Dilemma: Photo Release Forms

I was so glad to see the Librarian in Black point to this issue. It's something that nags at me a lot, because I'm a librarian by career and a photographer by hobby--as well as being the frequent graphic designer/photographer for various library projects. And yes, for patrons to take photographs or videos in Willis Library, they are required to stop by the Administrative Office first.

I can certainly understand people's reticence to have their kids show up in photographs all over the internet--and in fact, that's one reason why I almost never tag kids in my Flickr photos with full names. In fact, I rarely do this with adults--when I do, it's usually colleagues that I photographed at a work-related event. I'd rather have very specific tags, for my own use, but I'm also reluctant to be the reason that someone's embaressing or silly moment shows up top in a Google search by their potential employers.

I'm frustrated with how awareness of this issue has cramped my photography in the past two years. If I'm taking photos involving children in a public place, but I don't personally know them, I tend to take photos from the back or side. I try to take images of adults in groups, and if they are individuals, again try to get them without a full front view of their faces. But perhaps I'm being too cautious.

I'd like to take photos freely, without worrying about release forms--but I'd also like to take photos knowing that I'm not making my subjects uncomfortable. Meh.

And on that note, I'll get back to web updates and my current graphic design projects: library calendars and reading fesitval posters. Perhaps if I cross my fingers very, very hard, Photoshop won't crash my system this afternoon.

Note: GovDocs librarians or those in the DC area, I'll be in DC for Interagency from Friday, July 25 through Saturday, August 2. Anyone who wants to do lunch or site-seeing, let me know.

1 comment:

Amanda (the librarian) said...

Speaking as a parent, a photographer, and a librarian, I find it ironic that we'll get all up in arms about protecting our patrons' privacy, yet find it difficult to understand why a parent may not want their child photographed or to have that photo published anywhere (or why an adult might not want the same either, for that matter).