I am a photo enthusiast who loves to capture moments of life. I have a passion for street photo, but sometimes that is a little bit hard to deal with. What is legal and what is not legal ---I imagine that I can take photo from all kinds of streets and people but the problem is, what can I publish on the web.
No, it is not required, but it never hurts to obtain a release, and if you intend to use or license your image commercially, then it’s much easier to get a model release immediately before or after photographing a subject than it is to try to track down a stranger for a waiver after the fact. However, simply photographing a person in public view — including children and law enforcement officials — does not require either a model release or expressed consent.
There are certain exceptions to the above, most of them related to a person’s “reasonable expectation of privacy.” For example, if you’re shooting from a public street into someone’s bedroom or bathroom window, you may be crossing an ethical and even legal line. Shooting in public bathroom stalls or up the skirts of passersby is also likely to get you into trouble. If someone waves you off when you try to photograph him or her, you may be within your legal rights to take the shot, but ask yourself if it’s worth it. I always try to be respectful and walk away if thats happen to me.
For the most part, that means that as long as your shooting position is on public ground, you can photograph whatever you wish; this includes subjects situated on private property but within public view, such as a couple sitting on a restaurant patio that you can view from the street or the man in the image below, who is taking a smoke break on his employer’s back step. Similarly, contrary to popular belief, you do not need to obtain parental or guardian consent to photograph children on or visible from public property.
Sir Winston Churchill
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