School Sporting Events(Several Questions)

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by acurlee, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. To start with some backgroud. My wife is a middle school teacher and last year
    and the start of this year I have gone to the sporting events to photograph her
    students. My wife then prints up the pictures and post them on a the wall in
    her class for her kids to look at. At the end of the year the kids take thier
    pictures. This has been a very positive thing for her and her kids.

    So what I was thinking about doing.

    I wanted to continue taking the photos and continue with her posting the
    printed ones at school. I was hoping to create a web-site (haven't done it
    yet) to upload the pictures to and sell from. I would pass out flyers or
    brochures with the website information to parents at the events. My hopes are
    that the parents would then order prints from the web-site. I know that doing
    on-site printing would be the best way to go, however I don't want to take out
    a loan to get the equipment to start it. I also would not have any help to
    work the booth or do the photo corrects if needed.
    I'm also very picky when it comes to my pictures, so I like to have the final
    say in what people get to see. The web-site would be a smaller dollar amount
    to start with to see if the idea would work.

    So the questions?

    How does this work as it would be impossible to get 100 plus releases signed
    before the game?

    Do I pass word protect the images so that only people who got the flyer for the
    game can access the photographs?

    Who do I need to get permission from to do this?

    How do I avoid angry parents that did not want thier kids pictures on the

    I've done some research on the subject but most of what I have found is City
    league play. I haven't seen the issue about the release or angry parents
    addressed. I know that putting together a web site and the other things to
    get this going is going to take some time, but I want to know the right way to
    do it before I invest the money. (Got to much invested in the photography
    equipment I have already).

    Hope this make sense, I got a million and one ideas and questions floating
    around in my head. Thank you for your time and responses.
  2. First off, you'll want to verify this is acceptable wrt district policies as to businesses run on/using school properties. Especially if you (not "the school") are making money from this.

    The district almost certainly has policies regarding businesses working on/using school property. This might include formal board approvals, insurance, clearances, etc. And they probably have policies regarding "fund-raisers." It's even possible there is already a firm with a contract that permits them to exclude other photographic businesses even from events/activities that they don't cover.

    You probably don't need releases if all you are doing is selling back to the parents. Public events, etc., no expectation of privacy. That's different from being allowed to use the images to promote a business. That's different from running a business on school property. Privacy/publicity rights are governed by state laws so you'd want competent "local" advice on that.

    If you can wrap this up in being a formal, approved fundraiser, it's possible you can stretch existing "release" language covering photography for school business. Parents also would have the opportunity to refuse use in external school publications. This means that while you may solve part of your problem, you also have to carefully track some students to not put their pictures out as well. So another parent might legally shoot the uncleared child, a "school" shooter couldn't use the image shot standing right next to him.

    Work with the school to include appropriate language in the participation forms.

    That should deflect most of the angry parent complaints. Then, while you don't "have to," you can simply drop their kids. Password protection is OK but probably not needed and hard to control.
  3. Craig,
    Thank you for your response it was very helpfull. Hopefully the district would shoot it down.
  4. Aaron:
    I, too, have thought about doing the webposting of kids that only parents would be able to access. The website offers very simple websites for photos with watermarks and passwords for a particular group. Only that group (parents of a particular team) would be able to access those pictures or gallery of pictures.

    Here's my question to anyone out there. Is that acceptable for the release question?
    I've been taking pix of my son's football team and it blossomed into yearbook for the whole league. I've been asked by other teams in the league if they can buy the pictures. The logistics of 14 teams with hundreds of pictures each and then selling them back to the parents has become like another job.
    Any help anyone can give me with regard to whether it's acceptable to post them on the web that is protected so only those parents can see those pictures and whether that would satisfy a release question would be greatly appreciated.

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