Children, Photography, Public Places & Events by Jennifer Evans

As a Mom AND a Photographer, I wanted to share some insight into the legalities of children, photography, public places & events. From time to time I volunteer my photography services to the town where I live.  This means I photograph public events and activities for them.  Today I photographed a public event where there were A LOT of children in attendance.  Having been in this profession for years, I knew going in that at some point during the event a parent was going to ask me about what I was doing with my big camera taking photos of their children...and I was right - a concerned Mom asked me to not photograph her children.

In today's digital world, there are cameras to be found everywhere and as parents we want to protect our children from unknown lenses...but there are a few things that you should know regarding the legal rights of picture-takers.

MISCONCEPTION: Many parents believe that a photographer (or someone with a camera) must request consent before capturing or publishing a photograph containing the likeness of their child or children.

This is NOT TRUE.

TRUTH:  Photographing a person in a public place, including children, DOES NOT require a model release or expressed consent.  When it comes to PUBLIC places or being in PUBLIC VIEW (even if you are standing on private property), consent or a model release is NOT required unless the photograph will be used in advertising (think billboard for Verizon or some other company) AND the person is recognizable.

Think about it - if photographers were required to gather model releases from everyone they photographed our news and tourism industries would quickly die.

MISCONCEPTION: Parents believe that they can demand that a photographer or person stop taking photographs of their children and/or delete any that have been taken.

This too is FALSE.

TRUTH: Private citizens (and even Police Officials) DO NOT have the authority to require that the photographer stop taking or delete their photographs.

MISCONCEPTION:  If someone takes a photo of MY child, that photo belongs to ME!

No, this is FALSE.

TRUTH: When a photographer takes a photo, no matter who their subject is, copyright belongs to THE PHOTOGRAPHER.  It's called "intellectual copyright" and believe it or not, it is perfectly within their legal rights to not only take the photos, but they have the right to display them, and even sell them as long as they aren't doing so commercially (as indicated above).


I know this may seem scary - but  there is something you can do.

Approach & Inquire

If you are concerned about someone photographing your child in public, the first thing is to remain calm and respectfully approach the photographer.  Simply ask them what they are taking photos of and for what purpose.  You will probably find that it is a student, tourist or media photographer who means no harm.  You might find that your child may make a newspaper or blog article...and I can tell you from experience, that may be a very fun and rewarding experience for your child!

Voice Your Concern and Kindly Request They Stop

You are always within your right to kindly ask that they do not include your children in their photographs.  Please do not be rude and approach them in anger...they are probably just doing their JOB.  When you ask kindly, MOST photographers will completely understand and agree to your request without confrontation.

What If They Refuse to Stop?

If the photographer refuses, and they are not breaking any rules dictated by the public domain (some locations do not allow for reflectors, tripods, etc), it is up to YOU to take your children and leave the area.  You cannot demand the photographer to stop taking photos and you cannot force them to leave.  So instead of getting angry and frustrated, do the one thing you CAN do - move elsewhere.


If confronted by a concerned person or parent, be calm, respectful, and prepared to explain yourself. We live in a somewhat fearful society and it is important to recognize that. Understand that most people who question you are most likely coming from an honest place of fear or concern. Parents just want to protect their children!  Confidently explain to those who ask, who you are,  what you are doing and why you are doing it.

I personally respect requests from parents whenever possible.  If they ask that their child not be photographed I will take photos from angles that exclude their children.  It's not that difficult and it will be appreciated.

Another thing I tend to do when photographing children in public places is try to capture them in a way where their faces are not completely visible.  I realize that this isn't always possible or practical since media relies on facial expressions to depict mood and emotion, but it is always nice to get faceless imagery when it makes sense to do so.

Oh, and if you were wondering about that request today - of course I excluded her children from my photos - I even went back and deleted any I had taken before the request right in the camera.  No hard feelings...I'm a Mom too and I get it!

What to Wear for your Fall Photo Session by Jennifer Evans

It's that that time of the year when you start thinking about booking that annual Fall photo session.  This year, make it better by taking the time to plan and coordinate your entire family's wardrobe.  This simple guide will save you from the confusion of picking the perfect wardrobe.With the season comes warm, golden, brown, yellow, orange....  you will want your wardrobe to compliment all those beautiful colors.  Here are some tips that will help:

Fotoplicity Toddler Holiday Photo SessionGO NEUTRAL WITH A POP OF COLOR My favorite Fall portraits tend to be when people wear mostly neutral fall tones with a bright pop of color mixed in.  Colors that immediately come to mind are red, orange, brown, yellow, grey and beige.  Not sure about what colors go with what?  Check out Design

Your color choice will also depend on where and how you are being photographed.  When the leaves are in full color, you won't want to compete with them, but later in the season when the trees are more bare, or in a brown field, adding more color will benefit your photo.

YOUR HOME DECOR MATTERS Believe it or not, your home decor actually matters.  If you have any plans on displaying your photos in your home you need to consider the space!  Make sure any colors you choose to wear will look good in your home.  COORDINATE, DON'T MATCH

LAYER UP Coats, sweaters, jackets, hats, scarves...these things can not only help you be prepared for quickly changing weather but they also offer quick and easy options that can really change the look of a photo.

Fotoplicity Child Photographer, Central New JerseyADD ACCESSORIES Scarves, hats, sunglasses, belts....accessories are for EVERYONE!  As long as your accessories coordinate with your outfits, you can’t go wrong. Use accessories to tie different outfit colors and themes together.  For example, a cute red scarf around your neck can coordinate nicely with the orange dress your daughter is wearing.  And if you're up for some fun, bring along your dog...his red collar will match and he will complete your family portrait!

SHOES MATTER Don't forget the shoes!  They are often an afterthought but they can really make or break a portrait.  Feet can be seen and they do matter.  Guys, skip the running sneakers and opt for a pair of boat or dress shoes instead.  Gals, knee-high boots are perfect for Fall as are a nice pair of heels or even some hip rain boots.  Kids - do you love color?  Converse or a pair of sparkly Sketchers are always a fun option!Family Fall Photo Session by Fotoplicity, Fall, Central NJ Photographer

SKIP THE LOGOS Sure, we all have our favorite sports teams and branded shirts.  Please leave those at home for your session.  Logos typically don't look good in photographs but they tend to date the photo as well.  The goal of any professional portrait is to get a classic image that can withstand the test of time.  Your Yankees or 49ers shirt just isn't going to cut it.  Trust me on this one!

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER I can't stress how important it is to lay out EVERYONE'S outfits together BEFORE your photo session.  This will help you see exactly how everything works together and quickly identify anything that doesn't belong.  If you aren't sure and you are working with a custom portrait photographer, send them a quick cell pic of everything laid out and ask for their opinion - most photographers are happy to offer advice!Family Fall Photo Session by Fotoplicity, Central NJ Photographer


Click here for information and booking on my Fall Mini Sessions.  

5 Tips - How To Photograph Your Tween / Teen by Jennifer Evans

As the Mom of a Tween AND a photographer, this is a topic that I can speak to through experience.  Once your child gets into double digits you've moved through most of those typical photo-worthy milestones (first smile, first steps, first tooth, etc.)   At ten, our "babies" start their journey into adulthood.  You know the stage....the one where they start testing boundaries, develop strong opinions and explore all pieces of their identity.  They also go through some significant physical changes. All of these changes are significant and as parents, wouldn't it be nice to be able to look back at this time 10+ years from now and remember when she was first old enough to sit next to you in the front seat of the car?  Or remember when he surpassed you height wise?  These often overlooked moments are just as important and monumental as those baby milestones.  These are memories that aren't captured in the annual school photos.

So get your camera out and start documenting your tween/teen's life.  Capture important moments and be as enthusiastic as you were when they were little.  I guarantee you will be glad you did years down the road.  Of course getting those pictures may not be as easy as it used to be.  Five Tips for photographing your tween, teen

Here are five tips on photographing your tween or teen.

Tip 1 - Photographing Teens / Tweens

Take photos of them doing what they love. Whether its dancing, gymnastics, playing football or soccer - when they’re enjoying themselves they will be more inclined to go along with your request getting some pictures OR, they'll be too busy to notice you with your camera.

Tip 3 - Photographing Teens / TweensThis goes along with the first tip.  Instead of just standing on the sidelines, engage and interact with your child.  Show an interest in their hobbies and passions.  Don't make getting a photograph your only goal - take the time to connect with your child and take those photos only when the opportunity presents itself.  If you are actively engaged with your child they will be much more open to letting you get a genuine photo of them.  Even better - get IN the photo with your child!

Tip 2 - Photographing Teens / TweensAs children get older, they develop their own sense of style.  Instead of giving them grief about it, embrace it.  This is who your child is, it's how they are known by their friends...why change that just for a photograph?  The idea is to capture your kid as they are - not some made-up, fairy tale version of them! Besides, I can pretty much guarantee they'll be more comfortable and willing to pose for a picture while wearing their favorite clothes.

And if you really want those fairy tale pictures, consider a Fotoplicity Enchanted Session and let me create an entire experience that will get them excited about having their photo taken!

Tip 4 - Photographing Teens / TweensThis is where most parents is so important to treat your tween/teen like an adult. When you respect them they will be much more likely and willing to participate and smile for you. If you make them feel like the adults they're becoming it will go a long way.

Tip 5 - Photographing Teens / TweensThis goes hand in hand with the last tip.  In today's world of social media most don't think twice about posting pictures for the world to see.  Sharing cute and silly pictures didn't matter to to them when they were toddlers, but now they are self-aware and conscious of how they look.  If they have their own online presence, they will want to control the photos that are shared.  If they know that they have the ability to veto the photos that get shared publicly they will be more likely to participate in your photo shoots!Tween Portrait by Fotoplicity, NJ

Are you interested in getting professional pictures of your tween or teen?

TWEEN/TEEN WEEK - July 18-23, 2016

Session Fee:  $35 (plus tax) Includes:  Consultation, 20 Minute LOCAL Outdoor Session, Reveal Appointment Restrictions:  One child per session, session fee & signed contract due in full at time of booking, children ages 10-17 only, limited availability - only a handful of early morning and evening sessions are available.  If you book back to back sessions for siblings I will take images of them together.

Interested in booking?  Please CONTACT ME.Teen Tween Week


8 Tips for Preparing for Your Summer Photo Session by Jennifer Evans

You know we're ready for a hot summer, but are you?Here are eight ways you can make sure your summer photo session goes off without a hitch.

  1. Family KissDress appropriately. Summer sometimes means hot and humid weather, which can lead to uncomfortable bodies. Choose breathable, lightweight fabrics that won't weigh you down. As for shoes, nice flats or loafers are a great option.
  1. Think about your hair. If you or a family member's hair reacts to humidity in a negative way, choose a hairstyle that won't leave you feeling insecure. Consider a braid or an updo - or maybe wear a decorative headband, or use a little extra product to keep frizz at bay.
  2. Pack necessities. When packing your photo shoot necessities, I recommend bringing the following items: Lots of water for all, a snack, sunscreen, umbrella for shade, water mister, makeup touchup kit.
  1. Creative Sessions. Summer offers a bunch of activities that lend themselves to amazing photo sessions. For example, think pools, sprinklers, the beach, lakes & streams.  I'd be more than happy to discuss a really creative session with you.Summer Photo Session
  1. Head to toe details. Details are everything when it comes to photos!  For example, if you're wearing flip-flops or open toed shoes, you want to have manicured feet. If it's really breezy, a hat or scarf can keep your hair under control.
  1. I won't let you overheat. Sometimes it's hard just to walk outside when it's scorching outside, but know that we're going to have an amazing shoot. We'll spend lots of time in the shade, dive into the cool A/C if and when we can, and I will never push your family into staying longer than they can or want.
  1. Props. Outdoor summer shoots are loaded with natural imagery, but we can always incorporate a few props into the mix. Vintage step stools in a field look gorgeous, as do blankets, balloons, and even visually striking treats (lollipops, ice cream, etc.).  Talk to me about this during your consultation!
  2. Timing.  The time of your session can have a huge impact on the heat.  The best time of day to schedule your session is 1-2 hours after sunrise or before sunset.  Don't worry, I am an early riser and can do a photo session as early as 6am!children with balloons by fotoplicity

Interested in Booking A Session? [button url="" style="red"]CONTACT FOTOPLICITY[/button]