Serene Life

by garik

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I wonder if there is a best practice or rule to handle the payment of people you photograph for documentary purpose. Especially extreme cases like, e.g. a child living on the street.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are no absolute rules but what you do depends on the circumstances.

  • In some case you may be required to compensate the subject. If you intend to use the photo for commercial purposes, you will need a model release form. Depending on local-laws, sometimes these must include an exchange of value in the contract. This can be monetary payment or something else with perceived value, such as the copy of the photo itself.
  • To get a photo for editorial use, you will usually not need a model release but you may still offer payment at your discretion.
  • If someone asks for payment to pose before you take a photo, I would be wary about the documentary value of the resulting photo.
  • If someone asks for payment after you take a photo, it would be at your discretion. Considering the shot was candid and documented what was actually happening, paying would not diminish the documentary nature of the shot, only encourage such behavior. I would avoid it but certainly offering to send a copy would be a nice gesture.
share|improve this answer

If you are going to make money off a photo of a homeless child, you should give that kid something, even if you don't have to.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.