Hey, you're in my blog!
August 16, 2011 2:01 PM   Subscribe

In regards to this question, I got to thinking about best practices regarding posting photo's of other people, especially children, on my photo-heavy blog, and would like insight on this.

After years without a blog or website, I am returning to the web with two blogs that primarily showcase my photography, although they are ostensibly travel blogs. While most of my photo's are of landscapes, buildings, and objects, some do have people in them, sometimes identifiable. In most cases, I am not in a situation to ask a person "can I post this online someday five years from now or whenever I get around to it". And I never post photo's of children or any minor.

However ... I have some awesome photo's, most of them taken 8-12 years ago, of children, that I would like to post to share my photography with people I meet. These photo's were taken at festivals, community events, and tourist attractions, so I don't know who the people in them are, and won't be using names. Is this something I just shouldn't do? Give me the pro's, con's and legalities if any exist.

How about adults? (same kind of public events, though the photo's may not be as old). My blogs are not heavily trafficked, and I don't see this changing, but one never knows. They are viewed by strangers, not just family and friends.

And while I am on a similar subject ... what are the laws or accepted rules in regards to buildings and landmarks and other touristy places? Am I in the wrong if I publish twenty detailed photo's of a place I visited? How do I find this information out place to place?

I don't do facebook, but my blog URL's are shared among people on facebook. Also, where ever we travel, we give out business-type cards with our email address and blog information to those who ask to stay in touch. I am more than happy to respect other peoples wishes ... which is why I am concerned and asking for input prior to just putting these online.

Just to be clear, I am not a professional photographer, I do not sell my work, I just want to share it because I have been asked to.
Thanks for any advice, or personal opinions on this.
posted by batikrose to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
What you are talking about is street photography and you don't need people's permission to take or publish those photos.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:07 PM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure architecture (at least the outside) are considered public domain and can be photographed and published no problem. Not sure about the kids-stuff though, if it's from public places just use your discretion as to what you think is appropriate.
posted by pmcp at 2:10 PM on August 16, 2011

Best answer: Read this article on Photos Of Public Buildings.
posted by WizKid at 2:12 PM on August 16, 2011

Would you consider just putting a note on your site that says, "If there's a picture of you or your minor child on here and you want it removed, please contact me and I will remove it"? Make it easy to contact you for this request, and you should be fine, ethically and legally.
posted by juniperesque at 2:19 PM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Photographer's Rights (in the USA)
should get you all the legal info.
If you want to be super nice, you can add a notice on your blog (maybe in the 'Contact Me' section or similar place) that directs people to contact you in case they or their children appear in one of your pics and want that removed.
posted by thewildgreen at 2:25 PM on August 16, 2011

I post pictures of other people, including children, all the time on my (very non-heavily trafficked) photo-centric blog. My layman's understanding is that if it's in public, you can use it for non-commercial purposes.

That's legal; as for morally: what harm could someone possibly come to by having their photo posted on your blog?
posted by zachawry at 2:30 PM on August 16, 2011

Best answer: Post your contact info, and if people want a photo removed, or want copies, they can contact you. Also, you might get offers to take pictures for money.
posted by theora55 at 2:49 PM on August 16, 2011

Best answer: IANAL, TINLA, etc.

1. you have the right to take photos from a public space where people have no expectation of privacy
2. people have the Right of Publicity which nearly always prohibits you from using their image in advertising, merchandising, etc. While most often this is applied to celebrities, it is a basic property right and anyone can assert it.

So while you can take all the pictures you want, you can't, say, use someone's image on your business card advertising your photography services without a release that they've signed.

Using a picture of someone on your commercial photography website (whose purpose is, ostensibly, to promote your commercial service) is definitely farther than I'd be comfortable going with the law here in Virginia. Your state laws may vary.

Lesson: always get them to sign a release form. Once you develop the habit it's as easy as pie.
posted by introp at 6:18 PM on August 16, 2011

Oh hey, I missed the word "not" in "not a professional photographer." Ignore the latter part of my statements!
posted by introp at 6:21 PM on August 16, 2011

I'm very sorry for the aside, but you do not need an apostrophe in the plural for photo.
posted by RobotHero at 11:03 AM on August 17, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers, and especially the ones with links to articles with more information.
And ... I do appreciate the aside about apostrophe's, cuz I struggle with that on some words, and as a writer ... it bothers me!

I feel much better informed now ... and less hesitant.
posted by batikrose at 6:03 PM on August 17, 2011

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