Release forms

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by nrois02, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. nrois02

    nrois02 TPF Noob!

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    So not sure if this is the best place to put this but it fell in the category of legality issues. so my question

    I would like to go to a veterans hospital to take portraits of the people in there. yes i know, pretty cliche but its for a class and the teacher really seemed to like the idea. Question one, what/how should I make and put down on release forms saying the photos I take are mine and I can use them how I want? and question two, how should I go about trying to get in their to take photos? talk to admissions? any help would be much appreciated! Thanks!

    _Austin
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    As far as I know...whether you need a release form or not, will depend on what you do with the photos. If you are going to sell them for use in commercial advertising, then you would surely need a release. But if you are just using them for editorial purposes or for your class etc, then strictly speaking, I don't think you need a release.
    If you take the photos, they are yours.

    Of course, it's probably a privately owned facility, so the owner can have their own rules for what is allowed. If it's government owned/run, then I'm sure there are rules as well. Your best bet would be to call the administration and talk to them...you may need to sweet talk them a little as it's usually easiest for them to have blanket rules that just say 'no photography'. Maybe play up the student project aspect etc.

    Note that I'm not a lawyer, nor to I play one on TV...so take my 'legal' advice as such. ;)
     
  3. Shelly1204

    Shelly1204 TPF Noob!

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    +1 Big Mike.

    Keep in mind, you most likely will not be allowed to shoot in a hospital, due to various HIPPA rules/ hospital liability policies, etc. You can go on your own and try to get some shots before security reaches you, but I certainly wouldn't go looking for permission, because I can't imagine you getting it.

    If you do get an ok (in the guise of a student project in the lobby, no doubt), don't bother with a release, for several reasons.

    1) It doesn't appear that you will ever use these photos for commercial advertising, as you state it is for your class project. So therefore you do not need a release.

    2) Even if you did have lofty ambitions of one day selling your photos for commercial advertising purposes, no one wants legal documents shoved in their face when they are in the hospital vising a loved one. You will certainly scare people away/ piss people off, etc. Enough that your permission would soon be revoked.

    If you want to shoot for commercial advertising, go hire a model. If you try to trick emotionally compromised people into signing releases, you are asking for trouble IMHO (Not that this was your intention, but your inquiry about releases opened up the door to this possibility).

    Focus on your class work and shooting. Don't worry about the legal stuff until you bump up your game.
     
  4. nrois02

    nrois02 TPF Noob!

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    great advice. i have called the admissions and they gave me another persone to contact in public affairs. and yes i am going to try and sweet talk them. and where i would be taking photos..or where i would like to is in one of the many smoking rooms they have established in this place. so we will see and i will not bring up the release forms until they ask. i would maybe like to put a couple in a show in hopes of selling it. would i have to do a release form then? my assumsption is yes?
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Online is not a reliable place to get legal advice.

    One of the issues is, the laws that govern releases are state laws, so in the US there are 50 different versions.
     
  6. nrois02

    nrois02 TPF Noob!

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    oh lol alright then thanks for that info. hahaha
     
  7. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    I have shot in Canadian hospitals and the main points were to keep out of the way of hospital staff and don't annoy patients. That sounded reasonable to me.

    skieur
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010

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