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Re: Need permission to record Public Events?

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Mark Suszko
Re: Need permission to record Public Events?
on May 25, 2018 at 2:03:07 pm

Parade on a public street? Fair game, especially if you're not spending an inordinate amount of time dwelling on one person in close-up.

I have to shoot parades often in my job. One time, a mom stopped me to say her kid was a state ward and in a custody battle situation, she asked that I not photograph the child, and I made a judgement call to record over the shot, to be nice. But generally you can shoot anything at a public parade.

As for the school aspect, most schools now have some kind of form the parent sign at the beginning of the year that's a blanket permission to be photographed in school-sanctioned activities like sports games, yearbook, assemblies, graduations, student plays, etc., and there is usually an "opt-out" slip the parents have to send in if they don't want their kid involved in something, and then the kid goes to study hall or something like that instead. If you have documentation from the school giving you permission on school grounds, I think you're safe.

The hotel thing, your permission comes from the people holding the event; they have to tell the attendees they are consenting to be photographed. Not the hotel, but the seminar organizer. It's usually a notice printed on their ticket or their application to be at the event. A good thing to have though for occasional semi-public cases, as extra insurance, is a sign on a portable stand you can post, saying that if you enter this specific area you are consenting to be photographed, and that if you do not wish to be photographed, do not stay here.

In cases where one or two people object to being photographed, I've negotiated with them to define a corner of the room or a space immediately behind my tripod that I won't shoot, and if they stay there, I'll honor their wishes... but this is something I do out of courtesy, cooperation, and a desire to not be a jerk, more than out of any obligation.


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