Olivia Locher was photographing a friend for her senior thesis when he mentioned — out of the blue — that, in Alabama, it is illegal to carry an ice-cream cone in your back pocket.
The conversation soon moved on to other topics.
But Locher did not.
For months, she found that bit of trivia popping back into her head. So she decided to do some research on what other strange statutes were out there.
“I found out there wasn’t a shortage of bizarre laws," the 25-year-old photographer
That discovery sparked an effort to illustrate reports of unusual laws across all 50 states. With the help of the internet, a Crazy Laws children's book published by Scholastic in the 1970s
, and a fact-checker, Locher has tracked down apparent statutes on everything from bouncing pickles to more serious topics, like Peeping-Tom photos.
The resulting photo series, I Fought The Law
, is now set to be made into a book that will be published in 2017.
Not all the laws Locher featured are still in effect — or enforced if they do remain on the books — and the origins and intent of some remain murky. In some cases, such as Massachusetts' ban on upskirt photos, she found that there were serious issues that sparked the legislation.
While Locher's bright and playful images give the statutes a satirical spin, the project raises a more serious point about politics: The hundreds of decisions, big and small, made every year by local and state lawmakers matter.
"What they’re setting and what’s going into motion really can affect our daily lives," Locher said.
Ahead, a look at some of the strange and surprising laws Locher found.