Okay, I'm gunna sound pretty dumb...

W.Y.Photo

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Is it considered commercial use of my images if I post them to my website and am making money off of my photography?

Before anyone says it.. I know this has been asked 1000 times before. I've always thought that it has not been considered commercial use... but for some reason I'm fearful that I'm wrong.

Someone set me straight. All I wanna know is if I can put my street photography on a site I send clients and potential clients to..
 

tirediron

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No, that would not be considered commercial use (at least in Canada) because the images are not being used to advertise a product, they are the product.
 
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Excellent. Thanks. Just to be sure I have sections for my Commercial and Personal Work anyways.
 

Gary A.

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If you are selling the images as 'ART', it is not considered commercial. If your images are used to sell or endorse another product/theme, then it would be considered a commercial enterprise.
 
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Well, that's the gray area I'm worried about. The images would be on my website which I use as a way to show clients my potential as a photographer... If I were to put up images of people on the streets in a section clearly labeled personal work is it considered a commercial use anyways due to my use of the site as a self promotional tool? They are on the same website that I use to promote my commercial work, so they have the potential to influence a customers decision to choose me as their photographer..
 

Braineack

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Excellent. Thanks. Just to be sure I have sections for my Commercial and Personal Work anyways.

But those are still all personal works. Your (3) categories make little sense to me.
 
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W.Y.Photo

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Personal as in I'm the person making them.. sure.

Other than that... the commercial section is full of the things I do with my photography that make me money by providing people with images they want or need. My Section labeled "Personal" is the artwork I create to express myself or simply for the fun of making images.

Portfolio is just a collection of my best work, so that people who don't have the time to sift through the site can take a quick look and see what I do.
 

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Understand your concern is that "YOU" are in fact the product. That angle has not been considered as a violation in the past and may never be. I wouldn't take photos of Coke Cola products or something like that though.
 

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Well, that's the gray area I'm worried about. The images would be on my website which I use as a way to show clients my potential as a photographer... If I were to put up images of people on the streets in a section clearly labeled personal work is it considered a commercial use anyways due to my use of the site as a self promotional tool? They are on the same website that I use to promote my commercial work, so they have the potential to influence a customers decision to choose me as their photographer..

AAAhhh ... very interesting point. Using the image of someone as an endorsement is a commercial usage. For which you would need a release/approval from that person for said usage. The question is ... is there a legal difference between endorsing a product or endorsing the intellectual capability of capturing the image (ala you)?

I dunno. It is certainly legal to use an 'artistic/editorial' image to advertising an artistic enterprise (a book or exhibit, et al). I doubt if you can legally use an artistic/editorial image (w/out a release/approval) to advertise a commercial enterprise. I think you may be crossing a line.

I would clearly label the images by artistic/editorial/personal and commercial.
 
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tirediron

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Excellent. Thanks. Just to be sure I have sections for my Commercial and Personal Work anyways.

But those are still all personal works...
Just to clarify, categories of use and categories and categories of work are entirely different animals. Categories of work are whatever you want them to be, whereas categories of use are strictly defined by their use. In general terms, "commercial use" refers to images which are used to advertise; editorial use is pretty much everything else (aside from personal use), and has slightly varying definitions, but is essentially "use for other than advertising".
 
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Yeah I really don't want to get sued by some pissed off New Yorker who just happens to find their picture on my website... and then have them win..
But then again that might help my business :p street photographers everywhere would flip their lids at a trial like that.
 

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why would a category matter in this instance?
 
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Well.. I'm hoping that it would and worried that It will not..

I'd really like to show my work on my website, but some of it contains images of people who I do not know and never will. I do not intend for this work to be used as an "advertisement" but it can be construed as such since I send potential clients there to view my work.. So I make my intentions clear with categories and I'm not sure that's enough to keep me safe from a lawsuit over someones image.


This is especially a dilemma because I really want to start showing my work in art galleries and exhibitions; If I cant publicize some of my art through my website than it could hurt me in a lot of ways.
 

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Gary A.

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Here in the USA, if photos you have made that have people in them were made in private, or under controlled conditions out in public, you would want to have valid, signed model releases on file from the people in any photos you use to promote/advertise yourself.

A Digital Photographer's Guide to Model Releases: Making the Best Business Decisions with Your Photos of People, Places and Things
Yes, but displaying your art on your website is not advertising/commercial. Buying a billboard and tossing a street person on the billboard is not commercial even if referencing a website. Using that billboard with the street person to promote your ... wedding business ... probably is commercial. Generally, you can sell art/editorial without a release.
 

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