Opening Photo: Pool Politics


Saxon Woods Pool (by June Marie Sobrito)


The photographer writes, “Apparently, not only are photographers with cameras bigger than a point and shoot potential terrorists, we are now potential pedophiles. I was informed after taking a few shots at this TAX PAYER FUNDED county pool that pictures of the pool were no longer allowed since people were taking shots of kids that were not their own…Really!!! Another civil right kissed goodbye for a false sense of security…”

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Opening Photo: Pool Politics

  1. I’m a pro photographer/cinematographer. I’m very sensitive to the whole dumb ‘you can’t take photos here!’ mentality. I know the law in this area, and this one is a slightly grey area. You can photograph anything you can see in or from a public place, like the street. In a private place, like a home, a store or a concert hall, the owners can set rules, which can include restrictions on photography. If you disregard those rules they can ask you to leave. If they refuse, that’s an offence – trespass.

    So is this pool ‘private’ or ‘public’? Tricky one. It’s certainly not a place where there’s any expectation of privacy. It’s owned by the taxpayer (correct?) so in that sense it’s public. But I guess you have to pay for admission(?), so it’s ticketed like a cinema, a concert or a sports stadium; it’s not a place anyone can walk in and out of like a public street. It’s not a slam-dunk either way. I might just head up there and test the waters, so to speak!

    • Great comments, Mike. There are various other considerations, including First Amendment issues and state privacy laws (which as you indicate, favor open photographing of things in public places). To my thinking, it’s hard to argue Saxon Woods pool is anything but a public space. Public can be a specific public, like residents of Westchester County. It doesn’t have to mean the entire world. There is no way this is a private space; it is owned by the taxpayers.

      There are laws against stalking and harassment, and other protections that exist. It is overreaching to prohibit photography in a place where taking pictures of kids is a fundamental way of memorializing the experience. I’ll take that case any day. With pleasure.

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