Can someone take photographs of my children for no particular reason without my consent?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can someone take photographs of my children for no particular reason without my consent?

I live in a townhouse community. It is very common for parents to photograph their own children with others in the picture, we all expect this to happen. However, on this particular day, one of the neighbors stopped her vehicle in front of one of the parks in the community there are 2 parks and was taking photos of the children there mine included, none of her children were in the park at the time. She was concentrating on a few of the children to the

point that they verbally expressed being uncomfortable and were trying to hide from her. I know when a few other parents found out, they were rather upset that a complete stranger, to them, was taking pictures of their children, and even though I know her, I am in the same boat. No one knows why she was taking the photos or what their intended use is. So I’m just wondering if this is okay or if there is some way we can stop her from photographing the neighborhood children that she has no reason or need to be photographing?

Asked on October 20, 2016 under Personal Injury, New Hampshire


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It's a little creepy (okay... really creepy), that the neighbor is taking pictures of other people's children... but creepy does not equal illegal.  If your children are in a public or common area, then your children could potentially be photographed or visually recorded at anytime. 
However, if she decides to take and use the pictures for financial gain (like to post in an advertisement), then your neighbor should obtain your consent first.  If she fails to do so, then she could be liable for damages, including any profits from the use of your child's images. 
My advice right now is to stay calm and ask questions first.  It is creepy, but there may be a very good reason for her actions that is completely innocent.  She may have just gotten a new camera is is now annoying the whole neighborhood with her new 'toy."  She could have a sick child that just wanted to see pictures of their friends.  I know the temptation is to be concerned about sexual predators.  This is a valid concern.  However, if this person has been an otherwise good neighbor, then just talking may save everyone a great deal of hurt feelings and confusion. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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