Photos and videos of your customers or visitors can be compelling. But before you use a photo of person, you want to think about legal issues.
|Did anyone get a photo release form?|
I’m not going to wade into the legalities, but I will link to someone more qualified than me: Stanford University Libraries Copyright and Fair Use page. For tourism groups, some uses may qualify as informational use, and not require a release. But it’s very easy to start getting releases for photos you take.
How to get a release/permission
First, go find an example of a photo permission form.
Next, make it fit your situation. Make it as simple and easy to read as possible. Put it on index cards or on slips of paper. Ask customers or visitors to sign it right before or right after you take the pic. Sneaky tip: You’ll never forget who signed if you shoot a pic of them signing it, or holding it after they sign it. If you already have a contract or form guest or customers must sign, put the photo release in that.
Finally, make sure you you always always get them signed. One PR person for a Nebraska botanical garden told me she never leaves the office without her clipboard that includes photo release forms. It’s a habit you should cultivate, too.
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One thing I do when I record an informal video is ask the person *on camera* if it’s Ok to use this recording. I will do it before or after the interview, depending on the situation.
It’s usually better to get permission in writing, but a recording of someone answering a question holds a lot of weight. Lawyers like paperwork and a signature says a lot in our culture.
Some top reasons you ask for permission…
1) it makes it clear what you are asking for
2) it gives the two parties a chance to communicate
3) it saves the party who’s recording a ton of work if the party recorded changes their mind
Becky McCray says
Excellent tips, David. Thanks for sharing!
Mark Riffey says
For iPhone users, this signature capture model release app might come in handy (not affiliated with it or the author):
Becky McCray says
Mark, that really makes it easy to always have forms with you! Thanks.
Easy Release says
Easy Release is also available for Android: http://applicationgap.com/apps/easyrelease/