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Thread: Do I need permission to post pictures of people I have photographed on my website?

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    Do I need permission to post pictures of people I have photographed on my website?

    I have been taking pictures for about 10 years. Mostly as a hobby but I am trip director for corporate meeting planners and I would sometimes get paid to take pictures of awards ceremonies at their dinner events. There were no contracts signed regarding the pictures. I would give them a CD of images and an invoice and they would give me a check. I have lots of photos from the past 10 years, some I got paid for taking some I didn't but I took them ALL. I have just started a business with a website for my meeting and photography services. In my sample gallery I have posted a bunch of pictures from the past 10 years. Some are of scenery and some are of people from meetings or awards I have done. My question is this: Do I need their permission to put their images on my website? I am not putting names with them, just pictures. I hope somebody can help me. First time here...it looks like some seriously useful info going around! Thanks! PeaPod.



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    My understanding is that as long as you photograph them in a public venue and you are NOT making money from the images, it is fine to post them without written permission.

    I'm fuzzy on the details but that is what I've gathered thus far

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    Public Venue

    Thank You! This is a good start.
    Some of the pictures I took pictures were on a golf course during a private golf tournament and I did get paid for taking pictures at the time. But I am not selling them on the website, they are just examples of my work. The awards pictures are in a ballroom during a dinner event for a private corporate function. Do you think that is still public?
    Also I did a charity gig of couple’s pictures and I am using a service to help me sell those images. They are in a separate part of my website and they are password protected with the password going only to those that had their picture taken. (I'm sure that's ok but it's still the sample pictures I am worried about.) I have also started asking EVERY person I photograph if I can use their picture for my site but it could take a while to re-build my sample gallery.
    Hey I am really new to this whole forum thing..(Very cool by the way) Question; Can I post my website here to show you guys what I am talking about? Is that ok?


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    yes, perfectly fine

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    My site

    Thanks again for helping me with this dilema!
    www.mypeapodproductions.com

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    I always thought you did need permission and a model release would give you that. I could be wrong, that was just my assumption.
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    if that's allowed, then when is it not allowed (only when the photos are for sale)? I thought you needed someone's permission in order to photograph them and thus had to be careful in public spaces i.e. parks.

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    Generally, if the pictures are taken at a public place or event, you don't need a release. But you can't say anything bad about the subjects, like they're ugly, fat, etc. You also can't use the pictures to promote a product. And of course, any of them can sue you if they want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blash View Post
    if that's allowed, then when is it not allowed (only when the photos are for sale)? I thought you needed someone's permission in order to photograph them and thus had to be careful in public spaces i.e. parks.
    Taking photos of people is allowed almost anywhere with the common sense exceptions of washrooms, change rooms, courts in session etc.
    A model release is necessary if the photo is used to promote a product or for advertising purposes. Otherwise, it can be used, sold, displayed, published for any editorial or artistic purpose.

    There have also been some American cases where because a backyard was in public view, the owner could not have a reasonable expectation to privacy there, so a photo could be taken and used. Judgements in this area have depended on the individual situation. Someone outside the front of their house could probably also have their photo taken too, irrespective of being on private property.

    skieur

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    LJA
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    I am not trying to beat a dead horse here, but I am perplexed.
    I am a webmaster for a church site. Myself and other members often take pictures of events at church and sometimes post them on our website -- no names, no comments (other than VBS Day 1 or Annual Reunion Dinner).
    We do not sell the pictures, but in a sense we are advertising the church.
    Would common sense say that is a 'public' place and therefore okay to publish?

    If the answer to the above is yes, here's a follow-up: What about children's pictures from events? Like Vacation Bible School, our Sunday Church theater, Trunk-Or-Trick? Do we have to get every parent's permission to post their child's picture on the website?

    Oh, we are in USA, if that is a question.

    Thank you all -- lot's of great stuff on this site!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LJA View Post
    I am not trying to beat a dead horse here, but I am perplexed.
    I am a webmaster for a church site. Myself and other members often take pictures of events at church and sometimes post them on our website -- no names, no comments (other than VBS Day 1 or Annual Reunion Dinner).
    We do not sell the pictures, but in a sense we are advertising the church.
    Would common sense say that is a 'public' place and therefore okay to publish?

    If the answer to the above is yes, here's a follow-up: What about children's pictures from events? Like Vacation Bible School, our Sunday Church theater, Trunk-Or-Trick? Do we have to get every parent's permission to post their child's picture on the website?

    Oh, we are in USA, if that is a question.

    Thank you all -- lot's of great stuff on this site!
    I'm pretty sure you are fine. You aren't advertising for the church unless you create a flier with their name on it, then put the kids pictures on it and put it out for advertisement for the church. Or, if one of those kids was drinking a Coke, and you sold it to Coca-Cola for them to promotoe Coke in a magazine.

    Also, if the church allows the photography on private property, then you should also be ok there too.

    Of course, someone can sue whether they have a leg to stand on or not
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    LJA
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    Thanks for the reply.
    Yes, sometimes I think that USA is latin for 'let everyone sue'.
    Thanks again.

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    if your cant easily tell who is in the picture you are totally fine,but if you can clearly make out the face, i think technically your supposed to get a release if your using it to promote your site commercially.

    now a paid event where they are just a background, or bystander is probably never going to get you in trouble, ever, but if you spotlight someone, make a full 800 pixels portrait on your site, they could ask you to take it down if they didnt like it.

    now if its art, then its different story all together.

    dont worry about it, if you ever get contacted, just deal them out free portrait session and get the release signed in return for the favor.


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    Lyncca is correct, although the Church being a public place, property ownership is not really relevant.

    Advertising requires a model release but this is not advertising. Doing photos of kids in Church doing church event/activities is considered "editorial use" which does not require a model release. An out-of-context advertising use as Lynnca suggested as in using a shot to sell Coca Cola, certainly would require a model release.

    skieur

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    The only thing you need a release for is advertising. An image can be used editorially (as in, to illustrate a story in a magazine, newspaper, or website), or as part of a portfolio or other similar display. You can also sell prints or whatever you like, as determined by a lawsuit a few years back.

 

 
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