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Photographing buildings. Be aware of this when photographing buildings in public and private spaces as a stock photographer. What are the buildings with restrictions?

Can you sell photos of properties from public place? What are the copyrighted landscapes or buildings? | WahaviBlog about stock photography

    Photographing buildings in public and private areas

    As a general rule, you can photograph any building in or from a public area and upload it to stock photo websites for sale. However, if you are in a private area, you will need to complete a property release with the owner details, and also get the owner to sign it.

    In practice, this means that if you take photos of buildings while walking down the street, you can feel free to upload your pictures for sale. However, you can only photograph the interior of a museum, gallery or private house (indoor photo) with permission. In many cases, you are not allowed to take photos at all, so you cannot get permission. The reason for this is e.g. in the case of museums, that they may want to sell their own photos to visitors.

    List of protected buildings, structures and landmarks

    In many parts of the world, there are protected buildings and landscapes that feature a particular structure. Your photos of these can only be uploaded as a stock photo, either with restrictions or not at all.

    Adobe Stock's list of buildings, the photos of which are rejected to upload.

    Shutterstock's lists of image restrictions taken of places and landmarks:
    Europe and Africa
    Asia, Middle East and Australia
    North and South America


    If you're photographing a building, that is, the subject of your photo, pay attention to two things:

    • Do you take the photo in / from public place or in private property?
    • Is the building listed above?

    If you are in a public area, you should only look for restrictions on the buildings listed above. Otherwise, feel free to take photos.
    If you are in a private area, be sure to ask the owner or, in the case of an institution, an authorized person about the conditions under which you can take photos.

    Read these posts, too

    Stock photography in practice

    Stock photography in practice free guides | WahaviBlog about stock photography

    Download my free pdf short guides for step-by-step instructions on stock photography practices in a nutshell.

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    Post Author

    Viktor Wallon-Hárs (wahavi)

    Photography has always been part of our family life. I have memories of my father dealing with those old glass slides, preparing them for our projector.

    Later I took photos during summer holidays and school trips.

    Now, in the era of stock photography, I dug myself into it to learn the basics and also the secrets how to earn more and more money doing what I love.