Legal Rights for Photographers


Hey there,
it's late in my Country right now and since i'm not going to go to bed anytime soon i'm going to write you a story and with this story i'm hoping that those which are new to Photography or Videography could read at this topic useful information which could come handy when unwanted attention is drawn to them.

The story start's on a Sunday afternoon, it was very beautiful outside and i was home wondering what could we do on this beautiful day?
I was so bored that i was even checking up the "local website for used stuff" (EbayK.A.) and at one point i stumble on an ad... A camera was sold but i was more interested in the lens which it was sold with, so i went on the chat with that Seller and made a bid for that lens!
Soon enough the seller reached back and told me that is ok and i should come and take it, but at the same time i was making plans with my Girlfriend to go somewhere else...
Hmm... i said to my GF: -Babe we take a small detour and then we go our way and have a beautiful walk together while enjoying the sunset!
We hop in the car, go to the bank, withdrew the needed money for the lens and we go to that Address.
From the main street we enter on a smaller street going to a dead end so i said that it would be better to park somewhere near the main street so that we don't block this smaller Street with our car.
I finally reached the House and was greeded by my seller, a Woman which gave me the lens to test it on my Camera.
-All good i said! ...And i handed her the money, said my goodbyes and went back to the car.
Now for all of you which buy a second hand thing you need to really check it out because not always the product is "slightly used" so all the way to the car i played with the AF system to see if it's alright.

I hop in the car and as i didn't see, behind us parked a car very fast and as we were strapping the seatbelts on a guy come to my Gf's side and knocked on the window. We opened it and asked what's up?
The guy was frustrated!
-You took picture of my house! I need to see your camera right now! ...he said.
I am not intimidated so quickly and i asked him what is his problem and who is he?
The guy asked again on a mean ton to see the camera and the pictures on it or else he calls the cops on us!
I said to him fine do it! I won't give you anything without a proper reason... And he got on the phone.

My Gf was upset, i was mad at that guy because he was harassing us and we wanted to go but his car was blocking ours.
Then i said wait if he's really calling the cops we should wait. They would find us if we go and then they can say we fled and i tempered with my camera. We should stay until they come! My GF agreed although she was upset on the whole situation.

After 45 minutes of waiting a Police car comes on the main street and then goes down on the smaller street, the guy in the car quickly followed them. After 5 minutes we saw the police coming our way and we got out of the car.
2 Policemen came out and greeted us and asked us what happened. We explained to them what and how that guy reacted and that i was here to buy a camera lens which i had attached to my camera.
After hearing everything and taking a look at the chat with the lens bid they said that they are sorry about the situation and that there were thefts in the area and maybe that's what triggered this guy to act like this...

I was totally disappointed by this whole situation in which the police didn't even need to take our Id's and everything was resolved in a calm tone.

Now for my fellow Photographers and Artists: We all know that when something inspirational hits us, we tend to press on that shutter button and catch it!
But in our days it's better to first look things up because from my knowledge every Country has different rules about shooting in Public places and what.
Then there are the persons which need to have their status as a private person respected.

And you as a Photographer need to know what are your artistic rights on what you shoot and how to enforce these rights and protect your DATA.

For those more Professional you can leave here other experiences and/or links, laws which can be useful to protect us and /or help inform the normal citizen when doubt with.

Maura B.

The Last Black Unicorn
Staff member
Let me see if I understood the situation correctly. You went to buy a new lens, you randomly took a picture of a house to test it and then the owner of the house stalked and harassed you until the police came 45 minutes later? In the end, did you delete the photo? Was it legal to take a photo of a house? I mean, outdoors are public places, therefore it shouldn't be illegal to take pictures, Google Maps is based on this

Maura B.

The Last Black Unicorn
Staff member
In that case, you two should have called the police because that person was harassing you, not the other way around. It is sad when this happens