I was wondering if it's illegal to take pictures of a baby while he's naked, for example. I'm mostly asking for babies, but it would be nice to know what age is ok to do it.

  • Is a baby wearing only a diaper “naked”? I ask because if the baby is female, then her nipples would be visible but her other private parts would not be; I am not sure if that is relevant. (The question says “he”, but perhaps that word is being used generically.) Nov 12, 2020 at 6:05
  • Compare with Lewis Carroll's photographs of Evelyn Hatch Wikipedia isn't considered a pornography site. ¶ The real issue is the potential eventual embarrassment to the person in the photo. Mar 19, 2021 at 0:42
  • @RayButterworth Not everyone agrees that Wikipedia is not a pornography site, or at least, not everyone agrees that Wikipedia is free of pornography. For example, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Wikipedia#Sexual_content and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Watch_Foundation#Wikipedia. Mar 21, 2021 at 1:59

1 Answer 1


Yes, it's legal. To be illegal, the photographs would have to be obscene or pornographic. Nude people, ordinarily photographed, doing non-sexual, non-excretory things are neither. However, I would strongly advise caution, particularly if you plan to display or share these photographs. There are definitely cases of people who have been charged with sexual exploitation of a minor for sharing nude photographs of their children.

  • Cool. The fact that it's legal... stems from the fact that it isn't illegal? (sic), that there is no place in law where it says it isn't? Or how else? Thank you! Nov 7, 2016 at 22:03
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    @Santropedro, basic principle of US law: if it's not explicitly forbidden, it's permitted.
    – Mark
    Nov 8, 2016 at 3:07
  • @Mark Thanks mark that is very useful! What I'm left wondering is what exactly says the law about that. For example two cases 1) It says nothing 2) It says it's permitted. I want to know wich case it is in USA law. Nov 8, 2016 at 12:41
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    @Santropedro It's a little bit of both. For one thing, you can look at the laws against sexual exploitation, child pornography, and so on to see what they do and don't cover. But court cases in the United States also set precedent, and you can look at precedent setting court cases both to see what the laws have been held to cover and not cover and also what has been held to be explicitly protected by the Constitution. Nov 8, 2016 at 17:54
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    @Santropedro: Finally, the 14th Amendment contains language that blocks states from making laws that the constitution says the feds cannot make laws on (i.e. First Amendment grants the people 5 core freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Peaceful Assembly, and Freedom of the Press. Since it's pretty clear "Congress shall make no law" the 14th amendment stops states from making laws that restrict those freedoms (this closed loophole is the reason for the Civil War... there was no mention of who regulatates Slavery, so it was a State's Right).
    – hszmv
    Mar 19, 2021 at 11:45

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