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Old 10-22-2014, 08:35 PM
 
253 posts, read 317,171 times
Reputation: 368

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I thought I would ask what is news photographer etiquette and I was wondering
if there are professional standards practiced among photographers in regards
to photographing subjects in public.

I was at an event open to the public a few weeks ago and tonight.

Photographers were present and appeared to be from a local news agency.
I generally don't like to be photographed as that is my general preference,
particularly if I am with my child.

I understand that the news photographer (SLR type camera) is just doing
his job. I sat closer to the back, with pen and pad of paper in hand to take
notes about the event I am attending. The photographer comes around
looking for a shot of various people in the audience. I see him train his
camera straight towards me (I was about 10 feet away). I turn my head and
put the pad closer to my face, blocking my view. He waits, then walks a few steps
away, then points the camera at me again. I turn around clearly not wanting him
to photograph me. He moves a little bit and points his camera at me again.
At this point, I open my laptop computer blocking my face. Eventually, I
move my seat, standing against the wall in the back of the room on the side.

Another time in the past, I was with my toddler child in my arms and a photographer tried to take
a photo us. I turned my back.

So, this left me wondering what one could say to a news photographer or if there
are professional standards about not taking the photo of someone who clearly
doesn't wish to be photographed.


Also where does freedom of the press end and encroachment on privacy begin?
While I understand that attendance at a public event, it shouldn't be a surprise
that one could be photographed, what about the case where someone clearly
indicates he or she doesn't wish to be photographed.


Thank you in advance.

Last edited by newmassphd; 10-22-2014 at 08:36 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
23,307 posts, read 28,108,786 times
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If you are in public you indeed do not have an expectation of privacy. I went to a large outdoor family oriented event last weekend and there was a big sign at the entrance advising people that by coming in they consented to be photographed.

In your situation, I would have politely told the photographer I did not wish to have my picture taken. I suspect a true professional would honor that.

If you are an active participant, not just an observer, at something like a government sponsored meeting, or hearing, I think you should expect to possibly be photographed.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:54 PM
 
Location: SDL/PDX/RDU
4,790 posts, read 2,554,079 times
Reputation: 5573
Also true of any photographer, professional or not. If you are in a public space or event there is no expectation of privacy.

Per ACLU website:

Your rights as a photographer:

When in public spaces where you are lawfully present you have the right to photograph anything that is in plain view.

When you are on private property, the property owner may set rules about the taking of photographs.

Police may not delete your photographs or video under any circumstances.

Police officers may legitimately order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations.

Note that the right to photograph does not give you a right to break any other laws.



There are a number of websites that offer different riffs on this, Attorney Bert Krages perhaps the best.

Sorry you felt put upon. I feel the same way when my legal right to make a photograph is compromised as well. Perhaps a courteous word to the photographer requesting not to be photographed might be appropriate?

Last edited by take57; 10-22-2014 at 10:03 PM..
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:07 PM
 
253 posts, read 317,171 times
Reputation: 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by take57 View Post
Also true of any photographer, professional or not. If you are in a public space or event there is no expectation of privacy.

Per ACLU website:

Your rights as a photographer:

When in public spaces where you are lawfully present you have the right to photograph anything that is in plain view.

When you are on private property, the property owner may set rules about the taking of photographs.

Police may not delete your photographs or video under any circumstances.

Police officers may legitimately order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations.

Note that the right to photograph does not give you a right to break any other laws.



There are a number of websites that offer different riffs on this, Attorney Bert Krages perhaps the best.

Sorry you felt put upon. I feel the same way when my constitutional rights to make a photograph are compromised as well. Perhaps a courteous word to the photographer requesting not to be photographed might be appropriate?

Thank you for the information. I do understand that if you are a participant in the activity
you can expect to be photographed. For my example, I refer to those who are spectators
and not participants.

So then I wonder how "in plain view" is interpreted.


Very interesting indeed. Would this mean the responsibility is on the subject to be photograph
to remove him or herself from plain view?

Also is the "in plain view" referred to by the ACLU the same "plain view" as described by "plain view doctrine" in reference to warrantless search and seizure?
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:19 PM
 
253 posts, read 317,171 times
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I did some searching and found a photographer's guide to privacy, perfect for bedtime reading.

Photographers' Guide to Privacy | Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:23 PM
 
Location: SDL/PDX/RDU
4,790 posts, read 2,554,079 times
Reputation: 5573
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmassphd View Post
Thank you for the information. I do understand that if you are a participant in the activity
you can expect to be photographed. For my example, I refer to those who are spectators
and not participants.

So then I wonder how "in plain view" is interpreted.


Very interesting indeed. Would this mean the responsibility is on the subject to be photograph
to remove him or herself from plain view?

Also is the "in plain view" referred to by the ACLU the same "plain view" as described by "plain view doctrine" in reference to warrantless search and seizure?
You would have to consult an attorney if you're looking for a granular answer to your questions. I worked in media production for nearly 30 years and this issue rarely came up. I simply acted in a legal manner. Perhaps you answered you own question by framing it as a matter of etiquette. As we all know, from screaming babies on an aircraft, self-important dilettantes and deranged homeless people, etiquette comes in many forms.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,390 posts, read 17,324,394 times
Reputation: 14023
No "professional standards" like what you're wanting, and this is coming from a former newspaper editor. If you think about it, you probably wouldn't want that. News photos/videos wouldn't be much if they were only of those who gave consent to have their pictures taken in public. You did the right thing in simply moving. If you're in a small town your request might be considered, but moving or turning your head away from him is probably the best bet. In 20 years as a reporter/photographer/editor, I don't recall anyone ever asking me to NOT take their photo nor to not publish it. Usually it was the other way around.

I'd say privacy trumps freedom of the press when you enter your home. That said, if the photographer is out looking for a weather or human interest photo and stops to take a picture of you or your kids, simply telling him/her that you'd rather he looked elsewhere would normally work. In those cases he'd likely want your name for the caption, and you have no obligation to provide it. A human interest photo without a caption is pretty much worthless. A crowd shot at a meeting or other gathering is a different story.

A little off-topic, but some newspapers/editors have a policy of not publishing corpse photos, covered or not, mainly in consideration of families and loved ones. As a very young editor I didn't, I'm ashamed to admit, but after the first one (covered) I regretted it and never did it again. That was one of a very few editorial decisions I made that still haunts me. We learn in j-school that freedom of the press trumps just about everything and how important it is, for everyone, that we stand our ground. But experience teaches us that there are times we must carefully weigh what we print. Having the right to publish everything does not mean that it's right to publish everything.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Long Neck,De
4,792 posts, read 6,768,949 times
Reputation: 4768
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmassphd View Post

I understand that the news photographer (SLR type camera) is just doing
his job. I sat closer to the back, with pen and pad of paper in hand to take
notes about the event I am attending. The photographer comes around
looking for a shot of various people in the audience. I see him train his
camera straight towards me (I was about 10 feet away). I turn my head and
put the pad closer to my face, blocking my view. He waits, then walks a few steps
away, then points the camera at me again. I turn around clearly not wanting him
to photograph me. He moves a little bit and points his camera at me again.
At this point, I open my laptop computer blocking my face. Eventually, I
move my seat, standing against the wall in the back of the room on the side.

..
Quote:
Originally Posted by take57 View Post

Sorry you felt put upon. I feel the same way when my legal right to make a photograph is compromised as well. Perhaps a courteous word to the photographer requesting not to be photographed might be appropriate?
It would seem that the OP's actions were clearly conveying that message.

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 11-03-2014 at 07:13 AM.. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:30 PM
 
Location: SDL/PDX/RDU
4,790 posts, read 2,554,079 times
Reputation: 5573
Quote:
Originally Posted by longnecker View Post
It would seem that the OP's actions were clearly conveying that message.
So does giving the photographer the finger so the photo won't be acceptable for publication, but a brief word and request works so much better.

Last edited by take57; 10-22-2014 at 10:40 PM..
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Old 10-23-2014, 02:03 AM
 
Location: Long Neck,De
4,792 posts, read 6,768,949 times
Reputation: 4768
Quote:
Originally Posted by take57 View Post
So does giving the photographer the finger so the photo won't be acceptable for publication, but a brief word and request works so much better.
The OP's actions were a clear indication of their wishes. If that did not work maybe the finger would be called for.
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