Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?

 
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:38 AM   #1
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Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


Seems like an obvious courtesy. But it sure would be a lot easier to not have to call up each person and ask. We're just now putting our website together, and have over 3 years of work we'd like to show on it. So, do you ask permission?
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:48 AM   #2
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


I don't technically come out and say "Can I put pictures of your deck on my website?" I do however, mention in conversation that I will be taking pictures to put in my portfolio and website. I have never once had an objection from anyone about it. Most people either assume I will be doing so and/or they are proud to know their project will be posted on my website.

That being said, if anyone were to object to it, I would honour their request. I honestly don't see this happening as most people are happy to oblige and they like to tell their friends and family where to find the pictures - it works out to be a nice potential lead for me too!

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Old 03-07-2006, 05:21 AM   #3
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


Why not use the situation as an excuse to make contact with some old customers, and to show off your new website while your at it.

I have seen some sites where they post titles to the pictures, ie. Jones Kitchen, Boston. That would be more of an issue for the homeowner, and require a little more than a casual comment during the sales process.

Some companies include wording in their contracts stating the potential for this type of marketing.
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Old 03-07-2006, 06:14 AM   #4
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


That's the wording in our proposal:

" Customer agrees to permit Ecopainting Inc. to display a sign on the project site during the work period,
and to use any pictures taken for promotional purposes."
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Old 03-07-2006, 06:19 AM   #5
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


For homeowners, we verbally ask permission as part of the estimate and then include a clause in the contract that authorizes us to use any pictures taken during the course of the project as promotional material if we choose.

For commercial work, it's just written into the contract terms and conditions. If an architect or owner requests not to use them, I exclude the clause.

I'm about to completely redo our website so I too hope to enhance the portfolio section with pics.
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Old 03-07-2006, 06:25 AM   #6
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa
Seems like an obvious courtesy. But it sure would be a lot easier to not have to call up each person and ask. We're just now putting our website together, and have over 3 years of work we'd like to show on it. So, do you ask permission?

I always make sure my customers know they are being exploited on the internet.
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Old 03-07-2006, 06:27 AM   #7
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearce Services
Why not use the situation as an excuse to make contact with some old customers, and to show off your new website while your at it.

Now that is a good idea. Sounds to me we think on the same wave length
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:28 AM   #8
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


We always ask, we have had a few say no so you have to respect them.
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:16 AM   #9
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


My contract has the same clause, and I find most people are thrilled you'll be showing off their project. I've yet to have someone say don't use pics of their stuff. You can also take a picture of their house standing in the road and it's legal to use for whatever you want. Not that we would do that to our customers, but for other promotional pics you can.......
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:40 AM   #10
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearce Services
Why not use the situation as an excuse to make contact with some old customers, and to show off your new website while your at it.
Thats a great idea.
My contract states:

E) PROMOTION/ADVERTISING:
The Customer authorizes the Contractor to display a sign for the duration of the job, and to use photographs taken at the jobsite for display, promotion, and advertising, without compensation to the Customer.


We never put names/addresses with the pictures though, unless its a highly visible commercial site, like a Subway restaurant, or a hospital, etc.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:36 AM   #11
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa
Seems like an obvious courtesy. But it sure would be a lot easier to not have to call up each person and ask. We're just now putting our website together, and have over 3 years of work we'd like to show on it. So, do you ask permission?
Use the loophole system. Take pictures of the projects before they are paid in full. They are yours until that final payment.

I also tell my clients that I will be taking pictures of the final product for use in my portfolio/website.
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:15 PM   #12
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


(perhaps off topic)

Hey what about if the houses you painted were while you were working for another company? I'm new and and am trying to put together pics for the website, portfolio etc and since we have only painted a couple projects under our own company name we have only a few pics that we can use.

But if I could go around town and take pics of everything I've painted over the past decade I would have hundreds to choose from.

Anyone run into this issue before? Would the companies I worked for be choked that i used pics of some of "their" projects?

Last edited by cutnroller; 03-07-2006 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 03-07-2006, 03:25 PM   #13
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


Quote:
Originally Posted by cutnroller
(perhaps off topic)

Hey what about if the houses you painted we're while you were working for another company? I'm new and and am trying to put together pics for the website, portfolio etc and since we have only painted a couple projects under our own company name we have only a few pics that we can use.

But if I could go around town and take pics of everything I've painted over the past decade I would have hundreds to choose from.

Anyone run into this issue before? Would the companies I worked for be choked that i used pics of some of "their" projects?
I still have pictures of kitchen cabinets I made and installed while I was working for another company on my website. It was work that I did, so I show it. As I get more pictures to choose from I'll slowly take these off of my site and replace them with more recent picturesas time goes on.
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Old 03-07-2006, 04:15 PM   #14
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


Quote:
Hey what about if the houses you painted we're while you were working for another company? I'm new and and am trying to put together pics for the website, portfolio etc and since we have only painted a couple projects under our own company name we have only a few pics that we can use.

But if I could go around town and take pics of everything I've painted over the past decade I would have hundreds to choose from.

Anyone run into this issue before? Would the companies I worked for be choked that i used pics of some of "their" projects?
Although it may be frowned upon, as PWG said, in most places it is technically legal to stand in the STREET and take pictures of anything you want, for any purpose you want, as long as you don't get any people in the shot...then you have to ask their permission.
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Old 03-07-2006, 06:51 PM   #15
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


I don't see any problem as long as you don't use any personal info. This might be an issue if you live in a really small town. My pics could come from any of a few million homes in 3 large counties.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:27 PM   #16
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


What you should get is called a "Property Release" from the home owner. This can be part of your contract, which would probably be easiest. Here's a snipet from a forum over at http://dpreview.com

If you are taking pictures of people's homes or other property to use in a commercial manner, you will likely need to have a signed property release from the homeowner.

Dave

Google - Photography Property Release - for more info.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:18 PM   #17
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


I think it would be at the very least common courtesy to ask for the homeowner's permission.

There are some folks, involved in LE or other persuits who are highly private that would not want to have any part of their homes or addresses posted and with good reason.

Also be careful of visible house numbers and liscence plates visible in the photos for those who give limited permissions (ie not identifying them or their property).

If there are people in the picture you will likely need a model release.

If the pictures are taken from non public areas (like the sidewalk) you will likely need a release.

Ask a real lawyer to be sure.... BUT having said that I would think it simple courtesy to get permission rather than risk bad feelings. One pissed customer can do more damage via word of mouth than the picture of his property can do you good on your website.
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:24 AM   #18
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


Everyone should keep in mind that asking permission isn't legally binding give you legal use. Legally you need a signed photo property release. Some people think verbal permission gives them a legal verbal contract, but a verbal contract is only legal if both parties agree to what was said.

Also keep in mind I was a professional photographer, I had file cabinets full of signed releases. As a contractor I have never asked a customer to sign a release. The stakes simply aren't that high. If a customer suddenly saw his pictures on my website and didn't like it, I would simply take them down.

Now if I was doing something really high profile like John Elway's bathroom and realized that I would want to take advantage of the marketing potential of showing off that we remodeled Elway's bathroom, I would certainly want a signed release to ensure I could actually use it and not end up wasting such an opportunity.
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:53 AM   #19
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


Quote:
Now if I was doing something really high profile like John Elway's bathroom
This kind of brings up another question. We're currently working on a kitchen that this bigtime world famous designer designed. So we'll probably have to get his (the designer's) permission too? And put his name on it.
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Old 03-09-2006, 11:23 AM   #20
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Re: Do You Ask Permission To Post Customer Pics On Your Website?


You shouldn't have to. A kitchen design should be regarded as a "work for hire" relationship between the kitchen designer and the customer. The kitchen resides in the customer's house so the kitchen becomes the customers property so all that should be required is a typical photographic property release.

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