posting your work on your website


TPF Noob!
Oct 7, 2011
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I have a photography website that I'm in the middle of updating. It's my business website, and I want to put up pictures from a party that I was hired to shoot a little while back. What I'm wondering is, am I allowed to post photos that I took of kids at this party? Or would I need a consent form to do it? I'm a little unsure on the ettiquette here.

When it doubt about a legal matter, consult your lawyer. This is the sort of thing that should be specified in your contract...
If you shot it then its your photo and as long as you aren't earning money off the photos then you can post them in your online portfolio, aka a website. If they have a problem with it they can ask you to remove them and you can if you want to be nice. I put a couple photos from many of my shoots on my website and I don't really think theres anything legal they can do about it unless you're earning money, like with stock photos, in that case you need a model release.

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Thank you AnnMo! I thought that might be the case, but I wasn't sure.

As far as I know that is the case and my professor told me it was if I'm wrong someone correct me, but I don't think I am? :)
verbal agreement. no contract. probably should start having those...

If it wasn't written, it never happened. In my contracts it says that I'll use the images for my publicity purposes. My clients have an option to opt my placing image on the web and it is a courtesy that I extent to them as they booked me to shoot their job.
If you shot it then its your photo and as long as you aren't earning money off the photos then you can post them in your online portfolio, aka a website.
If only it were that simple.

From Dan Heller's - A Digital Photographer's Guide to Model Releases: Making the Best Business Decisions with Your Photos of People, Places and Things
When you put your images on the web, in a portfolio or in a catalog to promote yourself, or make the photos available for sale or licensing, this self-publishing is not considered a form of commercial use that requires a release from the subjects of your photos

Dan goes on to point out that there are other factors that must also be considered:

Photos used for self-promotion don't require a release as long as the people in them are not perceived to be advocates or sponsors of your business. (If so, you'd have to have a release)

A bit further along Dan notes:
What is also important in how a photo was shot - that is, what were the conditions at the time? Were you in a public setting? Was it a private shoot? Was it for money? These and many other conditions can trigger the need (or lack thereof) of a model release.....

If you were paid to shoot the party, you would be well advised to have properly executed model releases for any photos of people you put online, adults or children. Parents have to sign a release for their minor children.

If you have a photography business, it is definately in your best interests to be better informed about copyright and model/property release legalities the can negatively effect the profitability of your business.
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In my own case, I would never post a kids photo without specific permission from the parent. Legal or not, to me that is the right thing.

To go one step further, I never post any photos of children on my site. Not saying this is right for everyone.

If you business is photographing kids then you should get permission from the parents if you want to post shots of their kids.
Legal Advice on the Internetz.... like anything else one gets what they pay for
I was in a similar situation when I photographed a local Elementary School's "Father/Daughter Valentine" dance. My solution, since the school wanted individual portraits anyway, was to have each dad sign a list-formatted model release. This served two purposes, 1) it allowed me to keep the photos in order and matched to names for delivery, and 2) it allowed me the "CYA" leeway to shoot candids throughout the night during the actual dance.

The school was happy, the photos are online and even shared via Facebook, and the parents knew upfront what would happen. Nobody had a problem with it.

I think that's the key, as long as people are informed up front, you avoid any issues. This may not help you for THIS situation, since it's passed, but next time...hopefully the suggestion is useful.
Useful and interesting info!! I always put in my contract that if you object to my posting a few photos from your shoot on my website, then discuss this with me. I have only had one person before object, which made me wonder...should we charge a fee for "exclusive" rights?? Where as we give up our own rights to the photos as the photographer?

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Did you know you can turn that AUTO SPAM off?

When granting exclusive use, the photogher retains ownership of the copyright. The photographer just can't license the photo to anyone else during the term of the use license. It is prety rare to grant exclusive use for longer than a year, or 2 at most.

Here in the US in most cases the photographer owns the copyright to the photos they make.
Copyright is actually a bundle of rights the photographer can license the usage of, piecemeal.

Retail portrait photograpers often give customers, what is technically a use license, that they call a Print Release (or very poor words to use, a copyright release) so the customer can get prints made at a print lab.

Commercial photographers can make a substantial amount of their income from use licensing the images they make. An exclusive use license cost much more than a non-exclusive use license. Usage can be limited geographically, by time, by media type, by size, by number of reproductions, and just about any other limit the photographer can think of..

A use license may grant non-exclusive use, in print media that only has US distribution, at a maximum of 500,000 impressions, for just a single monthly issue of the print publication. If the client wants to print more than 500,000 copies they negotiate a change in the use license terms and cost.

PrintRelease - Use License
All images © 2012 {name or studio here}, AllRights Reserved. This Use License shall be governed by the laws of theState of _________.
I, [name or studio here], as copyright ownerof these images, grant a lifetime, personal, non-commercial use license to ____________________andtheir immediate family to print or have printed (no larger than(whatever size, if any) reproductions of these images fordisplay in their home and workplace only.

Online Use
{name or studio here} has provided web sizedand watermarked images for exclusive use on social networking web sites thatare not owned by ____________________ and their immediate family. No otheronline use is granted. Removal of the watermark from these web sized images, orany other violation of any of the other terms, will constitute a breach of thisentire Print Release – Use License, rendering it null and void in its entirety.

Copyright Information
Please remember that because these images areprotected by Federal Copyright laws they may not be altered, copied,transmitted or used in any way not stipulated above without prior writtenconsent of the copyright owner, {name or studio here}.
These images may not be entered in anyphotography or other competition or contest without the expressed writtenconsent of [name or studio here]. Commercial use of the images is prohibited.
No waiver by either party of any of the termsor conditions of this license shall be deemed or construed to be awaiver of such term or condition for the future, or of any subsequent breachthereof. Waivers are only applicable when they are written. There will be noverbal waivers to this agreement.
The Photographer hereby warrants that he (orshe) is the sole creator of these images and owns all rights granted by law.

[Name or studio here]
City, State
Authorized Signature:
Thank you guys. This has all been extremely helpful. I've now started looking into contracts to use, so I can protect myself and my work. I appreciate all of your input!

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