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12last
Photographer
I M N Photography
Posts: 2,282
New York, New York, US


During a recent shoot in NY, some people were freaked out to see the female models changing their tops in public with their male counterparts. 

Just wanted to take an informal poll to see how many people are aware of public nudity laws in their locations (both The States and abroad).

For the record: People v. Ramona Santorelli settled this issue a long time ago, and the last time that I remember someone being arrested, they were given close to $30K by the city for their troubles.
Oct 08 12 07:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PTPhotoUT
Posts: 1,959
Salt Lake City, Utah, US


I Utah it isn't. In fact 3rd time, It's a felony!
Oct 08 12 07:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,201
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Only in two states as I recall
Oct 08 12 07:09 am  Link  Quote 
Model
immateria
Posts: 15,446
Brooklyn, New York, US


I know it's legal, but I choose to be cautious anyway. I'll go topless at the beach, but otherwise, I don't really like to draw that kind of attention to myself. If I get catcalls for wearing a tank top, I don't want to know what I'd get for baring my breasts.
Oct 08 12 07:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fotografica Gregor
Posts: 4,065
Alexandria, Virginia, US


I don't know about the legality in the areas where I shoot, but we're always fairly discrete - I've had models change in my truck, in the bushes, or behind a screen of myself, hair and makeup people with wardrobe stylist assistance

We've been noticed before but by being discrete we have had no issues.
Oct 08 12 07:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NYCArthur
Posts: 31
New York, New York, US


New York has long ago established the right of women to go topless just as a man can.

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninsca … bowery.php
Oct 08 12 07:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vector One Photography
Posts: 2,589
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US


You made a very misleading and dangerous statement. It is NOT legal for a woman to be topless in most states. Just because you can do it in New York, doesn't mean you can do it everywhere.
Oct 08 12 07:19 am  Link  Quote 
Model
MatureModelMM
Posts: 900
Detroit, Michigan, US


Around here, I wouldn't go topless while changing out in the open if there were people around, someone would be certain to complain and it is not legal. During photo shoots at places like state or regional parks I have changed in the parking lot or right where we were shooting if there weren't a lot of people around.

We like to visit Canada, and in Ontario it is legal to be topless. I have walked down the beach in Toronto topless while being photographed, and even changed into/out of my bathing suit bottom on the beach during a photo shoot and no one said anything. I have seen other women topless on the beach but not every time I go there.
Oct 08 12 07:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
I M N Photography
Posts: 2,282
New York, New York, US


Vector One Photography wrote:
You made a very misleading and dangerous statement. It is NOT legal for a woman to be topless in most states. Just because you can do it in New York, doesn't mean you can do it everywhere.

Didn't say "everywhere", but I know that New York isn't the only place where it is legal.

In terms of "Dangerous Statements": ignorance of the law is no excuse. "I read it on Model Mayhem" is not a good defense wink
I would certainly check local ordinances, before doing something that might be against the law in the area where I am shooting.


Just want to see how many people are aware of similar laws in their areas.

Oct 08 12 07:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Terry Scott Reed
Posts: 37
Reading, Pennsylvania, US


MnPhoto wrote:
During a recent shoot, some people were freaked out to see the female models changing their tops in public with their male counterparts. 

Just wanted to take an informal poll to see how many people did not know that it is legal for a woman to not only change (upperbody only), but to display her breasts publicly.

It is dangerous to take legal (or accounting) advice from a fellow photographer. Likewise, I do not seek answers about photography technique from my accountant or lawyer.

Oct 08 12 07:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,113
Tampa, Florida, US


Legality isn't really the issue. We're talking about reactions and those won't change even if you wear a sign that quotes the statute.

This is about people's reactions and what's appropriate. I don't see the reason to have a model change in public, regardless of the law. You know people are going to have issues with it so why press it? It's not difficult to provide a bit of screening for the model and avoid public reaction altogether.

Why bring that drama upon yourself unless that was the point of having the model changing in public in the first place. The tone of your post makes it sounds like you were more interested in gauging people's reactions than anything else.
Oct 08 12 07:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Abbitt Photography
Posts: 11,343
Oakland Acres, Iowa, US


MnPhoto wrote:
Just wanted to take an informal poll to see how many people did not know that it is legal for a woman to not only change (upperbody only), but to display her breasts publicly.

I know it is legal in NYC.
I know it's illegal in many other places.
I know in some places, the law is ambiguous.
I know is some places, many law enforcement officials may not understand the law.

Oct 08 12 07:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
I M N Photography
Posts: 2,282
New York, New York, US


Terry Scott Reed wrote:

It is dangerous to take legal (or accounting) advice from a fellow photographer. Likewise, I do not seek answers about photography technique from my accountant or lawyer.

Agreed!

The OP has been edited, to prevent the topic from digressing.

Oct 08 12 07:48 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael DBA Expressions
Posts: 3,120
Lynchburg, Virginia, US


Terry Scott Reed wrote:
It is dangerous to take legal (or accounting) advice from a fellow photographer. Likewise, I do not seek answers about photography technique from my accountant or lawyer.

It would seem that these days few people have any qualms about taking legal (or medical, or mechanical/auto-repair, or ANY) advice from unqualified friends and even nameless passersby on the internet. Many seem almost allergic to the concept that some people are more qualified than others to comment on ANY topic you can name. Beats me why, and I try to find out if the proposed advisor knows squat first, but folks consider me weird that way.

Oct 08 12 07:52 am  Link  Quote 
Model
immateria
Posts: 15,446
Brooklyn, New York, US


Michael Pandolfo wrote:
Legality isn't really the issue. We're talking about reactions and those won't change even if you wear a sign that quotes the statute.

This is about people's reactions and what's appropriate. I don't see the reason to have a model change in public, regardless of the law. You know people are going to have issues with it so why press it? It's not difficult to provide a bit of screening for the model and avoid public reaction altogether.

Why bring that drama upon yourself unless that was the point of having the model changing in public in the first place. The tone of your post makes it sounds like you were more interested in gauging people's reactions than anything else.

This. Also, I'm sure I'm not the only model who doesn't like being harassed.

Oct 08 12 07:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Loki Studio
Posts: 2,877
Royal Oak, Michigan, US


Regardless of local laws, any photographer who is ignorant of the impact to other people in a public shoot is stupid.  When it is so easy to provide a more private changing area, its a bad idea to invite additional problems by offending bystanders.
Oct 08 12 08:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
I M N Photography
Posts: 2,282
New York, New York, US


Michael Pandolfo wrote:
Legality isn't really the issue. We're talking about reactions and those won't change even if you wear a sign that quotes the statute.

This is about people's reactions and what's appropriate. I don't see the reason to have a model change in public, regardless of the law. You know people are going to have issues with it so why press it? It's not difficult to provide a bit of screening for the model and avoid public reaction altogether.

Why bring that drama upon yourself unless that was the point of having the model changing in public in the first place. The tone of your post makes it sounds like you were more interested in gauging people's reactions than anything else.

You are absolutely correct!   I started off with an informal poll, to see how many people , regardless of whether they shoot nudes or not, are aware of the legality in their locations.

After seeing the reaction of some people (i.e., insinuating that my informal survey is a form of legal advice), I can see that the movement that has taken on this issue on a national scale, is fighting against comfort levels, and not valid equality issues.

For the record, I am aware that some people freak out at the sight of female breast, which is why I carry portable personal changing stations when I shoot in public, but as expected via the survey, most people are not aware and could care less if it were legal or not.

Although the models in question were only changing their tops, I agree that it would be silly to change in the middle of a high traffic area, but when you need to take into consideration weather conditions (i.e., sunrise, sunsets, impending rain), it is wise to know if you should scrap a shoot, or save invaluable minutes by changing quickly in public.

Oct 08 12 08:07 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Model
Anna Adrielle
Posts: 18,762
Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium


legal or not, I'd still prefer not to do it. I'll go find a cafe where I can change or something like that.

my boyfriend photographer has one of these, also quite handy smile

http://www.oztent.nl/accessoires_bestanden/changeshelter-l.jpg

folded up it's the size of one of those reflection screens, takes 2 seconds to unfold an about 6 to fold up again
Oct 08 12 08:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
In Balance Photography
Posts: 3,370
Boston, Massachusetts, US


I had only heard recently of the law in NY, and was not aware of any regulations in New England regarding this.

Like others, I know that regardless of the law that there are people that would be offended by it, and since it's  easy to provide a discrete changing area so that's what I do.

On one occasion, when shooting in a state park I was given a reprieve (not having the proper permit) and allowed to continue shooting for the sole fact that I had a portable changing area for the model. The ranger's biggest concern was that with models changing out in public that it would change the experience for all the families there.
Oct 08 12 08:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
I M N Photography
Posts: 2,282
New York, New York, US


Anna Adrielle wrote:
legal or not, I'd still prefer not to do it. I'll go find a cafe where I can change or something like that.

my boyfriend photographer has one of these, also quite handy smile

http://www.oztent.nl/accessoires_bestanden/changeshelter-l.jpg

folded up it's the size of one of those reflection screens, takes 2 seconds to unfold an about 6 to fold up again

I have a couple of those. One of them comes with a 5 gallon, heavy-plastic "shower" bag that you hang from a tree branch.

Oct 08 12 08:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
I M N Photography
Posts: 2,282
New York, New York, US


Loki Studio wrote:
Regardless of local laws, any photographer who is ignorant of the impact to other people in a public shoot is stupid.  When it is so easy to provide a more private changing area, its a bad idea to invite additional problems by offending bystanders.

Welcome to NY... wink

Oct 08 12 08:20 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Model
Anna Adrielle
Posts: 18,762
Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium


MnPhoto wrote:

I have a couple of those. One of them comes with a 5 gallon, heavy-plastic "shower" bag that you hang from a tree branch.

cool :p

his is just plain black and not meant to go camping, but couldn't find a better picture :p. but I suppose it works really well as a portable shower too!

Oct 08 12 08:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FiveOne November
Posts: 169
Rochester, New York, US


Loki Studio wrote:
Regardless of local laws, any photographer who is ignorant of the impact to other people in a public shoot is stupid.  When it is so easy to provide a more private changing area, its a bad idea to invite additional problems by offending bystanders.

This is where I come down on the issue.  While NY state law, for example, allows women to be topless (such as in state parks), it's inconsiderate to ignore the feelings of other park attendees.

Also, while NY State law my allow it, local town, city and county laws may not.

Oct 08 12 08:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Erik Lee Photography
Posts: 395
Amityville, New York, US


I live in NY (specifically LI) however when shooting topless/nudes or regular shoot that still require an outdoor clothing change I prefer to be discreet about it. I shoot nudes/topless/implieds in areas that are not frequented by many people, and if I am shooting where there are lots of people....... my truck, restaurants & public restrooms are my friend.

Just because it is legal in NY does not necessarily mean that you won't attract unwanted attention. I have had park rangers temporarily stop a shoot with a fully clothed model....... imagine if the girls were on display! smile
Oct 08 12 08:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
I M N Photography
Posts: 2,282
New York, New York, US


Anna Adrielle wrote:

cool :p

his is just plain black and not meant to go camping, but couldn't find a better picture :p. but I suppose it works really well as a portable shower too!

The one with the shower works really well, for outdoor shoots with bodypaint. They are intended for camping, because you can't use the soil hooks in the city, BUT it is extremely portable, as you stated (not to mention cheap).

Oct 08 12 08:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,780
Olivet, Michigan, US


Vector One Photography wrote:
You made a very misleading and dangerous statement. It is NOT legal for a woman to be topless in most states. Just because you can do it in New York, doesn't mean you can do it everywhere.
MnPhoto wrote:
Didn't say "everywhere", but I know that New York isn't the only place where it is legal.

In terms of "Dangerous Statements": ignorance of the law is no excuse. "I read it on Model Mayhem" is not a good defense wink
I would certainly check local ordinances, before doing something that might be against the law in the area where I am shooting.


Just want to see how many people are aware of similar laws in their areas.

He didn't say your comment was false, he said "misleading."

Oct 08 12 08:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Erik Lee Photography
Posts: 395
Amityville, New York, US


FiveOne November wrote:

This is where I come down on the issue.  While NY state law, for example, allows women to be topless (such as in state parks), it's inconsiderate to ignore the feelings of other park attendees.

Also, while NY State law my allow it, local town, city and county laws may not.

If you check into the law (I know I have the actual number for it around here somewhere) it actually is written with the intent to protect women in the act of breast-feeding. Most local governments cannot write laws in contradiction to the state in which they reside. I have not seen or heard of any laws, at least in areas where I shoot, that would prohibit a woman from being topless. That being said if you were standing on the street or park taking photos of a woman topless, that you would not be inviting a knee-jerk reaction from local law enforcement. Yes in the end you may be vindicated but only after much unwanted legal attention. Discretion is a good choice here.

Oct 08 12 08:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,780
Olivet, Michigan, US


Michael Pandolfo wrote:
Legality isn't really the issue. We're talking about reactions and those won't change even if you wear a sign that quotes the statute.

This is about people's reactions and what's appropriate. I don't see the reason to have a model change in public, regardless of the law. You know people are going to have issues with it so why press it? It's not difficult to provide a bit of screening for the model and avoid public reaction altogether.

Why bring that drama upon yourself unless that was the point of having the model changing in public in the first place. The tone of your post makes it sounds like you were more interested in gauging people's reactions than anything else.

A model I was shooting with changed from a dress to jeans and a tank top in a parking lot while I was talking with her.  I never saw anything while looking right at her and talking with her the whole time.  In another case, I was with a model and we got yelled at for being "indecent" even though she was totally hidden by a changing tent, and 100 yards from a building or person.

Oct 08 12 08:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
I M N Photography
Posts: 2,282
New York, New York, US


Erik Lee Photography wrote:
I live in NY (specifically LI) however when shooting topless/nudes or regular shoot that still require an outdoor clothing change I prefer to be discreet about it. I shoot nudes/topless/implieds in areas that are not frequented by many people, and if I am shooting where there are lots of people....... my truck, restaurants & public restrooms are my friend.

Just because it is legal in NY does not necessarily mean that you won't attract unwanted attention. I have had park rangers temporarily stop a shoot with a fully clothed model....... imagine if the girls were on display! smile

Again. A valid point, but only if you are interested in shooting nudes publicly. What struck me as odd was the reaction that people had when they saw that the models were changing their swimsuit tops.

Oct 08 12 08:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
I M N Photography
Posts: 2,282
New York, New York, US


Art of the nude wrote:
He didn't say your comment was false, he said "misleading."

His quote:

You made a very misleading and dangerous statement. It is NOT legal for a woman to be topless in most states. Just because you can do it in New York, doesn't mean you can do it everywhere.

Hence the correction about it being in NY, and not "everywhere" as he assumes.

You have to agree that most people do not view the law in general terms or as applicable to all areas on Earth. Although homicide and theft are universally wrong, laws based on cultural sensitivities are not implicit in their nature.

As I stated earlier, it is really up to the adults involved to inform themselves of their local laws. The survey is about whether people are aware or not of their local ordinances.

Oct 08 12 08:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Silver Mirage
Posts: 1,546
Plainview, Texas, US


Regardless of the law, an encounter with police, security or just nosy bystanders can ruin a photo session. I err on the side of caution, whether it's changing or during the photography.
Oct 08 12 08:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeff Fiore
Posts: 9,170
Pelham, New York, US


Erik Lee Photography wrote:
If you check into the law (I know I have the actual number for it around here somewhere) it actually is written with the intent to protect women in the act of breast-feeding. Most local governments cannot write laws in contradiction to the state in which they reside. I have not seen or heard of any laws, at least in areas where I shoot, that would prohibit a woman from being topless. That being said if you were standing on the street or park taking photos of a woman topless, that you would not be inviting a knee-jerk reaction from local law enforcement. Yes in the end you may be vindicated but only after much unwanted legal attention. Discretion is a good choice here.

Here in NY, even though it is legal,  some llamas have gotten tickets for "creating a public disturbance" because they were topless. it may be a bullshit fine but it is better to be as discrete as possible.

Oct 08 12 08:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PTPhotoUT
Posts: 1,959
Salt Lake City, Utah, US


I did a bikini shoot at a state park in Florida, with permission from the park officials to do the shoot. Since we would be in public, the models brought clothing that they could change underneath. It takes a little more time but can be done without any exposure to the public. The park sent a state trooper to observe the proceedings. At first he was kind of hidden but eventually he drove out onto the beach to get a better view. We did our shoot as planned.

When we finished and were headed for my car, the trooper stopped us. He said that we had done the best job of changing discretely he had ever seen. He said that he had expected a little exposure when they changed, which he would have allowed, as long as it wasn't being photographed or flaunted. He was surprised that he saw none at all.  He was so impressed, he gave us a ride to the parking lot.
Oct 08 12 08:54 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Kelleth
Posts: 2,503
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Just because something is legal doesn't mean it shouldn't be done with discretion when and where possible. If nothing else, out of respect for other people.

...Also out of consideration for the kind of unwanted attention this could bring your model. There's a world of difference between changing backstage at a fashion show in a crowd of people and changing in the middle of the street. Hell, there's even a world of difference between changing behind a bush or a wall or team members than out in the middle of the street.
Oct 08 12 08:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,780
Olivet, Michigan, US


Art of the nude wrote:
He didn't say your comment was false, he said "misleading."
MnPhoto wrote:
You made a very misleading and dangerous statement. It is NOT legal for a woman to be topless in most states. Just because you can do it in New York, doesn't mean you can do it everywhere.

Hence the correction about it being in NY, and not "everywhere" as he assumes.

You have to agree that most people do not view the law in general terms or as applicable to all areas on Earth. Although homicide and theft are universally wrong, laws based on cultural sensitivities are not implicit in their nature.

As I stated earlier, it is really up to the adults involved to inform themselves of their local laws. The survey is about whether people are aware or not of their local ordinances.

Pretty sure you screwed up the quotes here, which is understandable, since they work stupid.

For the record, I didn't make any statement about the law, and I don't think that my attempt to paraphrase someone is "misleading and dangerous."  I suspect you don't either.

Oct 08 12 08:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,780
Olivet, Michigan, US


PTPhotoUT wrote:
I did a bikini shoot at a state park in Florida, with permission from the park officials to do the shoot. Since we would be in public, the models brought clothing that they could change underneath. It takes a little more time but can be done without any exposure to the public. The park sent a state trooper to observe the proceedings. At first he was kind of hidden but eventually he drove out onto the beach to get a better view. We did our shoot as planned.

When we finished and were headed for my car, the trooper stopped us. He said that we had done the best job of changing discretely he had ever seen. He said that he had expected a little exposure when they changed, which he would have allowed, as long as it wasn't being photographed or flaunted. He was surprised that he saw none at all.  He was so impressed, he gave us a ride to the parking lot.

I did this early in the morning at a small local park.  I was going to just do it "stealth" but a park employee came by.  I asked if it would be OK, since no one was around, and he said yes.  (18+)
http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4073/4773 … a666_o.jpg

This part of the shoot, also 18+, he didn't know about.  smile
http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4135/4759 … 1d36_o.jpg

Oct 08 12 09:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Woven Thought
Posts: 329
Petersburg, Virginia, US


Jeff Fiore wrote:
Here in NY, even though it is legal,  some models have gotten tickets for "creating a public disturbance" because they were topless. it may be a bullshit fine but it is better to be as discrete as possible.

Just what I was going to post.  Creating a disturbance is illegal. 

I love that tent.  May need to get one of those.  My last model was very discreet, completely changed outfits several times, just did it quickly when no one was in sight.

Oct 08 12 09:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PTPhotoUT
Posts: 1,959
Salt Lake City, Utah, US


Another time we were shooting in a small almost ghost mining town. Although it looked as though some houses were still being used, we had not seen or heard from anyone in the 4 hours we had been there. In the middle of the town there were some buildings being restored for tourism. We decided to do a wardrobe change before starting. One model changed in my SUV and the other stepped outside into the street.

After removing her dress, with nothing else underneath, she elected to enjoy the warm spring sun. I urged to to get dressed. She refused. A little more emphatically, I stressed the need to get some clothing on. Just then a voice came from somewhere, "She doesn't have to get dressed if she doesn't want to". Needless to say she immediately threw on a dress.

As it turns out, it was the town's mayor. He came out and talked to us, showed us around, and invited us to shoot as much as we wanted. He also said that except for the weekend, when a few tourist came, he was perfectly fine with us being naked for pics. When I asked about the legality of it, being in Utah and all, he introduced us to his brother, the sheriff, and we got his assurance that we would be left alone Mon-Fri.

This still doesn't mean that exposure in public is a good idea.
Oct 08 12 09:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,113
Tampa, Florida, US


PTPhotoUT wrote:
I did a bikini shoot at a state park in Florida, with permission from the park officials to do the shoot. Since we would be in public, the models brought clothing that they could change underneath. It takes a little more time but can be done without any exposure to the public. The park sent a state trooper to observe the proceedings. At first he was kind of hidden but eventually he drove out onto the beach to get a better view. We did our shoot as planned.

When we finished and were headed for my car, the trooper stopped us. He said that we had done the best job of changing discretely he had ever seen. He said that he had expected a little exposure when they changed, which he would have allowed, as long as it wasn't being photographed or flaunted. He was surprised that he saw none at all.  He was so impressed, he gave us a ride to the parking lot.

Much to his chagrin it seems lol.

Oct 08 12 09:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tony KnightHawk Studios
Posts: 1,900
Fort Myers Beach, Florida, US


Anna Adrielle wrote:
legal or not, I'd still prefer not to do it. I'll go find a cafe where I can change or something like that.

my boyfriend photographer has one of these, also quite handy smile

http://www.oztent.nl/accessoires_bestanden/changeshelter-l.jpg

folded up it's the size of one of those reflection screens, takes 2 seconds to unfold an about 6 to fold up again

Very cool

Oct 08 12 09:28 am  Link  Quote 
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