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Archive 2011 · disclaimer for event photography?
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · disclaimer for event photography?

Hi everyone,

I will be shooting a public event this summer and offering the photos for sale. I want to write some sort of disclaimer in the registration for the event, so that I am covered legally to take pictures of the guests who are there. Can anyone offer me some insight on how to go about wording this? Also, by having that disclaimer on the registration....will that cover me in case someone gets mad about them being in a picture? I don't see this being a problem at all, but I just want to make sure I won't get sued or anything crazy.


Mar 14, 2011 at 05:17 PM
Craig Gillette
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · disclaimer for event photography?

If it's open to the public, in a public place or not some place or event that would suggest that there would be a reasonable expectation of privacy, then taking pictures is just not a legal problem. Nor is offering them for sale. This is like the news media attending and reporting on an event.

Event organizers might choose to incorporate some sort of model release in their registration materials if they should want to use images for promotional purposes.

Where there might need to be some contractual protections is if the promoters/organizers have entered into a contract to have the event photographed and they want to protect their own and the photographers fund-raising opportunities. Sporting events may have these arrangements. Typically the event controls access, controls uniforms or logos, etc., through copyright and trademark type protections.

It might be easier to tell if there might be a concern if you described the "public" event.

Mar 15, 2011 at 04:13 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · disclaimer for event photography?

Disclaimer: Please don't sue me. I don't have a lawyer and I'm not familiar with local laws or how the courts generally interpret them. Therefore, I might be doing something illegal or grossly negligent, but I mean well and I'm just trying to make a buck without paying a single cent for legal advice and I understand that free legal advice is worth what I paid for it. So I appreciate that you won't hold me accountable in any way no matter what I do.

Mar 15, 2011 at 09:56 PM

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Joe A.
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · disclaimer for event photography?

The book at this address is very readable and directly on the topic of the law and photography: http://www.krages.com/lhp.htm

As Mr. Gillette states if there is "no reasonable expectation of privacy..." and it is a public place, generally there is no problem. Nevertheless I avoid taking pictures of children without asking permission of the parents. And I leave obviously "shy" individuals alone.

If however you are on private property--either owned or rented by an individual or entity, the owner can absolutely deny you the right to take pictures.

Many events such as races and professional sports events will place limitations on a professional photographer taking pictures for commercial sale. For special access you'll need a pass

I've read some state governments are demanding permits on park lands for professional photography--particularly if pro equipment and models are used--to: 1) control the photography, 2) make some fee income and 3) make sure the general public has use of the park without being disturbed.

Mar 15, 2011 at 11:00 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · disclaimer for event photography?

Last Saturday, in Jacksonville, Florida, from my own driveway, I shot a bunch of runners participating in the River Run Event - a very public road race run through the streets and over the bridges of Jacksonville. I posted an announcement on Craig's List in Photo/Video and provided a link to my website where I offered those pictures to download for $2.50 each. I thought some folks might like to download a picture of themselves running in the race. My posting was "flagged" by someone (perhaps a jealous photographer) and removed with nary an explanation from Craig's List. Does anyone think I was doing something wrong? Anyone had this sort of experience with Craig's List? I've read over the Terms of Use and didn't see any prohibition about posting pictures for sale. Any ideas? Thanks.

Mar 16, 2011 at 11:25 PM
G. Thomas
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · disclaimer for event photography?

I am not a lawyer, but if you're actually at the event they may have their own set of rules. Your subjects probably can't sue you (assuming this really is a public event) but the event organizers may be able to eject you.

As for sstyler's craigslist problem, it sounds like someone objected and craigslist wrongfully took your listing down. They don't have a lot of support staff, so you may or may not get some recourse by contacting them.

Mar 17, 2011 at 07:59 PM

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