The capturing and usage of photos and images has become a very controversial topic in both the media and entertainment. Many figures in these industries have had their rights violated due to the release of images or photos that have compromised their images. Although there are now many legalities and stipulations for photographers, there are great advantages behind the work of a photographer, and the photographer’s rights deserve to be protected.
Justin Dixon, a licensed security guard, is a fan of the spontaneous photographer-those that capture things through phones & Ipads, that happen by chance at a random venue. “As a security guard I’ve had to break up a lot of fights. Sometimes people have accused me of harassing them and other times there have been people who claim the fights ensued because of bullying. Luckily, I deal with a lot of teenagers so when these altercations happen, kids tend to use their phones to tape the situation.”
In the article ‘The Photographer’s Right’, the author makes a point that many people are probably unaware of. “Members of the public have a very limited scope of privacy rights when they are in public places. Basically, anyone can be photographed without their consent except when they have secluded themselves in places where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as dressing rooms, rest- rooms, medical facilities, and inside their homes.”
Dixon elaborated on this fact as well. He explains that some of his co-workers, when dealing with physical altercations on the job, ask people passing the situation to put their phones away and that they cannot record what is going on or their device will be confiscated. “That’s mostly because those guards are doing something they have no business doing and they don’t want to get caught.” But to ask those individuals to put their devices away or have them confiscated is a breach on their rights.
Andrew Kantor, a writer for USA Today, wrote an article on photography rights, and he mentions a situation about a Penn State student that was taken into custody for allegedly “obstructing an investigation, by taking pictures of the cops while standing on a public street.”
Looking back on so many videos that have gone viral over the past few years many of them show unnecessary excessive force from police officers and even violent altercations and disasters. Had it not been for the acts of spontaneous photographers there would be a lot more injustices that are just overlooked because of lack of proof. Photojournalism seeks to do the same thing as broadcast and print; expose the truth. For that reason photographers, even amateurs, need to maintain certain protection and rights.