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Member Since 15 Jun 2006
Offline Last Active Sep 30 2008 06:12 AM

Topics I've Started

Questioning the need for a model release or similar form

20 September 2008 - 01:53 PM

Hello all,

I wasn't sure what forum area was best to post this question, but as even the use of any of my underwater photography images in a publication for sale is a new experience for me, I'll just treat this as a "beginner's question".

The photos found at http://ambress.com/uwpics/publish have been selected for inclusion in a book to help illustrate the story. None are used on the cover of the book, so there is no direct use of the photos to promote sales of the book. The author asked me early on if I felt a model release was needed for any of the photos, to which I replied "no". My first thought was that all locations were public places and the persons in the photos were not unambiguously identifiable. But I am no professional photographer and have never had to concern myself too much with model releases except in clearly obvious cases. As I never really anticipated any use of my images in a publication, I never sought to obtain any model release from individuals seen in my photos. My biggest concern is with the first photo, where the diver is at least "more identifiable" than the others, but some degree of ambiguity remains, if only for the fact that his dive mask and other gear helps hide any distinguishing features.

I will add that the diver in the first photo is a dive guide at the resort where I stayed. Whether he is still there (the photo is from 2006), I'm not sure, but certainly I could make an effort to contact him if anyone really thinks it necessary I obtain consent to use this likeness of him. He is not portrayed in any negative manner that would impact his job.

The other photos here do not seem to present any problem, as I think that there is easily enough ambiguity that the diver cannot be readily identified from his features in the photo.

I would appreciate any feedback if anyone knows for certain whether or not consent would be required from the persons in these photos, to use this likeness of them in a publication for sale. Again, all would be used only within the book, and none on the cover to help market it.