The Young Have Been Beached or Need a Model Release in that Surf?

BoogieBoard_6698, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

A lot of people take their kids to the beach. This is a good idea, because kids love to play. I always struggle with shooting the little ones-there are so many laws surrounding privacy and so many nut jobs out there-but I still want to get a good shot or two in. So, what’s a photographer to do?

In my case, rather than ask if I can photograph the kids, I tend to blur them up a lot. A little bit of blur, when done in the right places, really goes a long way towards obscuring identity. This image also has the kid dark, so I can (pretty much) use it pretty freely without having to go through the hassle of securing a model release. I like that.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve secured model releases in the past. And, I’ll do it again. I do it a lot, in fact. Almost all of the time, you could say. But, even given that, there are times when you just don’t feel like doing it. When you just don’t feel like getting a model release and you just don’t really want the shot all *that* badly that you’re willing to give up several minutes of your life, not to mention go through the hassle of scaring the you-know-what out of the kids’ parents (“No, really, I’m an artist!” Yeah, that goes over oh-so-well let me tell you.) In some cases, yeah, blur is your friend. Especially when you are dealing with youngsters, it can be a lot easier to blur them up, bury them in crowds, or do whatever it is you have to do to make them a lot less identifiable and a lot more “free” from the need to secure a model release.

Of course, every country and every place is different. Laws vary. There are times you have to secure a release regardless and there are times you might just snap away and just not worry about it. But, you know, if you can’t get a release (or maybe you just don’t want to) it’s kind of nice to know there are still options available to you. At least, I kind of like knowing that anyway.

(Besides, who wants to carry a bunch of blank model release forms in the surf? I sure as heck don’t. And I’m not always bringing my iPhone there so this is a nice option to fall back upon should you happen to want to try it out for yourself.)

Until next time…


1 Comment

  1. Great Grandma Lin
    July 23, 2012 / 10:28 pm

    I'll have to tell you my story-back in the dark ages 1971 my first husband and I were in Bahia Brazil. He was making a film as part of his grant on the culture of the country on a city street of the different vendors. What he didn't know was that in the background out in the bay was a military fort. It seems an irate bahian made a citizen's arrest of us and the police took our camera and held us incommunicato for hours without telling the US Counsel. Well finally we were released but they kept the film. We were just happy to get home to our 3 sons watched over by our unknowing maid. No cell phones in those days. We could have just disappeared. Scary-so be careful!

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