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Model release form question...


rowarrior 12 4.4k 9 Scotland
28 Jan 2009 8:43PM
I've seen a number of people asking about model release forms for studio/portrait/wedding shots, and they've been pointed in the direction of a downloadable one, but I was wondering if the same thing would work for street photography?

The background to this is that my camera club is embarking on a project, hopefully in partnership with the council, that will involve a lot of street photography. I know from a guy that takes some photos part time for the council's sports and recreation department, that when he goes out at weekend he's not allowed to take photos of children (I think because of the difficulty in tracking down all the parents to agree), however part of this project involves recreating some photos that have kids in them, so would the same model releases used for stuido etc shots work for street photography?

We're hoping to exhibit and reproduce these images in some way, hopefully for sale, so we have assumed that because of the sale/exhibition aspect we will need permission of some sort for all the identifiable people in the photos (certainly for children).

Thanks for any help/advice you can offer Smile

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stolzy 14 3.8k 7
28 Jan 2009 9:05PM
I don't see why, if you're taking pictures in the street, that you need a model release at all.
Carabosse 17 41.4k 270 England
28 Jan 2009 9:10PM
You don't need a model release - doesn't matter whether they are kids or adults. Just make sure you are standing on public ground when you are taking the photos - otherwise you'll need the permission of whoever owns the land.

But....... if you are planning to sell the photos through a stock agency you will often find a release will be required by the agency. This is, amongst other things, because pictures are sold worldwide by agencies and different countries have different privacy laws.
User_Removed 18 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2009 9:13PM
Hi Katy

If the photographs are for commercial use (i.e. not editorial) and the people on them are readily identifiable then more than likely you will need a model release.

If the photos are for personal use or for editorial usage (press etc), then generally speaking, a model release is not required Smile

You mention images might be sold then you could argue this is commercial usage however, commercial usage usually refers to the promotion or endorsement of a product or service Smile
Carabosse 17 41.4k 270 England
28 Jan 2009 9:16PM
I think you will agree Barrie that it is only third parties who will require releases. If the camera club is selling them direct, who is going to require a release?
stolzy 14 3.8k 7
28 Jan 2009 9:16PM

Quote:If the photographs are for commercial use (i.e. not editorial) and the people on them are readily identifiable then more than likely you will need a model release.


Can you clarify pls Barrie - if I take a picture in the street of an identifiable individual and want to sell prints, why would I need a model release?
User_Removed 18 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2009 9:20PM
You won't (maybe I had better say "shouldn't") need a release for that but if you used the photographs to promote a band for instance or to advertise something (you get my drift) then yes you will.

It can be a bit of a grey area because almost any use can be argued to be commercial (i.e. even editorial which normally has carte blanche can be argued to be 'selling' the newspaper/magazine) and of course we have had some high profile 'invasion of privacy' cases where the court has found in favour of the subject not the photographer.
Carabosse 17 41.4k 270 England
28 Jan 2009 9:25PM
The model release is to protect the photographer - not the subject.

Unless you are foolish enough to take a photo of someone's kid and use it (say) in an article about sexual abuse of children, the circumstances in which libel action could be taken against you are pretty limited.

But once you start passing photos to other parties for publication, you may find it is they who will demand a release.
stolzy 14 3.8k 7
28 Jan 2009 9:26PM
OK, thanks for that. Its getting less clear by the minute Smile
Which legislation covers the 'commercial' use aspect?
User_Removed 18 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2009 9:30PM
But it's not just about libel CB is it.

It's also to protect you against any claims for royalties or fees of some sort that might be made against you. If you photographed a beautiful model and that photo went on to be THE photo for a brand of perfume for instance, you certainly wouldn't want anyone claiming part of your 100,000 fee Grin
Carabosse 17 41.4k 270 England
28 Jan 2009 9:31PM
From Alamy:


Quote:Commercial use

is when an image is used to advertise, promote, sell or endorse a product, service, organisation or brand. Examples include billboards and print advertising.

Editorial use

is when an image is used in conjunction with, and to illustrate, a story or descriptive piece of text. Examples include magazine or newspaper features and books.




Quote:But it's not just about libel CB is it.


If you are taking photos and just selling them yourself, I would say it is.

As I have already indicated, once the photo gets passed to a third party then a release may be required. (But not always, even then).
User_Removed 18 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2009 9:31PM
Thought I said that Wink
stolzy 14 3.8k 7
28 Jan 2009 9:32PM
So rowarrior can happily go ahead as planned without seeking model releases?
Carabosse 17 41.4k 270 England
28 Jan 2009 9:37PM

Quote:So rowarrior can happily go ahead as planned without seeking model releases?


Provided they are not planning on the photos being passed to someone else for publication I would say so.
User_Removed 18 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2009 9:39PM
Publication per se is fine (it's editorial use) but if the council is involved in the project, you'll probably not be able to a thing. Probably won't be allowed to wipe your bum without a health and safety evaluation on the strength and efficacy of the perforations in the loo paper Grin

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