A Bill of Rights for Free Photography in the City

Photographers in the City of London face constant hassle from private security guards (see a film and blogpost on this here). The Manifesto Club’s Peter Lloyd approached City authorities, asking whether they planned to do anything about these over-officious private security guards. With the help of councilman Alex Deane, the City has responded by issuing a booklet for private security guards about the regulation of photography. This booklet emphasises that security personnel ‘do not have the right to stop individuals photographing or filming in a public place’. It also states that security personnel should ‘refrain from acting in an intimidating manner'; that…

City promises to rein in over-officious security guards

It is common knowledge that photographers in the City of London face constant hassle from private security guards (see a film and blogpost on this here). The Manifesto Club’s Peter Lloyd approached City authorities, asking whether they planned to do anything about these over-officious private security guards. With the help of councilman Alex Deane, we received the following heartening response: Given the City’s history, it is vital that we remain vigilant. However, there is a need to strike the balance between the rights of the individual and the need to ensure that the City is safe for all those who either live,…

Councils charge for public photography

Somebody just emailed me this – Birmingham council is charging people to take personal wedding photographs in public parks. “You are welcome to use our parks or green open spaces as backdrops for your wedding photographs and/or film recordings of your Wedding day for personal use only, with prior permission from us. Use service specific Parks form to make your request providing dates, times and the name of the site where you want to take your photographs. There is a charge of £50 for commercial photographs and £25 for non-commercial photographs.” [http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/usingparks] This is very much a sign of the times –…

Testing the right to photograph in public

Someone just sent me this YouTube video , featuring London Street Photography Festival’s fascinating experiment testing the limits to freedom in public space. Six photographers went out to take photos in different areas of the city. The photographers were told to take photos in a normal manner. They are not aggressive, they were not behaving strangely, and they were polite and reasonable at all times. (This is important – other campaigners have carried out stunts defending their right to photograph while wearing masks, or otherwise making a point, which gives the action an artificial quality.) The results of the experiment are worrying…