Photography Legal, Ethics, Photography Etiquette and Copyright Considerations

Image of a light house in the sunset

Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel.” Metropolitan Police

However, it is always polite to ask for permission, to stop taking photographs of people if asked to do so and to be aware of other people around you. In the photograph above the person taking photographs blocked the view of several other photographers and dozens of other members of the public trying to take photographs. He may be allowed to be there, but in photography circles most people would take their shot and move out of the way. Photography is all about patience and sometimes it is good to share the experience. Often groups of photographers at a location like this will share tips, locations, sometimes even equipment and there is certainly a community aspect to it, regardless of the forum.

What do you think about “street photography”? The term, the activity, the ethical implications and considerations.

Copyright of photographs in the UK belongs to the person who created the image, the copyright lasts until 75 years after their death, when they move into the public domain. The only exclusion is if you are taking the photographs while working for a company. These rules vary around the world. You do not have to have a copyright notice or symbol attached to the images. Under UK law these rules apply to ALL images found on the internet, even ‘Orphan Works’ where the creator cannot be immediately identified.

Some questions to think about:

Are we allowed to take photographs wherever we want?
Do we need consent and / or permission to photograph people?
Do we need consent and / or permission to publish a photograph of a person?
Who owns the copyright to the photograph?

UK Government Copyright Guidance