I'm a member (and founder) of our local Miata club. I've shot a LOT of images of members and their Miatas over the years. Yesterday, our current club president was contacted by Mazda's ad agency. They referenced one of my photos that's displayed at the club's website. They said they are potentially interested in commercial use of the photo and they wanted my contact information. This is the photo:
It was shot with a 5D Mark II so I can provide them with a much larger image. I don't know yet how they want to use it. Perhaps a brochure for the next Miata? Or, maybe just some video/slideshow presentation? I expect I'll hear from them today.
Anyway, I'm wondering if any discussion on commercial use of the photo will be moot because I don't have model releases for the people in the photo. On the one hand, anyone that is a current active club member can easily identify most of the people in the photo based (mostly) on the car they are standing next to. On the other hand, I don't think the average person could identify anyone because the people are too far away.
So, is a model release needed when the people can only be identified by people that already know them?