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