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Tips for photographing on private property

The Pantheon seen from across the lake in the winter at Stourhead, Wiltshire. When it first opened in 1740 Stourhead was described as 'a living work of art'.
© The National Trust Photolibrary / Alamy Stock Photo

A few months ago I wrote a blog on the basics of photographing people and property when you’re out and about. I thought it would be helpful to dig a little deeper into the private property side to help you stay safe and avoid legal issues.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you’re on public or private property, as private property isn’t always clearly marked but our tip would be to always err on the side of caution.

Always make sure you check out the photography policy for the property, whether you have to pay to enter or not. The majority of places will be more than happy for you to take photographs during your visit but make sure you understand what you can and can’t do with them once you’ve taken them.

Here’s a couple of examples for you…

There are some locations that don’t let you take your camera in with you, like the Moulin Rouge for example. Photography is completely banned inside. You’re fine to take photos from the outside (on the public highway), but if you’re planning to sell your images of this you should make sure they’re restricted for editorial use only.

Moulin Rouge
© Miguel Moya / Alamy Stock Photo

The National Trust say you’re very welcome to take pictures while visiting their properties for your own personal use but they don’t permit photography at its pay-on-entry properties for commercial use or for reproduction in any form (without consent). They also say under no circumstances should images be submitted to photo libraries and agencies.

Images taken on free, open access coastal and countryside land owned by the National Trust can be sold editorially without permission.

If you’ve got any images of National Trust properties on Alamy think back to when you were there. If you paid to get in then we’d recommend deleting these from your Alamy collection. If you didn’t pay to enter, it’s fine to have them on sale but you should be adding ‘editorial only’ restrictions.

Top tip: to avoid any legal problems in the future, make sure you’re following the rules; they’re there to be followed after all!

These are just a couple of examples. If you’re unsure and have any questions or need help adding restrictions or deleting images then email us.

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