Ah yes — disgruntled readers and/or people with their own ‘agenda’ or perspective that they expect everyone else to bow down to.
I shall not name the woman who sent me the simply vile letter today regarding my printing of photographs that I took at the Autrefois parade, but I would like to make something completely clear for those who do not have any understanding of EDITORIAL content.
I do not publish pictures of people on this website for financial gain UNLESS THEY HAVE MODEL RELEASES. This site is primarily a platform for my commercial work such as travel photography which I do indeed sell through several agencies.
If I was trying to sell photography of families and children for something like limited edition prints — then that would, of course, require a Model Release for every person pictured. I have been a working journalist for several decades, so I am well aware of what is and is not legal.
Editorial Content includes pictures taken at public events such as the Autrefois Le Courserons and the Tour de France coverage a few months ago. Any journalist or photojournalist is allowed to take pictures AT PUBLIC EVENTS as long as they are used for journalistic content including online news coverage, blogs, newspapers, print media, and stock photography that is plainly marked EDITORIAL USE.
Since the letter writer opened the door to this post, I have removed the earlier article so this white-hot-angry woman can calm the hell down — but to whoever is reading this rebuttal and explanation, I shall continue to post articles that include pictures of recognisable faces of people of ALL ages at public events.
This is quite different to ordinary street photography and France happens to have some bizarrely strict rules about shooting photos on the street without written permission. But even here the law is quite plain that if there is a public event and the camera is not singling one person out, informal street photography is acceptable. So yes, I am quite within my rights to publish event photography.
Let me make this very, VERY clear — my website will not be dictated to by the opinions of anyone else! But I certainly will follow the prevailing law of whatever country I live in.
When people attend an event such as the Autrefois Le Couserons, there are dozens of photographs taken each year that end up on websites all over the world. The people who were actually in the parade certainly expected their photos to be taken. The parents who dressed their children in costume and paraded them through the streets of St. Girons did know that photos would be taken by people from all over the region and overseas. I saw at least a half a dozen other journalists on site that day.
Were all of us photographers standing on the street corner, holding up the parade, handing out Model Release forms for everyone to sign and be witnessed? Of course not! It was a public event.
I have no way of knowing who the people in my photos are — adults of all ages, teenagers, elderly folks, parents, and children included — and I have no contact details for them since they were part of a crowd of hundreds of people in a public place. I am not handing out clues to who any of these people are or where they live. And no, photos of children and parents who are in a group setting at a public event are NOT a no-no. If your mind tends to go straight to deviant possibilities, well heaven help you for being in the mindset that regards every adult as a potential threat.
Whoever you are, Ms. K — if you have issues with my website, why are you even bothering to read it? Lighten up!
©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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