Photography of minors is legal, as long as the photo is neither a compromising pose nor was taken in a setting where the child expected privacy (bathroom, changing room, etc.). The photograph is considered the property of the photographer, not of the person in the photograph. There are numerous case laws supporting this on both the state and federal levels. It doesn’t matter if the person in question is an adult or a minor.
It is always wise, however, to cover oneself with written permission from the parents or legal guardians. Here is some wording to include on any release/indemnification/permission form:
- “I give permission for photographs or video footage of my child to be used by [your church] for promotional purposes (brochures, web sites, videos, etc.).”
- “I give permission for photographs or video footage of my child to be used by [your church] for promotional purposes.”
- “[Your] Episcopal Church has my permission to use my child(ren)’s photograph, video and audio recordings, likeness, artwork, profile and/or story in future publications, web pages and other promotional materials produced, used by and representing [Your] Episcopal Church. I realize that there will be no compensation to me for this use.”
In print and online publications, never use the full face of a minor along with his or her first and last names. Ideally you would only use a shot showing 2/3 of the child’s face and never identify the child by name or specific location.
These measures help to keep children safe in our fallen world.