Did I say you could snap my pic?

Jun 10 2015

by Catherine Hamrick

bartender blurThis image blurs. The delightful bartender was too busy to give me permission to snap an identifiable photo. Instead, I took her picture in fast-action form.

As a former magazine editor who now blogs, I follow strict rules about image use. That includes asking permission when reproducing a clear likeness of a person. I keep releases on hand.

The American Society of Media Professionals breaks down industry regulations. In addition, they provide release forms and examples of lawsuits caused by inappropriate use of images. Be cautious if you intend to sell a picture:

Right of privacy, right of publicity, defamation, property owners’ rights

21st-century worries: digital editing, sensitive subject (I did not photoshop this image.)

The Office of General Counsel at Harvard University details copyright and fair use.

Snap happily. Snap carefully. Give credit where it’s due.

Catherine Hamrick blogs at Random Storyteller (humor, life stuff, no me-me drama).


Catherine Hamrick View More Blog Posts from this Author

After a few years as a copywriter for the Southern Living Advertising Department, editor and writer Catherine Hamrick learned her craft in the magazine and book divisions of media giants Time Inc. and Meredith Corporation. She taught writing, literature, public speaking, and business communication at the university level. As a freelancer, Catherine has tackled "almost every topic but porn and physics" and has managed editorial projects or co-authored branded books for imprints such as Southern Living, Oxmoor House, Meredith Books, Better Homes and Gardens, Traditional Home, Country Home, Midwest Living, The Home Depot, Ortho, and Lark Publishing. Certified in social media marketing, she coaches students and professionals in writing resumes, cover letters, and online profiles. She is also a ghostwriter—that is, a professional keeper of secrets. Connect @ChamrickWriter or drop by her blogs: Random Storyteller ( and Catherine Hamrick: Writer, Editor, Social Media Human (

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