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Photography Question 
Craig F. Houghton
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/22/2005

Shooting People and Private Property

What is the appropriate way to photograph strangers? Do you just take their picture and the ask permission to keep the picture? Also what kind of restrictions are there on photographing someones property, such as: their house, yard, field, car (all of course from the road)?

A friend, while I was taking a picture of someone's flower bed, said "Dude, if I saw someone taking a picture of my stuff I'd call the cops on them." So it's made me kind of leery, unfortunately making me lose some great shot opportunities. Any help would be appreciated.


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5/22/2005 8:41:15 PM

Karthik M. Siddhun
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
  Hi Craig,

I hope so, it depends on individual's opinion.When I was in UK for a month,I was by then using canon BF800 P&S, I requested one female to take my portrait at Madam Taussards. Even I took a shot of her along with wax dolls.

She didn't object, or show any disgusts over my action.

Pointing to this incident,One of my colleagues,(he is citizen of UK)warned me not to do so. I was shocked. He said that It was not advisable and they didn't like these things(??????)
On another occasion,a two seater car (modified one) attracted me due to its design and colour contrast, I was willing to take a snap-shot with the car beside me, when I was coming out from restaurant with my colleague.
He refused to take a snapshot of me with that car.
(I was feeling a bit isolated due to some unknown reasons).

Even I wanted to have a group photo with all my UK office colleagues before leaving from there. (for my life-long memory). I just killed my desire and packed my things, got away from UK.

Personally, I feel, there is nothing wrong,taking shots of people,when we are attracted by them, their appeals, enagaged with their day-to-day works, as long as ,we donot have any wrong intentions or disturbs them.

As I am an Asian, I have been watching a lot of portraits of strangers,street children of mumbai,on web. I never felt bad/disgust for these things.

Here, in India, one one will stop you from taking portraits,or no one will call cops...(even anyone calls a cop,he will pose for a snap shot,for you,with a smile).

You are Welcome to our Place! Enjoy taking pictures!

No one will stop you taking pictures of strangers.

Thanks for bringing this issue. It made me to express something which was bothering inside me for longer time.

With Thanks,

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5/23/2005 12:05:24 AM

Kerry L. Walker   Craig, here in the US, there are no restrictions on taking pictures of people in the public. However, to use those pictures for any commercial venture, you must get a model release. The same goes for houses, yards, etc. Of course, it is always polite to ask permission. Some people are camera shy and some are suspicious of your motives. Sometimes I just take the picture and sometimes I ask permission first. The problem with asking permission is you might get a "posed" picture. Most people really don't mind though.

Siddhun, I am sorry about your experience in the UK. Most British folk are very nice people but they are also very private, especially in the bigger cities. In my one trip to the UK, I found out that once you had broken the ice with the people, they were really nice. It just isn't always easy. I have never been to India but I know a lot of people from India who live here in the States. Most of them are very friendly and very talkative. It is just a different culture. British people are reserved and Indian people are outgoing, at least from my experience.

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5/23/2005 7:59:00 AM

Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  Please see my entry under the question and answer site requarding this I have a link to a site that COVERS EVERYTHING IN THIS AREA! :o) Good read! Enjoy!!!!

Title under Q&A 'Best Explaination for Model Release'

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5/23/2005 8:19:50 AM

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