Property releases needed for self-promo piece? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Two days ago Raven asked if property releases are needed when photographing people's houses. The consensus was "yes" if the photographs are to be used for commercial purposes. Now suppose you are an architectural photographer and you want to create a promotional piece showing some of your work. Do the photographs need releases? This seems to be a gray area, because on the one hand it IS advertising, and yet on the other hand its purpose is to advertise the photographer's skills and not the unidentified buildings or interiors in the phot

-- Stewart Ethier (, March 30, 2000


This is indeed a grey area, however, not knowing the copyright issue where you are, I can only hazard a guess - you probably don't need one if it is purely for self-promotion. But, if someone wishes to but that print or advertise on your behalf like through an agency, then you may need a release. NB this could be expensive, unless you carefully approach the architect and perhaps offer a copy of the photo of his building - i.e. one that shows the building off in the best light.

-- David Kirk (, March 30, 2000.

technically: yes you do need a release. Your promo piece is an advertisement for a business, even if that business is the photographer's own, and if the property owner wanted to get snooty and legalistic on you they would have grounds to do so. Assuming you were commissioned to photograph the building, you should get a release at the time ofthe shoot or you should go back and ask for one. Interiors are private spaces, so you definely need a release in that case. If the building is a skyscraper then the question is gray.

-- Ellis Vener (, March 30, 2000.


No question about it. You need a property release. Why not use it as a door opener. Many people are flattered by a photographer's attention and will gladly sign a release in exchange for a print.

If you're here in the US, checkout the American Society of Media Photographer's website at If the release isn't available there you can get info on the nearest local chapter. Most members are happy to help educate others.

Good Luck

-- Jim Blecha (, March 30, 2000.

When talking to a teacher of mine about photographing someones house, he advised me to always cover my _ _ _ ! Because you never know. Get a release signed, and keep in mind when photographing architecture, the "architecture" most likely has a copyright on his/her building. I'm learning, and so far this is all I know. Curious about one thing though. If they won't sign a release form, then can you use the photo in a portfolio? And what if you decide to give the print away? Then no profit. I'd rather have the photo with no release, then not at all.

-- Raven (, March 31, 2000.

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