Permission to publish photos of children
I have only recently discovered Blurb and am totally thrilled with it. The books I’ve produced have exceeded all my expectations and those of the subjects. I am now hoping to incorporate the photography/book compilation services into my professional portfolio.
As one highly successful test project was of a five-year-old’s birthday party, and another has been of a wedding that obviously involved children, I wondered if anybody has any guidelines on ensuring I do things correctly with regard to the legislation of photographing minors? The two books I’ve made that actually identify any children (as it’s the title of the book, for instance – "Joe Bloggs is 6 years old today") I have kept on the Private part of my profile. Children feature in my other books, but no names appear (the only names are, for instance, those of the couple in the case of the wedding, or other "key players" like the minister or organist).
I notice that many other books appear on this site, lovely ones, with images of children – largely unidentified – and I’m assuming these are all OK from a legal point of view. (Certainly they are from the point of view of commonsense, but in today’s society of litigation that doesn’t mean a lot!)
If I have been asked to take photos of a child’s party, for example, does the responsibility rest with my key client to ensure permission is granted by the other parents?
I’m very excited about this new project, but I just want to make sure I get it right! Any comments or advice very gratefully received.
There are actually two questions here. First, do you have the right to take the photograph. Second, do you have the right to publish the photo.
The answer to the first question is probably yes, Assuming you were invited to the gathering and were openly photographing you were not violating any (USA) law. You were not violating anyone’s right to privacy since many other people were present.
The answer is also probably yes to the second question. Publishing a accurate photo of one or more persons at a birthday party is not unlawful. You stray into gray territory, however, if you use the photos in some sort of narrative that is untrue or places the persons in a “false light” (or if you use the photo in an advertisement for a particular product or service).
There are many good discussions of legal issues surrounding photography and publishing on the ‘net.
The above comments are for general information purposes only and are not intended as legal advice…
Many thanks for the replay – much appreciated!