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How do you handle photo releases?
June 8, 2010 at 1:22 pm #102467
Do you collect signed releases from everyone you shoot photos of? How do you manage it?
Currently, we have people sign a paper document which is then scanned and numbered, and the corresponding photos in our system are matched to the release number.
It’s not too hard if you’re taking a headshot of one person, but finding parents and getting releases on 20 kindergartners at a library story hour is next to impossible! I can either get the paperwork done right or shoot photos that are worth the effort — but not both at the same time. Maybe it’s a left brain/right brain thing?
Would love to find some kind of easy electronic system that would eliminate paper and associate the releases with the appropriate photos. Any ideas?
June 8, 2010 at 3:02 pm #102481
We do not collect releases and all of our photo sets go straight to Flickr. Our photos are not used commercially and we consider them editorial or news related. Fair game.
June 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm #102479
I am sooo jealous! Minnesota law says that images of government employees are not public information and can’t be used without permission. It’s OK to use a photo of a public event in a public setting (such as a band concert in a park) but they really want us to have releases of everybody. It makes me crazy to be standing right next to a newspaper photographer or TV videographer, shooting the same thing at the same time without having to worry about releases. Brett, can I find your photos on Flickr? Would be nice to see the kinds of images you use. Thanks!
June 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm #102477
We do a little of both. We don’t usually don’t collect releases when we’re shooting public events (like ribbon cuttings, uggh). When it’s news, we’re posting public event photos directly to Flicker: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/sets/72157622836805518/ We’ve found a lot of media outlets will use our images from Flickr instead of sending their staff to cover our events.
When our employees are on the job, there’s no expectation of privacy, we like to show people what we do, even when we’re doing it on top of a mountain! http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/4621726647/
But occasionally we shoot images for advertising or need model releases for photo contests. We don’t have any consistant way of maintaining paper releases in our digital world, so I’m hoping someone has found some creative software that will answer Lisa’s question.
June 8, 2010 at 4:49 pm #102475
Here is a link to the City’s Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/weho . This will give you an idea of what we usually put out there for public consumption. As Jim mentioned, we too find our photos being used by the news outlets over those entities sending their own photographer.
I don’t contribute much to these “event” type photos and am used mostly for the more creative things our Department (PIO) puts out and we don’t always put those types of photos out there for public consumption. However, I do occasionally contribute to our public archive:
June 9, 2010 at 2:33 am #102473
We tend to consider, say, attendees at a ribbon cutting or ground breaking fair game. We’re there, they’re there, the news media is there, and if they’re standing within feet of a half dozen cameras…folks if you’re shy step back. 🙂
We do get releases if people appear in a PSA or the such, especially non-employees. THat said, we’ve also made videos where people have agreed to be interviewed so…they agree to be interviewed, we don’t worry about the model release. Or, like one we made that had photos from employees from all 6 of our districts, well the folks that took the photos said ‘hey, wanna have your pic in a psa?’ and if the folks said yes, they put on a vest and got their photo taken and got it put in the PSA. They gave permission for us to use it by standing there to have their photo taken.
In this day and age of everyone having at least a cell phone camera at any point in time, the expectation of privacy anywhere outside your front door is fading away.
I think a lot of it boils down to the laws of your state/city/county, etc.
June 9, 2010 at 8:35 pm #102471
Very good points, Denise. Incidentally, we got an opinion from the attorney that it would be OK to post a sign at group events — such as a library storytime — announcing that we’re taking photos so people can either not participate or let us know and sit somewhere we can exclude them. It’s not perfect but it’s a heck of a lot easier than collecting releases on 20 toddlers!
June 10, 2010 at 2:33 am #102469
I think in some cases/states, schools send home a release for parents to sign, a blanket ‘if you don’t want photos/videos taken speak up now or we’ll assume you don’t care’ release.
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