Child study/photography & legal issues
I am about to begin an 8 week study / photography / portrait sessions on 8 different children. The photos are purely for my own benefit (ie. photo practice and possibly used on my own website but not for sale to the general public) but held at a child care centre with each parents' written approval. All photos will be available for purchase by the parents at the end of the study if they wish to do so.
My question is, where can I get a basic contract for the parents to sign so everyone feels comfortable with this and avoid misunderstandings.
Any suggestions are most welcome.
Kind regards from Australia
Work out a simple document stating the identity of you, the kid and the parents. List the things you will be using the photos for (web-site, APUG.org, other sites?) and state that you will not sell the pictures to anyone else than the parents. Also state parents right to the pictures (only for personal use or can they use them for model work?)
Originally Posted by Nicole McGrade
Maybe Cheryl will write something as she is the grand kid photog here
Thanks for your reply Morton. Yes, hopefully Cheryl has some good tips.
Originally Posted by modafoto
Laws may be totally different concerning these things in Austrailia compared to the USA. If you know of an attorney type who is a friend, just ask him where you can find information concerning this. Or you could try asking the day care about what their rules and regulations are. They may have some good advise for you. If all else fails, ask a local TV station what they know about the laws governing picture taking, and in particular of children. A news paper might also have some good information if you call them. Just do not rely on what the laws state in the USA for your country. we are not all the same.
I agree with most of what Aggie says (lawers are pretty thin on the ground here unlike the USA so getting free advice from a friend might be lucky... I certainly don't know one!)
My sons recently appeared in a brouchure for a kids play group thing. They happened to be at a neighbours whose child was going to be photographed for it and the woman asked if our boys could partipate. My wife said yes and that was it! She gave us a copy of the brouchure once it was done.
When they have there pics taken at creche and kindergarten, we don't sign anything beforehand, usually just pick from the proofs that get sent home. This year one guy wanted a deposit beforehand but that I believe was because too many parents never pay up or return the proofs. For their birthdays we've always sent a camera along for the staff to take pics of them (they have a cake, etc)
Recently (a month ago) my oldest son (5) was 'special helper' at kindy and my wife went along to help (they give out the drinks , fruit, etc) and was taken video and stills and the teacher asked her not to take wide VIDEO shots of all the kids, just close ups of our son. Was fine with the still camera. First I've ever heard of that here, mind you.
So, I would talk with the parents and depending on responses, have something like Morten suggests ready for them to sign on to.
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Hi Aggie! You are right. Laws are different from state to state, even organisation to organisation. It gets so confusing sometimes. Thanks for the advice.
I would also discuss with the parents a few weeks beforehand what guarantees of privacy, use of their child's image etc. they would be comfortable with. Just turning up with a 'Can I take photos of your child, here please sign this' I feel will be unlikely to ellicit a positive response.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
As a childrens photographer I will add that all I do is talk (and talk) about the photos I wnat to take, how they can help/hinder etc etc. I then just say "oh one last thing, a simple contract stating that I will use these photos for my own professional advancement and you can't sue me for doing so." Said will a chuckle . . . I have never had a problem.
Andy I see what you mean. Unfortunately I only have a few days to push this one through. Hmm, wait and see...
Donna, great tip!
Kind regards from West Australia
Nicole, Donna's advice pretty well summed it up! If you do a web search for "model release" you can find some good ones to use as a guide. There are also release forms specific to minor children, and you'll generally find those in the same place. I'd do a search for you, but my computer's not playing nicely with me at the moment.
Generally, the more you talk with the parents, the more open they'll be. It's a good idea to have a few prints along the lines of what you intend to do with their kids, so they can see what you have in mind. Also, if you can get some simple business cards printed up, it does generally help them to feel more comfortable with you as a 'legit' photographer.
Do drop me a line if you have other questions. It sounds like a great project!