geogphotos

Ethics and Model Releases

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I would not sign a model release and I would not ask a stranger to sign one for me. I realise that others have different opinions. 

 

This is a story about a woman who did not read the small print and has found her face used to endorse all sorts of things.

 

She blames herself not the photographer. I don't think that I would be so generous.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-45018637

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I have never asked a stranger to sign a release. The ramifications of signing are impossible to explain in a 30-second chat.

It would be different if I was buying the time of a person, who would follow instructions and adopt the role of a model. Easier to establish ground rules... and rubber-stamped by paying a fee...

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The story seems to suggest that the photos were originally taken for another purpose by the photographer who decided to submit them for stock at a later date. If a general MR was signed for the original purpose then it would also be valid for stock usage but the photographer doesn't seem to have made her aware of that at the time.

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I think this just underlines the old "read the small print"

How different is it from the photographers who have signed up and put photos on "free photosharing" sites without checking the small print that gave the site copyright and allowed their images to make money for the site while they do not see a single penny?

I have never used a model or model release - because firstly I have never done that type of photography and secondly I do not have any money to pay a model.  However, if I was going to dip my toe with someone who had no experience as a model I would make sure I explained the ramifications first because I have read other similar stories of people who were surprised with just how widespread their image use could be.

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What's a model release? B)

 

I'd be too embarrassed to ask anyone to sign one.  Also, if someone waived one in my face, I'd run.

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Posted (edited)

I have only used it a couple times, and only from friends who are comfortable with every shot I submit. I make my living reading the fine print.

Edited by MandyD

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Having worked at a stock agency and shot stock shoots with models as well as modeled for a few shoots, I think it's unethical not to inform models of stock use. Yes, people need to read the release, but as a photographer, you need to be upfront. 

 

I never ask for releases for street type shoots. They'll never be used commercially.

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Richard I'Anson, an excellent travel photographer featured in the Netflix series, "Tales of Light," apparently does very well selling stock photos, including ones featuring people that he photographs in many foreign countries. I believe he usually doesn't get releases, which of course is usually legally fine for editorial work. It inspired me to shoot similar work, but I wondered what he tells his subject (if anything) about what he's doing with the photographs. 

 

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just got me thinking...

Here's some of his work at another stock site, lots of face close-ups (scroll past the animals :)):

https://www.gettyimages.com.au/photos/richard-ianson-face?phrase=richard i'anson face#license

Edited by Newberry

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15 hours ago, Newberry said:

Richard I'Anson, an excellent travel photographer featured in the Netflix series, "Tales of Light," apparently does very well selling stock photos, including ones featuring people that he photographs in many foreign countries. I believe he usually doesn't get releases, which of course is usually legally fine for editorial work. It inspired me to shoot similar work, but I wondered what he tells his subject (if anything) about what he's doing with the photographs. 

 

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just got me thinking...

Here's some of his work at another stock site, lots of face close-ups (scroll past the animals :)):

https://www.gettyimages.com.au/photos/richard-ianson-face?phrase=richard i'anson face#license

 

Maybe he says: you want to be in the next Lonely Planet?

Or: hey I'm Steve McCurry; you want to be famous? ;-)

I think it's great work btw.

 

wim

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Finding this very interesting and thanks for that link.  I notice also that some of his images that are not of people i.e., Venetian masks/ornaments and the like also show as just editorial only so am wondering why this would be if there aren't any people in the shot?  A bit of a newbie when it comes to should it be editorial or commercial to be honest, selling is selling is it not?  

 

Carol

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16 minutes ago, CAROL SAUNDERS said:

 

A bit of a newbie when it comes to should it be editorial or commercial to be honest, selling is selling is it not? 

 

 

There's a big difference between using  photo to illustrate a piece of text and using it to promote a product or service.

 

Alan

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Thank you yes I'm getting that having re-read quite of lot.  

 Was just wondering why for instance Editorial only for a shot of i.e., a Venetian mask ?

 

Carol

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9 minutes ago, CAROL SAUNDERS said:

Thank you yes I'm getting that having re-read quite of lot.  

 Was just wondering why for instance Editorial only for a shot of i.e., a Venetian mask ?

 

Carol

Its property - there are 2 types of release, Model release for people and property release for anything recognizable that could or would be owned, or which is man-made.   I have to say property release does confuse me as well because I believe that releases are only necessary for things that are uniquely recognizable, or include copyrighted or trademarked content.  So a generic red T shirt that could have been made by anyone and is mass produced by several different companies does not need a release but a red T shirt with a  le shark logo does need one  but I am not totally certain on how this works.

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In the past the Alamy system asked a question along the lines of ( can't recall the exact wording):

 

Does this image contain property?

 

There was much forum discussion over this but I for one decided to cover myself and say 'Yes' for pretty much anything that was man-made and belonged to somebody.

 

So 'Yes' it contains property, and 'No' I do not have a Property Release. Then the buyer could decide what they wanted to do with that information.  

 

 

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26 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

In the past the Alamy system asked a question along the lines of ( can't recall the exact wording):

 

Does this image contain property?

 

There was much forum discussion over this but I for one decided to cover myself and say 'Yes' for pretty much anything that was man-made and belonged to somebody.

 

So 'Yes' it contains property, and 'No' I do not have a Property Release. Then the buyer could decide what they wanted to do with that information.  

 

 

 

+1

 

- unfortunately under "Optional" in the AIM now.

Edited by Niels Quist

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2 minutes ago, Niels Quist said:

 

+1

 

- unfortunately under "Optional" in the AIM now.

 

Yes, and I don't usually bother with optional. 

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5 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Yes, and I don't usually bother with optional. 

 

I do - and very often offer more information in "Tell more about this image".

 

- and likewise, I am not so keen to get model releases any longer.

Edited by Niels Quist

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I also use "optional" and it does give the facility of how any people up to 5 plus and likewise I check No for model release so guess I should just go with that unless I should check the box which also states "Editorial Only" ?  

 

Thanks everyone for your input

 

Carol

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56 minutes ago, CAROL SAUNDERS said:

unless I should check the box which also states "Editorial Only" ?  

 

 

I just do that for sensitive images that I do not want buyers to decide about. My images with people and/or property are RM (as they should be and automatically became when ticking the boxes correctly, before we got the new AIM), when things got more questionable. Haven't thought through what I would do if they were RF, I may probably choose editorial, I think. 

 

I don't think the guidelines are quite clear for those who follow the traditional RM and ticking scheme (as above).

 

 

https://www.alamy.com/myupload/help/AIM-InstructionManual.pdf

"For images that contain unreleased property or people please select ‘Sell for editorial only’ (found under the ‘Optional’ tab)". (around page 17).

 

 

Edited by Niels Quist

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