Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 12 months, you’ll have heard of GDPR. General Data Protection Regulation is a new set of laws that govern data protection and privacy for all individuals within the EU. Under GDPR, consumers have a right to know when and where their data is being used and even, if it should be used.
But what does this mean for photographers? First up, I am no expert and this short explanation should not be considered as anything other than that – a short explanation from someone that is not an expert.
To comply with GDPR, you will need to ask the permission of the person you are shooting or maybe even have them sign a model release form. Imagine where that leaves you with street photography. Mmmm yes, things are beginning to look a bit trickier.
And by the way, you’re required to ask permission beforehand. Yes, before you point the camera at your subject. Damn, that kinda messes up the whole ‘sponantiety’ thing – right.
I believe if you’re a professional commissioned to shoot an event, then you don’t need consent. I’m open to correction here.
The photo above was shot at an organised event. I was commissioned to shoot it, permission was sought and granted and yes, he did sign a form. Thankfully, I had someone accompanying me to do this. You may not be so lucky the next time you head out with the 50mm, F1.8 to take some moody black and whites street scenes. Best make some room in your shoulder bag for all those model release forms. 🙂
No matter how ‘awesome’ the scene may look, the subjects rights override your right to take the shot.
As far as I know, GDPR has not been tested through the court system yet and I think there may be some ‘old’ laws that may yet save your ass.
But the next time you see ‘that’ shot, stop and think about how GDPR may affect you and your subject.