Using client Pics for my website...

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Clawed, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys,

    I had to clear a couple of things up before I did something I am not at liberty to do.

    Currently, I am building a website for my newly developed (no pun intended) photography business. I have done a couple of weddings and a few portrait sessions already. The main thing I wanted to know is, can I post pictures on my website from any of my past jobs regarless of whether I have a model release? If not, I plan to send a release to those that would be willing to have their pics on display for promotional purpose. Can anyone direct me to a useful form that I can model my model release after?

    Thanks for any help! :thumbup:
    -Canaan
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  2. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    These comments should be superseded by someone who actually knows the law better than I, but I think that unless the photos were done as work for hire where the general terms were that you were getting paid to do the photos for their exclusive use (think doing a painting on commission - it's the person's who commissioned it when it's done, not yours), then yes, you can use them regardless of whether you have a model release or not.

    However, I think that the nice thing to do would be to get the model release. That way the original client doesn't think you're just taking advantage of them when they suddenly find their photograph online someday and call you up screaming.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The release should be written right into your contract(s).

    You can display the images on a personal website without having any signed model releases.

    If the web site promotes your business you need signed model releases.

    The B&G cannot sign for other family members, nor for others in the wedding party.

    Model release law varies by state, you really should have a local attorney make sure all your legal documents are effective in the state(s) where you are doing business.

    Waiting until someone files suit against you is way to late for getting an attorney involved in the legal aspects of your business.

    For what it's worth, I recommend loosing the blue type, it's not very professional looking.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    I'm no lawyer, but I think that if you get down to the technicalities of it, you really don't need a model release. I think I read somewhere that you don't really need a model release in most situations where you typically hear that it's a must...but that it's much harder to sell an image without one, so it's a good idea to have it. But for use on your own website, it's probably not required.
    Of course, I may be wrong and it's better to be safe than sorry.

    Hypothetically, if someone was to sue you over the use of their likeness in a photo....I think they would have to prove that it was damaging to them, which isn't likely. It might be a criminal matter if you had intruded on their 'reasonable expectation of privacy', but if they hired you to take photos, then that's obviously not the case.
     
  5. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    Thank you guys for the insight. I have a model release built into the contract for weddings, but have not attained a release for portrait shoots. I certainly will get a release for them before posting if possible, but it would be nice to post pics from a complete wedding but it would be near impossible to attain all of the sigs needed from the wedding party and such.

    (Oh, and sorry about the blue font, I was tired of looking at black)
     
  6. erichards

    erichards TPF Noob!

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    For portraits I would for sure get a release esp. for children. I used to work at a portrait studio and if we ever used children's portraits we would get a signed, dated release from their parents, as they are minors. (Even if it's not legally needed it makes everyone involved happier and more likely to come back/tell others how great you are and considerate.)
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's what I've always done. Besides being common courtesy, it also works for you.

    Either while shooting, or taking the order, I'll remark, "I getting one of these printed for my window" or, "This one is definitely going on the web site."

    Not only does this put the client on notice of my intentions, but it builds enthusiasm and excitement about the image. The client then directs all their friends and family to drive by my studio to see the large print.

    -Pete
     
  8. VirtualPhotographyStudio

    VirtualPhotographyStudio TPF Noob!

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    My philosophy has always been to get a model release if it will be seen by the general public. So if I'm going to use it in my marketing - website, brochures, etc - I have them sign a model release. I know its rare, but we actually did photograph a family once who had adopted a child, and preferred not to have their images used because of the adoption situation - they didn't want any exposure that might lead the birth parents to seeing the child. The only way we found out is by asking for the model release. So if you still have contact with the people you photographed, I would have them sign a quick model release.
     

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