10 Wierd Photography Laws You Didn't Know Existed in the United States
Photography is a powerful form of expression, but did you know that in the land of the free, there are some quirky laws that govern how we capture our moments? From coast to coast, and even in the heart of Massachusetts, here are 10 strange photography laws in the United States that might leave you scratching your head.
No Whaling Photos in Massachusetts:
In the historically rich state of Massachusetts, capturing photos of whales might seem like a quintessential coastal activity. However, did you know that it's illegal to take pictures of a whale from a plane? The intention behind this law is to protect these majestic creatures from potential disturbance caused by low-flying aircraft.
Forbidden Flash in Nevada:
In Las Vegas, a city known for its dazzling lights and vibrant nightlife, it's illegal to use a camera flash within 500 feet of a dwelling. Whether you're trying to capture the iconic Strip or a dazzling wedding at a chapel, be cautious with that flash to avoid breaking this peculiar law.
No Giraffe Photos in Atlanta:
If you find yourself in Atlanta, Georgia, and have a penchant for photographing giraffes, think twice. According to a local ordinance, it's illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or street lamp, let alone photograph the peculiar sight. Who knew giraffe photography could be so controversial?
Disturbing the Peace in Colorado:
In Colorado, photography could potentially disturb the peace. Specifically, it's against the law to photograph a man with a horse in the city limits of Denver on Sundays. The origin of this law is unclear, but perhaps it's a nod to the city's cowboy history.
Photo Trespassing in Montana:
Montana is known for its vast landscapes and scenic beauty, but photographers beware – it's illegal to take pictures of a person without their permission if you're inside a building. Trespassing through a camera lens could land you in hot water.
No Fishing Photos in Tennessee:
In the land of country music and rolling hills, Tennessee has a curious law on the books. It's illegal to take a photograph of any game within the state, and that includes fish. So, if you're angling for the perfect fishing photo, you might want to check your local laws.
No Minors in the Darkroom in California:
California, with its bustling entertainment industry, has a law that may have you raising an eyebrow. It's illegal for a minor to use a darkroom without written consent from their parent or guardian. Looks like Hollywood's young aspiring photographers need permission even in the darkroom.
Smile, It's the Law in Pocatello, Idaho:
In Pocatello, Idaho, it's not so much a law as it is a tradition. Every resident is encouraged to smile for a photograph, as it is considered an official city ordinance. So, if you're ever in Pocatello, be sure to show off those pearly whites.
Drive-By Shooting in Tennessee:
While drive-by shootings are, understandably, a serious criminal offense, in Dyersburg, Tennessee, the law extends to photography. Taking photos from a moving vehicle is prohibited, except for at a carnival. It seems carnival-goers have a special exemption in Dyersburg.
Say Cheese in Mississippi:
In Mississippi, there's a lighthearted law that will make you smile. It's illegal to teach others what polygamy is, and while this law isn't specific to photography, it serves as a reminder that sometimes, strange laws can be as entertaining as the photos we capture.
Photography laws across the United States, and even in Massachusetts, showcase the eclectic nature of legal regulations. From the bizarre to the comical, these laws add a unique flavor to the world of photography. So, next time you're out and about with your camera, keep these peculiar laws in mind – you never know when you might be breaking the law by simply trying to capture a moment in time.