Not totally "Earning with Photography" but I browse this section from time to time and it seems like a place where people discuss releases, contracts etc. so I was hoping you might be able to help me out with a question.
My brother-in-law has a landscape business and has taking some photos of his work. He's now ready to build a website and wants to make some adds to distribute. Is there any potential issues with using photos of the yards of his customers on his website / adds. Their houses may also be in site.
If it is a potential problem what should he do? Add some kind of clause to his contract stating that he will be taking pictures of his work and using it to promote his company? How would he word this. Again, only if it's required which it hopefully isn't.
Last edited by superduperwesman; 05-14-2010 at 02:10 PM.
If the shots are being used to promote his business and if the properties he is landscaping are recognizable, then he could be at risk without a release. However, if he posts shots of arrangements of plantings with, say, a corner of a house or an archway, would be fine. Perhaps a more important question would be 'How would his clients feel about seeing their homes on a website?" Many clients, especially high end clients, have very strong feelings about their privacy.
For a very thorough explanation of releases you may want to check out Dan Heller's great site.
Thanks Lee I'll check out that site tomorrow but how far does this line go.
If the houses are recognizable then he may be at risk but even if the houses aren't in the picture, can you be at risk if the yards are recognizable or if a flower beds or a fountain etc are recognizable?
All of his clients sign a contract anyway so it sounds like he would be best to add some kind of clause regarding a release.
I think most of the shots would be at a low profile showcasing the yard work / layout without the house in view but again are you at risk if the yard is recognizable?
I wonder how this goes for the landscape plans that he prepares. He has done the plans but if their lot is recognizable can he be at risk for showcasing some of these. I guess he'd possibly have to create a sample based on made up lot?
On a side note (my mind is just drifting as I type), what if you take a picture of a recognizable building and used it in an add or on your website? I'm thinking of photographers who use pictures of old houses or barns in their portfolios or on their websites that they just noticed while driving down the free way. Or many have city view shots with large corporations buildings... by the same logic wouldn't you need a release to use these photos.
I'll have to read up on that link I guess
As for the privacy of his clients. Again, I don't think the goal is to showcase the houses but they could end up in the picture in which case it would probably be good to run it by them but like anything it's nice to know what's actually required. Plus it can't be any worse then google street view
Last edited by superduperwesman; 05-14-2010 at 02:12 PM.
"Another misunderstanding people have is the difference between "privacy" and "private property." In fact, the whole issue of "property" has been misconstrued by photographers over the years to the delight of property owners. Property itself has no implicit rights the way people do. Photos of property has to be "protected" either by trademark law, or in some cases, copyright law.
The most common example people use is photos of buildings. There are some that are trademarked, like the TransAmerica Building in San Francisco. The law regarding trademarks is such that a violation occurs only if the nature of how the photo was used would cause a viewer to be confused about the association between the publisher (whoever put it into print) and the owner of the building. That is, just because you have a photo of it that you took on your vacation to San Francisco on your website is not a violation of copyright or trademark. And just because you are selling it does not constitute a violation either. It would only be a violation if someone licensed it for use in an ad that implied that the advertiser was the TransAmerica company (or that TransAmerica endorsed the company). This would be grounds of copyright and/or trademark infringement, and the liable party would be the user of the image, not the photographer."
So if I'm understanding this correctly, if the house was copy right then you couldn't use the images b/c the add could imply that the owner of the house "endorsed [my brother-in-law's] company" Given the fact that the majority, if not all, of your neighborhood houses aren't trademarked or copyright I'm thinking he should be fine?
I'll read more but someone please chime in if I'm misunderstanding
Last edited by superduperwesman; 05-14-2010 at 02:14 PM.