Originally Posted by SilverWillow
depends on the people involved and what exactly is going on... stalking is illegal. there are some laws that protect people's rights to privacy and to not have to live in fear. it's not just a free-for-all. there is a REASON most daycares and preschools have consent forms; parents have valid concerns regarding the use of their children's images. I was always respected when I requested no photos to be taken of DD, even for school-only use.
Actually, in a stalking situation, it is usually the case of a restraining order being broken. If you are close enough to your victim to take their picture, you are most likely close enough to be violating a restraining order. Again, the picture taking isn't the illegal part.
As far as consent forms in schools, this is only for commercial purposes. They can take pictures of your kid all they want for non-commercial purposes. Opt-out forms are to keep the customer(parents) happy in situations where they don't want their kids photographed at all, but are not legally required. If it's a public school, the state probably has regulations about it, but that is the same as a mall owner having rules about photographing on their property. Most photographers/organizations have people sign release forms at the beginning just to make it easy if later they decide that the awesome picture of your kid would look great on an ad.
For photographing on private property, that is at the discretion of the owner. The school could have a policy to photograph everyone that comes in every day if they wanted. The customer(parent) could choose to not agree with this and find a different camp/school/daycare/etc. to send their kid to.
I deal with this every day. Most of my work is street photography and you would be surprised by how many business get twitchy and send out security people to bug me if I happen to be shooting near their building.
There is so much mis-information about photographer's rights out there. If you have any doubt, just look at a tabloid. 99% of those pictures are taken within the law. If someone desired so, your, or your kid's, picture could be taken in that exact same situation and you would have no legal recourse.