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Your Rights as a Photographer in the US


In response to the “widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs or video in public places”, the American Civil Liberties Union has published a helpful article that clearly details what your rights are as a photographer in the United States.

Here are the main points you should know:

  • 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 officers may not generally confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video without a warrant
  • 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

Be sure to read the entire article to make sure you know your constitutional rights.

Know Your Rights: Photographers [ACLU]

P.S. It’s a good idea to print out a copy of your rights to carry around in your camera bag. If you want a durable — and more “official looking” — version of your rights to carry around, check out the Photographers Rights Gray Card Set we carry in our store.

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