Seriously O/T. I promise I'm not creepy

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Roger King
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Seriously O/T. I promise I'm not creepy

As a pro photographer I have just noticed on the BBC website that it is to be made illegal to photograph a breast feeding woman in public.

Now, I have no particular desire to do so, but I can't help feeling that women fought for the right to breast feed in public - and now they are demanding privacy while they do it. It has always been the rule that if you do something in public you (quite rightly) generally can have no reasonable legal expectation of privacy, so I'm curious why this one group feels they should be treated differently.

DougBaker
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Have been listening to "It's a fair cop" on radio4 recently and they covered privacy recently. If you were taking photos for the wrong reasons this would already be illegal I think.

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Roger King
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The general principle is that if you harass people by going up close and sticking the camera in their face then that would probably count as an offence, but for the harassment, not the actual photograph taking. Likewise, if you took photos of young kids and it could be proven that you were going to use them for illegal purposes you would also be in trouble. In these sorts of cases it is generally not the actual photos that are the problem, but the use they'll be put to, or the harassment you have inflicted on the victim that will land you in trouble.

I tend to see this in a rather simplistic way. If I were to use a drone, or a long lens to get pics of a couple having sex in their secluded back garden then I would have invaded their reasonable expectation of privacy, even if I had taken the photos from public land. On the other hand, if the same couple were engaged in the same activity in their completely open front garden and I took a snap as I walked past, they wouldn't have the same reasonable expectation (and would possibly be arrested themselves).

I wonder what the reaction would be if the situation were reversed - perhaps men demanding the right to urinate in public (yes, I know it's not the same thing, but it is also a natural function) and then complaining that they wanted privacy.

If the principle of having the right to photograph in a public place were removed, it would be impossible for the press or TV to have any coverage of anything.

 

HendrixsWhiteSt...
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Just watching the original 'Get Carter' Roger.....is there no end to your talents ??

'scuse me while I kiss the sky

Roger King
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None at all - I have also been an MP, president of the SMMT, I believe a mechanic at Broadspeed, and a keyboard player who works with Steve Hackett.

Mrb00ns
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This must be clickbait or a vague attempt at trolling rather than a serious view, I hope?
By the same rationale are we all ok to stop at the site of a horrific car crash and take pictures, simply because it is 'in a public space'? I don't think so. 

A mother surely has an entitlement not to have her personal space invaded when feeding a dependent child (I am assuming here a babe in arms rather than something that can walk and has teeth!). The whole question as to whether breast feeding in public should be accepted by society is a sad representation of how stuffy and sexually repressed huge swathes of British society still is (women have breasts - how unthinkable!). This is their problem, not the problem of the mother who has a baby needing feeding. 

Your comparison to a man urinating in public is - excuse the pun - piss poor. If a man is insufficiently continent to fall within societal norms by using a toilet and therefore needs to pee in public then the reality is that they probably need some medical help. Or more likely they are red-faced from drink and don't give a damn, not realising quite how entitled and stupid they look.

Of course this was never an issue in the 'good old days' because women were kept at home where no one could be offended by them and men's genitals could be proudly flaunted (in an entirely heterosexual way, of course) as a gentleman wished, without danger of some snowflake being offended by their appendage.

There are some wonderful (and consensual) pictures of mothers breastfeeding children - and of naked men for that matter! - but the question is one around appropriate consent.  

Please don't try to turn this into an issue around freedom of the press.

SLR No.77
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.... by chance did you get out of the wrong side of the bed?

Stu.

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The register for all numbered limited-edition Caterhams ....... www.thecaterhamregister.net ...... www.instagram.com/thecaterhamregister

Mrb00ns
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Not at all. I just think the question sounds like something that comes from around when the Caterham was originally built, not 2022. 
Maybe that's part of its 'charm'. 

Roger King
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No, it's a serious question and as a press photographer I do quite legitimately see this as an issue of freedom whatever your view may be. Such a law rings some alarm bells, particularly when there are already laws to cover harassment that could deal with this situation; to have a specific law covering a specific instance could (not will but could) be seen as a potential precursor to the provision of protection for other individuals whose aims are of a nefarious nature but happen to have powerful friends.

As for taking pictures of car crashes or other disasters, A: this is already done by CCTV in many instances without seeking permission from those involved, B: such pictures have sometimes been of great help for analysis (I've done it myself and the photos were used in a subsequent court case), C: ghouls who do this just for personal gratification can often be prosecuted under existing laws, D: would you rather that we destroyed all film and photos of such events such as the Hindenburg disaster?

Finally, one of the prices of freedom is that you sometimes have to accept behaviour from others that you personally find offensive (believe it or not, there are individuals, both male and female who still find public breast feeding offensive - are you saying that you are right and no-one else has the right to a different opinion?).

Frankly, if the price of freedom is living with the risk of being offended then I consider it a small price to pay considering the alternative societies that we have witnessed over the last one hundred years of so.

DougBaker
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Link to show I mentioned earlier https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000gvly

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Amos91
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Anyone that thinks it's morally okay to take a picture of a breast feeding woman in public without their consent needs their hard drive checking. The problem is a lot of press photographers think they ignore their moral compass as soon as they pick up a camera - more concerned about making a few quid.

Olly Amos - 2008 Caterham Superlight Sigma 150