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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 02 Jun 2010 (Wednesday) 20:57
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Do I need a model release for this?

 
Don ­ Komarechka
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Jun 02, 2010 20:57 |  #1

Hi everyone,


I glanced over the model release thread, some great advice in there. However I would like some opinions on one photo in particular.

IMAGE: http://don.komarechka.com/images/potn/_MG_9386.jpg

I took this about a week ago down at the waterfront in town here. Some rowers from a local rowing club were out on the lake as the sun was coming up. They are in complete shadow with no unique identifying features. I do not have a model release from the people in this photo. Do I need it?

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Skrim17
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Jun 02, 2010 20:58 |  #2

My understanding is if you cannot make out who they are, there is no release needed.

Nice shot.


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asysin2leads
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Jun 02, 2010 22:51 as a reply to  @ Skrim17's post |  #3

No.


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jsvphoto
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Jun 02, 2010 22:54 |  #4

I'm a novice at this, too, but from everything I've read on the subject, this is a clear-cut "no - no release is necessary."

But take that for what it's worth, coming from me ;o)


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MJPhotos24
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Jun 03, 2010 00:16 |  #5

definitely NOT


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Jun 03, 2010 05:19 as a reply to  @ MJPhotos24's post |  #6

No, you don't.


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kenwood33
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Jun 03, 2010 06:19 |  #7

no
do you mind sharing where you took this from?


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Don ­ Komarechka
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Jun 03, 2010 06:40 |  #8

Thanks for the responses everyone, and it is the answer I was hoping for!

As for where it was taken, it was taken on Kempenfelt Bay in Barrie, Ontario. (exact location 44° 22′ 28.66″ N, 79° 40′ 50.93″ W ). :)


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Jun 03, 2010 11:46 |  #9
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This is a great shot! And +1 - no release needed.


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Jun 04, 2010 13:20 |  #10

"Do I need a model release?"

This is the answer you should get any time you ask that question:
"What are you planning to do with the photo?"

I'm not an attorney. Find a grain of salt and take it with my advice.

To own the photo, you never need a model release.
To sell copies of the photo, you MAY need a model release for any featured people in the photo. It depends on where the photo was taken and the circumstances surrounding the shot. This particular photo would not fit such a description.
To sell the photo to a newspaper for editorial purposes, you often do not need a model release. This photo would need none.
To use this photo to advertise Ontario, boats, or an inn... No, because these people were not asked/hired by you to row out there. Thus, no one can identify exactly who these people were. If you staged this shot, they'll know that they're in the shot and you should get a release.
To sell this photo, copyright and all, to a stock agency, perhaps... No, but don't "indemnify" the purchaser of the photo against claims.


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Jun 04, 2010 13:27 as a reply to  @ BillsBayou's post |  #11

If you staged this shot, they'll know that they're in the shot and you should get a release.

Not sure about Louisiana, where the law differs fundamentally from other US states, but in other states the court would apply a "reasonable person" standard and determine whether a reasonable person could identify the people in the image.


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Jun 06, 2010 17:37 |  #12

BillsBayou wrote in post #10302729 (external link)
"Do I need a model release?"

This is the answer you should get any time you ask that question:
"What are you planning to do with the photo?"

I'm not an attorney. Find a grain of salt and take it with my advice.

To own the photo, you never need a model release.
To sell copies of the photo, you MAY need a model release for any featured people in the photo. It depends on where the photo was taken and the circumstances surrounding the shot. This particular photo would not fit such a description.
To sell the photo to a newspaper for editorial purposes, you often do not need a model release. This photo would need none.
To use this photo to advertise Ontario, boats, or an inn... No, because these people were not asked/hired by you to row out there. Thus, no one can identify exactly who these people were. If you staged this shot, they'll know that they're in the shot and you should get a release.
To sell this photo, copyright and all, to a stock agency, perhaps... No, but don't "indemnify" the purchaser of the photo against claims.

Just to add to this, I shoot a lot for iStock and they are quite often now requiring model releases for "contextual" situations like this. Even though you did not stage this shot, and even though the people in it can not be identified easily, there is a very slim chance that based on the context, location, activity, etc. they might be able to recognize that it was indeed themselves in the scull. As such, if you would be using this photo for stock or advertising purposes there is a chance that any agency would require a model release just a a CYA policy and to err as much as possible on side of caution. I am guessing you would not need a release but you never know!

Here is a link to iStocks discussion on types of photos that do and don't need releases:

http://www.istockphoto​.com/article_view.php?​ID=648 (external link)


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Karl ­ Johnston
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Jun 06, 2010 17:40 |  #13
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According to that link Istock says you do


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RDKirk
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Jun 06, 2010 17:55 |  #14

Karl Johnston wrote in post #10313694 (external link)
According to that link Istock says you do

Istock needs for him to get the release in order to maximize the commercial sales potential of the image. The need for a release is always a matter of the intended use of the image.


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Don ­ Komarechka
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Jun 06, 2010 18:26 |  #15

I was contemplating using it for stock, but most likely it will be used in my own portfolio and potentially as a fine art piece.

Thanks very much for the incredibly detailed information you all have been providing!

Oh, and for the record, I did not stage the shot. I did however add the ducks in PP :)


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Do I need a model release for this?
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