UK Photographers Rights Guide v2

UK Photographers Rights Guide v2

May 14, 2009 · 1,362 comments

in UK Photographers Rights

It’s been over four years since we published version one of the UK photographers rights guide.  We’re now very happy to be able to publish version 2 of the guide.

This is intended to provide a short UK guide to the main legal restrictions on the right to take photographs and the right to publish photographs that have been taken.

The guide was written by Linda Macpherson LL.B, Dip. L.P., LL.M  is a freelance legal consultant specialising in Media Law and Intellectual Property Law. She is also a part-time law lecturer and has presented seminars on law for photographers.

The guide is a 2 page PDF, it will print out front and back of an A4 page allowing you to make leaflets to hand out. The guide is intended as an overview of the current legal situation in the UK for photographers, it is not a definitive bible of UK law.

Please do not deep link (direct link) to the PDF or rehost the guide on your website.

If you find the guide useful please link to either or or leave us a comment. (Comments from the old V1 guide have been kept as there is a lot of great discussion in there).

By downloading this guide you accept the fact that neither Linda Macpherson or Simon Moran accept any responsibility at all for any omissions or errors whatsoever. There is a full disclaimer in the guide, this is just a before you download it warning ! Also Neither Linda Macpherson or myself accept any responsibility for any replies given to comments left. If you require full legal advice please consult a lawyer.

FREE Download – UK Photographers Rights v2

(right click and save as)


This guide was created for Acrobat 5 and above. If you have a problem opening the PDF, please update your copy of Acrobat Reader (it’s free to do so).

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donna rapley July 22, 2014 at 11:19 pm


I am freelance photographer and I photograph kids parties. I photographed a party in 2013 and it was before I was made aware I should get model release forms signed. I had verbal permission to post photo’s onto my fb page and I used one as my cover – which is still there. I also used the same image for flyers. This has been up for 12mths and the people init have always bee aware of it.

A year later they wanted to use my services again. I couldnt do and so another photographer did the job. They are unhappy with the photos and because I have refused to refund any money (£60) I have been asked to take the photo down as they didnt give me permision and will seek legal advice from trading standards.

Do I need to be worried? Im happy to take it down that’s not the issue. I just want to know if there is anything they can do?

Many Thanks

John Maguire August 21, 2014 at 8:14 pm

I would like to make a photographic record of the Scottish Referendum. I am very attracted to the many houses decorated with eyecatching YES and NO posters in their windows all over Edinburgh. Together with Edinburgh’s amazing architecture, the posters and the buildings make great images. Is it legal to photograph a person’s home and publish it without their permission. In a house it’s easy to knock on the door and ask, but as Edinburgh is 50% blocks of flats, it’s very hard to determine who the flat owner is.

John Maguire August 21, 2014 at 8:18 pm

I’ve just scrolled carefully through the posting above and I think it’s pretty clear that I can take photos without first asking permission as long as I’m not breaching privacy or photographing anything inside the house.

Louise September 11, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Hi Linda, I’m a seamstress/artist in the UK and I am planning to have a small amount of fabric printed with images of a few local landmarks (a cinema, a pier, a bandstand to name but a few), the images are to be taken from my own photographs, (so probably more akin to holiday snaps), but then perhaps tinted/aged etc and printed repeated over each metre of fabric.

I then wish to make the finished printed fabric into sell-able items, e.g. cushions, doorstops, tea-towels etc… Do I need to seek permission from the owners of each landmark/building for this? .. I read somewhere that this might depend on the age of a building…and that, landmarks of over a certain age often didn’t need permission. I would be most grateful if you could clarify this point maybe and/or let me know where I stand with all this where the selling the finished items is concerned, perhaps. Thanks in advance. Louise

Jon Gibbons March 13, 2018 at 9:03 am

Love this guide alot….but is there any chance of updating the information in this guide (V3???), as you mention Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, this is now defunct and has been replaced by Section 43 as far as I’m aware

Michael Maggs July 31, 2018 at 5:22 pm

Any chance of updating this, please? It’s very useful but is now starting to become a little outdated.

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