Model Release for Kids and Website?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by s50, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. s50

    s50 TPF Noob!

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    Hi, my wife recently had a photographer take some shots of the kids at the park. He came back to show us the shots and told us that he planned on using some of the shots for his portfolio and website. I told him that we didnt sign any release's so please tell us ahead of time. Well he used one of the pictures for his main site.

    I think he's only been shooting for 3 years and is still developing his business. He is selling his shots on CD to us for a fee. I want to help him out but Im not real comfortable with my kids pictures on websites. Would I be a bad person if I told him to take them down? He didn't even offer us a free picture or anything. Does he have to take it down? Like I said we didn't sign any release. I don't have that much experience with kids.....I'm sure they are protected as well and probably better (should be) than adults.

    Thanks
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The laws differ from place to place, so consult a lawyer, but I don't think there's much you can do. Children or not, they're in a public place, and as long as the images not used in commercial advertising, a release may well not be needed.
     
  3. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Agree with tired, but you can certainly ask him nicely.

    Or you could do the guy a favor and let him keep the pictures up. As long as the children are not in any inappropriate state in the pictures, I would really be more amused by it than anything. (and yes, I have kids... 2 young girls)

    BTW, you can also read this to get a sense of generally what the photog's rights are...

    Bert P. Krages Attorney at Law Photographer's Rights Page
     
  4. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Was this a photographer that she hired, or was it a "photographer in the park". In both cases, the photographer owns the rights to the photos, and can do with them what he pleases.... until, liked Tirediron states, they are used for advertising or commercial purposes.

    If there is a contract with a hired photographer, a consent clause can be added, but no photographer I know would add this voluntarily.
     
  5. s50

    s50 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys.

    Someone told her about this photographer that was looking to take pictures of kids.....to build his portfolio (The photographer is a friend of the nanny). So she set up a date to take pictures at the park. So in that sense I guess she did "hire" him. Of course I didn't find out any of this until after the session.

    I guess what's troubling too is that there is no "compensation" to the kids or the parents. I think if I were to shoot a session with kids and use them on my main homepage.....I would at least throw in a few free shots for the parents to have.....or at the very least give them a high res picture of the particular shot for their own use.

    It just seemed a bit sneeky to me the way he was getting "free" talent and then charging for pictures. The nanny got other kids there too. If it was "advertised" as a session that you'd have to pay etc.... no problem.....but usually when somebody is building a portfolio....you give those people free pictures. That's what our class did back in College anyways.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    And there you have the difference between 'tacky' and 'illegal'.
     
  7. rdzmzda

    rdzmzda TPF Noob!

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    i can see both sides your wife had him come out....just outta curiousity how much is he charging are the pictures worth anything? i dont think anyone should ever work for free....but on the same token if there was initially an agreement that this would be for free then he isnt holding up his end and thats wrong...im sure if u sit down with him and are like hey man look u did great work on my kids i was under the impression this was pro-bono id love to help you get your business started and even let my friends know (remind him word of mouth is a great form of advertisement), but you dont feel comfortable the way your being treated im sure you can at elast get a picture out of the deal if for nothing more its a business card for him. or you can always go with the beat him up and steal his lunch money approach :D haha
     
  8. pixeldawg

    pixeldawg TPF Noob!

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    Folks, not sure WHERE you're getting your information, but this is fairly clear-cut. YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS. If a photographer is shooting as a photojournalist for an accredited publication, you are fair game and there is no release needed. However, if the images the photographer shoots are for advertising and his/her personal gain, it's pretty much mandatory to have a signed release. As the child's parent, you have the ultimate right to say yes or no to this request. Quite honestly, if you don't feel comfortable with your kids doing anything, you should be speaking up.

    Here's what you do with the photographer- contact him and explain to him that according to current privacy laws, your understanding is that to use an image of you or your children, for advertising and financial gain, he must obtain permission from you to use those images for this purpose. This is typically considered "Appropriation of Name or Likeness". You need to tell him that he MUST immediately take the images off his web site. Make this very clear-cut when you call him and give him no other options other than removing the images.

    The first such case like this was from New York at the beginning of the 20th century when a box maker placed a woman's image onto their boxes without her consent. Each state has various laws regarding this issue, but most are quite similar and follow the federal and Supreme Court rulings. Since you are private individuals and not "public" figures, you should have an easier time with this.

    You don't need to be concerned with being nice or giving this guy a brake. Do what's right for your kids and consider the rest later.

    I'm not a lawyer, but am working on a PhD and this is within my area of study, so I feel fairly confident that a lawyer in your area will concur with the generalities of this, regardless of where you live. If the photographer refuses to remove the images, you'll need to decide if hiring a lawyer to write a Cease & Desist letter will be appropriate. If this doesn't work, be prepared to take him to court.
     
  9. rdzmzda

    rdzmzda TPF Noob!

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    pixeldawg not to say you are wrong, but there are aspects of privacy much like freedom of speech that are very gray...
    You only need a release if you are using a person’s picture to endorse a company or a product in advertising or commercial speech. I can take a picture of you in a public street and put it into a newspaper without getting a release and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. But, if I use it in an advertisement you can sue me for using your image without compensation.
    public domain is public domain....my understanding is that a public park also falls under this category to me doesnt sound like this guy is using it for monetary gain hes merely using it as a symbol of pictures he has taken on his site...im sure if u consulted a lawyer he would push it further and would just give up but either way really very dependant on your area and you do have to remember that your wife practically asked for the pics to be taken....so that could be an issue
     
  10. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    In Germany, certainly what pixeldawg said would be right.
    You may be a commissioned photographer to a scene photographed in public, with the mother's consent that her child be photographed (who maybe even commissioned the photographer), and you must STILL not publish the photo you took in the way this photographer in question did (i.e. to promote his own budding business) without the consent of the parents. Even later, when they feel they don't want the photo of their child thus broadcast via the internet, and they ask him to take the photo down, he must take it down. Unless they have signed something beforehand, of course. That piece of paper would give the photographer more rights.

    I'm not even pursuing a business in photography, and don't have neither website nor portfolio. But whenever I take photos of practise lessons in the dance school (or of performances later, for that matter), I have the parents sign a release form that their children's photos may be made public, and if only as a wall display inside the halls of the very dance school itself. (Or on the advertising posters for the next performance, or as cover pic on the school's leaflet, or in the local paper, or HERE, made public on TPF for others to look and say something).
     
  11. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ^^^ I guess that doesn't surprise me. Europe has much stronger privacy laws, in general, than the US. Logically this kind of spirit would extend to photography. Overall, any bias towards privacy protection is a good thing, so I can't say that I would complain... even though as a photographer my knee-jerk reaction would be to do so. :)
     
  12. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    :raisedbrow:

    If I am at a public place, and I take a picture of some kids playing in a place where there is no expectation of privacy (i.e. - a public park), I have every right to post them on my own web site, Flickr, Photobucket, or even here, for that matter......without any parental consent.
    Unless there is a consent clause in a contract, a wedding photographer can display the photo of, say.. a flower girl coming down the isle, here or on their own site.
    Without a signed consent, however, that photographer CANNOT sell that photo to the dressmaker of the dress that the girl was wearing so that they can use it for ad purposes.

    This falls under commercial / advertisement use . By placing the womens face on a product, you are insinuating that the woman endorses said product, and requires a release.


    (Edit for spelling)
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008

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