Anyone interested in starting a career in photography needs to understand that there are limits to what they are allowed to take photos of. For example, you cannot just go out and start taking pictures of people in their homes and sell them off as stock photos of domestic life. You will get in trouble with the people whose photos you are trying to take. However, there are a lot of different subjects that you can take legal photos of if you know it in advance – these photos are completely legal and free of copyright, allowing you to resell them as you wish for your own purposes.
Legal Photography Subjects
The list of legal photography subjects that you can practice your trade on includes police officers on public land, traffic, people at a park (on public land, they can be photographed), public figures, infrastructure (not government buildings) and civilian ships and planes.
Of course, there are a few things that you should keep in mind with this list. If you go out of your way to take photographs of something that makes you look suspicious it may get you into trouble. That is why you should steer clear of any military images with your camera – as these could be misconstrued.
Illegal Photography Subjects
On the flip side of things, there are some subjects that you are not allowed to take photographs of and sell legally. You won't get a set list here so you need to use a little sound judgment and common sense before you make any decisions. First of all, you should ask if the person has an expectation of privacy then if the image is embarrassing for the person and finally if you are misrepresenting the person in any way. These photos can easily become libel risks and should never be published. What you are shooting an image of is not an issue, but the intent of the image or the result of having that image published. Of course, if you can get written consent for these kinds of photos, it is okay to have them published.
In the end, the goal of any good photographer should be to respect the expectations of privacy that every man and woman has. If you do this and stay clear of any photographs that might get you in trouble with Homeland Security, you will be okay with just about any photos you take.
For anyone out there who is seeking a path to become a professional photographer and start plying your trade for a living, start out by checking out Photo Cash Machine – the fastest and most direct route to a career in taking photos.