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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Taking photos of strangers?
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04/19/2005 10:25:20 AM · #1
ok. Here's a question. When you all are taking candid shots of random people do you approach them afterwards and ask for their permission? I went to the park this weekend to try to get a shot for the people challenge and felt really awkward taking photos of people I didn't know. I did however get a few that could have worked but I didn't post them because I didn't know the rules about posting photos of someone without them knowing it.

Can someone sum this up for me if they have a few minutes. That would be great.

Thanks...
04/19/2005 10:29:50 AM · #2
All the people shots I've posted - Stock cjallenge, Bored challenge &c I've never asked permission. Though read Skiprow's comments about the fifteen people thing he did, and you'll find it could be useful. With that camera, people will believe you're professional, and most won't mind at all.

E
04/19/2005 11:08:58 AM · #3
I take lots of candids, mostly of bargains and kids, but i have never asked permission. Last year I had an exposition in one of the galleries, and the girl someone told me that the girl on my photo, was his wife, but he didn't seem to be mad, on the contrast, he was even pleased! so take any shot you like, post anywhere you like, and do as you find nessesary.

PS why do you think any of the photographers, who worked in tsunami area, were asking permission to locals? I don't think so:)
04/19/2005 11:12:35 AM · #4
Well, another example was I went over to our local soccer fields this weekend because the kids were having a soccer tournament and I was trying to see if I could get any good action shots. I just felt like people were looking at me funny while taking the pics. I guess I shouldn't really worry unless someone asks and its just something I need to get used to... Thanks for the advice.
04/19/2005 11:16:02 AM · #5
I have asked this question many times about release forms etc. From all professionals that I have spoken to if you are using the pic for your own personal use, contest submissions or personal wall spoace then no permission or release is necessary. If you intend on profiting from the image then by all means any recognizable person would need to give permission. This said, you can always out of respect let them know you did take their pic either before or after and let them know you are using it to help improve your skills and talent.
04/19/2005 11:22:33 AM · #6
Since getting my new camera, I've noticed "shots" everywhere I go... I'm patiently waiting for news on it's repair...and return...

but for instance I missed a great shot of a grandma walking a toddler down the sidewalk and a nice shot of two kids playing in a front yard... of couse I would have felt weird pulling over and taking photo's, but then again I bet the parents of the kids or the grandparent (with her grand daughter) would have loved the candid photo...

04/19/2005 11:29:21 AM · #7
Originally posted by bhound:

I have asked this question many times about release forms etc. From all professionals that I have spoken to if you are using the pic for your own personal use, contest submissions or personal wall spoace then no permission or release is necessary. If you intend on profiting from the image then by all means any recognizable person would need to give permission. This said, you can always out of respect let them know you did take their pic either before or after and let them know you are using it to help improve your skills and talent.


And how I should find a man on the photo? I have not see most of my candid photo characters more than once, and does it mean that even if i would like to sell the candid shot, i won't have possibility?
04/19/2005 11:42:22 AM · #8
Possibly place a small ad in a local paper, stating the location, date and approximate time of day that the photo was taken...and asking those in that area contact you regarding a photo that you took that day. Give them a time limit to respond.. if they don't move forward with your plans, if they do, explain the situation to them and see how they respond.

04/19/2005 12:58:39 PM · #9
So what do you do 6 months later when the person in the photo you are selling sees it and complains? Not everyone reads the paper every day, and then certainly not all the ad's (if any).

Originally posted by We1mx3:

Possibly place a small ad in a local paper, stating the location, date and approximate time of day that the photo was taken...and asking those in that area contact you regarding a photo that you took that day. Give them a time limit to respond.. if they don't move forward with your plans, if they do, explain the situation to them and see how they respond.
04/19/2005 01:04:38 PM · #10
Photojournalists are protected by freedom of the press. If you take a picture for your own enjoyment, that should be fine. If your are making money off of it, and you don't have a release, you could get sued.
04/19/2005 01:11:21 PM · #11
Originally posted by cloudsme:

Photojournalists are protected by freedom of the press. If you take a picture for your own enjoyment, that should be fine. If your are making money off of it, and you don't have a release, you could get sued.

What if you attempt to snap someone's picture "for your own enjoyment", and that person asks you to refrain? If you refuse to refrain, does that person have any recourse?
04/19/2005 01:12:24 PM · #12
This kind of questions also bother me a lot sometimes. If I must ask... If I must tell... Good to ear others opinion. From a recent forum someone posted something that I know follow: if you are taking pictures in a public place you are free to photograph what you want, includding people. And even if you are in private property but in work, for example shooting a ceremony, you are free to do so has you are inteended to do it. In either way if there is any person that doesn't want his/her picture taken they should tell you (imagine you encouter a movie star or a public figure). But what you do with the shoot is also relevant.

Edit: And yes, I think I also have to get used to people looking to me when I'm photographing. :)

Message edited by author 2005-04-19 13:13:31.
04/19/2005 01:14:05 PM · #13
Originally posted by lenkphotos:

Originally posted by cloudsme:

Photojournalists are protected by freedom of the press. If you take a picture for your own enjoyment, that should be fine. If your are making money off of it, and you don't have a release, you could get sued.

What if you attempt to snap someone's picture "for your own enjoyment", and that person asks you to refrain? If you refuse to refrain, does that person have any recourse?

not really, by why take a chance of ticking someone off? really? they might smash your camera or hit you. sure, you would have the law on your side, but is it really worth it, to get a shot for your 'personal enjoyment'?

after this
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i sure as heck did not stick around ;-)

Message edited by author 2005-04-19 13:16:25.
04/19/2005 01:15:35 PM · #14
Originally posted by skiprow:

Originally posted by lenkphotos:

Originally posted by cloudsme:

Photojournalists are protected by freedom of the press. If you take a picture for your own enjoyment, that should be fine. If your are making money off of it, and you don't have a release, you could get sued.

What if you attempt to snap someone's picture "for your own enjoyment", and that person asks you to refrain? If you refuse to refrain, does that person have any recourse?

not really, by why take a chance of ticking someone off? really? they might smash your camera or hit you. sure, you would have the law on your side, but is it really worth it, to get a shot for your 'personal enjoyment'?

No, it probably isn't worth it. But my (implicit) point really was whether that person has any legal recourse.

Message edited by author 2005-04-19 13:16:15.
04/19/2005 01:18:09 PM · #15
Originally posted by cloudsme:

Photojournalists are protected by freedom of the press. If you take a picture for your own enjoyment, that should be fine. If your are making money off of it, and you don't have a release, you could get sued.


The short answer to this is NO. If you are in the public like a park or city streets even a soccer field open to the public, you are free to shoot what ever you want. If you sell the image and it is published you are OK. The problem is in the way you show the subject. If the image is of a woman with her dress blowing up and showing "HO YOU KNOW" then she may and I stress may have a cause to complain but it would be with the publisher not the photographer.

If you shoot photos of a man in his back yard with a 500mm from a van on the next block then you are in for it. In his yard he has an expectation of privacy in a park or on the street he does not.

04/19/2005 01:19:46 PM · #16
Originally posted by lenkphotos:

But my (implicit) point really was whether that person has any legal recourse.

it all depends on exactly where they are and where you are. if you have tresspassed onto private property to get the shot, they can charge you. if you are on public property and they are on private property, you can shoot freely at your own risk. if you are both on private property, then your freedom to shoot is determined by the property owner (ie, a private club might have restrictions against taking pictures while on the premises.) all the same, it is ALWAYS the best policy to get permission first, rather than have someone chasing after you, either physically or legally...
04/19/2005 01:22:35 PM · #17
Originally posted by skiprow:

... it is ALWAYS the best policy to get permission first, rather than have someone chasing after you, either physically or legally...

Yeah, but I'm shy and can run pretty fast. ;-)
04/19/2005 01:24:03 PM · #18
Originally posted by lenkphotos:

Originally posted by skiprow:

... it is ALWAYS the best policy to get permission first, rather than have someone chasing after you, either physically or legally...

Yeah, but I'm shy and can run pretty fast. ;-)

go for it...just hope you never get caught ;-) and who knows, maybe if you start shooting while you run, you might shoot something interesting...
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04/19/2005 01:26:28 PM · #19
Originally posted by skiprow:

Originally posted by lenkphotos:

Yeah, but I'm shy and can run pretty fast. ;-)

go for it...just hope you never get caught ;-) and who knows, maybe if you start shooting while you run, you might shoot something interesting...
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LOL! (looks like some of mine while standing still :-(
04/19/2005 01:27:35 PM · #20
I keep hearing/seeing post about releases we should ask people to sign when we take photos of them if we decide to sell or whatever with the photos. (I am talking about public places)

My question is WHY? Do you think all those photographers going around taking photos of movie stars, etc. then selling the photos to the tabloids, etc. are asking the stars to sign releases.

Am I missing something?
04/19/2005 01:30:04 PM · #21
Originally posted by PhotoRyno:

I keep hearing/seeing post about releases we should ask people to sign when we take photos of them if we decide to sell or whatever with the photos. (I am talking about public places)

My question is WHY? Do you think all those photographers going around taking photos of movie stars, etc. then selling the photos to the tabloids, etc. are asking the stars to sign releases.

Am I missing something?

yes. any image you shoot in public, without invading someone's privacy, you can sell to a publication, even a tabloid.

but, if you take a picture of j-lo drinking a coke, you can't sell it to coca-cola, and they can't use it to promote their product. you also cannot make a poster or postcards of the image to sell. all you can do is enjoy it yourself--unless, of course, you enter into a licensing arrangement with j-lo's management.

on the other hand, if i take a picture of you drinking a coke, while i still couldn't sell it to coca-cola without your permission, i could sell it as art without your permission.

Message edited by author 2007-02-23 05:26:16.
04/19/2005 01:38:27 PM · #22
It is NOT okay to take pictures of people and put it on public display unless you have written consent of that person, it is a violation to some amendment of the constitution.. havn´t read it all, and can´t remember which number belongs to wich act..

you can take pictures of whoever you want, if they and you are on public ground when the picture is taken, but to be able to show that picture to the public, like here on DPC, on print, on TV or any other media, then you will have to get that person to sign a model relese form, otherwise you might face criminal charges and you are a possible target for a civil suit, where the "model" could demand it´s model salary.. like Kate Moss.. $10.000 for each picture :)

the only exeptions is when there are 4 or more persons in the photograph that you can recognise, then it is a group photo and permission is not needed.

there have been numerous class action suits where a photograph has made the press and the photographer didn´t get permission from the subject to take the photograph or publish it.

(most of these cases are when the subject is in a compomising situation, like in the nude, or with the mistress or something like that)

hope this clears things for you.. ALWAYS ask for permission and have the model sign a model relese form.
04/19/2005 01:42:30 PM · #23
Originally posted by DanSig:

hope this clears things for you.. ALWAYS ask for permission and have the model sign a model relese form.

well, there you have it, someone who's more of a lawyer than me ;-)
04/19/2005 01:51:39 PM · #24
The rule of thumb that I've seen in multiple places is that if photos are taken in a public space no model's release is necessary. In other words, if there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, no release is needed.

However, if you "hire" a model, a release must be obtained. A model can be considered to be "hired" even if you are exchanging portfolio material for the modeling.
04/19/2005 01:53:56 PM · #25
There are some photography websites that require you have a model release of any recognisable person in a photograph that you submit. They dont always ask for the release but they do require that you have one. DPC doesnt have that rule and so I'm assuming non-model released images are perfectly acceptable. Certainly they have been up to now.

I think it is somewhat like jaywalking. Technically it is illegal but people still do it and I dont recall too many people being arrested for it. That doesnt mean it is right but unless you're doing terrible things with an image I doubt too many people would mind.

You could always claim personal use or editorial although I dont know to what extent those cover things such as competitions, website display, etc.
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