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  1. #1
    BulldogMom's Avatar
    BulldogMom is offline aka KKH Photos
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    Default Can you sell photos...

    Can you leagally sell photos taken at a high school sporting event?

    My daughter plays high school volleyball and I take photos of her and the rest of the team for a fan site for the kids. (I started the site when she was a freshman, she is about to start her senior year and I have had no complaints about posting photos to the site. The kids seem to love it. I'm not planning on keeping up with the site after she graduates next spring.)

    I also, from time to time, take photos at other sports that she does not play and post those on the site. I encourage other parents to submitt photos and post those on the site as well.

    I'm not that great at the gym sports but high school gyms around here have horrible light so that may be part of my problem.

    Anyway I have a Zenfolio site that I use to sell prints.

    Now my question is can I show up at a high school ball game, take photos, and put them on my Zenfolio site for parents to buy?

    The fan site for the kids is Bulldog-Buzz and on the two summer legue volleyball game pages I have put a link to my Zenfolio site and uploaded the photos there for parents to buy small prints.

    Is this legal? Can I sell these photos without any permission from parents, coaches, and school board members to have taken them in the first place?

    I put a password on the gallery in an attempt at keeping people who have no connection to the team from ordering the prints. Is that a good thing? or is that just annoying to the parents who might want to order one?
    "I won't see it - 'till I believe it." ~ Dewitt Jones
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  2. #2
    Elmo's Avatar
    Elmo is offline Almost as Old as Dirt
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    First consider the school grounds are private property. Then taking pictures is illegal. Most schools have a open door policy for parents. This open door policy based on parents not doing it commercially. Consider you will no longer be a parent and your interest will be strictly commercial you will have crossed the line. Also most schools have contracts with photographers granting the exclusive rights. One school in our area stopped the local press from taking pictures insisting the pictures be bought from their contract photographer. They backed off that decision when the local paper discontinued covering their games.

    The only safe move is to contact the athletic director for guidance.

    Also consider the laws concerning the schools responsibility for protecting under age folks.

  3. #3
    bobby62914 is offline dPS Forum Member
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    I have schools requesting that I come to their sporting events to take pictures; so many requests that I am not able to accommodate all of them. Last year I shot over 80 boys basketball teams. I have added a partner so we can cover more events this year.

    When asked, I will try to provide some shots for the school's yearbook at no charge. Usually the school even gives me a free ad in the yearbook in exchange.

    The advice to check with the AD is good.

    Now, NCAA events are a completely different story. You must have expressed, written permission...

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  4. #4
    waffles's Avatar
    waffles is offline Critique Moderator
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    I'd check with the school. Different schools (and school districts) will have different rules. And even with those rules there will be different levels of caring.
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  5. #5
    Jim Poor's Avatar
    Jim Poor is offline Class Curmudgeon
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    First, there is nothing illegal about taking photos on private property. Tresspassing is a whole different issue, but there are precedents stating that even during an act of tresspass, taking photos is not illegal. That's not really what we are talking about here though.

    You have a few things to consider.

    Is there an "official photographer" with a contract that prohibits other photographers from providing (even giving away) photos to anyone else? I have a clause like this in my event photography contracts.

    The line on posting pictures of people can get blurry in regards to a model release. If you are posting proofs to sell to the people in the photos you are pretty much OK, but what if a third party wants to purchase a photo of someone else? Things can get a little tricky there especially with under-age kids invovled.

    Check with the school, the athletic director as well as any facilities that the teams might use that don't necessarily belong to the school.

  6. #6
    BulldogMom's Avatar
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    OK, sounds like I have some checking to do.

    Thanks guys.
    "I won't see it - 'till I believe it." ~ Dewitt Jones
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