permission or not?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by SimplyMo, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. SimplyMo

    SimplyMo TPF Noob!

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    im looking for every photographer's oppinion possible on this topic... it's my biggest weakness as a photographer that loves photographing people, especially candid--in everyday life.

    when you're photographing people, in public, do you ask for people's permission? or do you shoot sort of inconspicuously (try to just blend in with the public)? do you use a zoom lens?
    or do you just not care whether your noticed or not (unless someone says something)?


    i'm just curious.. i used to be a fearless photographer...i lived in south korea for a couple years, and i had one bad experience. me not being asian, i surely stood out in a crowd. i was standing a bit far from a food stand, shooting the food stand and the surrounding people, and this tiny old woman came out of nowhere and almost hit the camera out of my hands... :stun: i know i shouldn't let one incident get in the way....
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you're shooting an image of a single person, or one in which a single individual will be prominent, than yes, definitely ask permission, especially if you intend to publish it.
     
  3. timbearden

    timbearden TPF Noob!

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    If by any means you plan to publish it, then yes ask for permission. There was a lawsuit a while back for a company where someone's shadow was in the photo. They actually won the suit because there shadow was in the photo.

    I realize there are many photo opportunities that you could loose if you take the time to ask people. However, if you plan to use the photos for something other than your own pleasure then you always risk the chance of legal action. Even posting photos on this forum could cross a gray line if you don't have their permission.

    I'd just rather be safe, than non safe.
     
  4. cdanddvdpublisher

    cdanddvdpublisher TPF Noob!

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    +1. If anyone is recognizable or could be recognized in your photos, you're going to want to make sure that you have permission before posting it anywhere (even in a blog or on a personal web site).
     
  5. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well...

    There are a few different "levels" here.

    NOTE: I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.

    Technically you are legally allowed to take pictures of anyone you like unless you are taking a picture of them in a situation where they would have a reasonable expectation of privacy... for example, using a zoom lense while in a tree taking pictures of them in their kitchen would be considered unacceptable and potentially illegal.

    At no time is anyone ever allowed to demand your camera/film/equipment. Nor are they allowed to demand that you dispose of pictures in any way shape or form. Nor are they allowed to harm you or your equipment in any way.

    Now...

    If you intend to use the picture for commercial purposes, you do not need to "ask their permission". You need to obtain a signed release. Getting verbal permission isn't going to do you squat if it comes to lawsuit time.

    In a quick search, I couldn't find this again on the internet, so I put this form up for you. This is a model release developed by a stock photography website intended to be used by people such as you and I (it enables us to get releases so we can put our pictures up on their site so they can make money.) :)

    At this link you will find some information developed by an attourney about your rights as a photographer. I actually have several copies of this and the model release form printed, and I carry them around with me.

    Laws may vary by state, of course, so you gotta be careful on this stuff, but as far as I personally know, this is correct... again... not an attourney. :)
     
  6. KristinaS

    KristinaS TPF Noob!

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    ^^ Manaheim is correct.

    I'd also like to add a few other circumstances. If you are a photojournalist working for a newspaper, you do not need to ask permission to shoot people in public areas unless the subject has a reasonable expectation of privacy as this falls under editorial usage.

    Art also falls under editorial usage. You do not need permission from a subject if you, say, take their picture and plan to sell it in an art gallery or whatever.
     
  7. timbearden

    timbearden TPF Noob!

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    This is all very true....which is why I bring forms with me to weddings so that I can use the photos online etc.
     
  8. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    I believe that's called a "contract".
     
  9. timbearden

    timbearden TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for stating the obvious, but it could also be called a photography release, consent to use, etc.

    The contract covers the bride and groom, but does not cover everyone else. Which is why I bring forms, or as you say contracts, for everyone else I wish to post online.
     
  10. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for stating the obvious, but I was referring to the contract you get the B&G to sign. I'm sure you have a clause in there that says you can use all images taken in your portfolio, right?
     
  11. timbearden

    timbearden TPF Noob!

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    Yes you are correct I do have that clause in the contract, but it doesn't necessarily cover photographs of other people in it.
     
  12. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Actually it absolutely doesn't cover any of the guests, unless all the guests sign some sort of waiver of rights as a condition of attending the wedding. I don't recall ever doing that at a wedding. :)

    You have to get explicit individual signed releases from each guest you have in a picture that you want to use commercially. These are most commonly called "releases".
     

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