Permission?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by kerry1369, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. kerry1369

    kerry1369 TPF Noob!

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    Are there any rules/legal issues with taking pictures of other people? Say, for example, you are at a park and just want to take pictures of a couple walking by, or the family playing on the swings, etc (I am not talking of family/friends but rather of strangers). I have heard things about model releases and such. I have been taking a lot of pictures of nature and would like to get better with my people photography yet I am unsure of how to proceed. Do I need people's permission to take their picture? I do believe if it were of kids, I would get their parent's permission. I would be a bit creeped out if I saw a stranger taking pictures of my kids without talking to me first.
     
  2. DavidSR

    DavidSR TPF Noob!

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    I take pictures of strangers all the time. I believe it only becomes an issue if you are trying to sell the prints and using their picture to promote yourself by using it in your portfolio. I have tons of images, all of which have no signed model releases and have been fine with the law *knock on wood*
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You can pretty much shoot whatever and whomever you want...as long as you don't violate someone's 'reasonable expectation of privacy'. So you can't sneak up to their windows and shoot photos of them in their bedroom....but out in public, it's fair game.

    As far as using the photos...it can get sticky if you publish the photos or use them in a commercial way, without getting a model release...otherwise, they might be entitled to a portion of the profits.

    Of course, laws & rules will vary by location, so it's probably best if you ask a lawyer in your area.
     
  4. gravity0

    gravity0 TPF Noob!

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    Wait what about the Poparazies and Hollywood? They sell their pictures all the time for profit.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Most of the time, they are in public places...so they have just as much right to shoot as the celebrities have to be there. Sure, they do sometimes break the law...but they are sometimes sued or punished for it.
     
  6. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think he means, how is it that they can sell the pictures without getting the celebrities consent.
     
  7. gravity0

    gravity0 TPF Noob!

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    right..
     
  8. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    The reason paparazzis can do it is for editorial purposes. That's ok. They can even sell the photos because its editorial. If the people are out in public, then anything goes. However, if you are trying to use the photos in commercial/advertising purposes, you need a release.
     
  9. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exactly! If you publish it for the press then you can sell it to the press. If you sell it to a company for advertising then you need consent. If you want to post it on your website then it is legal as well.
    Contrary to what is becoming popular belief, you have no expectation of privacy in the public areas. Also a mall or shopping center is not pubic, they are private properties and, are subject to the owners policies. Also if it can be seen for a public area i.e. sidewalk or, street looking into private property it is open game as well. So if someone shoots a photo of anyone inside their home (why) it is fair game.
     
  10. docphotog

    docphotog TPF Noob!

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    hahah have any of you been confronted by the subject of your photo? that has got to be awkward, no?
     
  11. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    A few US notes: in general, celebrities and public figures have a lesser claim to privacy than non-public figures. Their lives aren't by default open books and they're still afforded many of the same protections, but it allows things like the paparazzi to get in their face and snap away. And by 'commercial/advertising use' which is across-the-board forbidden without a release, it refers specifically to use of their image to endorse a product, service, etc. If the product is the photo itself, it's either editorial or art.

    (Disclaimers abound -- not a lawyer, this is just my understanding, only applies to the us, always check local ordinances, do not taunt happy fun ball, etc etc)
     
  12. kerry1369

    kerry1369 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks all for the help!
     

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