Where can you shoot? Who can be filmed? It is these questions that are the most important at the moment when a citizen dissatisfied with his actions runs to the photographer. And even if his emotion is skillfully captured in the right light pattern, you will first have to prove that the picture was taken according to the law. Let’s look at the nuances of the legislation that regulate photography in public places.
Work of laws in theory
Article 29, paragraph 4 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation says: “Everyone has the right to freely seek, receive, transmit, produce and distribute information in any legal way. The list of information constituting a state secret is determined by federal law.
The Constitution is the most important law of the state, it is valid absolutely everywhere in the country. That is, if someone tells you that, they say, “here we do not obey her” or “we have our own rules here,” then this person is legally illiterate.
If the one who interferes with you cannot refer to the state law protecting the object, you can safely not listen to him. Another important point: if you got to the place of shooting completely unhindered, namely: you didn’t climb over the fence, wall, didn’t break the locks, then, according to the Constitution, you can safely take pictures. Even if something secret gets into your frame, it will not be your fault.
Example: You went to the woods to take some witty pictures of your friend in the fall foliage. And everything is going well, but you got lost and stumbled upon a cozy clearing where the fighting bears are training. The fighters from the dens are very friendly, and you are happy to take a lot of pictures with the bears and post them on social networks. And only then do you find out that the clearing is top secret and you, with your publications, are disrupting the brilliant operation to introduce bears into the camp of the enemy. Question: who will be punished? Legally, you are not at fault. It’s just that someone didn’t bother to protect photogenic bears. You easily reached the secret place with your own feet, and no one made it clear to you that the territory was guarded by special services.
The same is true for trade secrets. Price tags, staff uniforms, menus, showcase, room design — all this is not a trade secret when the institution is open to visitors. And if the owner forgot his bookkeeping on the counter, these are his difficulties.
Here is a list of some places that are public:
- territories and premises of educational organizations, institutions of culture, physical culture and sports;
- territories and premises of medical institutions;
- public transport: buses, trolleybuses, trams, trains, planes, etc.;
- hotels, shops and markets;
- premises of public authorities and local governments;
- common areas of apartment buildings: entrances, stairs, landings;
- beaches; areas for recreation, tourism, sports;
- gas station;
Bene note: flash can be harmful. For example, according to some scientists, old paintings can suffer from harsh light. This hypothesis has generated much controversy. The scientific community has not yet made a final verdict on the destructive role of the outbreak, but the theory must be taken into account.
Sharp bright light is also contraindicated in certain types of diseases — with epilepsy, with ophthalmological problems, various psychiatric disorders. So, if you were warned that the flash could harm, but you still took a picture with it and someone got hurt, you will most likely be sued. But, if your activity does not pose a danger to others, you can shoot completely calmly.
Implementation of laws in practice
Naturally, not all citizens want to live by the law, and therefore you need to be prepared for the fact that guards of various stripes will interfere with you, they say, why are you with your charter in their monastery.
There are thousands of videos on video hosting sites where bloggers defend their legal right to film in public places. The scenario is always the same: an energetic character with a camera and a support group arrives at some store or shopping center, starts filming. The guards immediately grab the author of the video, the activist’s friends film it, the police arrive, the blogger wins, the guards are put to shame. It takes about five hours to do this — until you wait for the police, until you talk to everyone. So if you decide to do something like this — count your time.
At the same time, there is such an unobvious point: in a conflict situation, you need to behave as correctly as possible — do not stoop to the floor, do not shout, do not allow yourself to be drawn into a fight — otherwise the arriving police squad will simply draw up a protocol against you under article 20.1 “Petty hooliganism” of the Code on Administrative violations. And, of course, you can not conduct such actions in a state of intoxication.
Photographing in a public place deserves special attention if this place is directly or indirectly connected with a religion, especially with the Orthodox one.
There is a well-established stereotype that it is impossible to take pictures in Christian churches and generally you cannot go there without appropriate clothing and knowledge of the Bible. In fact, everything is different. As practice shows, people will meet you, discuss the project with you, and try to find common ground. Among the ministers of the Russian Orthodox Church, the following position is popular: it doesn’t matter why a person became interested in Christianity, it doesn’t matter what he knows about the doctrine — it is important to try to find a common language with him.
With other religions, it will be more difficult — for example, inside the Buddhist temple “Datsan” in St. Petersburg, filming is generally prohibited, which, of course, runs counter to the Constitution.
Moreover, if in this case if you start insisting on your right, you must be doubly careful. The practice of applying the article on insulting the feelings of believers is extremely harsh, and how exactly it will be applied to your situation is unlikely to be predicted by the most experienced lawyers.
Is permission required to publish a street photo?
So, we figured out the location of the shooting, it remains to find out who can be photographed. Article 152.1 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation “Protection of the image of a citizen” states that photographs taken in public places and at public events (concerts, conferences, etc.) can be used without the consent of the people caught in the frame. There is an exception to this rule when — the image of a certain person is the main object of use. In other words, if you did not shoot guests at a football match, but went on a “photo hunt” for a specific portrait.
An important point: in order to recognize the illegality of your actions in court, a person must prove that it was he who became the object of the shooting. It is the plaintiff who must prove to the court that he was photographed, and not you must prove the opposite. For example, you took a picture of a crowded beach, and it turned out to be the annual meeting of the Association “Spies of all countries.” And now each of them will have to prove that you photographed them, and not the surf line. It is almost impossible to do this, unless you yourself admit it.
And all of this can be proven. just after posting snapshot. To ban the process of filming on the basis that the picture will be illegal is about the same as banning pregnancies on the basis that children sometimes grow up as criminals.
People most often forget that every day they are filmed by hundreds of surveillance cameras and DVRs. Just because, firstly, the brain is used to it and does not notice, and, secondly, there is no one behind the lens attached to the ceiling. But in the conflict with the photographer, the human factor plays a huge role. Therefore, it is important to remember the psychological aspect.
Often, a person who is outraged by your actions just needs to be allowed to calm down, talk with him, wait until the negative emotions from the first contact subside. And then, quite possibly, you will not have to read the Constitution to him in a mentoring tone.
We all come from childhood, and, for sure, most of us remember the tender feeling with which you leaf through a family album filled with warm memories, if not masterpieces. So, in general, the art of a photographer is close to every person. Sometimes you just need to be reminded of it.