Thursday, November 12, 2020

Legal Eagle

It's happened to me twice in recent weeks, as I tried to take pictures of people rather than things.

Let's talk about the law.

I was taking pictures of people changing light bulbs in Christmas displays at Nay Aug Park in Scranton.

A couple of days later, I was taking photos of a network news set up at Nesbitt Park in Wilkes-Barre.

A man at Nay Aug Park thought I should have him sign a release for use of his image.

The network tried to kick me out of Nesbitt Park.

It all comes down to this.  It's called a "reasonable expectation of privacy," as the law defines it.

If you are in a public park, or on a street, or being led out of a police station in handcuffs, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

If you are in your home, if you are in a store fitting room, if you are in a mall rest room, you DO have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

In my hobbyism, if that's a word, and in my professional career, I've had a lot of people say "I'd rather not be photographed."  If it can be done, I will gladly accomodate.

I do know a few other people who take photos as a hobby, and it's safe to say we are all alike.  There is no intent to disrupt or cause problems.  We're just out to have a little bit of fun and document an event.  In my case, I'm simply trying to become a better photographer.

There is usually an introduction to the people involved before the first shutter snap.

Courtesy goes a long way.