This protest takes place on the streets of London and attracts many professional and amateur photographers and filmmakers. As such, we are not in a position to impose conditions or restrictions. As a campaign, we welcome and support positive media coverage. We also recognise that many of the participants want to keep or share their memories. Inevitably, the general public will reach for their camera phones as the ride goes past.
Press and professional photographers
We will assist media to obtain good coverage provided they follow some basic rules to respect our participants – most of whom are supporting our cause but not seeking to become accidental soft porn stars. We ask you to follow these rules to respect the participants’ privacy and thus merit our co-operation:
- Images featuring individuals should only be obtained with their explicit consent.
- Images featuring faces in a crowd should not be blown up to feature individuals without their consent.
- This is a ride, so images should be of people riding.
- We do not welcome images of people undressing, dressing or standing around waiting – these miss the point and appear exploitative.
- We have had problems with unwelcome photography by members of the public who are determined to get unauthorised close ups of naked people – so you can expect some adverse reactions if you do so.
- We advise you to have clearly visible PRESS identification so that you are not mistaken for problem photographers and so that people can avoid you if they wish.
Most people taking photographs are harmless, but they can be irritating and make participants feel uncomfortable or concerned. A few photographers are genuinely troublesome. They may be intrusive, or they may be taking closeups from a distance using long lenses. Their motivation in taking photos is unlikely to be morally acceptable. Nevertheless, they are probably not breaking any laws by taking photographs in a public place. We should all do our best to make them feel unwelcome and make it as hard as possible for them to get good photos.
When the presence of photographers makes people uncomfortable, riders could consider adopting the following measures:
- The most effective measure is to avoid disrobing at the assembly. Simply wear something that can be easily removed when the ride pauses on route. Likewise, slip something on just before you reach the finish. The problem photography rarely occurs during the ride.
- You can make yourself less recognisable with sunglasses, helmets, pollution masks, etc. (It’s best not to wear full disguises as people might then think that you are a suspicious character.)
- You might wear mirror sunglasses. Why? Because there is a good chance that any photos will show the photographer meaning we can identify them and they are less likely to want to share them.
- Verbally address the photographer by saying something like “go away, I do not wish to be photographed”. People around you should join in. At the same time, hold up your hand to indicate the universal gesture of “stop/halt/no”.
- You can try engaging them in conversation about what they are doing and see if you can embarrass them away (but some troublemakers will thrive on such an exchange so judge it carefully).
- If this doesn’t work, address the people near to you, asking them to stand between you and the photographer. And, of course, you can turn your back on them.
- Leafleting before and during the ride may be a good way to overcome discomfort from being stared at, and make you less likely to be targeted by problem photographers. The activity of engaging with bystanders makes you seem less vulnerable and this seems to appeal less to any problem photographers.
- We have a sign you can download. Some riders have found this useful in dealing with problem photographers.
- If you have a camera, taking a photograph of persistent photographers and telling them to leave or you’ll report them can work too. Do send these to WNBR as we try to identify the culprits.
- If the photographer’s behaviour is so provocative that it could cause a breach of the peace you can ask the police to intervene. Problem photographers have sometimes been arrested.
Never ever take any action that might be viewed as a threat, abuse, assault or criminal damage; it will put you in the wrong and could lead to criminal charges or costs for the damage. It could also damage our reputation for being peaceful and well-behaved, making it harder for us to have supportive relations with the police and authorities.
We sometimes hear people suggesting direct action against photographers such as spraying water, breaking cameras, gungeing lenses, or shouting abuse. None of these is acceptable. Such reactions are understandable but they are probably criminal offences and could start a fight; you are likely to get arrested.
Filming and photography in the Royal Parks requires a permit unless it will be used for strictly private, non-commercial purposes. Licences are issued to individuals and the media for the purpose of taking photos or recording anything in the Royal Parks agreed to by Park Management. Please refer to the detailed guidance and application forms at https://www.royalparks.org.uk/media-centre/filming-in-the-royal-parks.