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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:09 PM
Original message
Another question for the pros
As you know, HullBoss and I are traveling down to Katrina country Thursday through next Monday. I plan to take a lot of photos to post on my SmugMug site. If I happen to catch some pictures of identifiable people - as opposed to groups of people, I guess - am I required to get a release from them first since I have a "professional" site, and, if so, do I get it signed before or after I shoot the picture, and does anybody have such a form that I could print out and carry a bunch around with me?

That's why I like landscapes - no legal issues.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. My Understanding:
Anyone doing anything in a public place has no expectation of privacy, and can be photographed legally. None of the Newspapers or TV Stations are required to get a release for anything they show during a football game, or outside at the tailgate parties. You are not required either.

If there is no expectation of privacy, then no release is required.
Your own personal ethics may be more restricting. Mine are, depending on the situation. Some things I have photographed, but will never put on a public site.

Inside a personal vehicle used to be a place where you could expect privacy, but not since that government has been placing cameras to capture red light runners. Good Bye "expectation of privacy."...snap away.

Be careful in someone's home, but outside their property, if they are visible from a public problem.

Privately Owned businesses that are open to the public are a gray area. Most retail outlets have a "No Photo" policy, but I don't know if anyone has ever challenged it.

The above is my own personal understanding of the legal aspects of photographing people without their permission. Sometimes, I DO feel like I have intruded and stolen someone's soul.
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CC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. It would depend on the photo.
It is always best to get something signed giving you permission and a must have if it involves minors. I even got a release for the Amish kids pic before I would put it up. I know our local newspaper won't put in minors photos without signed permission and a phone number, news story or not if the person is recognizable. Sending a link to a simple release. You can always add a parent/guardian line. I would also put my company name, email and website address on it. Give them a copy of it and a business card. You can always run off a few of those before you go if you don't have any. Besides they might buy a print if they see it. Just run off a few copies and keep them and a pen in your camera bag all the time.
Now if it is a group of people in a public place I wouldn't worry as much. Though again a business card is always nice to do and cheap advertising. :evilgrin:

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regnaD kciN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. Here's the basic rule of thumb, in three parts...
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 08:32 PM by regnaD kciN
1) If the image you take is of something visible from a public place (i.e. a street, public square, etc.), you do not need a release for editorial purposes.

2) However, if you use the image for commercial purposes (i.e. to promote a product, candidate, political cause, etc.), and the person or property in the photo is recognizable, you do need a release. The reasoning behind this is that people should not have their images, or images of their property, used to promote something they may not support. (Think of a right-to-life group running an ad with a photo of a Planned Parenthood office under a list of Nazi death camps and other sites of genocide, and you'll understand why.)

3) As far as I know, selling individual prints for exhibition does not constitute "commercial" use. However, if you're planning to place images with a stock agency, they will be happier if it comes with a release, since they will be able to sell the image to any customer, rather than have it flagged for editorial sales only. Commercial will generally sell at higher prices than editorial, so an "editorial-only" photo, for them, represents a lot of sales effort without a promise of much financial reward.

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