Looking to sell your photos? First, take this quiz!
Do I need a release for a photo of someone I took in public?
Should I get a release even if the person is unrecognizable?
Is a release necessary if I make a profit selling a photo of a person?
Do I need releases for photos of buildings?
Are releases necessary for pictures of people from other countries?
I took a lot of pictures as a hobby, and now I want to sell them. Do I need releases for all my people pictures?
If I have no plans for a photo when I take it, should I get a release anyway?
Does it make a difference if the subject was paid to be in the picture?
Give yourself one point for "Yes," and two points for "No." In fact, make it three points. If you scored higher than zero, you have a lot to learn about model releases, because you can't answer these questions without more information. How will the photo be used? By whom? Can the subject be associated with an idea, product, or service? Until you know that, the question of releases can't be answered.
As the photographer, you need to understand your buyer's concerns in order to make savvy decisions about how you market your photos and to whom. Here's how to make money from all your photos, whether or not they have releases, by understanding the business aspects of the law.
Dan Heller has a degree in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has developed end-user applications, integrating various well-known user interface styles from SunView to Motif to Open Look, as well as the design of his own interface toolkit. Dan has started his own company, called Z-Code Software, which designs and develops X-based applications for the commercial market. Its first product is Z-Mail, an electronic mail package that runs under Motif, Open Look, and nongraphical displays. Dan is also the author of O'Reilly & Associates' Motif Programming Manual.