Is It Illegal to Photograph Celebrity Kids?

The truth is most people are a little star-struck when they manage to catch a glimpse of someone famous. Yet there are certain areas in the United States where many celebrities and celebrity kids live. Therefore, your chances of walking into a restaurant or down the street are quite high. They have lives that are off-center stage the same as most people.

Kim Kardashian and North West walking out of a cafe in Paris
Kim Kardashian and North West | Mehdi Taamallah/Getty Images

What do you do when you see a celebrity? Is there proper etiquette for snapping a photograph? Many people who live or travel to areas where celebrities may also reside are curious about whether it is legal to photograph celebrities, their children, etc.

The legality of taking photographs

The truth is it is 100% legal to take photographs of anyone who is on public property. You cannot sneak into your neighbor’s yard to photograph them, but if they are on the road in front of their home, photos and videos are both legal. You simply cannot do so if the person you are taking a photograph or video of has a reasonable sense of privacy.

It is what allows us to take photographs of police or political figures when they give speeches. It is also why the paparazzi may camp outside a celebrity’s home waiting for them to walk out into the street.

Unless invited to take photographs or videos of them at home with their family, the paparazzi cannot legally take those pictures. Not even through a window if they see the celebrity walking past it, because the person inside the home still has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Once the celebrity, or you, step out of the home it can be a free-for-all. In most areas, even kids may be photographed if they are in a public area. A fact that many celebrities have issues with since there are always cameras nearby.

Much the same as we all choose our career path working in an office setting or as general labor, the celebrities that we love watching on the big screen or singing on stage, also made a choice. They chose a life of acting or performing. For many, this also means a life in the spotlight.

It is the career path that they have chosen, but they are average people with families, kids, homes to tidy up, etc. Most want the option to step out of the spotlight, especially when they are trying to enjoy a visit to the park with their children.

For this reason, as of 2013 and according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, California officially passed a bill that makes it a misdemeanor to photograph celebrity kids. It does not matter that they are in public or with their famous parent. The bill applies to all children that are under 16-years-old.

Actors Hallie Berry and Jennifer Garner both spoke out in support of the bill and in front of the Senate Public Safety Committee and the Assembly Judiciary Committee. Their comments regarding how the paparazzi pose danger to children and how they didn’t want their kids traumatized.

Protecting children from the spotlight

Not all celebrities keep their kids from the spotlight, but most want photographs to happen on their terms. As seen on BuzzFeed, though, many want privacy. For most Hollywood stars, protecting their child from the public eye is less about a desire to remain private, but more about giving their child the option to choose.

Hallie Berry’s private property was invaded by someone trying to get pictures of her infant daughter. This spurred her to release a statement saying that she will do everything she can to keep her baby out of the public eye;

“I have long since come to terms with the fact that choosing a career as an actress has made me a public figure, but my baby has made no such choice, and unless and until she does, I will do everything I can…to keep her out of the public eye.”

Other actors have similar thoughts. Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden say they “won’t be posting pictures or sharing any more details other than the fact that she is really, really cute!” regarding their daughter. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem strive to help their children grow up as anonymously as possible.

There are also celebrities like Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard who may post pictures of their children, but blur or cover their faces. This gives the child protection until they (the children) can decide whether they want to be in the public eye. The same sentiment comes from Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher who say, “being public is a personal choice.”

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