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Old 12-18-2008, 07:02 PM   #1  
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Default Question For You Photographers

I figure this is the appropriate place to ask.

What's the legality on advertising and selling prints with aircraft tail numbers showing? Taking the pictures and presenting them obviously isn't an issue, but what if you plan on making money off them? I imagine it'd be illegal if you needed to trespass onto airport or other private property to take it, but what if you're in a public place, like outside the perimeter fence?

I have the same question about people. Does it matter if they're the subject of the shot or if they're just in the shot? Say you take a shot of a specific person. In the park, at an airshow, wherever. Do you need a release from them to sell that photo? Does it matter if they're facing away or towards you?

What if you're taking photos of planes at an airshow, and you get 50 or so people in your shot around the subject of your photo; the plane. It'd be quite a hassle to track down those 50 people and get each one to sign a release.

I worked at East Hampton Airport for a good number of years, and whenever Access Hollywood (or similar) would come around, they'd have some of us sign image release forms. "Sure, go ahead, use my likeness wherever." Does that same process apply to any of the above scenarios regarding still photos? Is it more like a "as long as you're in a place where you have the right to be, you can take pictures of whoever / whatever you want" type of thing?

Last edited by Mitragorz; 12-18-2008 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:32 PM   #2  
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Public place-everything and everyone is fair game.

Private place, proprietary information-chances are you would have to be invited to get there and given permission to take photos. Selling said photos would require a release.

A few people make their living shooting photos of individuals and machines in public places. Paparazzi and spy photos of new cars come to mind.

Perhaps our legal expert will chime in, and of course there is google.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:53 AM   #3  
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Best of luck to you selling photos of airplanes. If you are good enough to take quality photos worth selling, you would not be dabbling in airplanes. There just is no market for it.

If you want to become a photographer that takes pictures of airplanes, and actually make a little side money try to get hired as a freelance photographer for a magazine like Flying, AOPA, Aviation, there are probably more than 100 magazines out there dealing with aviation. One prerequisite most of them require is some kind of writting or journalism backround, but it is not always required. There are full time jobs, and I know a few who do it on the side to their professional aviation career.

Most of the guys who do those assignments travel to some location to meet the owner, do some kind of light formation flight and snap a couple hundred photos, then take some photos on the ground inside the airplane and outside usually just before or during sunset. Photographer goes home, edits photos, writes article, magazine takes the article and edits it, and eventually publishes it. Photographer gets another assignment.

If you have more questions fire away.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:51 PM   #4  
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I can't believe I didn't think of the paparazzi... that would've answered my question right away


Thanks for the info. I'm trying to get into photography as a hobby and am buying myself a good camera for Christmas. I don't plan on selling any photos, it was just a question that crossed my mind while I was thinking about photography as a whole.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:01 PM   #5  
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cant wait to see the pics u take! u better post em on here
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:33 PM   #6  
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Free lance for the newspaper; then be a super hero at night..
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