos
when younger. She signed a release so the photographer was clear. Suppose
she had not signed it...where did he stand then?



"John McWilliams" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:Xkmzd.709012$mD.684829@attbi_s02...
> Jim Redelfs wrote:
> > Paparazzi 101, anyone?
> >
> > What are some of the more common legal issues to consider when

confronting an
> > unfolding event, camera in hand, before wading in and firing away?
> >
> > Before departing, do you introduce yourself to one or more of the

principals
> > of the event and had out a business card?
> >
> > Of my work over the years, my best stuff is portraiture and still life.
> > However, if provoked, I will easily brag about one or two candid shots.
> >
> > Now, with a new SLR (my first digital camera), my interest in

photography
> > appears to be rekindled. I have begun bringing my bag (and even my

heavy
> > Bogen tripod) in the car at virtually all times. The reason for doing

this
> > should be obvious to any adventurous photographer: Encountering

unexpected
> > things and events that would make for interesting pics. (Yes, including
> > accidents.)
> >
> > I recall an incident where a photographer was penalized for failing to

come to
> > the aid of an accident victim(s), having opted instead to continue

shooting
> > the event. Does this sound familiar?
> >
> > Topical Requisite: All photography referred to or implied herein
> > was/is/should be done using DIGITAL equipment.
> >

> Well, if confronted, you can look 'em squarely in the eye and announce
> that there's no film in the camera. You can say, "I had this only 8
> days!" You can .....
>
> There have been lots of posts on people being rebuffed or threatened in
> sensitive areas, such as the GG bridge in SF, various D.C. monuments,
> etc. but these quickly fall into political discourse, to put it politely.
>
> --
> John McWilliams



 
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Mike Henley
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-26-2004

Jim Redelfs wrote:
> Paparazzi 101, anyone?
>
> What are some of the more common legal issues to consider when

confronting an
> unfolding event, camera in hand, before wading in and firing away?
>
> Before departing, do you introduce yourself to one or more of the

principals
> of the event and had out a business card?
>
> Of my work over the years, my best stuff is portraiture and still

life.
> However, if provoked, I will easily brag about one or two candid

shots.
>
> Now, with a new SLR (my first digital camera), my interest in

photography
> appears to be rekindled. I have begun bringing my bag (and even my

heavy
> Bogen tripod) in the car at virtually all times. The reason for

doing this
> should be obvious to any adventurous photographer: Encountering

unexpected
> things and events that would make for interesting pics. (Yes,

including
> accidents.)
>
> I recall an incident where a photographer was penalized for failing

to come to
> the aid of an accident victim(s), having opted instead to continue

shooting
> the event. Does this sound familiar?
>
> Topical Requisite: All photography referred to or implied herein
> was/is/should be done using DIGITAL equipment.
>
> Thenk-kew!
>
> JR



The question is; why would you want to do that?

Let me guess, you bought all this expensive equipment capable of taking
hundreds of shots and don't know what to do with it, so now you think
that playing pretend-a-photojournalist is what you should do?

This really is at the heart of the thread I started lately; "what
should the serious amateur concern himself with?".

I'm not making fun of you, been there, done that, so let me tell you
what I think, since I'll assume that's what you want out of posting.

Point #1 - Most candid shots do not make good photographs. Just because
it's candid and the event is somewhat interesting, it doesn't
necessarily result in a good photograph. You really need to ask
yourself whether it's worth the trouble or not. This may not be
apparent to you right now, but go ahead and shoot all the candids you
want, in not too long you'll probably see what I mean. In some time,
you'll become aware of what is and what is not a good photographic
opportunity, and time alone is not enough to teach you that, no matter
how many photographs you take, but you do actually need to actively
study it, and most of the things that you probably think are so right
now about candids are in fact not.

Point #2 - If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone needs
help, for God's sake don't be thinking you're Da Vinci or the opinions
of the artistically-illiterate asses on photocritique sites are worth a
hoot and go help them!

Point #3 - Avoid photographing children that you don't know. Avoid
lurking in playgrounds and parks and et cetera. People get very
protective about their children, and and you don't need to argue with
that however righteous you think you are. This especially applies in
areas that are sensitive to sensationalist media, or those where child
abuse is common. If you must photograph, then get to know the parents
first.

Point #4 - If none of what I said above rings true to you yet, and you
must be obnoxious, then be sure to travel to a town other than yours
and play your little pretend-a-photojournalist game there. Whatever you
do, don't be obnoxious to your local community. Even if you don't know
the person, the likelihood is that you'll know someone who does. Don't
be an asshole in your locale!

Point #5 - Candid photography is ultimately about people. Clarify to
yourself what it is that intrigues you about a certain photo
opportunity and that'll be a better insight into your motives. Is it a
fashionable individual? is it a pretty girl? sometimes it's really
better to learn how to be a good conversationalist, and there are ways
to learn that, and just walk up to them and start up a conversation
that may lead to a friendship or other forms of relationship. Of
course, then, you can photograph them all you want, in all plethora of
intimate expressions and situations. But if you just try to 'steal' a
candid shot of them, then, what do you say to that! Photography can be
a good way to enrich your social sphere, make it so. Same goes for
older people or the poor and so on; clarify what your original interest
is, is it that you want to help them? is it that you're sympathetic to
marxist concerns? do you have an axiety about disease or death?

Point #6 - there are many points I could go through, but I have other
things to do. Regardless of legal issues, you should be more concerned
with the social and ethical implications. Had your income as a
professional photographer depended on it, and it was worth much, and
had implications of scale on the rest of your work, then that would've
been a different matter. But you should really be more concerned with
the social and ethical implications than the legal ones.

 
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Ken Weitzel
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-26-2004


Mike Henley wrote:
> Jim Redelfs wrote:
>
>>Paparazzi 101, anyone?
>>
>>What are some of the more common legal issues to consider when

>
> confronting an
>
>>unfolding event, camera in hand, before wading in and firing away?
>>
>>Before departing, do you introduce yourself to one or more of the

>
> principals
>
>>of the event and had out a business card?
>>
>>Of my work over the years, my best stuff is portraiture and still

>
> life.
>
>>However, if provoked, I will easily brag about one or two candid

>
> shots.
>
>>Now, with a new SLR (my first digital camera), my interest in

>
> photography
>
>>appears to be rekindled. I have begun bringing my bag (and even my

>
> heavy
>
>>Bogen tripod) in the car at virtually all times. The reason for

>
> doing this
>
>>should be obvious to any adventurous photographer: Encountering

>
> unexpected
>
>>things and events that would make for interesting pics. (Yes,

>
> including
>
>>accidents.)
>>
>>I recall an incident where a photographer was penalized for failing

>
> to come to
>
>>the aid of an accident victim(s), having opted instead to continue

>
> shooting
>
>>the event. Does this sound familiar?
>>
>>Topical Requisite: All photography referred to or implied herein
>>was/is/should be done using DIGITAL equipment.
>>
>>Thenk-kew!
>>
>>JR

>
>
>
> The question is; why would you want to do that?
>
> Let me guess, you bought all this expensive equipment capable of taking
> hundreds of shots and don't know what to do with it, so now you think
> that playing pretend-a-photojournalist is what you should do?
>
> This really is at the heart of the thread I started lately; "what
> should the serious amateur concern himself with?".
>
> I'm not making fun of you, been there, done that, so let me tell you
> what I think, since I'll assume that's what you want out of posting.
>
> Point #1 - Most candid shots do not make good photographs. Just because
> it's candid and the event is somewhat interesting, it doesn't
> necessarily result in a good photograph. You really need to ask
> yourself whether it's worth the trouble or not. This may not be
> apparent to you right now, but go ahead and shoot all the candids you
> want, in not too long you'll probably see what I mean. In some time,
> you'll become aware of what is and what is not a good photographic
> opportunity, and time alone is not enough to teach you that, no matter
> how many photographs you take, but you do actually need to actively
> study it, and most of the things that you probably think are so right
> now about candids are in fact not.
>
> Point #2 - If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone needs
> help, for God's sake don't be thinking you're Da Vinci or the opinions
> of the artistically-illiterate asses on photocritique sites are worth a
> hoot and go help them!
>
> Point #3 - Avoid photographing children that you don't know. Avoid
> lurking in playgrounds and parks and et cetera. People get very
> protective about their children, and and you don't need to argue with
> that however righteous you think you are. This especially applies in
> areas that are sensitive to sensationalist media, or those where child
> abuse is common. If you must photograph, then get to know the parents
> first.
>
> Point #4 - If none of what I said above rings true to you yet, and you
> must be obnoxious, then be sure to travel to a town other than yours
> and play your little pretend-a-photojournalist game there. Whatever you
> do, don't be obnoxious to your local community. Even if you don't know
> the person, the likelihood is that you'll know someone who does. Don't
> be an asshole in your locale!
>
> Point #5 - Candid photography is ultimately about people. Clarify to
> yourself what it is that intrigues you about a certain photo
> opportunity and that'll be a better insight into your motives. Is it a
> fashionable individual? is it a pretty girl? sometimes it's really
> better to learn how to be a good conversationalist, and there are ways
> to learn that, and just walk up to them and start up a conversation
> that may lead to a friendship or other forms of relationship. Of
> course, then, you can photograph them all you want, in all plethora of
> intimate expressions and situations. But if you just try to 'steal' a
> candid shot of them, then, what do you say to that! Photography can be
> a good way to enrich your social sphere, make it so. Same goes for
> older people or the poor and so on; clarify what your original interest
> is, is it that you want to help them? is it that you're sympathetic to
> marxist concerns? do you have an axiety about disease or death?
>
> Point #6 - there are many points I could go through, but I have other
> things to do. Regardless of legal issues, you should be more concerned
> with the social and ethical implications. Had your income as a
> professional photographer depended on it, and it was worth much, and
> had implications of scale on the rest of your work, then that would've
> been a different matter. But you should really be more concerned with
> the social and ethical implications than the legal ones.


Very well said !

Ken


 
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Jim Redelfs
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-26-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed) .com>,
"Mike Henley" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> The question is; why would you want to do that?


Do what? You quoted my ENTIRE article, verbatim, and your first response is
THAT?!?

> Let me guess, you bought all this expensive equipment capable of taking
> hundreds of shots and don't know what to do with it, so now you think
> that playing pretend-a-photojournalist is what you should do?


(Ya, know... It's darn tough to not cop a similar holier-than-thou attitude
and respond in a like manner.)

Uh, no. I just put all of my MUCH more expensive 35mm bodies and lenses that
I've used (amateur and pro) for >25-years in a laundry basket, disappointed in
their virtual worthlessness, and switched to digital. The format changed, not
much else.

I've done mostly amateur work but have been legitimately published in the
past. I have no desire or intention to chase ambulances. I am simply
interested in the LEGALITY of some aspects of candid photography; issues I've
never considered in the past.

> I'm not making fun of you


OK, if you say so. :\

> Point #1 - Most candid shots do not make good photographs.


Agreed. That's why we toss out the stinkers.

> Just because it's candid and the event is somewhat interesting, it
> doesn't necessarily result in a good photograph.


Necessarily, no. Usually, certainly.

> You really need to ask yourself whether it's worth the trouble or not.
> This may not be apparent to you right now, but go ahead and shoot all
> the candids you want, in not too long you'll probably see what I mean.


Since you're into making assumptions about someone you don't know, I shall do
the same: I'll keep your advice handy for my NEXT life: Based on having
lived for over half a century, and using a camera for all but 7 or 8 years of
that, there's a good chance I've shot more candids that you.

> In some time, you'll become aware of what is and what is not a good
> photographic opportunity


Too late. I learned that many, MANY moons ago.

> and time alone is not enough to teach you that


But, wait! You just said... :\

> no matter how many photographs you take, but you do actually
> need to actively study it


Study what?

> most of the things that you probably think are
> so right now about candids are in fact not.


You would probably be surprised at what I think - and know.

> Point #2 - If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone needs
> help, for God's sake don't be thinking you're Da Vinci or the opinions
> of the artistically-illiterate asses on photocritique sites are worth a
> hoot and go help them!


Trust me. I would - in a heartbeat. (CPR certified, blah, blah...)

I was simply wondering if you had heard of the situation I mentioned. My
words were not meant to imply that, if I encountered a life-or-death
situation, I would opt to photograph the incident rather than render aid. Not
a chance.

> Point #3 - Avoid photographing children that you don't know.


Good advice. Mine is better: Avoid children that you don't know.

> Avoid lurking in playgrounds and parks and et cetera.


Oh, rats! You mean I bought this nice, full-length RAINCOAT for nothing? <g>

> People get very protective about their children


Yeah, as a parent and grandparent I can appreciate that.

> This especially applies in areas that are sensitive to
> sensationalist media, or those where child abuse is common.


Just WHERE might these areas be? If they were KNOWN, I expect that,
especially in the case of the latter, such activity would be less prevalent.

> Point #4 - If none of what I said above rings true to you yet, and you
> must be obnoxious


Naw, I get that out of my system here. <grin>

> Whatever you do, don't be obnoxious to your local community.


That's good advice in ANY case.

> Don't be an asshole in your locale!


That's good advice, too. However, you've lost me. I asked about the legal
considerations of candid photography and suddenly I'm an obnoxious asshole, in
my raincoat (yeah, I added THAT) photographing kids in the park. Where did
all THAT come from?

> Point #5 - Candid photography is ultimately about people.


Perhaps I should have posed my query about "action" photography or "event"
photography as opposed to candid.

> Clarify to yourself what it is that intrigues you about a certain photo
> opportunity and that'll be a better insight into your motives. Is it a
> fashionable individual? is it a pretty girl? sometimes it's really
> better to learn how to be a good conversationalist, and there are ways
> to learn that, and just walk up to them and start up a conversation
> that may lead to a friendship or other forms of relationship. Of
> course, then, you can photograph them all you want, in all plethora of
> intimate expressions and situations.


Ahhhhhh! I get it now. All this expensive equipment is a way to pick-up
chicks. Silly me: I thought a puppy was a better prop.

> But if you just try to 'steal' a candid shot of them, then,
> what do you say to that!


"Darn! I missed!"?

> Photography can be a good way to enrich your social sphere, make it so.


I've missed so much.

> Same goes for older people or the poor and so on; clarify what your
> original interest is


Taking a GREAT photo.

> is it that you want to help them?


With a GREAT photo? Otherwise, I just rely on my Continuous Giver and Fair
Share contributions to the United Way.

> is it that you're sympathetic to marxist concerns?


Nah. Michael Moore has that well covered.

> do you have an axiety about disease or death?


Doesn't everyone?

> Point #6 - there are many points I could go through, but I have other
> things to do.


Me, too. Seriously, I really DO appreciate the TIME you took to reply.

> Regardless of legal issues, you should be more concerned
> with the social and ethical implications.


MORE concerned? Why?

Not too many attorneys make their living defending or prosecuting one charged
with a social or ethical faux paux. Legal or even civil violations concern me
a "bit" more.

> Had your income as a professional photographer depended on it, and it was
> worth much, and had implications of scale on the rest of your work, then
> that would've been a different matter. But you should really be more
> concerned with the social and ethical implications than the legal ones.


Well, I *DID* include "ethics" in the Subject. You covered that nicely.

Perhaps I could be directed to a resource that covers "fair use", what
constitutes a "public figure" and the like.

Thanks!

JR
 
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Jer
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-26-2004
Jim Redelfs wrote:


> Perhaps I could be directed to a resource that covers "fair use", what
> constitutes a "public figure" and the like.
>
> Thanks!
>
> JR




Screw all that. Just do like I did, get a really long lens and blast
away at whatever you want. They'll never know.

Fair use? Fair is whatever I get a focus lock on. I'm not shooting for
Home & Gardens - I'm shooting homes AND gardens.

Public figure is largely limited to elected officials, but they make
good subjects too.

Tip #1: Carry business cards with contact info for yourself and your
attorney.

Tip #2: Get a camera mount for the front seat and never let anybody
ride shotgun when you're hunting.

Tip #C: Power windows, tinted glass and run-flat tires are your friends.

--
jer
email reply - I am not a 'ten'
 
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Mike Henley
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-26-2004

Jim Redelfs wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed) .com>,
> "Mike Henley" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:



> Well, I *DID* include "ethics" in the Subject. You covered that

nicely.
>
> Perhaps I could be directed to a resource that covers "fair use",

what
> constitutes a "public figure" and the like.
>
> Thanks!
>
> JR


Look, JR, I don't know you, so don't take anything I said personally
and don't be offended. From your post I wondered if you were new to
this stuff. Some of the points I mentioned I felt a need to point them
out in a very clear way, because some people actually make such
mistakes, be it inexperience or whatever, and it could cause them
problems.

As for laws, I suggest you look into the 'public intimacy' and
'improper photography' regulations of your area, as they differ from
place to place.

 
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Ryan Robbins
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-26-2004

"Jim Redelfs" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Uh, no. I just put all of my MUCH more expensive 35mm bodies and lenses
> that
> I've used (amateur and pro) for >25-years in a laundry basket,
> disappointed in
> their virtual worthlessness, and switched to digital. The format changed,
> not
> much else.


What makes you think that digital photography is any different from film
photography in terms of ethics and rights?



 
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Jim Redelfs
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-26-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed) .com>,
"Mike Henley" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Look, JR, I don't know you, so don't take anything I said personally
> and don't be offended.


I didn't and wasn't. Quite seriously, I was almost AMAZED that someone
actually took the time to write something lengthy and informative.

From the "typical" usenet standpoint, your reply was very "measured". Under
different circumstances, I would have been flamed into submission.

> Some of the points I mentioned I felt a need to point them
> out in a very clear way, because some people actually make such
> mistakes, be it inexperience or whatever, and it could cause them
> problems.


That's the value of a public discussion. If your words were of value to me,
it's entirely likely they were also to others.

> As for laws, I suggest you look into the 'public intimacy' and
> 'improper photography' regulations of your area, as they differ from
> place to place.


Well, it's off to the library for me! (...and not jail! HA!)

Thanks, again!

JR
 
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