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Starsphinx

Identifiable people - model release

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Yes this old chestnut.

I have a shot I am keywording - the focus is on a bird (yes a pigeon) but in the background are some people - but they are so out of focus there is absolutely no way they are identifiable.  I am talking blobs of colour no facial features at all level of out of focus.  I cannot even be sure of how many (at least 2 possibly 6 or 7)

Do I still need to count them as people, would they still need model releases?

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On Alamy if they are visible people, even if unidentifiable, you have to record the number of people (5+ in this case). Assuming they are general public you have no realistic way of getting releases for each of them, so your only option is to sell the image as editorial. Alamy recommends you make it an RM type licence or an RF licence with 'editorial only' ticked.

 

Yes, we know that other agencies may not count unidentifiable people as people at all and say that the image can be sold for commercial usage, but Alamy suggests its contributors play safe and sell as editorial only when any people (or even parts of a person) are visible.

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I guess an unidentifiable pink blob suing for use of their image would make an interesting court case - I have marked it as 5+ pinkish blobs that may or may not be people lol

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The thing is that if the qualifying criteria was to be whether a person was identifiable, it opens up a great big can of worms as to what constitutes 'identifiable' and every contributor would have a slightly different opinion. Alamy, by insisting that any person or part of a person  counts as a person, cuts across the is this person 'identifiable' question and falls firmly into the camp of selling as editorial unless there is a model release available. Probably saves a whole lot of trouble in the long run.

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This also brings up one of the things that irritates me - the number of people in the image. You (Estelle) now have a photo of a pigeon that has no people as the subject but you are obliged to put 5+ people. There should be a way of differentiating between the number of people as subjects of the image and the number of people in total including incidental background people. 

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35 minutes ago, Colin Woods said:

This also brings up one of the things that irritates me - the number of people in the image. You (Estelle) now have a photo of a pigeon that has no people as the subject but you are obliged to put 5+ people. There should be a way of differentiating between the number of people as subjects of the image and the number of people in total including incidental background people. 

I totally agree.  Let's say you get a model - with a signed release and everything - on a catwalk at a show with dozens of blurred pink blobs as bokeh  background.  You still have to list it as editorial with 5+ people no releases for all.  Which totally misses the point. 

I am just glad I did not persist in trying to teach the pigeon to sign a model release.

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16 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

I totally agree.  Let's say you get a model - with a signed release and everything - on a catwalk at a show with dozens of blurred pink blobs as bokeh  background.  You still have to list it as editorial with 5+ people no releases for all.  Which totally misses the point.

 

I'm not sure that it does miss the point; or why it's a problem stating how many people (rendered as pinkish blobs or perfectly sharp) you have in your image.

 

If the buy uses the WOP (without People) code to search for an image, then I would doubt they'd be happy with even pinkish humanoid-shaped blobs in the background, so showing you have people of any description would avoid erroneous views or zooms, which could reduce your ranking.

 

If you show that there are people in the image, but they may not be the main subject (e.g. pigeon shots), they may or may not prove to be a problem for the buyer. Who knows how buyers think. I can't even fathom why Alamy themselves promote some of the images on the website and in blogs! But, at least you'll be alerting the buyer to potential copyright issues - and it's for them (not you) to decide if that will render the image unusable.

 

Personally, I just add up the out-of-focus faces and stray hands and feet at the edges of the frame (which also count as "people"); and tell myself that even after all this time; I could be a better photographer. :)

Edited by Steve Valentia

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It bothers me because it may hinder the buyer. I have a photo of my wife reading a guide book in Paris. There is only one person really who is the subject of the photo, the others far off in the street are just incidental. So if I put that there are 5+ people in the photo then the buyer looking for a photo of someone alone in Paris will not see my photo. Equally a buyer looking for a photo of a group of people in Paris will not be interested in my photo with one person and a dozen far off people. This is why I would like to see a way of distinguishing between subject and incidental people. 

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7 minutes ago, Colin Woods said:

It bothers me because it may hinder the buyer. I have a photo of my wife reading a guide book in Paris. There is only one person really who is the subject of the photo, the others far off in the street are just incidental. So if I put that there are 5+ people in the photo then the buyer looking for a photo of someone alone in Paris will not see my photo. Equally a buyer looking for a photo of a group of people in Paris will not be interested in my photo with one person and a dozen far off people. This is why I would like to see a way of distinguishing between subject and incidental people. 

 

Sorry, but that's not very logical. 1) Buyers will see the photo before they see the "optional information" (how many people are in it, officially. 2) Putting "woman alone" in the keywords, will help them will find it. 3) if there are other people in the image with your wife; she's not really alone. 

Edited by Steve Valentia

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I think what Colin means is under the current system he has to put 5+ people - and  a customer may search for 1 person - in which case it is likely that his photo will, if it appears in results at all as a result of keywording, be so far down that it is not seen at all.   Buyers cannot look at photographs that do no appear in their search results - if something causes an appropriate photo not to appear in the search results it needs addressing.  Buyers do not think or search like photographers or their agents - I would imagine for the vast majority of buyers the idea that blurs in the background count as people would be counter-intuitive and their search terms will reflect this.

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There are many agency images available here that don't comply with the no. of people restriction. I know that it is a waste of time specifying the number of people when searching for a photo in the papers because this is a requirement that is honoured in the breach ( by many). Further, that field is now  optional in AIM, so do I take it that it is no longer a requirement? For the record, I normally do try to enter the correct number although I have sympathy with the views above that, in some instances, it can be misleading. 

Edited by Bryan
stupidity

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18 minutes ago, Bryan said:

For the record, I normally do try to enter the correct number

 

So do I, always. (And if in doubt of the number of people,  perhaps one more :) ).

To me it is part of giving correct information to the buyer for what the image can be used as it is.

 

I don't think the optional tab is so optional as it appears. At least not if the image is not selected editorial only. In fact, many times mandatory.

 

 Quotation from AIM instructions:

 

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

 

If you are selling images as RM in the old fashioned way, as I do, it is very important, in my view, to tick the correct boxes about people, property and releases.

 

Niels

 

 

 

Edited by Niels Quist

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