How to handle nude photography online?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by friedeggsammich, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. friedeggsammich

    friedeggsammich TPF Noob!

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    I normally shoot events but for my personal work I've taken some tasteful black and white nude photos. They are of some people that used it live and party in my apartment building when I was just starting out as a photographer. Most of them actors or artists so they didn't mind posing. The photos don't show their faces or tattoos, revealing their identity.

    At the time I was just starting out, trying to get experience, and didn't know much about model releases. I've lost contact with these people since then. But the photos do not show their faces, so can still I put these online? (or any other format?)


     
  2. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Without going in to the legalities of it I'd be inclined to keep them private if your models weren't aware that you want to post them on the interweb.
     
  3. Rick58

    Rick58 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah, even though the public may not be able to recognize the models identity, the model's themselves certainly would and may not be pleased. I can't say legally, but for me, morally I couldn't do it.
     
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  4. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I"m not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV. But in most states, if you don't have a signed model release and there aren't the usual exceptions about it being a public situation or a news event, you as the photographer own the rights to the photo but you have not been given permission (i.e.: the model release) by the model to display, sell, market, or publicize their likeness. Nude or clothed, it doesn't matter from a legal perspective. One other factor (and again, this isn't about nudity, it's about consent) is proof of age. If you're going to shoot a model and display the photos you'll not only need a release but proof of the age of the model--someone under 18 isn't going to be able to engage in legally binding contracts in most states. I'm not arguing that you're shooting underage nudes, only that unless someone obviously looks old enough than you don't have the proof that they're qualified to even give permission to use their likeness. Think of it this way--you could get in trouble for giving beer to a 16 y.o.--they aren't considered an adult. Well, in most jurisdictions, people under 18 y.o. can't enter into all forms of binding contracts like adults can.

    Weepete's answer is also good (though it deals with other issues). If someone didn't expect or know you were going to display their likeness (and it wasn't shot in a public setting or a newsworthy exception) than it's a bit tacky separate from the legalities. It would be like me posting your contact info on-line. You might not mind me doing that but it's generally a tactful thing for me to ask you first, regardless of the legalities.
     
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  5. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Because California has a large entertainment industry California's model release laws and Right of Publicity laws are more involved that for most other states with the possible exception of New York. New York also has a large entertainment industry.

    Images made in private or made under controlled conditions pretty much require having a valid model release on file.
    With nudes the age verification issue certainly applies and recognizability is usually determined by the people in a photo.

    Also at issue is what constitutes 'publication'.
    Are Photographs Posted On the Internet Published? | Photo Attorney

    A Digital Photographer's Guide to Model Releases: Making the Best Business Decisions with Your Photos of People, Places and Things
     
  6. CMfromIL

    CMfromIL No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Now too with many states enacting 'revenge porn' laws, it may further complicate the matter. Bottom line, I wouldn't post any nude/semi nude picture of ANYONE unless you have a model release. Period. It's just not worth the potential hazards.
     

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