Here’s a video that’s causing an uproar among those who care about photographers’ rights. It’s a 53-second clip recorded on April 19th that shows an encounter one woman had with police officers on a residential sidewalk in South Gate, California. While shooting photos or footage of the assault rifle-equipped officers with her smartphone, one of the men charges her, snatches the camera from her hands, smashes it on the ground, kicks it back at her, and then walks away.
Details are sparse at the moment, and we’ll update you when more info on this emerges.
Photographer Marisha Camp and her brother Jessie were recently passing through West Virginia on a nationwide tour for a documentary series when they were reportedly confronted by “a hostile mob.” The residents were suspicious of the photo taking and allegedly harassed and detained the duo until a trooper arrived and escorted the photographers from the scene. Read more…
The folks over at PDN recently sat down with National Press Photographers Association attorney Mickey Osterreicher to talk about photographers’ rights, police intimidation and how to handle yourself around cops who don’t understand what you are and are not allowed to photograph. Read more…
Photographer, blogger, and photographers rights’ activist Carlos Miller has made headlines quite a few times over the past few years with his legal rumbles with authorities over photography in public places. Miller, who often instigates the disputes for the purpose of bringing photographers’ rights into the spotlight, recently had another big confrontation with authorities in Miami (it’s not the first time it has happened).
The video above is Miller’s documentation of the incident. He says he was “attacked, choked, suffocated and handcuffed by 50 State security guards” for shooting photos and video on the Miami-Dade Metro rail this past Sunday night. Read more…
How do you go about demanding payment from a local newspaper if you discover that they’ve infringed upon your copyright? Blogger Duane Lester of All American Blogger recently found an article of his reprinted nearly verbatim, typos and all, by the Oregon Times Observer in Oregon, Missouri. He then decided to pay a visit to the newspapers offices with a letter in hand to demand payment from the editor face to face. The video above shows how the confrontation unfolded.
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania-based photographer Jason Macchioni was recently shooting a time-lapse project from an overpass at night when he was approached by police officers who demanded his ID and threatened to arrest him for wiretapping (Macchioni was recording video of the encounter). Macchioni tells us,
I was shooting a time-lapse which I’m still working on, I arrived at this site around 9 and was there for about 3 hours until these two cops rolled up! At first I was calm and refused to give ID, After the second cop was breathing down my neck and really threatening me. I gave in and tried to get them to leave. Then stuff got heated.
Macchioni has enlisted the help of the ACLU in filing a complaint with the police department. Want to learn more about your rights as a photographer in the US? Check out this short cartoon the ACLU released earlier this month.
A UK photographer who goes by the moniker Hamstify was documenting his town Scunthorpe late last year when he was confronted by security personel outside a Golden Wonder plant and ordered to stop photographing. He was shooting from a public location, so he decided to stand up for his rights and film the argument that transpired. On VisitScunthorpe.com, he writes,
What also aggrieves me is that someone in a uniform representing a company in an apparent position of authority can try and intimidate members of the public by making up laws that don’t exist. This seemed to be an attempt to subjugate a member of the public into accepting what was being told was to be true. Further more hurling offensive insults and puerile slander, like seen at the end of the video, surely isn’t something that someone in that position should resort to.
In general, for UK residents, photography from public places is perfectly legal. There are some exceptions (e.g. buildings critical to national security), but the general rule of thumb is that if you’re shooting from public property police and security guards don’t have the power to stop you.
Australian photographer Liam McHenry tells the inspiring story of an encounter he had with a confrontational teenager when doing street photography. What started out as a situation spiraling out of control instantly changed when his subject suddenly “understood” his photography. McHenry says that the big revelation he had through the experience was: “it’s never just a photo.”
Terrorists aren’t the only people photographers are being mistaken for in the UK — upscale shopping area Multrees Walk in Edinburgh has begun targeting photographers after a string of thefts by ram raiders, or burglars who drive large vehicles through the front of stores and then loot them. The above video shows a confrontation with security that occurred after a guy and his friend snapped a photo of a shop window.
Though the street is privately-owned, stopping photographers in such areas often sparks outrage, as these locations are considered by many as public spaces.
AP understands that retailers were concerned that photographs could be used to identify security-sensitive information, such as the location of CCTV cameras or the type and make of shutter used to protect a shop front.
The spokesman confirmed that there are no signs at Multrees Walk to warn photographers against picture-taking.
Too bad there’s no wait to prove you’re not a photographer by day and ram raider by night.