Shooting at a farmer's market

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TracyF's picture
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Shooting at a farmer's market

A friend of mine whose family runs an organic farm has asked me to go with her to shoot some photos of a farmer's market. The company that runs this farmer's market wants to use the photos on their web site, and they would like photos of people enjoying the market -- they're not looking for photos of the vendors, or the merchandise, but of kids having their faces painted or people looking at the produce, etc.

My question is: When people are out in public in a shopping situation like this, how do you handle this type of photography? Do you always need to request their permission to take a shot (which sometimes will mean that you lose the more natural 'moment'?!) and/or do you need them to sign releases allowing the pictures to be used on the web site? I know there's some law that suggests that if people are out in public places, they have no reasonable expectation of privacy and what not... otherwise, street photographers wouldn't be able to publish much. Having said that, I remember in Bryan Peterson's book "Understanding Exposure", he said he always gets people to sign releases when he takes pictures of them in public places.

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My thought would be to take the shot (so you don't lose the moment) and then walk up and ask permission. If it is denied (expect more of that with pics of kids than adults), then just delete the image and go on.

I would think pictures that don't include faces or where faces are not easy to discern (wide angle shots, for example) would not need explicit permission.

Just my $0.02 worth.

Have fun!

GiGI

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I was going to say exactly what GiGi said. Have fun!

TracyF's picture
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Thanks so much for the good advice, GiGi! Thanks, Steph!

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I think you don't need their permission, but it's definitely more polite to do so. I know we had a reporter ask us before taking our picture at a festival last summer, but we've also ended up on our college's website without anyone asking our permission. I would ask after you take their picture, so hopefully it doesn't look too staged. Good luck!

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I agree with the pp. This sounds like FUN!

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I think it will be a lot of fun! The markets start in May, so we'll go together one Saturday morning. She's from the local camera club and we've been doing a few shoots together. This isn't paid at all, just a favour for the guy who runs the market; but if we get a few good images, it will be so rewarding!