In many educational or promotional settings, it becomes not only important for teachers and leaders but legally necessary to get signed permission from associated parents and guardians to photograph their children in any way, shape or form. While in the past taking a picture of someone else's child (in the background of a photograph of another object or person, for example) was relatively okay, some state laws have begun to shake up the rules regarding what is legal and what's not.
Whether you're intentionally or accidentally taking a photo of a child that is not your own may not actually matter when it comes to a court of law, so it's important to familiarize yourself with the legislature if you're the kind of person who takes pictures often. From the extremely illegal to the questionably possible, there is a wide range of laws governing photography, children's safety, and the rights of the photographer:
Location is Important
When considering the details of photography involving children, location becomes a very important piece of the puzzle. If you're going to be taking a bunch of pictures that may involve children any respects (even in the background), it's important to determine if the land you hope to photograph is private or public property.
For example, snapping photos of the swing set on a park playground is likely fair game—but taking pictures of children playing in the backyard of a private playground is definitely not. In addition, many schools throughout the world have begun limiting photography during school hours and events to avoid any photographers who may have ill intent.
Exceptions May Occur in Your State
As the years have passed, some states have begun to set up additional legislature regarding taking pictures of kids, making it illegal to photograph any child without the consent of a parent beforehand. As cases of child abuse continue to make the headlines on an ongoing basis, lawmakers are hoping the new laws will keep sex offenders and other wrongdoers at bay.
Depending on the state you live in, you could find yourself in hot water over innocent photographs of someone else's child—so be sure to check your state's laws before making assumptions.
Your Legal Rights
While all of these rules and regulations may seem like annoying hoops to jump through, keep in mind that the main point of their existence is to protect children.
In the same way, if you feel that the safety of your child has been violated by someone with a camera, don't hesitate to contact a law firm like Leonard & Kershaw. The laws have been put in place for a reason: not only to make you be more cautious in the kids that end up in your photographs, but to protect your family as well.
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