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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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.