23 March 2011

Photographing a farm is a misdemeanor?

I've been following a story over the last week or so whereby photographing a farm in Florida where law makers were trying to make it a felony of the first degree.  This was the original text...
A person who photographs, video records or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the first degree.

Thankfully some common sense has prevailed and the "crime" of taking a photograph of a Florida farm is now only a misdemeanor and you also have to actually be on farm property (ie trespassing).

However to get permission to take a photo on a Florida farm you'll permission in writing from the property owner.  Now I've done a few shoots on farms in England.  I always ask for permission before starting to shoot.  Permission in my case means knocking on the front door or asking someone walking around.  Normally when you ask a question to a farmer "can I bring a pretty girl onto your farm and take some photos of her" you're going to get a yes answer.  Now would that same farmer have agreed to my shooting there if they'd have had to put it in writing?  I'm going to take a guess here of almost certainly not.

I don't really care much about farms in Florida, but is this just the start of it?

Sorry Florida, this is just bullshit.

1 comment:

Will Ablett said...

"In writing" can surely mean something as simple as getting them to sign a bog standard property release form? It would only take them 10 seconds and I'd guess this would cover the 'in writing' part.