Scenario: You're at your kid's soccer match at school and you're taking pictures. Being the photo buff that you are, you get everything—kids scoring goals, parents screaming from the sidelines, the popcorn vendor, and fans in the stands. Later, you show the pictures to some of the people, and find that some want to buy a print for themselves. This becomes a popular event, and over time, your reputation grows. The local newspaper gets wind of your talent and wants to license a few photos so it can put some in the paper for an article on the school's sports curriculum. Perhaps some shots are so good that the local gift shop wants to sell enlargements of the shot you took of the winning goal at the state championships. All's going well, until someone tells you that you can't do any of these things unless the people in the photos sign a "release" allowing you to use their pictures.
This and other virtually identical scenarios illustrate a most common situation in which a photographer has to decide whether he needs a release from the people he is photographing. Whether it's a school game, a music concert, an amusement park, or a professional-league game—the circumstances may vary—but it's all about the same thing: What are people's rights concerning their own likenesses, and what are the rights of the photographer to use those photos?
This book takes readers through the decisions and business opportunities that are affected by photographing people and model releases.