I am interested in what rights my subjects (i.e. the people I take pictures of) have to my photographs, and in which cases I need permission to post them online (e.g. on my portfolio website or to a social network).
I realize this is a vast topic, so here's some limitations to this question's scope:
- I live in Germany. I'm only interested in the legal perspective. For moral reasons, I will always ask for permission if possible before I post a picture online, and remove it if the person depicted in it requests it.
- The pictures in question are pictures of single individuals or small groups, not pictures of crowds or public spaces where people are only accessories to the shot. None of the people in my photographs are of public interest (i.e. no celebrities, politicians et c., not sure about the correct term).
- I am talking about my private, non-commissioned work. That is, pictures I take on my own time of friends and family, as well as in public places and/or at public events.
Do I need permission to use photographs like that? Does it matter if I use them non-commercially (e.g. including them in my online portfolio) or commercially (e.g. selling them on Adobe Stock)? Does it depend on whether the subject is identifiable in the picture (i.e. a portrait vs. a landscape shot where you online see someone walking away from the camera)?
Since this is still somewhat vast, here are two specific examples:
- A few days ago, I took a couple of pictures of a friend, both in her home and outside. In some of those pictures she posed for the camera (implying consent to me taking the pictures?), some others I took while she wasn't aware of it. Does that make a difference? Do I have to ask permission before I post them online in either or both cases? (Again, I am interested in the legal perspective only. For moral reasons, I won't publish any of those pictures unless she explicitly consents to it).
- I regulary go to anime/gaming conventions and take pictures of the cosplayers (people dressing up as characters from anime/games). Most cosplayers will happily pose for you (again implying consent to you taking and publishing the pictures?). On those occassions, it is oftentimes not possible/practical to ask for permission to post the pictures online right away or request contact information in order to ask later. I have posted pictures like that before with the disclaimer that I would remove them and/or credit the cosplayers depicted in them if they requested it. Again, I am interested in which rights both I as the photographer and the cosplayers as my subjects have to the pictures and whether or not I legally need to obtain permission prior to using them in any way mentioned above.
Please let me know if there are is any more information you need in order to give a meaningful answer. Also I am not sure whether this question belongs here, on the Graphic Design SE website or somewhere else, feel free to migrate it if need be. Thank you!