A few weeks ago, I attended the FotoWeekDC lecture about photographers' rights presented by Mickey Osterreicher, General Counsel for the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and Richard Kelly, former Association of Media Photographers (ASMP) President. The lecture covered model releases, explained privacy rights of individuals when in public and in private and how photographers should approach each of these situations, and talked about recent developments in the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which have found photographers at odds with security and law enforcement particularly with regard to photographing federal buildings, even passively.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an official position on photography of federal buildings in response to complaints that photographers were receiving conflicting information please download the bulletin released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on August 2, 2010. The NPAA has done extensive work to define, defend, and preserve the rights of photographers of all levels. To learn more about the NPPA and its advocacy work, please visit their blog.
Photographers may also wish to download The Photographers Right, a flyer explaining the rights of a photographer when stopped or confronted for photography, and keep a copy in their camera bag.
Hopefully these documents will help all photographers to better understand their rights when in certain situations.
- Angela Kleis