Is It Legal to Photograph in Cemeteries?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 15,932
Re: One of my favorite subjects

Aberaeron wrote:

Michael Fryd wrote:

Aberaeron wrote:

Michael Fryd wrote:

Aberaeron wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

Lensmate wrote:

embie wrote:

...

Back on subject, I fail to see why anyone would object to someone photographing a grave or the outside of a tomb. It is history.

Because not all photography in a cemetery is of a grave.

Consider a scantily clad (or nude) model draped across tombstones, lying on top of a grave, or even pleasuring herself. Some might consider this disrespectful (for examples Google "graveyard nude photos" ).

Many people would like to see a certain level of decorum around the final resting place of their loved ones.

Rather than argue with a photographer whether a particular shoot is respectful, it's easier just to prohibit all photography. They don't need to enforce this rule for respectful photography during a burial.

Other laws almost certainly cover your scenario. All scenarios assume people are caught in the act of course.

What law would prohibit photographing a model in a bikini humping a tombstone? It's not indecent exposure, and it's not vandalism.

I am no more a lawyer than you are but you could bet that some public order or public decency offence would indeed be broken in the exceptionally rare event that you are fixated on.

If you think this is a rare event you may want to Google "sexy graveyard photos".

It's not that I am fixated on this.  The question was asked why one would want to limit graveyard photography.  The answer is that it's not about boring photography, but the unusual.

Rules are often about unusual photography.  The vast majority of people don't start Ponzi schemes, yet there are laws against them.

There is no law prohibiting photography in UK cemeteries and the scenarios you describe are almost unheard of.

Again, you may not have heard of them, but a simple Google search indicates that they do happen a lot.

In the USA, the law allows a private property owner to restrict photography on the property.  If I owned a restaurant, I would be allowed to restrict photography in the restaurant.

In fact, there is a local vegan restaurant with a lovely attached garden.  Many people do photo shoots in that garden.  The restaurant generally requires that you pay a fee to use the garden for photos.  Now, they won't stop someone who is eating lunch from taking a few snaps with their smartphone, but show up with a professional looking camera and a nicely dressed model, and you should be prepared to pay a fee or be turned away.

People actually fornicating in graveyards are likely to be far more common but rarely caught in the act, so I doubt your scenario would be either. So why bother with a law against photography in general? No reason anywhere that purports to be a land that prides itself on ‘freedom’ in my opinion. Every reason in a police state that curtails freedoms wherever it can dream up the slightest dodgy and rare scenario that might offend someone at some time. Why not ban and burn books while you are at it?

I was not commenting on whether there was a law specifically against photography in graveyards.  I was merely pointing out that private property owners are free to create such a rule to apply to their property.

For instance, if a church owns a graveyard, they can restrict photography in that graveyard however they want.  In essence the private property owner has the freedom to control their private property.

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