Model releases needed for documentary subjects? : LUSENET : Dirck Halstead : One Thread

If I want to pursue publication of photographs I take in Africa this summer, will publishers require releases from subjects? Are there any hard or fast guidelines for model releases?


S. Goll

-- S. Goll (, May 07, 2000


The general rule is that if the photographs are taken for news or documentary purposes, and does not require special access, you may fairly use the photos. On the other hand, if you plan to use the images for commercial purposes, such as advertising, you must have a release.No ad agency will touch a photo without a release.

Also, you must be wary of "editorial" slants to a picture. Say you photograph a couple of people on a street corner, and that photo is then used with the caption, "75 percent of Africans are HIV positive." If the subjects can find a lawyer, you may find yourself living in a thatched hut.

-- dirck halstead (, May 09, 2000.

Irespective of geographical location the UK laws which I have encountered clearly state that any individual may reproduce in any capacity any image of any person, providing that the subjet is not shown in a demeening or negative manner & that the individual puyblishing the image is not seeking financial renumeration purley because of the subjects profile & status ( I.E a shite picture of the queen selling because it is just a picture if the queen.... hense reliant on subjects status ). Generaly speaking as long as the picture is good & not intrusive ( i.e through someones window without there knollege ) you will not need any form of release. I have documented Londons club culture for the past 7 years with images appearing in many national publications & on record sleeves etc. & I have never once had a release from the subject & have never had a single complaint ! I really don't think you have anything to worry about ! hope you have a grea

-- ben (, May 16, 2000.

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