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Using People Pictures on Church Website

Joined: 11/28/2008

I don't know if this is the right forum to post this, but here goes. I am webmaster for a church. I'd like to be able to use pictures of people (adults, youth, and children) both in the website header graphic(s) and on the individual pages of the website. I'd like some of the pictures to be crowd shots, some group pictures and some to be closeups of individual people or children. What can I legally use without permissions, and what do I need to get permissions?

Both I and several other people have already taken lots of pictures of church activities, such as "work days", potlucks, VBS (Vacation Bible School), etc. I'd like to be able to legally use some of these pictures.

What do I have to do to be able to legally use any of these pictures? Also, if I (or one of the other amateur photographers) want to take specific pictures for some parts of the website, how do I legally do that?

What type of pictures of people (close ups, groups shots, crowd pictures) can I legally use without permission, and what types of people pictures do I need to get permission to use?

Where can I read for myself the laws/rules about using pictures of people.

ALSO, is there someplace that I could get public domain modern day pictures of people and children for the website?

(I also have my own website that I put lots of pictures of my finished work. Since it's my own creation, I haven't had to worry about getting permission to post these pictures on my own website)

Thanks for your help

Best Wishes,
Stephen

Joined: 11/28/2008
Legal questions should

Legal questions should ultimately be answered by an attorney in your area, but

here is a thread that addressed the question somewhat. Some churches have put together a formal policy and require signed permission from parents/adults for any photo that goes on the church's site.

There are many websites that offer free or nearly free ($1 each) photos of people. Try M$N's Design Gallery,
istockphoto.com and so forth. I think there's a thread here with a list of photo sites. You want to look for "royalty free." Which means the photographers make the photos available for a very low fee but not charging royalties which are $$$.

Hope this helps.

CWM Post with Helpful Links for Web Design Newbies<

Joined: 11/28/2008
Hi Webby,Thanks for your

Hi Webby,
Thanks for your valuable input. Thank you also for the link to that other discussion. All this is very helpful, especially the description of what other churches have developed as a policy. I will be giving this all some thought and presenting it to the pastor as well.

Best Wishes,
Stephen

Joined: 11/28/2008
For stock photos, you might

For stock photos, you might want to check stock.xchng.

--- Mr. DOS

Joined: 11/28/2008
<off topic>Hey Stephen, I use

<off topic>Hey Stephen, I use to live not more then 3 miles from where your business is!</off topic>

Joined: 11/28/2008
There are stock photos that

There are stock photos that can be purchased. From there, you are able to use the images to your needs. We have several stock photo shots on our church site that my web designer used. The same applies for just about every other design he's done for me. My work purchased 50 stock photos of business people that cost around $600, with other varying packages. We use them throughout our website. That's what they're for. One of our images even appeared on Symantec's website for customer support. Obviously, your cheapest option is looking into free stock photos that are royalty free.

Just my two pennies /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />

Who can bring a charge to God's elect? It is God who justifies!

Joined: 11/28/2008
www.istockphoto.comwww.shutte

www.istockphoto.com

www.shutterstock.com

www.sxc.hu/home

Eddie Lepp
www.leppdesign.com

skenow
skenow's picture
Photo usage is just one

Photo usage is just one aspect of protecting someone's privacy. I highly recommend developing a privacy policy and posting on your web site. Again, any legal considerations should be reviewed with your attorney.

At our church, participants are made aware when their photos may be used on our web site and are given the option to have them excluded from use. Only staff members and committees are personally identified, but email addresses are not published. We are careful about publishing phone numbers and addresses that are available to general public.

Where youth are concerned, we abide by the COPPA rules, even though non-profits are not currently governed by this.

I'm sure you can come up with a lot of photos of your church and its people without risking publishing a photo someone will object to.

Joined: 11/28/2008
skenow @ Dec 3 2006,
QUOTE(skenow @ Dec 3 2006, 02:35 AM)
Photo usage is just one aspect of protecting someone's privacy. I highly recommend developing a privacy policy and posting on your web site. .......
Where youth are concerned, we abide by the COPPA rules, even though non-profits are not currently governed by this.

Steve,
Thank you for mentioning COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act). I had never heard of it. So I did a search and found this info about COPPA (just in case anyone else wants to know more about it.)

Information links to COPPA

  1. How to Comply With The Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule - An extended and detailed description.
  2. Kidz Privacy - FTC's tips for parents.
  3. Business Buzz: Website Operators must.... - A page of "requirements for Website Operators", with tips for parents.
  4. COPPA: Drafting A COPPA-Compliant Privacy Policy - A summary of the requirements of COPPA.
  5. You, Your Privacy Policy & COPPA - A 24 page COPPA pdf booklet on "How to Comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act". This is published by the "Federal Trade Commission: Bureau of Consumer Protection"

Joined: 11/28/2008
Generally, we notify people

Generally, we notify people that we are taking photographs that may be displayed on the website. They can ask us not to post a pic displaying them.

Not living in the US, we're not bound by COPPA, but it's a good idea to comply anyway...

Joined: 11/28/2008
For me, here has been the

For me, here has been the real problem with using these type photos.

If you are posting pictures in an album about a specific event, you generally have no problem.

But id you are using then for the site design there is are different problems.

Say you take a great shot of the picnic of a couple families with burgers and use this in your header to show the fellowship at the church. Then the week after you finish the design one of the families leave the church. Now you have to change the site. Or the cute kid withe the big smile loses his front teeth. Now the picture (and the site) looks old.

People know when these photos were taken and unless you plan on updating them every few weeks, get stock photos. Those people never age, they never cause a split, never caught in secret sin. They just sit on your website smiling and looking like they loove the church!

My $.02

Carl

Joined: 11/28/2008
carl @ Feb 12 2007,
QUOTE(carl @ Feb 12 2007, 01:45 PM)
Say you take a great shot of the picnic of a couple families with burgers and use this in your header to show the fellowship at the church. Then the week after you finish the design one of the families leave the church. Now you have to change the site. Or the cute kid withe the big smile loses his front teeth. Now the picture (and the site) looks old.

People know when these photos were taken and unless you plan on updating them every few weeks, get stock photos. Those people never age, they never cause a split, never caught in secret sin. They just sit on your website smiling and looking like they loove the church!

Ok, so? The question comes down to is there a desire to having the site more personal (ie pictures of church members) or generic (ie. stock photos).

Granted, stock photos have their place in publishing, but to make the site personal, using church members is a great idea.

Then there is the large/small church factor. In a larger church, you could use church members, have them sign a waiver, and be set for years down the road. In a small church, maybe/maybe not.

My problem is, as I have been getting more and more into photography, I am able to spot stock photos on websites (sometimes even the average person can do it) and that takes away from the genuine feel of the site. Almost telling a lie in a sense, to me anyways.

Of course this is all just my perspective on the subject. YMMV.