The Delicate Art Of Dividing Up The Carcase
I am frequently asked about the law as it applies to photography - both the privacy laws and the copyright laws. As far as I can see if you are under 30 there are no rules - and if you are under 30, wear a fluoro Hi-Vis vest, and drive an old Mitsubishi Magna, you are excused road rules as well. Get out there and go mad...
For the rest of us - the oldies - we do not understand the copyright laws either, but we tend to be a little more circumspect about stealing other people's images and whacking them on our websites. This is not because we are moral - it's because we can't figure out how to do it.
And as far as breaching privacy laws goes by taking pictures of people on the nude beach, or Hay Street...we refrain because we cannot run away fast enough to avoid capture. That and the fact that we just do not care any more. Street photography for us is only fun if the street has a coffee shop that serves florentine biscuits and you can sit there and eat them and not have to take pictures.
But what of events? Closed events. Events that may have punters who want to have their pictures taken and might pay some money for them. How do you divide up the job?
Well, if it is a wedding you stand back, let the hired photographer do the pictures, and just hang around until they open the bar. You can do no good by taking "extra" pictures that interfere with the pro doing their work well. Be nice.
If it is a ball or party and you are allowed by the organisers to take photos - and THAT is a real consideration - see if they want a set-up or just circulating shots. If you set up, set up well - nothing is nastier than an off-hand impromptu studio that makes everything look bad. Be mindful of safety with your electric lines. Use a wireless synch and as few light stands as you possibly can. Crowds surge around like cattle and they will stumble over anything.
If you are circulating, keep your gear as simple as you can, consistent with the look you want. If you go through a crowd trailing wires, umbrellas, and extra metal arms expect to hit something expensive and/or painful.
In either case, have some clever way to let the punters see the pictures in a reasonable time. Website gallery with or without passwords - Facebook postings - nailing the proof sheets on the door of the local church - whatever you do, make sure that they get to see it.
Be classy. If you are at an event where someone else is trying to make a living with their photography - and you are just looking for a few blog shots or a chance to look down ladies' dresses, do not intrude on their business. The photographers, I mean. It all comes round and one day you will be out there trying to do the digital deed for dosh yourself - make sure that your fellow photographers will be kind to you.
Uncle " Not An Artist " Dick