Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is personal view of Spain and Spanish life as seen by a Briton living in a small village in Alicante province.
The other tabs link to similar blogs when I have lived in other places. The TIM magazine is an English language magazine I write articles for.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Image control

I have a friend who takes pictures for one of the stock photo libraries. The rules about which photos are acceptable, with exceptions for editorial use, are pretty strict. No logos, no designs that would be recognisable as logos and no recognisable people. I found the rules very difficult to follow especially the people one.

Yesterday I was at the opening ceremony for the fiestas in Pinoso. I got bored of the speeches and wandered off to take some snaps of the funfair. An English chap told me not to take pictures of one of the rides because his kids were on it. I didn't but I was peeved. There was a suggestion that I was taking the photos for some very unpleasant reason. Actually if he'd ever seen any of my after dark shots he wouldn't have been concerned as recognising anyone on them is impossible as they are so blurred!

Anyway I was putting the snaps on Facebook and there was a picture of the ride in question before the chap had said anything. I decided against posting it just to be safe but then I did a bit of Googling. It looks as though taking pictures of people, especially children, without consent in Spain is something you can go to prison for.

I asked the question on a couple of English language forums and one response took me to the source legislation. The law is basically about protecting people's dignity and privacy. Spanish law is not easy reading but, as you would expect, there are no examples with the law, that comes later in the courts. So the law, whilst being specific isn't much use in deciding how to behave.

But then the questions. Imagine we're at the Sagrada Familia or the Alhambra. You would have to work pretty hard to take pictures that didn't feature people. What about the street parades? I think it's reasonably safe to assume that the people dressed up and waving at the crowd expect to have their photo taken so they have given their consent but what about the family on the other side of the street, the ones behind the Walt Disney characters? I asked that specific question, the crowd question, to someone on one of the forums who seemed pretty hard line about this because he said he had taken legal action against the kindergarten his children attend for publishing photos without his consent. Consent that he says he would have withheld. He said, about being photographed in the crowd, "I will take measures to have it removed whether it be direct contact with you or via the platform which you've posted it on"

I don't suppose there is any problem with taking the photos as long as nobody objects at the time. The real problem comes with publishing them. Actually it takes me quite a while to load photos to Facebook and the like so, if I were to stop, it would save me hours. I have to decide now whether to stop doing it but, if I do, it will mean that my mum, sister and even my partner will never see my snaps.

Ah well. One person's security is another person's restriction.

I think the header photo is safe enough though.

1 comment:

Elle in Spain said...

If you are taking photographs at a "public" event - then you are fine. This is considered "news" or of "public interest".

I've been a periodista for a few years, and hubby is a professional photographer - he often covers public events for me. We are always very careful about these things. Snap away and worry not! The gentleman was incorrect. Would he have said the same thing to La Voz? Or El Pais? I doubt it - and he would have been told to disappear if he'd tried.

Don't photograph the police or armed forces without their permission though. That one IS a big no-no.

E x