Cambridge Photography Rules

This our a general guide to photography whilst out and about in Cambridge.

We’ve prepared an overview on the right to take and publish images and film from your fantastic Cambridge trip and most importantly your punting experience. We’ve aimed to cover the basics for your reference – when using your own devices or hiring our own photographer.

This is far from a comprehensive or definitive guide so if you are faced with unusual circumstances, specific issues or otherwise we recommend that you seek legal advice.

Photography in Cambridge

Overly our photographer friendly UK law allows most photography in public places. These are relatively liberal laws regarding photography compared with other countries. With a few exceptions, the key idea is that you can photograph what you see without needing permission, providing you are in a public location.

Taking photos or filming in a public place is not illegal. This includes taking photos that include other people’s children or even taking photos of children directly. Photography or shooting film in a public location is only an offence if the images or footage being taken is considered to be indecent.

The overview is that as long as you’re not harassing or invading people’s activities or experience, you’re allowed to photograph other people in public places.

Please note that the River Cam is a public location, whereas the land that the river travels through is in many instances private property. 

Public Locations Overview

Images and film can be taken of people, buildings or objects whilst in a public place – if possible always aim for this during your trip to avoid future usage issues.

Beware! There are many areas as you walk around Cambridge that you may imagine are public, and if you look into it, they are in fact private locations. Examples include shopping centres, car parks, even some parks and play areas. It’s worth checking if you’re planning on publishing your images in a public manner (website or on social media accounts).

“Public Place” is not defined in UK legislation. As a rough guide, public places are usually considered to be locations that the public are allowed to have access freely and without payment or permission. This includes any public highway, waterway or footpath. Noteworthy, the inside of a car is considered as a public place, unless it is parked on private property.

In the UK you do not have to get the permission from people you photograph whilst they are in a public place. When planning to use or sell these images and film footage it is acceptable when they are published with an artistic or journalistic overtone.

If you’re planning to sell the image commercially or use it for a commercial purpose (for example to promote a product) it is considered best practice to get people to sign a model release form.

If you are in a public location, no landowner, security team or individual has the right to confiscate your equipment or delete images.

Rutherford’s Photographer Contractors

Rutherford’s frequently arrange exclusive photography packages for customers on request. We partner with local professional photographers who abide by the British laws when working on a shoot.

Many photographers have different ownership clauses for their work, and whilst you’ll be provided with a full access to the images or film, you may be restricted on how you edit, reproduce or use these works. Terms will be sent to you prior to the planned shoot.

If you’re keen on avoiding these limitations, we can make special arrangements. If you are concerned about the use of your images by photographers to promote their work, please get in touch with us on 01223 322200.