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Photography Etiquette at Nude Beaches

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  • Photography Etiquette at Nude Beaches

    A nudist resort can define a formal photography policy, but nude beaches generally are different in that there is no management to enforce any photography rules.

    I was at Blacks Beach near San Diego a few days ago. I raised my mobile phone to take a selfie and a guy who was fifty feet away started yelling at me. He was not in the field of view of the camera, but I can understand his concern; however, I believe he overreacted. I wasn't aiming the camera at anybody other than myself, and nobody who was incidentally in the background was close enough to be identifiable.

    What would you have done in this situation?

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  • #2
    Put the phone down until he was gone, or not taken the picture at all. Not one to take pictures because I never look at them. What is the need for one more?

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    • #3
      I never take pics of nude places, but others do and if full permission is granted by all parties, I’m okay with it. I like seeing pics of nude events but I personally don’t want my pic on the internet! It’s not like I have a photogenic body to advertise a nude place lol!

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      • #4
        The beach looks deserted enough that you could have waited until no one was in the shot except you.

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        • #5
          As opposed to private nude resorts, there are indeed no “managers” at nude beaches enforcing any rules about photography. I find it is best to be discreet and wait until there is no one (except your own consenting companions) who might perceive that they could be seen in the photo, however unlikely that would be in your view.

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          • #6
            I think both common sense and common courtesy on both sides need to prevail. People who elect to be naked in public (vs private club) settings should accept the risk that they may wind up in a photograph since literally everyone these days is constantly in possession of a camera. For the person taking the picture, common sense/common courtesy to me means that a wide scan shot of an area that doesn't focus in on any one individual is reasonable. Close ups require consent. I would not walk up to a clothed person on a city street and take their picture without consent. Same with a nude person on a beach.

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            • #7
              the proper etiquette in a nudist situation is no pics. period. Now that doesn't mean you can't or don't have the right, that's not the debate. But it's considered rude by most accounts. Just because someone is naked doesn't mean they are ok with people knowing for a multitude of reasons, all personal. there is an inherent risk but that risk is mitigated by the social construct.

              for example, you wouldn't go to a playground or school and start taking pictures of random children without asking their parents. It's a good way to get your *** kicked. Same principle

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Noodfellaz View Post
                the proper etiquette in a nudist situation is no pics. period. Now that doesn't mean you can't or don't have the right, that's not the debate. But it's considered rude by most accounts. Just because someone is naked doesn't mean they are ok with people knowing for a multitude of reasons, all personal. there is an inherent risk but that risk is mitigated by the social construct.

                for example, you wouldn't go to a playground or school and start taking pictures of random children without asking their parents. It's a good way to get your *** kicked. Same principle
                This does not match my experience.

                I've had my photo taken BY STAFF at a nudist resort.

                Nudist resorts generally do have strict rules on when and where photos can be taken, but there generally is no complete ban. With the ubiquity of cell phones these days, a complete ban would be unenforceable.

                One of my favorite nudist resorts, Vritomartis on Crete in Greece, even invites visitors to submit photos for their web page.

                https://blog.vritomartis.com/competitions/

                Join the Black's Beach Facebook group. You will see plenty of selfies and photos of others with genitalia discretely out of view so as not to violate Facebook TOS.

                Regarding the playground analogy, I wouldn't deliberately take photos of kids whose parents I did not know, but I would take photos of my own kid and accept the fact that there might be some other kid in the distant background.

                I will agree that it is rude to point a camera at other folks without their permission. This rule applies everywhere, not just at nudist venues and playgrounds.

                In college, I had a roommate who had photography as a hobby. He had a right-angle lens attachment for his camera and would use it to take photos of people he saw on the street. It seemed rude to me. The lesson I got is to never assume that I wouldn't be photographed when around other people.
                Last edited by Mosquito_Bait; 08-20-2021, 02:18 AM.

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                • #9
                  Your experience has been much different than mine. And I'm glad. I do think people worry about it too much. I've always said sure when people have asked to take a picture but I've seen people get really upset at the idea of their naked image being captured

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                  • #10
                    Well, I may have to eat my words.

                    I just checked the website of our local nudist resort, White Tail Resort. The website states that photographic equipment is banned and cell phones will be confiscated if used to take photos. This is listed at the following link as the second bullet under the caption "DON'T..."

                    https://whitetailresort.org/amenitie...s-of-behavior/

                    I have participated in 5K races at White Tail where there was an official photographer on the course and a group photo was taken following the awards ceremony, so the ban does not seem quite as rigid as the website suggests.

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                    • #11
                      White Tail, as well as many other nude parks I would imagine, does not want just anyone to be taking pictures. They only allow designated photographers to take pictures at designated events. They do not want people who do not want to be in pictures to have to worry about random people taking their photo at times they don't know their picture is being taken.

                      Bob S.

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                      • #12
                        Mosquito_Bait - "What would you have done in this situation?"

                        I would have told him, "I'm sorry if you thought you were in my photo. But (1.) I was careful not to get you in my selfie photo. And (2.) You are in a public space where there is never any presumption of privacy. Someone could even sneak a photo of you and it's perfectly legal. Obviously, I was not. And again, I did take NOT your photo. But just so you are aware: you have no right to complain or try to force anyone not to take photos of anything they want in a public space. When in public spaces where you are lawfully present you and I have a First Amendment right to photograph anything that is in plain view. If people can see you they have every right in the world (well, in the U.S.) to take your photo. Now, that being said. Again, I did not take your photo. And I will not take your photo."

                        Now, practically speaking:
                        No, I'm not going to bark all that at everyone who looks at me funny when I take out my camera, but I have when anyone's complained when I taken street photos. In fact -- even as an avid photographer for fun, and a former professional photojournalist -- I never take my camera (or pull out my iPhone camera) on any nude or clothing optional beach because I want to avoid this type of negative interaction and because I don't want it to be seen and stolen.

                        Food for thought.

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                        • #13
                          Tell them you work for National Geographic. That ought to get some kinda response

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                          • #14
                            Legally speaking most nude beaches are public land, including Blacks. You are there, no matter your manner of dress, as a matter of public record. Any photographer has the same rights as a newspaper to record events taking place.

                            Now, you may feel that this is unthinkable and would act on your own to enforce the rules found at private nudist resorts, but think carefully.

                            On the nude beach we used a fellow took out a camera to take some pic of himself and friends and one of the other beach-goers went over, chastised him, and told him that photography was not allowed and actually took his camera from him and stated it would only be returned to him in the parking lot.

                            The photographer and his friend left the beach and called the police and returned with them, and was prepared to charge the person who took his camera with theft, but also a federal offense of violating his right to publication, under which photography is covered.

                            The police managed to smooth out the situation, the camera was given back, and the person who took it was advised that they were extremely lucky that the people walked away.

                            I am not an attorney and cannot give legal advise but any person that operates a travel club, resort, or advocates for free beaches should be able to tell you this.

                            While this may not be a welcome situation, that si the price we sometimes pay for seeking to mainstream naturism.

                            Of course if you wan to approach the photographer and explain that it makes people feel uneasy and try to reason with them, you can try but don't get threatening.

                            Tread carefully.

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