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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Martin Parr, Photographer; Photographing People and Other Legal Rights

There have been several programmes about photography on BBC TV recently, in which the work of Martin Parr has been featured and rightly praised.

From BBC iPlayer:

Britain in Focus: A Photographic History-Series 1: Episode 3

What Do Artists Do All Day?-26. Dougie Wallace

One image from Martin Parr's "The Last Resort" has kept drawing me back; it was included in a touring exhibition that I helped to present in Prague in the late 1980s ("Inscriptions and Inventions, British Photography in the 1980s"; catalogue published,1987).

It is included in this posting from The Online Photographer (the online colour reproductions are far from satisfactory, but you can still buy the book).

All the images in "The Last Resort" are telling; the untitled photograph to which I refer (of holiday-makers eating junk food) is one of the six images included in the exhibition (the six photographs were nos.9, 21, 24, 29, 19 and 28).

The catalogue, written by Ian Jeffrey, suggests that it is "difficult to determine whether they are essentially voyeuristic photographs which exploit their subjects - a criticism which has been widely levelled at them in Britain".

Some Amazon customer reviews of "The Last Resort" book

The two BBC TV programmes (see iPlayer links above) dealt with that criticism very persuasively.

But it is a question that all social-documentary and amateur photographers must often ask themselves - as well as TV script-writers/dramatists, and documentary film-makers...


Some UK legal  considerations (check for any subsequent changes in the law): Photographers' Rights - Street shooting, people, privacy and children, A brief guide for street photographers - From urban75

Photographers' Rights: Public vs Private, from

Photographers' Rights, Q and A

An overview, Lindsay Dobson photography

Holiday snaps saved as UK retains Freedom of Panorama, Telegraph

Freedom Of Panorama, European Parliament Research Service

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