Photo release complications

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by CharlyMR, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. CharlyMR

    CharlyMR TPF Noob!

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    I took some photos at a regional Native American Pow Wow last summer. It was a public event and I was allowed to take photos openly, except during certain dances when I was told to stop.

    Although open to the public, the dance ground was on reservation land which comes under Federal laws since tribes are soveriegn nations.

    An advertising agency wants to use one of those photographs on the cover of a free tribal tourism guide. They picked the photo from a Google search. It shows a partial side view of a recognizable face, name confirmed by several tribal members I contacted. Unfortunately, none of them have been able to reach the man to have a release signed.

    I'm worried that he did get the message and just isn't going to contact me because I'm not a tribal member. I took the photo's for my personal use, but offered the entire group to another affiliated tribal agency for their promotions use as well (I've worked with them before).

    The free guide contains advertising inside, but is mostly travel and promotion using other photos submitted by several featured tribes. I don't think a law suit would get very far, but it would end up in a federal court with a paid tribal attorney representing him. I'm flat broke. On the other hand he's one of two featured dancers used by all the tribes in three states and should welcome the publicity.

    ARRRG. Do I yeah or nay the agency to use the photo?
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The publisher of the photo has the most legal exposure and the advertising agency would be the publisher, not you.

    Once you license an image, you no longer have control of how it is used by the licensee, which limits your legal exposure.

    The advertising agency is undoubtedly charging each of the advertisers in the guide a fee to be in the "free" guide, so they are making money from the guide.

    I take it the advertising agency is expecting you to let them use the photo without paying you to do so? As it is, not having a properly executed model release greatly reduces the value of your image.

    Visit www.danheller.com and start becoming familiar with the ins-and-outs of model releases.

    Visit www.ASMP.org and click on the "Business Resources" tab on the left of the page.
     
  3. CharlyMR

    CharlyMR TPF Noob!

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    I will be paid for the photo by the ad agency. The agency is doing the brochure for the first time, taking it over from the previous publisher. I gather from my conversations with the two creative directors they are getting a flat fee from the tribal public relations administrators. The advertisers are probably buying space from the the tribal PR group. I have the ASMP guide and I think I'm safely into the editorial zone, but being the entire front page confuses me. I want to give credit to the dancer, (name,tribe) as any editorial piece would. The agency will list me as the photographer. This is a first for them as well. I suspect when they all meet on the 15th the PR group will either accept or reject the agency front page and then its impose PR limitations. Thanks for the Dan Heller link. I'll check it out.
     
  4. Jeff Colburn

    Jeff Colburn TPF Noob!

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    Since the cover image isn't endorsing a product or service, it would probably fit well into the editorial area. And if the tribal PR firm doesn't have a problem with the image, you should be fine.

    However, whenever possible, get a signed release. You never know what's going to happen to your images down the road, and a signed release would have saved you the stress over this situation.

    Good luck. I hope they use your image.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff
     

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