From: Allen Rockwell
To: POP Editor

Arresting Photos

I just read Brian Finestone’s letter to the editor in the October 2007 PopPhoto. I feel bad for him as he was visiting Southern California (my home) and his evening photo shoot was cut short by an “authority” that clearly was not familiar with the law.

I can’t fault Brian with cooperating and leaving the location as he was not sure of the laws in the area either.

This is why I often talk about photographer’s rights on my podcasts and blogs (at and I’ve made reference to the PopPhoto July 2006 “The War On Photographers” article several times. I also urge my listeners/readers to read Bert Krages’ “Legal Handbook for Photographers”.

I think it’s very important for us photographers (amateur or professional) to know our rights and responsibilities. Without this knowledge we can, and as Brian illustrated, often do allow others to deny us the joy of pursuing our passion, photography.

I urge all photographers to put down their cameras for one day and do a little research into your rights as a photographer and prepare yourself for the day a “rent-a-cop” tries to tell you that you cannot take a photo of a refinery or bridge or building or …

You do have a right to bear camera and you have the right to use it almost anywhere you choose. Know your rights and protect them.

Allen Rockwell
Palm Springs, CA