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Law and photography

By: Jaime Israel Davila Gomez, Attorney.

The daily activity of a photographer implies a series of rights in their favor, which they often do not know about and which, to a greater or lesser extent, affect their profession.

First of all, they have all the human rights that a person has, among which we could highlight the right of association and free expression, as well as access to culture and information.

In the same way, they have the rights that any provider of service has, as well as the rights as taxpayers (when the activity is remunerated) that are granted by law; In the first case, we speak of rights that have to do mainly with the payment of their services and other obligations that the person who hires them has acquired. Finally, in reference to the rights that a photographer has, we have the copyright, which gives him absolute power regarding all the conditions in which his work may or may not be used, regardless of whether it is for profit or not.

However, there are also legal aspects that they have to comply with. For example, to provide the services for which they are hired and in the agreed terms. Additionally, photographers must consider some issues that have to do with capturing and distributing certain elements in their works. For example, when photographing people, they must ensure that they have the respective authorization that allows them to capture the image of the person who appears, as well as to distribute and obtain economic benefits from it. Photographers find themselves in a similar situation when other works protected by copyright appear in the images they create or, without such serious implications, when brands or allusions to companies appear in the photographs.

It is important to take into account that in any activity that we carry out, and more when there are third parties involved, we must be aware of the legal consequences that can be generated in order to avoid problems.

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