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#1801210 - 03/02/11 01:07 PM What is the law on photographing cemeteries
Karen Baker Offline


Registered: 09/07/10
Loc: Roanoke, VA
OK, new one. Just got run off from a cemetery. Office personel said it was against the law to take pictures without family permission. Anyone?

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#1801221 - 03/02/11 01:20 PM Re: What is the law on photographing cemeteries [Re: Karen Baker]
bugaboo Offline


Registered: 10/15/05
Loc: anywhere but here
Depends on the cemetery, do you mind stating? Private do have their own rules but as far as privacy, the dead don't have any. There are different laws for different states as far as visiting but nothing as far as I know that covers photography. As one of the admins would say, go on the weekend when the office is closed grin

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#1801228 - 03/02/11 01:25 PM Re: What is the law on photographing cemeteries [Re: Karen Baker]
camerabug Offline


Registered: 08/12/09
Loc: Right side of reality
In my state, it is legal to photograph in cemeteries as information on stones is public access information. If it is on private property, you must arrange woth the property owners to gain access to the cemetery. They cannot make it at an unreasonable time like at 2:30am or anything like that - just something that is reasonably convenient for both parties.


Some cemeteries that are "for profit", like Dignity, try to run people off, but people here try to just photograph around the grounds staff. They make money taking photos and srnding it to families in some places.
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#1801229 - 03/02/11 01:25 PM Re: What is the law on photographing cemeteries [Re: Karen Baker]
sgath92 Offline


Registered: 02/24/11
Loc: Under a rock
Originally Posted By: Karen Baker
OK, new one. Just got run off from a cemetery. Office personel said it was against the law to take pictures without family permission. Anyone?


If the cemetery is privately run, then they can set their own rules on what happens on their private property. If people don't follow whatever those rules are, the people running the cemetery can ask for a visitor to leave & then call the cops to charge a person with trespassing if they do not comply.

There is a cemetery I have been wanting to wander around sometime about an hour from where I live. Unfortunately it is private property, is fenced, and has signs saying not to go on the grounds at all without permission from the cemetery board. Problem? No contact information is posted anywhere, no apparent office, and nothing can be had on the place online. Now you can take pictures from the street, which is publicly owned, all you want without anyone being able to stop you [though you start running into problems if you try to take pictures into someone's window for example].

As far as I can tell there is no state law in Virgina like this cranky groundskeeper describes [imagine all the law breakers that would mean for the tourists at Arlington], and there is certainly no federal law like that. I have no idea if there is a local city/township ordnance on the subject. You could try calling whichever town hall has jurisdiction to see if they have any regulations on the subject. My gut feeling is that the person who ran you off was simply saying whatever they could think of to get you to leave because they did not want you there [for whatever reason].
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#1801231 - 03/02/11 01:29 PM Re: What is the law on photographing cemeteries [Re: bugaboo]
GeneGeek Offline


Registered: 10/29/10
Loc: Chicago, IL
There's a Chicago cemetery that doesn't allow cameras. On the cemetery page there's a long article about it. (Sorry, can't remember the name.) I don't get it. Maybe there's a number of famous people and they don't want groupies?
If you can find out the cemetery's policy I'd suggest submitting it for the cemetery's page so future volunteers will know.
So sad that those people will only be visited by family that lives nearby :-(
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#1801235 - 03/02/11 01:32 PM Re: What is the law on photographing cemeteries [Re: GeneGeek]
camerabug Offline


Registered: 08/12/09
Loc: Right side of reality
Well, maybe if you post the cemetery, we can get a bunch of people to place some "family request" for photos through Find-A-Grave and you will have an excuse if you are bothered. If you just happen to snap a few othrs in the proces ... whistle
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#1801239 - 03/02/11 01:36 PM Re: What is the law on photographing cemeteries [Re: camerabug]
sgath92 Offline


Registered: 02/24/11
Loc: Under a rock
Originally Posted By: camerabug
If you just happen to snap a few othrs in the proces ... whistle


Or take pictures with a high resolution camera from a distance so you can also get all the stones near the one you are there for.
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#1801242 - 03/02/11 01:38 PM Re: What is the law on photographing cemeteries [Re: GeneGeek]
Karen Baker Offline


Registered: 09/07/10
Loc: Roanoke, VA
I thought is was quite unique. The cemetery is not gated nor did I see any sign stating no photographs. She did tell me that it was a private cemetery but how can that be when it is open to the public. My understanding is that no cemetery is off limites. I have been to other cemeteries in my area of Virginia and actually had the office person give me a map after I told them what I was doing and I have had one office person that was on the grounds call the office and get the location of a memorial that I was looking for and could not find. I had my camera in hand and told him I was taking pictures. Sad to say that I will not be returning to this particular cemetery. Not worth the trouble. I humbly said that I would leave and did.

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#1801250 - 03/02/11 01:47 PM Re: What is the law on photographing cemeteries [Re: GeneGeek]
laurieD Offline


Registered: 04/17/07
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By: GeneGeek
There's a Chicago cemetery that doesn't allow cameras. On the cemetery page there's a long article about it. (Sorry, can't remember the name.)


Your thinking of Rosehill Cemetery. Surprise surprise...it is currently owned by Dignity. (Oh but according to my cousin you CAN take photographs if you pay to go on one of their tours, or if you are a film company and wish to pay for the use of the grounds)

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#1801255 - 03/02/11 01:49 PM Re: What is the law on photographing cemeteries [Re: Karen Baker]
Jackie Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Loc: baNs neighborhood
Originally Posted By: Karen Baker
She did tell me that it was a private cemetery but how can that be when it is open to the public.
In this instance, "private" means not owned by a public entity like a municipality (city) or county. For profit cemeteries like those owned/operated by Dignity are generally "open to public visitation" but you have to abide by their conditions.
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