Cindy is back! And has a question about usage

Talk about anything related to photography...

Postby Fleet177 » Mar Fri 17, 2006 10:07 pm

Hi to old friends, Tal, Cim (Warren), Matt, Jason B, Joe, Moon (formerly Moonface?)... this is Cindy from the long ago E-10, et al discussions. Got an invite a while ago to come here and re-register and I finally got around to it and to posting something.

I wasn't sure how to post a new topic so I'm posting in this one with the hopes of getting an answer to my dilemma and maybe some coaching on where the "post new topic" button, link, whatever, might be :)

I still have my E-10 as a backup but graduated about a year and a half ago to the Canon 10D and the 35-350 and 17-40 Canon "L" lenses. Might as well put the $$ into it and get decent glass in front. I've been doing some shoots for people (a couple of my photos and a sale flyer for a $40,000 horse I did a shoot with was even sent around the horse world in Europe - that was a thrill), mostly horses (those of you who know me know my passion) but I've branched out in some other directions including human/horse portraits and have been contracted to do some family photo stuff. Not my fav (or strength) but it's still photo work :).

Now for the real question. We have a regional Horse Fair that people actually come to from all over the country. The have a photo contest and I have a photo of a kid - maybe 6 yrs old - walking his pony to the show ring to show it in a class. Open show, out in public. I turned around, saw him walking towards me and I just swung the camera up (as fast as I could... lotsa heft to that camera with the battery pack and 35-350 lense on the front - lol) and started shooting. It was for me only so I didn't run after him and ask who his Mommy was so I could ask to use the pic sometime. My question, after this long and very wordy post (you still awake???) is, can I use this photo in a contest if it won't be published anywhere and will be returned to me, win or lose. I asked Leo Howard (who many of you know) and he said it was a gray area and a judgment call... I'd rather that judgment not be against me if I get hauled into court. :D

So... opinions? Anyone? Yes I can use it (please please :) ), No way, or that familiar "gray area - judgment call" opinion...

Thanks!
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Postby mattchase » Mar Fri 17, 2006 10:59 pm

Hi Cindy! Welcome back to the old gang! I took the liberty of moving your post into a new thread, so it kind of looks like you made your own new topic. I won't tell anyone that you didn't. ;)

To answer your first question, there is a oval button that you click to make a new topic, it is just below the forum name, on the left side of the page. This button is also at the bottom of the page also on the left side.

In regards to your boy and horse there are a number of interpretations that can be made on it. I can hear everyone groaning now because they think I am going to write a book on each possibility. Well, I might. ;)

In short, if the contest is for prestige only, then you are probably pretty safe. It won't be published, there isn't any commercial gain, it was a public show, and it is a shot of a participant. If all of that is true, I think you would be fine to use it. If there is prize money which could be seen as commercial gain, I still think you would be safe. You aren't selling the image and it doesn't sound like it will be published all over the place.

In long, it was a public show, and he was knowingly participating (or since it was a child, "being allowed to participate"), and it is assumed that photography will be happening. So when some one is taking part in an event like this and doesn't protest on the spot about photography, there is an implied release to photograph the participants. This is similar to being at a park and taking photos of people jogging or walking their dogs, or at the beach doing the same. Being in public most the time gives the photographer an implied release to use those photographs. However, this doesn't neccessarily mean you should exploit the image for all it's worth, as there are some catches. Even when in public, people have expectations of privacy and you are always better off getting a release. This is most important if you capture some one in a compromising position, but some people just don't like their image being used no matter how good the shot may be. Even if you were in the right photographing them, they can cause a lot of headache for you if they aren't happy about it.

Is the boy recognizable in the shot? I am guessing he is, but if he isn't such as if it is a shot from behind him and you can't see his face, then you should be fine. Having an unrecognizable person in a shot goes a long way to not needing a release. If you can't tell who it is, then technically their persona / image or their privacy aren't being invaded. In the case of not recognizable, you are still best off getting a release, but are also pretty safe to use the image for any use without repercussions.

I think the biggest catch for your shot is that he is a minor (and assuming he is recognizable), and it could be argued that his parents weren't aware that photoraphy was taking place. So while you are probably safe, I would highly recommend not using it for any real commercial purposes without a signed model release. But as a portfolio image you are fine, and I think for a contest such as you described you are fine. But I would not use it for anything commercial, nor in a contest where it will be published or circulated in numerous places.

Another way you can look at it is from a newsworthy standpoint. Photographs taken in public or of an event open to the public which have value as being of public interest don't require a release from those in the photo. Of course, there are catches with this one too. The first is that this type of implied release typically only extends to actual news usage, so it would need to be used in a newspaper, magazine, etc. Another is that it would help if you actually were shooting for a newspaper, or did some photojournalism in general, though the basic definition does not state that you have to be a professional, it just helps with your own credibility. This is how the paparazi and other spot news photographers get away with taking photos of celebrities in public, or of a car crash victim on a stretcher, etc.

See, I didn't type thaaaaaaaaat much. Ok, it's a lot. ;)

Hopefully Joe can add some thoughts to confirm or add warning to this. He has more experience with event and photojournalism photography than I do. Most of my experience comes from commercial and stock photography, which is usually done for hire either with releases for the models or an all inclusive "company wide" release by the client.

And if you actually made it this far, a bonus! Here is a link to a PDF that has information about your rights as a photographer and photographing in public. It isn't all inclusive or go into any great depth, it is mostly an overview, but is still usefull info. I recommend printing it and keeping a copy in your camera bag and car in case some one bothers you.
http://www.matthewchase.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf
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Postby TonyK » Mar Sat 18, 2006 4:12 am

Hi Cindy,

Matt has it mostly right until you come to do commercial use. Then a release is always required.

What are the rules for the photo contest? In some cases they will want a signed release of anyone recognizable. If they don't require a release AND if they do not take ownership of the photos (some due, that is why we could use the rules) then you could be okay.

Matt, thanks for the PDF book.
TonyK
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Postby Talvan » Mar Sat 18, 2006 5:33 am

Welcome back Cindy!

Like Matt and Tony said already, you should be fine with out a release as long as you aren't selling the image/print commercially. As for the contest, each contest has their own rules on whether or not you need a release. I know the local state and national competition that my camera club hosts DOES require a signed release for recognizable personal. However, our internal PSA cycle competitions DO NOT. First of I would go to the rules of the contest, if they require it you are SOL, if not you are in luck, and if you are really in luck you will steal first. :D
Sincerely,
John Talvan
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Postby moon » Mar Sat 18, 2006 6:45 am

Welcome Cindy!! Regarding your conundrum, I have no freekin' clue ;-) But I definitely wanted to give you a 'shout out'!
-mike
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Postby Vance » Mar Sat 18, 2006 12:25 pm

Can't add anything that Mr. Words or anyone else has stated, other than...

Welcome Back!!! :hi
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Postby Fleet177 » Mar Sat 18, 2006 8:24 pm

:hi Thanks to all for the warm welcome back! :)... Glad I have a great group to bounce :bgb ideas and questions against.

Matt... buddy... I've scanned my screens for a new topic button (maybe I haven't earned on yet ;) ) and I can't find one on any screen :( And NO, it's not because I'm blond - ovals have 4 sides and corners, right??? LOL :P I'll go on another treasure hunt to find that button when I get done responding to all of your great responses.

And Matt, I knew I could count on you to fill my evening adding to my knowledge banks with your detailed response (LOL - just kidding, I appreciate you taking the time to go through and type all that). An answer to one of your questions is yes, the boy is recognizable. When my head stops hurting from all those words I had to read from you (and I got all the way to the end before passing out), I'll see if I can figure out how to load the picture here so I can get critiqued (gulp) from y'all. Keep in mind that it was an unplanned shot, a very sunny day and far enough away that fill flash wouldn't have helped... :) (k, nuff excuses for now - lol).

TonyK - I've read through the rules and there is nothing listed regarding releases at all. Guess that's good for me :).

Moon - Thanks for your knowledgable response - LOL and thank you so much for the Shout Out!

Tal - As far as taking first... I'm just hoping not to hear laughter when people stop by and look at my pictures ;) (just kidding - I'm actually pretty proud of them and have lots of wow's from the people who've seen them and some requests for photo shoots when the snow is gone and the mud dries up :D.) We'll see what happens.

And, Vance, thank you so much for your welcome back. You're all a great group and I've missed your input over the last few years :).

Cindy
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New topics

Postby Fleet177 » Mar Sat 18, 2006 8:41 pm

Ok Matt - I did my treasure hunt and after pushing various buttons, I realized that "View topic" meant post a new topic - LOL - Go figure :P... hahahahaha... and here I was looking for "Post New" or something like that. Ok... now I know how, you won't have to cover for me anymore ;)... :D

Cindy
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Postby Vance » Mar Sat 18, 2006 8:52 pm

And if you want to post an image, there's a convienent little button in your text field, that will help you out.

Or .. just type [img.] at the beginning of your images URL and [/img.] at the end of the URL. (minus the periods that I added to keep from confusing the system.)

:D
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Postby Fleet177 » Mar Sat 18, 2006 9:33 pm

Well... The "New" on the New topic button looks like "View" but if I squint just right and tilt my head at just the right angle, I can kinda, sorta see the "V"... LOL

You mean in this fancy website, I don't have an upload button to push, click the file and it magically appears??? hmmm... More brain strain if that's the case - lol.

I'll go see if I can figure things out... Is there a maximum pic size (within reason). Just need to know what size to compress them down to.

Thanks!
Cindy
Last edited by Fleet177 on Mar Sat 18, 2006 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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