Photo releases in remote locations

jim_thomsen

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I recently spent a month taking pictures in a couple of remote villages on one of the islands of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. The villagers have no written language, but some had attended missionary schools and could speak a little English. I had the Chief’s permission to take pictures in the village.

To enter pictures in a contest, like National Geographic, they require that you have photo releases. FIRST, I know that my photos are not at a level to be entered in a contest, but maybe someday…

The people I took pictures of may have spoken a few words of English, but could not read or write any language. How do travel photographers handle photo releases when they are taking pictures of people with no written language?
Thanks,
Jim
 

Snyder

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Generally you only need a release for commercial use of the photo. Nat. Geo. falls in the realm of news/journalism so you don't need permission or a model release. Though I necessarily wouldn't burn bridges publishing a photo the subject doesn't approve, it's bad for repeat business opportunities.
 

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