Looking forward to launching this book – it’s been a long time coming.
[FOR MORE INFORMATION – in Brian News]
My thoughts on Dua Lipa and a photographer who has become a predator.
On the International Day of Photography let us restore decency to Photography. I should add that I, too, have been on the receiving end of this kind of attempted exploitation by a photographer claiming that I violated his rights by posting an image of myself on Instagram. In my view this behaviour is parasitic and abusive, and should be considered a civil offence, and such offenders should be dealt with accordingly. At the very least, it amounts to harassment, and at the most, extortion. Any thoughts, dear folks ? Should the law allow this lady to be harassed in this way ?
Brian May: Thoughts on World Photography Day 2021
Transcript J Tunney
I want to give you a little update and my thoughts for today. I’m still struggling in London with the results of the flood which added into everything else that’s made everything seem very difficult but I’m minded at the fact that there are other people in other parts of the world dealing with much worse things, so kind of hanging in.
But it’s apparently World Photography Day today or yesterday – I’m not sure – so I thought I’d offer my thoughts on that special day and it may be a little unexpected and some people might think it’s anti-photography but of course I am a photographer and I love photography and I spent most of my life not just taking photographs but also collecting them and curating them and researching them. I love photographs. A huge part of my life and some of my very good friends have been paparazzis too, but what I want to say is I was very actually incensed by this Dua Lips story.
She was apparently photographed without her knowledge or consent, queuing up at an airport and then put the picture on her Instagram and the man or woman who took the picture is apparently suing her because he copyrighted the picture. Now to me this is a gross distortion of what photography should be. Photography should be a joy; should be sharing our visions of the world with each other, and of course things are very different now from when these laws were put in place.
It used to be quite a big deal to take a portrait of someone. You had to set up in a studio, proper lighting, proper chemicals and everything, and it was kind of a work of art to take a picture. These days everybody has a camera I’m sure you’re looking at me on a camera at the moment on your phone and everybody can use it in any way they like. The thing is, if someone can take a picture of you and then use it against you to try and extort money from you what has happened is the camera has become a weapon. The camera has become a threatening object and photography I think is debased by this. This is not what photography should be. The camera should be a joyful thing. So to me, I believe the law has to be changed and I’m looking at my wonderful Bri Army out there and I’ve asked you to help me sell my album, which you’ve very graciously done – thank you – but I’m asking you now whether you agree with me. I think there is a point here where the law needs to be looked at and changed. I think if somebody takes a picture of you, and it’s obvious that the whole worth of the picture is due to the fact that you’re in the picture, then there should be no way that the photographer should be able to extort money from you. I actually believe that if such a situation arises there should never be a situation where the person who is pictured in the photograph should be liable in any way whatsoever. I think the decent way is for the photographer and the subject to share the profits of whatever happens and that’s what, that’s actually what I try to do in my interactions with professional photographers these days – make sure that they can exploit the picture if they like if we both approve of it and that I can do it as well and we don’t owe each other anything. To me that’s the decent way to carry on.
I would like to see the law change so that no paparazzi can do this to a person ever again. So I’d like to know what you think and if you agree with me – hate to see the camera become this thing which actually threatens people. I think that’s a terrible thing for photography to actually own up to – I think photographers in general should come together and make sure that the dignity and the decency of photography are protected on this worldwide national international Day of Photography.
So let me know what you think and if you agree with me we can look at getting a petition together. Maybe we can get a debate in Parliament and maybe we can get this law changed as I believe it should be.
All the best – God bless.