Photographer’s have Rights too

Well, we just promulgated our new constitution here in Kenya and with it come very many people who understood their basic rights and obligations. It got me thinking about how I always have to be undercover as I shoot in Nairobi because out here, photographers who are not white get pulled by security to stop taking photos and it gets to my nerve.

I was doing some night shots once with a friend outside the Sarova Stanley hotel in the CBD when a security dude from the hotel approached us and told us not to take the photos, at least we had finished shooting so it didn’t affect the shoot but you get the point right? So while reading up at the ‘Phototips blog’, I pounced on an article that had the rights of photographer’s and thought I’d share.

10 rights of the Photographer

1. You can make a photograph of anything and anyone on any public property, except where a specific law prohibits it.

{Examples of this are: streets, sidewalks, town squares, parks, government buildings open to the public, and public libraries.}

2. You may shoot on private property if it is open to the public, but you are obligated to stop if the owner requests it.

{Examples of this are: malls, retail stores, restaurants, and office building lobbies.}

3. Private property owners can prevent photography ON their property, but not photography OF their property from a public location.

4. Anyone can be photographed without consent when they are in a public place unless there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.{Examples of this would be: private homes, restrooms, dressing rooms, medical facilities, and phone booths.}

5. Despite common misconceptions, the following subjects are almost always permissible:

{accidents, fire scenes, criminal activities, children, celebrities, law enforcement officers, bridges, infrastructure, transportation facilities, residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.}

6. Security is rarely an acceptable reason for restricting photography. Photographing from a public place cannot infringe on trade secrets, nor is it terrorist activity.

7. Private parties cannot detain you against your will unless a serious crime was committed in their presence. Those that do so may be subject to criminal and civil charges.

8. It is a crime for someone to threaten injury, detention, confiscation, or arrest because you are making photographs.

9. You are not obligated to provide your identity or reason for photographing unless questioned by a law enforcement officer and state law requires it.

10. Private parties have no right to confiscate your equipment without a court order. Even law enforcement officers must obtain one unless making an arrest. No one can force you to delete photos you have made

Bokehliscious in Nairobi City

Aside the ramblings, I did some bokeh shots during the week that I thought I’d share. I love bokeh, it has a dreamy look that is out of this world. Originally it is meant to be out of focus but being out of focus sometimes is the focus of the shot. Enjoy.

A view of downtown Nairobi.

Mombasa Road

Traffic Jam in the City

Times Tower with Mombasa road in the background

Hope you enjoyed the shots and got a better understanding of bokeh photography


4 thoughts on “Photographer’s have Rights too

  1. The part on the rights is all fine but I wonder, what are the specific laws for this our Kenya? Any Idea? Maybe the Nairobi Behance meet/ Shootout can find an avenue to address this part of our craft

  2. Well, Kenya is the only country where I have been asked to pay for taking a picture of a mountain. A Maasai came to me and said “This mountain is ours, so you must give something small”.

    Agree, taking picture in Kenya and Nairobi is very very difficult. Only wildlife doesn’t complain.

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