ChromaticSoul :: The Blog

Archive for the ‘legal issues’ Category

It’s that time of year when many photographers like to go out and take pictures of winter, snow and skiers. For those of you who work in commercial photography and plan to be out on the ski slopes with your camera, heed this advise from the Photo Attorney.

As reported by the Aspen Times, commercial shoots on public lands in a ski area now require a permit from the Forest Service. The increased requirement arose reportedly because of an accident that killed a member of a filming crew. Jim Stark, a winter sports administrator with the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District of the Forest Service, admits that the new permit requirement wouldn’t have affected that horrible incident….It appears that the Forest Service doesn’t understand how that “modest” amount can affect most photographers, struggling to make a living these days. Further, the revised fee structure doesn’t appear to be related to safety because no permit is required for “skiers or riders simply taking pictures [or] footage for their personal use.” [via Photo Attorney]

Read the rest of the story.


The National Press Photographers Association reports on the new federal law that requires safety vests for those working on federal highways, including photographers. [via Photo Attorney]

From the NPPA site:

A new federal law went into effect November 24 that requires all workers on federal highways to wear high visibility safety apparel, including photojournalists who are there to cover news. …

In order for garments to qualify as high visibility safety apparel the safety vests must meet a standard known as “ANSI 107-2004 class II.” A Google search for “high-visibility garment” or “ANSI 107-2004” results in a wide variety of available outlets that include vests and jackets. Compliant garments should have a tag that reads “ANSI 107-2004 class II.”

While the use of reflective tape on regular clothing does not comply with the standard, compliant vests can typically be purchased for under $20. …

A company named Iron Horse Safety also offers ANSI compliant vests in mesh lime, mesh orange, solid lime, and solid orange colors with velcro or zipper fronts and in sizes up to 5XL.

The National Newspaper Association is selling a vest for $15 that meets the requirements with the word “PRESS” printed on the back in large letters. [via NPPA]

Good advise and a number of links from the Photo Attorney.

Generally, photographers may take photos of others when in public. But sometimes, even when the person is in a public area, you violate the person’s privacy when taking his photo because the person has a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” [via Photo Attorney]

Read the rest of the story.

Now that you know when you need a model release form and why it’s a good idea, the next question is where do you go to find one. I have a personal favorite but know there are others. Here are just a few suggestions.

The ones I use come from I like this site because you can get not only model release forms but other legal forms lease agreements, sales agreements, power of attorney, confidentiality agreement and much, much more.

When you begin making the model release form, there are a number of questions asked so that the form is complete for the state you are shooting in and has your company information too. You can purchase a single user license for $14.95 and download your form for future modivications. There are also multiple use and site subscription licenses you can purchase. offers a similar service. FindLegalForms, like LawDepot has numerous forms. The big difference here is that you have to purchase each type of form individually. They do state on their site that if you were to pay a lawyer for the same service, you would pay upwards of $200. Their costs range from $9.99 for a Model and Talent Release Form to roughly $39.99 for a Product Release.

Finally, the last option I want to discuss is one that is virtually free but takes some time to locate and has no guarantee that the form is legal in your state. For example, on Deviant Art there is a model release form thatn can be viewed in html or as a Word document. You can save this document for free and modify it to fit your needs.

I hope this helps some for those who have a need to “cover their ass-ets.”

Back in July of this year you may recall an article by Scott Kelby on Model Release forms.

HyperPhocal has an article this month on demystifying the model release form.

If you want to get a group of photographers completely at odds about something, simply mention two words: Model Release. I’ve never heard two photographers say the same thing about when they use one, why they use one, or much less what the actual release should say. Ever wonder why that is, or if you’re doing it right? I’ll try to clear up a little of the confusion. [via Hyperphocal]

What’s almost as bad as having to take your shoes off at airport security checkpoints?

Having to pull your laptop computer out of its bag and stuff it back in. Well, relief is on the way, as the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) announces it its ready to begin allowing passengers to leave their laptop computers in bags that meet new “checkpoint friendly” standards. [via About]

Here are a few examples of potentially”checkpoint friendly” laptop bags:

You’re a photographer, not a lawyer, why should you care about Copyright? If you’ve ever taken a picture in your life, you own a copyright! Every time you snap the shutter on your camera, you create a photograph (called a “work” by the Copyright Act) which is immediately protected by copyright. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional who takes an hour to set up the perfect shot or if you’ve simply taken a quick snapshot with a disposable camera, your photo is protected by copyright. [via HyperPhocal]

To find out the why’s and how come’s, click here.



    • thebail: Reblogged this on Underwater Ap
    • Veronica Lynne: Did you use it? It's RODEO time! That might make a good pic for the fb page to.
    • Veronica Lynne: Certainly. I am flattered. Just give credit--ChromaticSoul Photos. Also, I would love to see how you use it. The rodei is this weekend! Veronica Lynn