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Photography Question 
Autumn Hernandez

Model Releases for Iraq Homecoming??

My husband's unit will soon be coming home from Iraq. I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to make a little money so that I can build up my equipment stash. ;) I was thinking that I would go and take pictures of the company and pictures of people meeting their loved ones and then post them on my Shutterfly pro account for purchase. However, my question is this: Do I need model releases to sell the pictures on the site? Are model releases simply for commercial use? If the customer is the person in the picture, then I assume I don't need one, but I don't want to get myself in trouble. If I DO need model releases, then another question would be, then how do wedding photographers get away with taking pictures of all the guests and providing them for purchase without a model release?

Ok, I know that paragraph had a lot of questions, but hopefully some of you guys out there could help me. :D

Thanks in advance!


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8/23/2005 11:02:11 PM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  No, you don't need a model release to sell someone a picture of themself or of their family members.

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8/24/2005 5:21:45 AM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  PS: Tell your husband I said "Thank you" for his service to our country. And welcome home.

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8/24/2005 5:23:08 AM

doug Nelson   I think that soldiers who went into a horrible situation and took care of their buddies and did their duty deserve the pictures free of charge. It would be a fitting gift to the guys in your husband's unit.

It would also generate a lot of good will for your photography business. You might gain big sales later for weddings, family portraits and other family photo needs.

Please pass on a Welcome Home from a Viet Nam vet.

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8/24/2005 5:30:38 AM

Kerry L. Walker   I want to second Chris' comment. Tell your husband "Thank you for your service" from me and my family.

I agree with Doug. It would be a great idea to offer the photos for free or for a nominal charge to cover postage, etc. These guys and gals deserve it. As Doug said, it might do you a lot of good in the long run.

Lastly, Doug, thank you for your service to our country. You guys should have been revered for what you did while the politicians who sent you there with your hand tied should have been the ones reviled. You guys have never been given the honor you deserved.

PS: I missed being drafted by 5 lottery numbers. Guess I was lucky.

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8/24/2005 7:00:25 AM

Autumn Hernandez   Thanks guys for the quick response. And I will definitely tell my husband. :) Thank you to you as well, Doug. Every soldier deserves gratitude for his or her service.

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8/24/2005 10:35:02 AM

Autumn Hernandez   Oh, and I forgot to add this part earlier. I'd love to be able to provide pictures for the whole unit for free, but seeing as there are over 4000 members in the brigade, I don't think I could afford it. lol

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8/24/2005 1:51:53 PM

Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  If you cant afford to do it completly free:), then just charge printing fees. Because that really wouldn't be to much for them, about 5$ for an 8x10, right?

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8/24/2005 6:36:00 PM

Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  First and foremost, CONGRATS ON YOUR ARRIVAL OF YOUR HUBBY!! That is so wonderful and probably a complete relief for you!! Thank you so much for your personal sacrifice for OUR freedom!! It takes a FAMILY to send a serviceman over seas!! Thank you to your husband for all the wonderful work he is providing our country!! Thanks!!

To answer your question in regards to the wedding photos. That is not being published you are selling the photo to a user. But if you tried to sell those pictures to a company for print, you do need a release.

As for giving them for free, I disagree "a little." I think that you should charge because you are doing this while depreciating your camera etc. I would charge but I would make "the profit" minimal (I would definately charge printing costs or any other costs incurred, you have given enough from your service and time).

Hope that helped a little.

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8/25/2005 6:51:34 AM

Kerry L. Walker   With the quantity she mentioned, I agree she should at least recoup her costs.

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8/25/2005 7:04:47 AM

Autumn Hernandez   Thanks, Melissa and Kerry. I wasn't planning on jacking up the price, but I was hoping to make a tiny profit on it. Like I said, I'm trying to accumulate more equipment and I can't do that by giving away my work.

You have all been really helpful. And thank you, Melissa, for your kind words. It has definitely been a long year and we're all ready for our guys to come home. :)


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8/25/2005 11:07:52 AM

Carolina K. Smith
  Wow, I wonder if you'll be able to concentrate on taking photos, lol.

May God keep them all until their return stateside. I have a son currently in Iraq and I know how much he is missed.

A huge heartfelt thanks to all who have served our country :)

Good luck with your photo venture :)

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8/30/2005 8:20:18 PM

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