Naked Babies

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by roderick_lawie, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. I'm not sure if I have actually done anything wrong yet, however, some of the shoots I have recently concluded, where the parents requested that I photograph their newborns naked, have raised some negative reactions. Primarily, that some of the images were somehow pornographic, or at the very least indescent. These observations, have not been made by the parents, but by other non related viewers of my site. Can anyone help with information that might prevent my possible detention at her majesties pleasure, or impending law suit?
    Please excuse my flippancy as it disguises my nervous disposition.
    Kind regards
    As an aside, I'm using release forms and have indemnity insurance and will be upgrading my site to include a password protected gallery for clients.
  2. While some lawyers may have cameras and rely on each other for photographic advice, I would still suggest better advice and better results comes from experts in photography.
    Same goes with legal advice among photographers. None of us will show up with you if you are summoned to court because you took our advice. Your paid lawyer should, though. :)
  3. Well it depends what is the purpose of these images. If the parents want the pictures of naked children, they are entitled to them. However they should be taken as you take nude pictures of grown up and in good taste.
    Also how did the people other than parents get to see the images. I am not a lawyer but if some people consider them pornographic, then you should be concerned. There is difference between in porn and art and it is what society judges at the time.
    For parents it is not a good idea to have this kind of photos of children. They may be of some embarrassment to the children when they grow up.
  4. Sad to say, but there are still people who will claim to have been born fully clothed and find an uncovered table leg obscene.
    The truth of the matter is, that people with dirty minds will always see dirt. Sad really, but there you have it.
    Password protect your clients photos and get on with life.
  5. I second the "call a lawyer" suggestion above for all the right reasons. Do it now.
    But on another level, there are two issues here: the first has to do with the legality of taking images of babies (naked or otherwise) at the request of the parents. There is nothing wrong with that, legally or otherwise. However, displaying them on your website...well, that might be much trickier than it sounds. Unless you had the parents' express agreement and consent to display those images, then you might be in some hot water there...
    Finally, as to other people's opinion, some people will always find something or other offensive, no matter what it is, what it portrays, how it portrays it and so on and so forth...
  6. Many thanks for your responses. Firstly let me clarify that the images I produced for the website were innocent, the only reveal was a bottom or two. Anything straying from this path was discretely airbrushed maintaining a credible modesty.
    Understanding that on the one hand there will be overreaction, and on the other a better informed sanity, does nothing to relieve my feeling that today's majority holds the former opinion. A little research, and a few well intentioned responses, have manifest a more considered approach to future projects.
    I have taken every precaution now to reduce any further risks, all I need now is a Lawyer with a camera...
    Once again thanks for your help
  7. Well actually taking pictures at the request of the parents is no more legally safe than taking them on your own. Parents can't legally authorize the use of their children in pornography. So that places you back where you started.
    While I'm reasonably confident the traditional baby on a bearskin rug image is not a problem, I don't know what the current case law is nor how one might get up to speed except truly diligent searching or paying a lawyer. Nor is displaying them without permission likely a legal problem. It's no more a problem than displaying and offering the pictures taken at a sports event or other event. Except of course, a usual definition of the place where one has a reasonable expectation of privacy as a place where one can disrobe without being on display or photographed, etc. Which these little ones are.
    There's probably still no legal problem with displaying them you may have customer feelings problems.Assuming one is in the US.
    If you are really worried about Her Majesty's crack prosecutors, then local legal advice is still always the best bet.

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