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Photography/Can I print my pics in catalog?


Just took a boat load of pics at a large automotive trade show. Which photos can I have printed in the catalog I produce for the engine part manufacturer I work for?


Here's my take on it. In the land of continual lawsuits always be cautious. Overall because it is a commercial use, think in terms of getting every possible okay. For example the place you were in should be asked if it is okay to use images of their facility, if certain brands of cars play a prominent role in a photo, check with the local dealer, do this as both as a courtesy and as a heads up to them so you don't get sideswiped later.

As for people that is the tough one. Check with the facility and see if with the purchase of a tix the lawyers haven't included a "permission to be photographed" release clasue implied in the purchase.

If you can avoid recognizable faces (profile or full) because you never know. Once a friend shot a crowd at a basketball game. The team used the shot on a poster.

This followed a big lawsuit because a guy in the stands was --honest to god--sitting next to his next door neighbor's wife. Both had told their spouse that they were somewhere else visitng relatives overnight! Two marriages dissolved and theguy sued the team for ruiing his life.

Judge threw it out of court sating that the guy was an idiot for going to a public place with his secret honey depite knwoing it was full of TV and still cameras.

So individual faces--get release or don't use or be prepared to perhaps pay somone off.
Crowd shots maybe.

Hope this helps



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Steve Meltzer


I am a professional photographer and I've been shooting for newspapers, magazines, commercial clients and artists for over 30 years. I have shot stock photography for dozens of years and in 1977 created West Stock (Seattle, WA) which was one of the first to produce stock photo CDs and later one of the first to establish an online stock photo slaes site. I have a new book on digital photography "PHOTOGRAPHING ARTS, CRAFTS AND COLLECTIBLES (Lark Books, 2007)which is available at, and in bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders. I have another book, CAPTURE THE LIGHT which will be puiblished in November, 2008. I write 20-30 feature articles and columns for regional and national publications a year. My education includes studying with photographers like Cornell Capa, Duane Michels and Oliver Gagliani (from the Ansel Adams Center.)

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