Virginia Street Photography Laws

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and this blog post is not legal advice. If you have any questions about Virginia street photography laws, you should consult with an attorney.

In Virginia, street photography is generally legal. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Surveillance law: Virginia law prohibits “peeping Toms.” This means that it is illegal to secretly observe the activities of another person in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. However, street photography is not considered to be peeping Tom activity, as long as the photographer is not trespassing or trying to hide their presence.
  • Expectation of privacy: The law also recognizes the concept of “expectation of privacy.” This means that people have a right to privacy in certain areas, such as their homes or businesses. If a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, then it may be illegal to photograph them without their consent. However, there is no expectation of privacy in public places, such as streets, sidewalks, and parks.
  • Photography of minors: Virginia law prohibits the intentional viewing or production of a photograph of a minor in a state of nudity or engaged in sexual conduct. This law applies even if the photograph is taken in a public place.
  • Intimate parts: Virginia law also prohibits the intentional taking of a photograph of another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent. This law applies even if the photograph is taken in a public place.

Tips for Street Photography in Virginia:

  • Be respectful of others. If you are photographing people, be sure to ask their permission first.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t trespass or try to hide your presence.
  • Be mindful of the law. Don’t photograph people in areas where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
  • Have fun! Street photography is a great way to capture the beauty of everyday life in Virginia.

As you can see, there are a few things to keep in mind when doing street photography in Virginia. However, as long as you are respectful of others and aware of the law, you should be able to enjoy this unique and creative form of photography.

Additional Information:

In 2016, a bill was introduced in the Virginia legislature that would have made it illegal to photograph people in public without their consent. The bill was ultimately defeated, but it highlights the fact that there is some debate about the legality of street photography in Virginia.

If you are concerned about the legality of your street photography, it is always best to err on the side of caution and ask people for their permission before you take their picture.

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