BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Stephanie M. Stevens
 

releases for zoo animals


If I wanted to sell a photo of a zoo animal, would I need a release from the zoo?


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12/19/2006 10:33:34 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Oh, come on !!

Who'd ever know which zoo you took that lion's picture at?

These types of questions are beyond ridiculous.


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12/19/2006 2:51:41 PM

 
Stephanie M. Stevens   Thank you so much for your wonderful response! It's so nice to know there's a place where I can ask questions and get such friendly, honest answers!


Bite me.


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12/19/2006 3:15:57 PM

 
Pat Worster
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2004
  You go girl, I am also tired of some of the rude answers people have been getting on this site lately.


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12/19/2006 3:31:45 PM

 
Michelle M. Peters
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/29/2006
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  I don't believe this to be a rediculous question at all! Mark F. noted on another question about flowers that a person who grows hybrids can identify their particular flower. I would think that animals are identifiable as well. I can tell our cows apart, but to the non-farm folk, they probably all look brown! LOL I would tend to think the answer is 'yes' to have a release signed. Isn't the zoo the 'caretaker' for the 'minors' in question??? JMO!

Too bad we have some folks who can't keep their opinions to themselves if they can't say it nicely! Even my 5 year old knows that one...


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12/19/2006 4:53:59 PM

 
Terry  R. Hatfield
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2003
  That Shouldnt Be A Problem, Sell Your Image Stephanie:-)


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12/19/2006 5:22:48 PM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  If anyone on this thread has read any of my routine comments on others, they'd recognize and fully appreciate that my responses are usually constuctive, helpful and occasionally humorous.

All that being said, releases for pictures of animals in a zoo remains just plain ridiculous. In the first place, most zoos are public institutions and, therefore, "in the public domain." Accordingly, doesn't the public [in effect you and me] own these palces and possibly their residents?

And, if anyone really believes a lion in the Phillie Zoo looks exactly like a lion in the San Diego Zoo - well, I gotta see that. Sure, the physical settings of a particular might be identifiable - but, as I said, these public places are there for the public to enjoy and photograph.

If you take a picture of a professional athletic from the stands - is a release required? I suppose if one asks, then s/he better be prepared to go through the process. But, there are just too many people that bring their cameras to stadia -

The generally accepted rule I've been taught is that if the picture is used tastefully and, perhaps, not for profit-making purposes, releases generally aren't needed. Take a picture along a city street - no release is needed [I mean how would you contact the faceless millions on a crowded New York street?] I'm sure Eisenstadt didn't think to get a release from the sailor and girl at Times Square celebrating the end of WW II. And, I can't conceive of Georgia O'Keefe getting a release for each of her many images of flowers.

But, gee, if that animal at the zoo requires one, how about that blade of grass in Central Park? How about all those people in the park? Or the runners in the Boston Marathon? Or the motorcyclists you shot at the recewnt Motocross? What about a release for that photo of El Capitan or Portland Head Lighthouse?

At some point logic must take over. But, I'm truly glad Michelle can tell her cows apart.


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12/19/2006 6:11:29 PM

 
Stephanie M. Stevens   I went to a zoo just this summer that stated that all photographs of THEIR animals on THEIR land are THEIR property and you can't do anything with those photos without THEIR permission. And since the original question was about selling the photos, then the "not for profit-making purposes" argument makes no sense. People weren't obsessed with lawsuits in 1945, so I'm sure Eisenstadt didn't think to get a release. Now, if I were taking pictures of people in Central Park, I would have to get a release to sell them, same for the lighthouse if it's privately owned. Since none of those things have anything to do with the question, and since logic doesn't really have anything to do with the legal system, I don't know why you brought any of it up. Just like I don't know if zoos generally require releases for images of their animals. Which is why I came here, I thought I would ask and someone who knew the answer would be nice enough to tell me. I also don't know why you took the time out of your busy schedule of giving other people constructive answers to come over to my thread and insult me. Maybe you have a helpful, constuctive answer for that, o wise and generous poobah?


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12/19/2006 6:55:35 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Ok ok. Steady guys. Your glue may be melting. Stephanie's question, especially given our past discussions on property and model releases, isn't at all unreasonable John. It may seem a bit redundant but it's not by any means the type of question you characterize it as. Did you have a really bad day today?

Anyway, back when Eisenstadt made that shot in Times Square, or when photographers like Lewis Hine, Rosenblum, W. Eugene Smith, and others were out shooting for the Works Progress Administration, etc., the laws were different, things were less complex, a lot simpler in terms of legalities and property rights, and from what I'm told, people didn't sue each other at the drop of a lawyer. And you're right too from the standpoint of hard cases often make bad law and it often doesn't make sense. Maybe Diane Arbus never got a consent signed for the "Boy with a toy grenade" she photographed in Central Park in the late 50's or 60's. I don't know.

So, Stephanie, John's anwer in terms of public or private zoos is correct. Those animals in the public zoos don't require consent to publish and sell. Private zoos, private property, recognizable, yep. You need consent. Even a special handmade collar on a steer could be sufficient to identify them.

Ok? Now, with the big one less than a week away, everyone take a deep breath, an extra blast of egg nog tainted with your favorite scotch perhaps, relax and just enjoy the season. Whaddya think?

Seasoned greetings everyone. ;>)
Mark


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12/19/2006 7:28:31 PM

 
Stephanie M. Stevens   Thank you for answering my question Mark. :)


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12/19/2006 8:04:25 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Stephanie, I love your responses and wit LOL. I'm glad you asked the question because I've been wondering the same thing.

The thing I don't get is how the county park where I live, paid for by tax payer's dollars, gets off telling me when I carry in my camera on a tripod that if I'm a professional photographer I can't take photos of the buildings and sell them. That one really irritated me so I don't ever think these kinds of questions are stupid. You just never know.


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12/19/2006 8:17:19 PM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Well this is one where I concur with Mark. If a private zoo then you must obtain permission to photograph and sell. Most amusement parks fall into this as well since they are privately owned as well.

I find Sharon’s dilemma as to not being able to photograph in a public park interesting. I’m preparing a series of articles that addressees law enforcement and the media. During my research I’ve uncovered a ton of accounts where photographers have been forbidden to photograph buildings on and around public areas. In most cases overzealous security or police who cited “homeland security” as their reason for forbidding photography.

Reports of this have reduced significantly since post 911, although there are still public facilities that are off limits to photography. Prisons are an excellent example.

But it may be a permit issue that forbids photography in your local park. Since you stated that they see you with a tripod, perhaps they equate that to a professional, which may require a permit? I would inquire to the officer as to specific law that is forbidding your photography. I would be curious to their response.

Ray


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12/19/2006 10:01:45 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Hey Mark, if you like pancakes, try them with cinnamon and a little Bailey's Irish Cream mixed in the batter. Use real maple syrup(Cary's), not the high fructose corn syrup with maple flavoring(Butterworth's, Log Cabin). You might like it.


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12/19/2006 10:21:54 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Ray, I'll head out to the park again this spring. It's one of those 1800's type places. I had my gear with me when I purchased my ticket. The guy ask me if I was a professional. I told him no, a hobbyist. He told me if I was a pro I'd have to pay $100 for shooting inside the park. Like I said, it's a county park funded by tax payer dollars so I was pretty surprised at such information. It's been a couple of years now and my memory isn't like it used to be, but that's how I remember it. I didn't have any problems with being denied access to the park after I told him I was a hobbyist and I usually see photographers when I'm there. I guess you just can't be a pro and shoot in there.


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12/20/2006 6:54:21 AM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Oh you can be a pro and shoot there, you just need to make sure you paid $100.00 for a permit. Pretty common, especially on beaches. What park was it? I think you are not too far from me in Missouri.

Ray


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12/20/2006 8:35:35 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Hey Greg !!! funny you should mention that. I put some rum flavor in the Krustaez mix this last weekend. It was pretty good. Never thought of Baileys tho. Gonna try it this weekend. And what kind of oil are you using in that lamp? I prefer 10W Mazola. Thanks for the tip !!! We use that Canadian syrup from Trader Joes. Pretty light, lower in raw sugar and tastes great, especially nuked for a few seconds in the microwave.
M.
===================
Next up: Hints with Heloise and "How to Remove Spots from Your Leopard".


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12/20/2006 9:51:19 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  hey stephanie,
could I get on that list of bite me?i usually just nibble but?
and pat?
this is not a gender thing or a group opposed to rude responses.
some respond to be helpful.so there is a bit of rudeness in your interpretation.i would suggest you answer first to disallow these rude comments.
john's response ,i thought,was to the point.so the phrasing wasn't as someone liked?
so maybe you have forgotten the right of that animal or even how it came to be imprisoned?
repeat offender...
myself,i don't photograph captive animals.but I don't judge others who do.well I actually do but don't say anything.
fair,sam


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12/20/2006 7:54:18 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Tisk tisk, Sam. Someone might think you're being rude ;)! No me of course, but...BTW, on the debate side of taking photos of captured animals. Most zoos treat their animals pretty well these days. They all do what animals do anyway. Lay around and eat and sleep. They just don't have quite as much freedom, but they don't have to worry about starving either if animals worry about such things.


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12/20/2006 8:44:51 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Animals do.
Mix emotions about zoos myself. Fed, not hunted, vet on site. Severe boredom, stress(remember the leopard pacing). The aviary(birds were meant to fly more than 20 feet)
Education and all that feel good stuff, for some. But the zoo seems to be one of those things, like internet chat rooms, that either brings out the worst in some people, or makes stupid people flock to it. I.E, 99 degree heat, the lions want to rest. Obnoxious people yell at the lion as if expecting a show then move on to the sun bear exhibit after mumbling "stupid lions!"


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12/20/2006 9:41:23 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  OR what about last summer when some idiot let their kid climb a 3 foot rock barrier and put it's hand over a 4 foot glass wall in the meerkat exhibit in the Minneapolis zoo. The kid gets bitten and they won't get the kid a series of rabies shots so 5 meerkats had to be put to sleep to test them for rabies. Talk about stupid. I saw some people letting their kids try that at our zoo and told them about the incident. They promptly made the kids quit trying to pet the meerkats, but they shouldn't have been letting them stick their hands in there anyway. Mixed emotions here as well, but more so on the part of irresponsible visitors to the zoos.


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12/21/2006 5:18:34 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Yes indeed, people would be okay if it weren't for people.


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12/21/2006 12:53:08 PM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Okay, so this is probably a stupid question, but how do you know if the zoo is public or private? One of the microstock sites recently pulled all images taken at the San Diego zoo because of copyright issues. Is the San Diego zoo private?


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12/22/2006 7:39:55 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  ignorance is such that it blesses us all.


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12/22/2006 7:57:57 PM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  The San Diego Zoo is operated by a not for profit organization known as the Zoological Society of San Diego. The organization leases the property from the city and all assets including exibits are recorded on the Society's books and not the city of San Diego.

The San Diego Zoo is private.


Ray


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12/22/2006 8:34:07 PM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Thanks, Ray.

Sam, I've tried, but I just don't "get" your humor. :)


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12/23/2006 6:16:25 PM

 
Peggy J. Maguire
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/23/2005
  In Maitland Fl.The Audubon Society has a refuge ,they have Eagles and other birds there that have been injured, and they treat them so they can be released back into the wild.They also have a giftshop with postcards of the many birds..If I remember correctly there was a sign saying you could not sell any of your shots of the birds they had there,and I have taken many shots there!!Does anyone know if they are private or considered public?


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12/24/2006 8:38:54 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Nitrogen levels probably aren't high enough were you are Deb James.


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12/24/2006 10:26:49 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  no parking.
wether public or private,if they have signs posted it's for a reason.
the gift shop may be a clue.
the facility may use the revenue generated by the gift shop to keep the facility afloat.
they may have a contract with a local photographer that has exclusive rights to photograph and has exclusive rights to the use of such photographs.
a question came up about pro photographers at a county park and if such a fee must be paid.you informed them that you were a hobbyist,meaning you intend to use the photos for your own use and not sell them(pro-photographer)but it's my photo you say,well yes of course.but at the point you intend to sell it,you lied.
to ask for help is one thing,to rely on help is another.
ignorance is such that it blesses us all.
all of mine is that which there is an answer,either I haven't found it,understood it or I am just too stubborn to realize it's right there.
happy holidays.


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12/24/2006 10:32:46 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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  Marymoor Park, Washington is within walking distance of my house and I ventured out to shoot critters & flowers and stopped by the office for a map of the area and was told I needed a photography permit to take photos in the park. I asked about the permit and it is $289.00 per year. I promptly left. This park is funded by the state but they charge for any activity that goes on there.
I also took some photos at the Seattle Zoo and I spoke with several of the animal keepers & personel and they all were very accomodating and inviting me to take pictures. With my tripod and 100-400mm lens, they knew I was not the average customer with a point & shoot camera. They never mentioned nor did I think to ask about a release - but maybe I should. I had the same welcoming response when shooting at the Seattle Aquarium.
I have also become more aware of shooting on the streets and if I find a person who has an interesting appearance I will ask them if I can photograph them.
I almost got cracked with a whip in Turkey after photographing a farmer with all of his wives on a wagon. He & some Turkish people take offense at having their photo taken. Live & learn...
And I too can tell the difference between many animals (its us photographers that all look alike :)
Things have changed and it is better to be safe than sorry - especially if the images are to be sold. I will start carrying around release forms so that Snuggles (the Komodo Dragon) can sign with its footprint when I take his picture.


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12/25/2006 10:57:02 AM

 
Stephanie M. Stevens   I thought government land was fair game, we pay for it with our taxes, so it's ours, right? How can they charge again for photography rights? Of course, I also think admission should be free for the same reason, but nobody ever asks me. :)


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12/25/2006 11:04:32 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Government lands, State Parks and the like DO belong to us.
We pay our taxes and our entrance fees to enjoy them however we like (...within the parameters of law and common sense of course).
I've never heard of anyone being denied the right to profit from imagery taken from these public places.


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12/25/2006 11:32:24 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Stephanie and Bob, I totally agree. Public lands should be free to take and sell photos of but I know first hand that's not always the case :(.


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12/25/2006 2:46:13 PM

 
Jessica  A. Eiss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/6/2006
  I can tell you that the Dallas zoo specifically states that photos are for personal use and are not to be sold. I believe San Diego has their samd statement on thier zoo map when you get it. Most zoos have their own pro photographer that does their shooting for the promo work. Probably most zoos would be able ot identify their tigers, and pandas too. I would think that if the zoo makes this statement know to the public, and you shoot and try to sell them, you could be treading on thin ground.


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12/25/2006 5:58:21 PM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Gregory, you're probably on the right track except it's the oxygen level rather than nitrogen. I live at high altitude. :)


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12/26/2006 7:33:02 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i wasn't taking a personal shot at you deb,but I think gregory was referring to someone else possibly.


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12/26/2006 11:39:15 AM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  No problemo...no offense taken! :)


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12/26/2006 2:41:51 PM

 
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