Photography Printing Words

Do I need a model release?

I’ve touched on the subject of model release forms in the past. What rights does a street photographer have when it comes to publishing photos of people on the street, and even the thorny issue of publishing a photography book for charity. Does “earning money” include giving it all away again as the US Book did?

Mike Johnston gives a brief introduction to situations when you will need a model release. Some of the comments are enlightening, especially the contrast between France and the USA. Mike talks for a US perspective, but some of it applies to the EU in general terms.

I wasn’t aware of the difference between artistic use and commercial use. Mike explains it with a simple example, but if the same sort of rules apply to Ireland, I might be tempted to offer prints of some of my photos here. Who’ll buy my lovely photos then?

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

2 replies on “Do I need a model release?”

As I understand it, in book form, art or editorial sake, you can publish without release, however, in speaking to a publisher I’ve approached, he required me to show releases from any of the “street people” I shot for an upcoming coffee table book that I am underway to produce and sell-hey, you do have to make money, so let’s be honest here. Everyone I’ve shot, I approached and asked for permission, believe me you want to ask bikers and half clothed women if you can shoot em…so I did, but never got a signed release.

My intent is not to sell these commercially, in ads or on product, nor to a stock hoouse, but to showcase a cultural event in art and photographic form…in a book, but after reading all of the content here, looks as though there are as many interpretations as photographers shooting these types of images…

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