NYPD Tells NYPD That Photography Is (Still) Legal

In light of some recent harassing of photographers on the streets and subways of NYC, the New York City Police Department issued an internal memo reminding themselves that photography on the streets is (still) legal.

“Members of the service are reminded that photography and the videotaping of public places, buildings and structures are common activities within New York City. Given the City’s prominence as a tourist destination, practically all such photography will have no connection to terrorism or unlawful conduct.

…Members of the service many not demand to view photographs taken by a person absent consent or exigent circumstances…

…Metropolitan Transporation Authority (MTA) regulations expressly permit photography and video recording in subways…although permission is required for commercial shoots…”

The full order can be found after the jump…[Click the ‘continue reading’ link below.]

Thanks to Todd at GalleryHopper.org

56 Responses to NYPD Tells NYPD That Photography Is (Still) Legal

  1. Jonny May 20, 2009 at 11:44 am #

    We’re not living in Britain yet.

  2. gee May 20, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    LOL! that’s hilarious!!!!!

  3. Anonymous May 20, 2009 at 12:00 pm #

    Jonny…maybe we are and we don’t know it yet.

  4. LisaC May 20, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    I was asked to stop taking pictures in downtown Dallas last fall… the security officer for a building behind a piece of artwork came out and asked very nicely for me to stop taking pictures of their building…

  5. Dave May 20, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    Jonny count your lucky stars, I wish the UK police force would issue some similar memo ! It’s a right pain when you are out shooting and get stopped and have to wait 10 mins to be policed checked !

  6. Raymond Cheng May 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    this is great, now i dont feel so nervous when i take out my camera…

  7. Dudley May 20, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    Most cities seem to require permits, insurance, etc once you use a light stand.

  8. Alan Matthews Photography May 20, 2009 at 2:00 pm #

    It helps to know your rights as a photographer because a police officer will take advantage of that and ask to see the shots you took on your camera. I had that happen once and out of respect and not knowing what was really going on I let him. Crazy.

  9. D00MED R0MANCE May 20, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    It’s sad that this is even an issue. But contrary to what the ACLU believe NYPD are just looking out to protect their citizens.

  10. Chase Jarvis May 20, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    keep in mind, all commercial stuff should have (required to have) a permit. of course you can fudge this, but that’s the law…

  11. david nyc May 20, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    too bad the pigs here don;t know how to read.

  12. D00MED R0MANCE May 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    That just reminded me. Last week, where I live, these college students were making a film on top a parking garage. The FBI and BPD were called in. Why? Props involved AK47 airsoft guns and the kids didn’t think they needed to “OK” it with the Police, or inform anyone of what they were doing. Luckily no one was hurt.

  13. Derek Jackson May 20, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    Photography is Not a Crime.

  14. Jon M May 20, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    Chase, thanks. Shot a small commercial job in Times Square last night with no problem. Many types of photography in New York City no longer even need a permit (as of last year). For photographers shooting on the street in New York for the first time, check this article:

    Summary of NYC Photo RulesThe staff at the Mayor’s Film Office is extremely helpful, so I always call and doublecheck with them to make sure I’m not in a location that’s under special jurisdiction. New York has some odd areas that fall under different departments. For example, shooting in parks requires extra steps I believe.

  15. Justin S. May 20, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    Thanks for posting this.

  16. Alain May 20, 2009 at 6:12 pm #

    Thanks for the clarification, I am forwarding this to a few of my friends who were worried to see me taking pictures in the subway…

  17. saperboy May 20, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    It was mentioned that taking photograph with lights and tripod would require a permission… does the mention of “light” also includes speedlites, they might argue that.

  18. Jon M May 20, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Saperboy,in general, hand-held devices do not require a permit. They’re now more concerned with blocking sidewalks, shoots with vehicles, large amounts of equipment, etc.

    Under the adopted rules, a permit would be required for filming if equipment or vehicles, as defined in the rule, are used or if the person filming asserts exclusive use of City property. Equipment does not include hand-held devices (such as hand-held film, still, or television cameras or videocameras) or tripods used to support such cameras, but a permit would be required in certain situations when the person filming asserts exclusive use of City property while using a hand-held device.source

  19. Daniel Regueira May 21, 2009 at 12:11 am #

    Oh thank god. In England they’re pushing it to be a felony. The irony in Britain though is that they say no pictures yet they have CCTV (those street cameras) EVERYWHERE filming your EVERY MOVE and yet photographers can’t; secondly they ask for photographers to turn in any photos of terrorist activity in the subway station after that subway bombing while strictly condemning photography in the subway systems… what the hell…

  20. udi May 21, 2009 at 2:20 am #

    Just in time. thanks. I am going to print this and put in my pocket for my upcoming trip

  21. JamesBillany May 21, 2009 at 4:34 am #

    chase love your blogs, id love to see more video, iv been looking at alot of your videographers work, its inspirational!


  22. Mike Kobal May 21, 2009 at 5:21 am #

    I have not had any problems lately, right after 911 bldg guards chased me away shooting on the sidewalk, lots of police in the subway, no one seems to mind when tourists snap away and their flash goes off, but there is a chance you will get your bag searched.

  23. CarBlog May 21, 2009 at 6:15 am #

    Well thats a sigh of relief, LOL.

  24. brandt abner May 21, 2009 at 6:19 am #

    The police I guess are a bit paranoid of
    people taking pics of “places of interest”.
    I was shooting at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge
    recently, and went thru an “inquiry” of sorts.

    Groups of people shooting (tourists) have it easier than one or two people with a monopod!

  25. jeremy May 21, 2009 at 7:56 am #

    Hey Chase. Thanks for posting this up. I’ve also blogged about the Operations Order with some practical advice from my experience as an NYC photojournalist on how to use it.

  26. R. Doyle Bowman May 21, 2009 at 8:18 am #

    Its crap like this that makes me think I will write a screnplay about a time in the future when photography is outlawed, and all the rebels shoot with Holgas, because in the future the Robots won’t know how to develop film. Also Nikon and Canon fanboys will all fight to the death… pure cinema gold.

  27. Chris May 21, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    Next time I goto NYC, I’m printing this and taking it with me.

  28. Mark D May 21, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    Hopefully, Chicago will have something like this soon. This is a terrible story about what can happen even if you are withing your rights http://discarted.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/court-clears-chicago-photojournalist/

  29. Alex May 22, 2009 at 12:25 pm #

    I wish the Metropolitan Police would be smart enough to circulate something like that here in London, the situation here is betting beyond a joke.

  30. Anonymous May 23, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    Sad and funny. What police person in the USA thinks they can obstruct people from taking pictures in public if they’re not breaking any laws?

  31. Fenix May 24, 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    Thanks Chase,

    I have been stopped, harassed, interrupted by police and private security at least a dozen times in uptown Charlotte. I’ve often being told there is a city ordinance against photography downtown (no tripods, no light stands). Of course no such ordinance exists–I finally had to get a letter from the police public information officer saying so.

    I really wish law-enforcement agencies would get it through their heads that photography is not a crime.

  32. Fenix May 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm #

    Sorry. I meant to say I was using neither lightstands nor tripods

  33. LisaNewton May 26, 2009 at 6:38 am #

    Hey, can someone let the “security guards” who haunt downtown LA the same thing? Or maybe it would be better if the LAPD told the “security guards” to leave the photographers alone.

  34. de Carli June 15, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    There is a really sad story about a Greek tourist snapping on London tube and arrested for the same reason. I see some connections with this case and the "consumer needs" of a camera that detect smiles.
    The image future is not just possibilities, it shall be the lack of humanity too

  35. Antonio Pentaris September 22, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    The 2011 Frazier Canteen dinner & dance is SOLD OUT! If you’d like to be added to our mailing list next year, call (502) 753-5663.

  36. Jefferey Colly October 3, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    Awesome!, I love reading about diet. Loved the tip rainey just made. Its so difficult to find the right product for me. I’ve been looking now for 3 weeks! LOL Just want to let you all know I will make my goal one way or another. I promise you that! Wish me luck! :)

  37. homepage October 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this outstanding blog!

    I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding
    your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to
    new updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group.
    Chhat soon!

  38. Waldo Milsap October 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    I think this is among the most significant info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  39. Arlyne Hofius October 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    I¡¦m no longer certain the place you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time finding out much more or working out more. Thanks for wonderful info I was on the lookout for this info for my mission.

  40. Marco Barcellos October 11, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    Man this is so informative, I love reading about health. Loved the tip rainey just made. Its so difficult to find the right product for me. I’ve been looking now for 3 weeks! LOL Just want to let you all know I will make my goal one way or another. I promise you that! Wish me luck! :)

  41. Foster October 17, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    An oufstanding share! I have just forwaarded this onto
    a frjend who has been doing a liftle research oon this.
    And hhe actually bought me breakfast ddue to the fact that I discolvered it foor
    him… lol. So leet me reword this…. Thznk YOU for thee meal!!

    But yeah, thanms for splending slme time to discuss this subjecft herre onn your site.

  42. zxtofficial.org October 20, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Reading, watching movies or plays, or related activities that may possibly bring inspiration.

  43. Douglas Boxwell October 20, 2014 at 4:09 am #

    I’ve learn some good stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much attempt you put to create this sort of excellent informative website.

  44. distributor pintu kayu October 20, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    I haven¡¦t checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I¡¦ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  45. Londons top personal trainer Nash Jocic November 1, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    Londons top personal trainer Nash Jocic

  46. bikini November 12, 2014 at 3:42 am #

    That may be REALY NEAT AND Inventive. Retain UP THE Fantastic Perform

  47. centreless grinders November 12, 2014 at 6:24 am #

    I like what you guys are developing here. Such smart operate and writing! Carry on together with the superb works guys. I have incorporated your web site into my blogroll and my internet site about HCG. I assume it can improve the value of my websiteand the traffic too.

  48. Avery November 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    each time i used tto read smaller articles which as well clear their motive,and that is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading here.

  49. Monster Strike Hack IPhone November 22, 2014 at 6:44 am #

    A very first collection of defence for the eye balls is sometimes sunglasses,
    as well as the tint of your lens can perform very much to combat undesirable results of glare.
    It’s my heartfelt hope that as we stand on the threshold of another holiday season, that we can approach each other with open hearts and minds, remembering that, given the truth and a chance, most people will do their best for
    each other, simply because they can and they want to. This new design delivers unexcelled
    power and productivity.

  50. Andrew Charalambous Official Blog December 11, 2014 at 1:32 am #

    Immediately after study a handful of your weblog posts with your online web site now, we definitely like your method for blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark online web-site list and are checking back quickly. Pls appear into my net page also and make me conscious what you take into consideration.

  51. top fastest cars in the world December 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    Asking questions are actually pleasant thing if you are not understanding anything entirely, except this post provides pleasant understanding yet.

  52. landscaping near me December 15, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    I’ve not also long ago started a weblog, the information you present on this website has aided me tremendously. Thank you for the whole time & perform.

  53. how can I get pregnant December 29, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    There is certaainly a lot to learn aboutt this subject.
    I really like all of the points you hzve made.

  54. Josie February 2, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    Having an existing relationship with a good, trustworthy plumber comes in very handy.
    Clear overflow holes when doing periodic checks for problems and plumbing issues that should
    be addressed. These people at some point or the other would have used
    the services of a plumber and they would know of a good one.

  55. next jewellery February 2, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

    In the current economic climate everyone is worried about their budget.
    This is the reason why custom jewellery Calgary has is famous for the reliability of their services.

    How can a bride incorporate their theme when choosing their wedding jewellery.
    No matter what item of wedding jewellery you are buying,
    making the right purchase will be the key to completing
    your wedding outfit. You can also try bending your precious metals and stones.
    The complete collection of Chipita jewerly can be accessed online at several
    online jewellery shopping stores. To make your occasion more special, you can buy women jewellery
    which is created with new designs. Digital photography for
    insurance purposes is a wide-open field that is rarely tapped by photographers.
    There are some beautiful pendants available from this stone and
    these can look beautiful hung from simple silver chains
    or it could be a handcrafted design that has other semi-precious stones in the designs.
    This unique feature of hallmarking the stones makes it easy
    to distinguish a real diamond from a fake one.

  56. Marie February 4, 2015 at 6:59 am #

    With just having few week exercise there is a much great improvement in one.
    They accept those who are aged 18 to 60, both male and female
    but they do not accept ‘healthy’ volunteers. Researchers have theorized that lead, mercury, and air pollution might contribute to the risk of MS, but they have not established a clear link.

Highslide for Wordpress Plugin