London photographers take pictures, get hassled by security

London photographers test their right to snap photos: security hassles follow

As anyone who follows this blog will know, I’m a mighty keen photographer, and I’m often busy on the streets of London snapping scenes and bagging shots.

Over the years, I’ve suffered increased hassle from generally clueless security guards who seem to think that taking photos in public spaces is the sort of activity that needs forms filled out in triplicate. In advance.

London photographers test their right to snap photos: security hassles follow

A while ago I posted up my story about how I was harassed by a security guard by St Pauls, who ended up “calling in the Flying Squad” to much comedy.

I’ve been banging on about this problem for some time  and a while ago I posted up a comprehensive guide to photographer’s rights.

It’s  great to see the non-profit organisation Shoot Experience pushing the matter further, recording a video documenting the experiences of six photographers who were despatched to various parts of London.

The idea was to test the policing of public and private space by private security firms and monitor their reactions, with the photographers using both handheld and tripod-mounted cameras.

As expected, every one of the photographers found themselves being confronted by witless security guards, with the police being called on three occasions.

It has to be said that the police are far better informed these days, and in each case the photographer was allowed to continue filming while on public space, despite the protestations of the security oafs.

[Guide to photographer’s rights] – [Met Police guidance on photography] – [Case studies]

(This article first appeared on my sister site,

3 Comments on “London photographers take pictures, get hassled by security”

  1. I work around the world as a commercial photographer and a press photographer.
    I’m an owner of a valid press ID card and a passport as an trained advertising photographer. Complete control at each airport. Single room with survey and explosives control of all cameras and devices. The only solution is a written authorization four weeks ago. Speak one hour before the shooting with the police. Show your documents and your approval before and you are working with police protection.

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