Model Releases & Shooting in Public...
Model Release/shooting in Public
My favourite is taking pictures of the every day all around me. Obviously members of the public find themselves in my frame. If I'm looking to sell this photos through a stock agency etc am I meant to have a signed release form?
Surely its ok to exhibit/sell work of pictures of everyday people?
When do you need a model release form then?
Normally if an image is going to be used for commercial purposes you will normally be required to have a model release for any recognizable person, and often times for many different types of building or locations.
This is just generalized, laws vary by state and country.
Good Morning, Rebecca,
While the prevailing opinion is that editorial use normally requires no release, there are apparently exceptions. One reason that I decided to quit working with a stock agency is that I didn't want to risk possible litigation from someone who, by chance, happened to appear in one of my images. I often made a conscious effort to be sure that no one showed up in my shots, and I knew that the chance of a problem was small, but the potential hassle came to outweigh the limited rewards involved in occasional stock sales.
I belive it is time for for photographers to seriously think about next:
Photographers should make pressure throught professional and/or amateur organisations to establish rule that publisher or stock agency must provide model release form. In this case, stock agency must get model release form for every photograph they sell. After all, they are ones on whom photographer transfer some rights when they take photographs and offer it to sell, and they also earn from that photograph. So they should get involved in some legal issues.
Second, agencies and other institutions or firms have more chance (more money) than individual photographer to win court cases regarding model release forms.
We don't want to be in situation where street photography or like will dissapear from market, because photographer can't get model release form for every recognizable person in photograph, or don't have money for court cases if they appear on courts...
I am not talking to avoiding privacy rules and avoiding need for model release form, I am talking about situation if which photographer don't have to be in troubles when make photographs which are in "grey legal" areas. Of course for model posing shootings, photographer must (and easily can) provide model release form, but for photography like street photography especially if commersial use of photograph is through stock agency or some publisher, agency or publisher should be those who should deal with legal issues, not photographer.
Originally Posted by haris
To obtain a model release from people in the street while doing "street photography" would prohibit "street photography" from ever being done! To use in a journalistic manner or for article or book illustration or gallery shows and sales I personally do not believe it is necessary and do not do it...
Case in point Lee Friendlander- thousands and thousands of street photographs, sold in gallerys and used in books...no model release...
Newsweek photographer was sued a few years back for a cover shot of a young professional man with briefcase walking across a down town Chicago street...the mans identity was not given the photo did illustrate the feature story and the man was identifiable....the photographer and the magazine won the case...
Diane Arbus took many street photos which have sold for thousands of dollars, however on at least some of her photos taken in private residences and at parties she did obtain a release...one famous photo is of the twins...a parent did sign the release....
You can have a release and still be in hot water, about 5or 6 years ago a well known lady wedding photographer was successfully sued by a couple after they saw their wedding photo used by a retail store (like Wmart etc) to sell picture frames....they were the filler photo inside the frame....they had signed the release with the photographer....the photographer lost this case...
So I just don t know....If I were to take a photo of say a child that I felt was an outstanding photograph I would get the release of course...case in point....
Howard Schatz's wonderful book on Redheads.....for several years whenever he saw an outstanding redhead, he would tell them of his ongoing project and possible book publication and get a release and ask permission...
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Personal stuff non-commercial applications-No release.
Sell to stock agency or any commercial use where it may be in a brochure or other marketing material or website other than yours - definitely.
Matt's Photo Site
"I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin
With no intent to diminish your point, but wasn't there a very specific issue associated with this lawsuit. I seem to recall that the story was about "up and coming black Americans in business" and the man in the photograph, a black Wall Street (I seem to recall, but maybe it was Chicago) exec, objected to the fact that he believed he was being stereotyped. I thought it was the association of his picture with the stereotype (editorial association) rather than the use of an image in which he appeared. The picture I recall was quite nice. Am I mistaken about my memory of the story... of do I have the wrong case?
Originally Posted by Dave Wooten
If you download the PDF document, it has a short section on model releases for shots in public places. The bottom line is that you do not NEED a release in the UK, but no agency will take the image without one if any people are identifiable in the shot because they have an international client base and many other countries do require one.
Originally Posted by BrianShaw
Brian, the case you mentioned was indeed the case I was referring to....it has been a few years, so you could be correct on the issue. It would be interesting to do a bit of research and refresh my memory.
Well Lord willing and the creek dont rise, I will be in London next month doing a bit of street photography and I will not be asking for autographs unless of course I run into Les Mclean.
Originally Posted by Bob F.