Do We Need Snapshot Waivers?

Remember when film cameras were all that was available? Most of the pictures were looked at once. Some wound up in the trash. But, if they were deemed worthy, the rest went into a drawer of unsorted snapshots, typically accumulating  decades worth of memories. Most homes had at least one of these end-of-the-line photo graveyards.

I can’t tell you the last time I saw a regular person with a film camera. Now lots of snapshots get quickly deleted or stored on a computer hard drive. But lots of pictures are posted for the public to view. Facebook has 800 million users and the average user has 130 friends. That’s just the average. If you drop the people who joined but don’t use it the numbers of friends that regular users have goes way up.

So for now it’s ok to shoot photos and put them up on the web for everyone to see. The snapshot I used here is one I randomly pulled from the internet, I don’t know them. Back when you took a film snapshot very few people saw it, just the folks who were at the party and probably not all of them, thanks to film processing times.

Smart phones are overtaking digital cameras the way digital cameras made film cameras extinct, a Darwinian world of image collection and who knows what’s in the waiting room?

What’s the number of people who’ll see a picture before you’ll need a waiver for the subjects – ¬†for releasing an image with them in it? No one seems to care, I don’t, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the attitude changes one of these days. Not everyone wants their fifteen minutes worth of fame.