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CrowingHen

Property release at home?

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If I'm taking a photo of something I own or made, on my own land, do I need to get myself to sign a property release form?  

 

How about something generic made by someone else that I bought and am using as a prop in a photo (example a mug)?  

 

From what I've read, logos, art, and identifiable property belonging to other people need releases.  But I'm a bit confused in the fuzzy areas.  

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4 hours ago, CrowingHen said:

If I'm taking a photo of something I own or made, on my own land, do I need to get myself to sign a property release form?  

 

How about something generic made by someone else that I bought and am using as a prop in a photo (example a mug)?  

 

From what I've read, logos, art, and identifiable property belonging to other people need releases.  But I'm a bit confused in the fuzzy areas.  

 

You don't need to worry about releases unless you want your photos to sell for commercial use (e.g. advertising). For editorial use, which is what Alamy is mostly about, all you need to do is tick the correct boxes in the Image Manager. If there are people, or even tiny parts of people, in the photo enter the number of people and answer "No" to "Do you have model releases?". The same goes for property releases. Because it's often hard to determine whether there is property in a picture (most things, from buildings to fields have an owner), personally I always err on the side of caution and say that a property release is required, and I don't have one.

 

Provided you make the release status perfectly clear then it's the publisher's responsibility to ensure that images without releases are only used for editorial purposes.

 

If on the other hand you do want to allow pictures to be sold for commercial use, and the property in the picture, and all rights associated with it, belong to you, then yes, you would need to sign a release yourself, plus model releases for any people in  the picture, including you.

 

Alan

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Strictly speaking you don't have to sign a release - simply indicate to Alamy that a release is available. Should a Buyer then want to see the release Alamy will contact you, and you should be ready to sign one (with the correct details) and forward it to alamy.

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Thank you so much for your replies.  The release thing is still a bit confusing to me.  I've been very careful to only submit things that I make or own, but I'm not sure I got everything right when I labeled the photos.  

 

Alamy has some good tutorials on releases - one includes a picture of a phone and some plates.  It says the phone and the app icons need releases, but says nothing about the plates.  I like to buy beautiful handmade plates for my photos... so I was a bit confused.  The theory in my head is it needs to be 'recognizable property'.  

 

For example, my blackberry (berries, not the phone) photos I uploaded are not in a recognizable location (even though they are on our farm) but the bowl is hand turned and by my father and gifted to me (with permission to use it as a photo prop and would be willing to sign a release if necessary).  So I'm worried I didn't choose the right boxes.

 

I'm at a place where stock photography is new to me and I want to make sure I start out well.  I suspect I'm overthinking everything and the real goal at this time is to upload lots of content.  But I don't mind playing the slow game and waiting a few years before my first sale.  With one of those micro-stock sites, I'm going for quantity but with Alamy, I wan to aim for quality and getting things right.  I'm keeping my best images for here.

 

It will be a long time before I take photos that are good enough for people to want, but I love the practice of finding relevant keywords and discovering if my images will meet quality control.  It's probably a good thing that I figure out this release thing early so I can carry around the right forms in my camera bag.

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2 hours ago, CrowingHen said:

Thank you so much for your replies.  The release thing is still a bit confusing to me.  I've been very careful to only submit things that I make or own, but I'm not sure I got everything right when I labeled the photos.  

 

Alamy has some good tutorials on releases - one includes a picture of a phone and some plates.  It says the phone and the app icons need releases, but says nothing about the plates.  I like to buy beautiful handmade plates for my photos... so I was a bit confused.  The theory in my head is it needs to be 'recognizable property'.  

 

For example, my blackberry (berries, not the phone) photos I uploaded are not in a recognizable location (even though they are on our farm) but the bowl is hand turned and by my father and gifted to me (with permission to use it as a photo prop and would be willing to sign a release if necessary).  So I'm worried I didn't choose the right boxes.

 

I'm at a place where stock photography is new to me and I want to make sure I start out well.  I suspect I'm overthinking everything and the real goal at this time is to upload lots of content.  But I don't mind playing the slow game and waiting a few years before my first sale.  With one of those micro-stock sites, I'm going for quantity but with Alamy, I wan to aim for quality and getting things right.  I'm keeping my best images for here.

 

It will be a long time before I take photos that are good enough for people to want, but I love the practice of finding relevant keywords and discovering if my images will meet quality control.  It's probably a good thing that I figure out this release thing early so I can carry around the right forms in my camera bag.

 

 

great discussion, because ownership  doesn't give you the rights to the design, obviously your father signing you a release to the design of the bowl, as the Artist, would be enough i presume, but i'm still never sure how far it goes, does it have to be so distinct to be identifiable?

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My advice would be to get lots of photos uploaded, for editorial use without releases, and worry about the question of releases when you have a better idea of how Alamy and the market work.

 

Alan

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Looking at your images, you seem to be leaning towards the commercial use of your pictures rather than editorial, which is fine.

 

In your situation I would get property releases signed for anything which might be viewed as property. I can see a woven design which may be an original design by someone you know, or may be a copy of something else.  A buyer of a commercial photo would be reassured that no copyright issues might arise down the line if you were able to supply a property release. Same with the wooden bowl. Having properly obtained and signed property releases for commercial images maximises the chance of the image selling. I can't see any branding on the spade, but examine things like that carefully in case there are small ID or branding marks in the image. If you are aiming for commercial use, you an always clone out such branding, except where the overall design may be recognisable and copyright.

 

If the location used is private property and recognisable from the image (none of your current images come in this category) then I would get a property release form for it signed. If the property were ever sold to another person, the property release would remain valid (though strictly speaking you should probably tell a prospective buyer about their existence). It's not likely to ever become an issue, but it is the safest way.

 

My other piece of advice would be to get model and property releases signed immediately and kept safe, even if Alamy doesn't need to see them straightaway. Other agencies, if you choose to upload to them, will require a copy of the release, not just a tick in a box. More importantly, you can't always be sure of getting a release some years down the line if one is requested. People move on, relationships change, contacts are lost. If you have the release now, it remains valid even if personal situations change. If you include  yourself (or even part of yourself) in an image, sign and retain a model release.

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In a way, I'm glad it is confusing.  I would hate to be this confused about it if was simple.  But it's becoming clearer.  Thank you so much for your help.

 

The biggest question in my mind is if I have to make my own release form or if the Alamy one will work. 

 

Quote

 I can see a woven design which may be an original design by someone you know, or may be a copy of something else.

 

Cloth is an interesting area.  We can't copyright designs nor specific yarn/design combinations (with a few exceptions like some tartans that it's better not to weave unless your family name begins with Mac.).  But the text and images used in a pattern that describes how to make the cloth are heavily protected by copyright.  

 

Quote

Looking at your images, you seem to be leaning towards the commercial use of your pictures rather than editorial, which is fine.

 

This is good to know.  

 

It gives me the most joy to take photos of things I'm doing.  Images that could fit into a story.

 

The winters are really dark here so I going to spend that time playing more with my light box and taking photos of individual items on a white background.  I'm guessing that's more editorial?  

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9 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

great discussion, because ownership  doesn't give you the rights to the design, obviously your father signing you a release to the design of the bowl, as the Artist, would be enough i presume, but i'm still never sure how far it goes, does it have to be so distinct to be identifiable?

 

I originally wondered if copyright could be the guide.  It's impossible to copyright the concept of bowls or even wooden bowls, but I understand some bowl designs or colour patterns are copyrighted.  

 

But that criteria doesn't really fit for this because it's one bowl.  At this time, only a handful of people could recognize who made it and it would be hard to distinguish between this and hundreds of other handcrafted bowls from apple-wood with a waney edge.  Is that still recognizable property?

 

...

 

My background is artisanal, so it's important to me that I respect the person who crafted an item if I use it in my work.  If I know the artisan that made an item, I'll get a release from them (thanks to this conversation for helping me discover this).  But I also use a lot of vintage or second hand props, so I'm not sure what to do about those.  Maybe for those it's better to click that I don't have a release?

 

I broke my tradition and took some photos of humans over the weekend.  Now I need to know how much of a person is in a photo before I need a release.  It's mostly hands and feet.  I'll be talking with the person for verbal permission to upload the photos (or not depending on her decision).  Most magazines I've worked with in the past only required I get verbal consent from the individual in the images so long as the person is over the age of majority.  Minors needed complicated paperwork.  

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6 hours ago, Inchiquin said:

My advice would be to get lots of photos uploaded, for editorial use without releases, and worry about the question of releases when you have a better idea of how Alamy and the market work.

 

Alan

 

Uploading lots of images is my main goal.  I understand it's a long-game here.  I figure uploading a handful of images a week might get a sale in two to four years.  Which is fine because I'm here more for the practice: practice taking better photos, practice learning how stock photography works, and practice with keywords.  

 

My thought is, that it would be easier to get all the boxes checked correctly while there are only a few photos.  Going back over hundreds of photos to make sure everything is correct seems like a lot more work that getting it right from the start.  

 

 

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20 minutes ago, CrowingHen said:

...[snip]

 

I broke my tradition and took some photos of humans over the weekend.  Now I need to know how much of a person is in a photo before I need a release.  It's mostly hands and feet.  I'll be talking with the person for verbal permission to upload the photos (or not depending on her decision).  Most magazines I've worked with in the past only required I get verbal consent from the individual in the images so long as the person is over the age of majority.  Minors needed complicated paperwork.  

 

For Alamy, the question of people is easy. If a person or any part of a person (however little) appear in an image, you must obtain a signed release if you want to sell the image for commercial purposes. This includes distant people who may seem unrecognisable. Other agencies operate different policies but at least with Alamy, you know where you stand. 

 

The verbal consent you mention for some magazine presumably is in the context of an editorial use of an image, for which no release would be required. If the use were commercial it would be dodgy to rely on verbal consent as such consent could always be denied later on if some dispute arose.

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