Wimbledon 2017 is one of the most photographed occasions of the year, but what are the rules for taking pictures at Wimbledon as a ticket holder? AP explains.

Wimbledon security

Security search spectators bags at gate 13 during day one of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.

Can I take pictures at Wimbledon? Don’t be a nuisance

While many ticketed sporting venues have a blanket ban on many classes of photographic equipment, Wimbledon seems to have  a more relaxed policy. As long as you’re not planning to take a large zoom lens, such as the Sigma 150-600mm, and are considerate with regards to how your kit may hinder the views and enjoyment of other attendees, you may be on the right side of the rules. The specific wording around the use of photographic equipment in Wimbledon’s code of conduct states:

The use of photographic equipment, mobile telephones, computers, tablets or other electronic devices, communication devices, audio-visual equipment or radios must not inconvenience any other person in the Grounds

This means that while you may not be able to take your favourite dedicated zoom lenses, you may be ok with a compact system mirrorless camera, such as the Olympus PEN or OM-D series paired with a good compact zoom lens like the Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II M.ZUIKO ED. Alternatively, you could use a pocket travel zoom camera such as the Panasonic TZ100 with 25-250mm optical zoom, or a super-zoom bridge camera like the Nikon Coolpix B700 with its 24-1440mm equivalent zoom lens.

Can I use my camera at Wimbledon to transfer photos to my mobile?

A lot of DSLR and mirrorless cameras are now capable of transmitting images wirelessly and if you plan on doing so while attending Wimbledon, it’s worth noting that there are also rules around the capture, supply and transmission of any audio-visual data. Wimbledon has a very strict policy against the transmission of data “for the purposes of betting or gambling (or assisting for these purposes). In particular mobile telephones, computers, tablets.”

The Wimbledon conditions of entry states that electronic/communication devices and audio-visual equipment must have radio and transmission functionality “switched off in and around the courts in play”.

Wimbledon action

Laura Robson in action against Beatriz Haddad Maia on day one of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.

Can I use my camera at Wimbledon and sell my pictures?

If you get lucky and manage to grab some winning shots of your day at Wimbledon you may be tempted to share the images with a stock or photo news agency. However, you would be falling foul of the rules if your images were used for commercial purposes. The AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club) grants Wimbledon attendees a license to use photographs captured at The Championships but for non-commercial use only. The official rules regarding the use of images captured at Wimbledon states:

“Save for such permitted use, any persons attending The Championships shall not record, use or transmit over the internet, radio, television or any other current or future media, any sound, image, recording or description of The Championships, the Grounds or any match.

“For the avoidance of doubt, still photographs, film, videotape or other audio-visual material recorded within the Grounds may not be sold, used or published commercially in any way whatsoever unless authorised by the AELTC and may be confiscated by the AELTC if such usage is suspected.”

The rules apply even if you are approached and offered money for some of your pictures, but that does not mean that you can’t approach AELTC and request permission if you believe you’ve captured an image worth trying to sell. We suspect the answer may be negative, but it can’t hurt to ask permission.

Can I use my camera at Wimbledon to record video?

The short answer is no. However, it is not clear if this applies to GIFs, and Boomerang style animated videos. Wimbledon’s rules state the following:

“Recording or transmission in any form of moving images of any part of play at The Championships for any purposes is prohibited.”

We’ve sought clarification on the use of animated videos created from stills and will update this when we receive a reply.

Can I use my camera at Wimbledon with a flash?

Once again, the answer here is no. As is often the case with photography at live sports events, the use of flash can be extremely distracting for competitors so for that reason it is strictly prohibited. Using a flash to take pictures will likely result in a stiff warning at best and at worst, you may be removed from the court and banned from attending in future.

Of course if you’re unsure about any of the guidance above or would like more information, we would advise you to head to the Wimbledon home page and search for the ‘conditions of entry’ for a full breakdown of the rules for attending The Championship.