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View Full Version : Correct Etiquette?



barb1686
06-12-2007, 12:30 PM
What is the correct etiquette for taking pictures of people you don't know? Recently I took some shots of people I don't know, and I don't think they knew I was taking them...and I posted them on my gallery's site. You can't see their faces, but is that all right? I would hate to ask them beforehand because then you don't get candid shots.

What do the professionals do that sells their portraits? Do they have to get permission, or do they name the people anonymous?

Pave
06-12-2007, 12:57 PM
I remember seeing similar discussion here some time ago. As far as I remember it grew to enormouse size and in the end there was no definite conclusion.
It depends on your personality....whether you are the type of guy who feels bad about it or not... I personaly don't photograph people but if I did, I guess I wouldn't bother too much with getting their permission :)

wutske
06-12-2007, 01:44 PM
legaly I think you have to ask them, but that would ruin the shot and in a busy street it's impossible to ask everybody. If it's one person in perticular you're shooting, I'd take the picture and go tell him/her you've taken a picture and give him/her a contact card or something.
If you publish and they have problem with it, they can always contact you for removal.
Ps. this is for non-commercial shots. For commercial/lucrative shots, permission is a must.

erichlund
06-12-2007, 02:40 PM
I would preface the following by saying this is my own opinion on the subject...

Partly, it depends a little on how you are going to use the photo. If you are not going to ever publish it in a public forum, it really doesn't matter. However, as soon as you make someone else's image public, then perhaps you are in murkier waters. If the image was taken on public ground, the photojournalist would tell you that there is no legal obligation, but whether there is a moral obligation is to some a separate matter.

If the people in the photo are only incidental to the photo, then you certainly have no obligation to seek permission. If the people are the subject, then you have a greater moral obligation to get permission to use their image.

If you are going to sell a photo, then you probably should get a model release. Even if you are going to publish the photo, but your only remuneration is the affect to your reputation (good or bad :p), then you should still get some form of permission.

However, you can certainly take a photo and seek permission after the fact. Otherwise, there is never any possibility of getting a candid shot.

zmikers
06-12-2007, 05:25 PM
I would preface the following by saying this is my own opinion on the subject...

Partly, it depends a little on how you are going to use the photo. If you are not going to ever publish it in a public forum, it really doesn't matter. However, as soon as you make someone else's image public, then perhaps you are in murkier waters. If the image was taken on public ground, the photojournalist would tell you that there is no legal obligation, but whether there is a moral obligation is to some a separate matter.

If the people in the photo are only incidental to the photo, then you certainly have no obligation to seek permission. If the people are the subject, then you have a greater moral obligation to get permission to use their image.

If you are going to sell a photo, then you probably should get a model release. Even if you are going to publish the photo, but your only remuneration is the affect to your reputation (good or bad :p), then you should still get some form of permission.

However, you can certainly take a photo and seek permission after the fact. Otherwise, there is never any possibility of getting a candid shot.

Yes, there was a long running debate about this here a few months back. It's a very interesting topic, but I think the above post is true about the legalities of it. The moral issue is another can of worms.

Honest Gaza
06-12-2007, 06:29 PM
The debate got especially heated once children were involved.

As previously mentioned, it depends on which side of the fence you sit, and unfortunately, does not have a definitive answer.

There are the legal issues, and the moral issues.

JLV
06-12-2007, 06:32 PM
In the thread the others have mentioned, I posted this web site. http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm. Here an attorney explains the photogographer's rights.

I hope it helps you.

John_Reed
06-12-2007, 06:32 PM
I didn't participate in the long discussion you described, but my I.P. lawyer friend tells me that if the subject being photographed is in a public place, there is NO obligation to obtain permissions. Now, a private place, like a restaurant or store, I didn't ask him about that situation.

barb1686
06-12-2007, 07:45 PM
Ok, thank you everyone for the replies. My photos won't be published, aside from my gallery, so I should be all right. Only friends and family go there. If by any chance a person sees it and they don't like it, then I will take it down, without hesitation. It's all for fun for me, no money involved. In the future I will ask permission if given the chance, but I don't think I'll go out of my way to ask first. I really want to capture candids and that's just ruined if they know you are taking pictures.

speaklightly
06-12-2007, 11:10 PM
I have sold a lot of photos over the years and when the sale was at its closing stage, I was always asked for the model releases for anyone identifiable in my photo. There is a court case going on right now over some footage of "Borat" which included some footage of the guy who is suing for big bucks.

It depends on how far back you are standing. If I am obvious because I an using a lens in the range of 50 to 180mm, I always ask. If I am using a 70-300mm lens and am more or less hidden within the crowd. I will pass on asking.

When I took this photo recently in Rotterdam, I asked for and received permission to take the photo.

Sarah