Can I take photos in my garden? (2023)

Can I take photos in my garden? (1)

Hello folks ! Today we're going to cover a very common question: Can I take photos in my garden and more broadly can I take photos on my property? If you decide to take photos on your property or in your yard, what are some of the security measures you can take to ensure nothing goes wrong. Well, I personally don't practice that much at home. I live not far from the club and mostly shoot on weekends after work. So I don't have time to stay home and shoot at home. But when I do, there are some things that can be risky that I want to point out to you, so you should definitely keep these things in mind when photographing your garden.

Legal side of backyard shooting

I want to start by talking about the official policy and some of the warnings that I really want to share with you guys. Many of you who shoot are members of a club and therefore also a club or organization. Now the organization is likely to have general flat-rate insurance or a certificate of liability, which means that any incident that occurs under the club's terms or under the association's supervision and as an extension of the club's insurance policy, you are covered. So if you accidentally hurt someone or are hurt, you have some protection. This generally does not apply if you are not filming at an approved location. This is actually on Archery Australia's website and has been published a number of times (reminders and newsletters).

Basically, when you are shooting at home it is entirely your responsibility what you do at home and whatever happens is up to you. Officially, Archery Australia, and by extension most other organisations, will not recommend or support shooting in your backyard. They will urge you to join a real club or ranch. This is the official position. Now people will probably do that anyway. They will shoot in their own backyard regardless of what the official policy is. And again, for the most part, it's not illegal. In most places (you need to check this very carefully) if you don't own property you need to check that your landlord is okay with you archery. Because that can be a way for the landlord to evict you in principle if you engage in dangerous activities. Depending on where you are, bow and arrow shooting can be considered a dangerous activity. So just keep that in mind. If you own your property, you must check your local laws and your local jurisdiction. Again, this varies by country, state, local government, etc. And see, in most areas, what you do on your property is up to you. There is no law that says you cannot practice archery in your backyard. That doesn't mean it's safe. If you're considering taking photos in your yard, consider the worst-case scenario. Again, policies and laws often protect people from the worst-case scenario, and you can say that 99.95% of the time, that won't happen. But once it happens, it can be disastrous. So keep this in mind if you decide to practice at home and if you have the choice to practice in one area then this may be the safer option depending on what you can do.

ground rules

So let's assume it's legal and you have permission, what are some of the ground rules you must have? The most important thing is that you do not endanger people and secondly, and by far, be careful not to damage property that does not belong to you. So there are a few things I want to show you, and as I mentioned, I have a typical suburban backyard. So here are a few different things you likely have, and there are risk factors that we'll try to identify as we go through this. Let's focus on the first point, which is where you shouldn't endanger people. This can include your family or people living on your property and people off of the property. Remember that you must avoid shooting at entrances. Now the door behind me is really a good example.

Target practice on a door

Can I take photos in my garden? (2)

If you want to practice at close range, placing the target on a door is not a good idea. Because you don't know who's going in or out. If there is no way to prevent people from using the door, you cannot use that area. It's just way too dangerous. You don't know if someone opens the door and then walks towards your arrow's path. This is way too dangerous. Now some people have the ability to use a very long line of sight for shooting.

Target practice on a gate

Can I take photos in my garden? (3)

And in this case, I'm laying out a driveway from the gate here to the back of my garage, I have maybe about 80 to 100 feet. That's pretty far. It's one of my favorite practice distances, where it's close enough to the target but far enough where you need a little more focus. Some people have that luxury.

But is that a good idea? It depends on how you set it up and depends on your orientation. Well, for some people, they're going to overshoot in a way, it might be toward that goal. But that faces an open road. That is absolutely a big no! You might think it's pretty safe, especially when you have a big target and you can hit it most of the time. But remember, it only takes one arrow to leave your property and you're in trouble. It could be a car, it could be a person, or it could be a child on a vulnerable bike.

Also note that even when I place a target on the gate shown in the image above, there are many places where the arrow goes through. It could go through the goal, it could go through the gate. The gate doesn't do anything (apart from those metal bars, which are very narrow). Since there are many openings in the gate, the arrow will go through it. So if you have the opportunity to shoot at this area, you must include it. This means the use of safety backstops. We need to cover this area with a lot of thick material that cannot be penetrated. It can be rubber.

Thick rubber sheets are a good example. There are many materials that can be used, but this is just one example. But also remember that in addition to using rubber materials, you need a light cover. Even after the entire fence was covered, arrows still went over this gate. It is still a risk factor and can be accidental. You might end up hitting a house down the street. So those are the risk factors. So if that area is going to be used (the gate area shown above), again I don't like that part because it faces the open road. You have no control over what happens behind the fence. But if you must use this, you must completely cover the gate. You can use arrow proof materials like rubber sheets and make sure the top part is covered too. If I want to use this as a target practice area I just need to make sure my safety catch bag covers the top part. It has to be that high in order to be optimally protected against possible accidents.

Fixed target attached to a wall

Can I take photos in my garden? (4)

Now this setup looks fine. I have my fixed goal at a suitable height. That's great ! Behind is a solid brick wall. In any case, it will stop an arrow. But there's a safety issue here that some people might not think of, and that's ricochets. As with bullets, when an arrow hits a solid object and ricochets off, it is very difficult to predict what will happen. What often happens now is that it just gets distracted and flaps around somewhere else on the ground. But depending on where you hit (angle, etc.) it may endanger someone else. It could endanger your children watching from the side. It can come right back to you. It actually happened to me, but not in my backyard, it was in my club.

In my club there is a normal target consisting of a wooden frame and steel beam. The arrow had hit the steel, it was deflected and came at me standing in the instructor. So you should be careful.

Something similar happened at my school. One of my teachers set up an indoor archery ranch. He set up this indoor ranch inside the basketball court. The basketball court is not that long but long enough to shoot. We basically have the targets on the back wall and what happened (not surprisingly) was that the students missed. The kids of course used superpowered bows and it missed the target and the arrows just hit the walls and bounced back.


You can take backyard shots if you keep the following things in mind:

  • Make sure that photographing your yard is legal in your country, territory and region.

  • Make sure the arrows you shoot from your bow aren't causing anyone any trouble, and also make sure the arrows aren't harming anyone.

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