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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

Very strange problem - i need a picture of someone i can use

 12:04 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)


I have had my website accepted as a contributor to a major news publication.

This is great - but the problem is that one of my writers wishes to remain somewhat ananomous - basically she doesn't want her picture online as we occasionally run investigations into people who aren't of the most savory kind.

I have mentioned this to the website in question and they say, "no problem - but we do need a photo."

Does anyone know where i can get pictures that people are happy for me to use of them and pretend they are someone else? Or are there systems that can createa picture of a person.

Any advice would be greatly received.




 12:22 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

how about stock photos?


 12:33 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Either buy a stock portrait image..or pay an actor to sit for a portrait ..or
Look into facegen..now available as a free software ( demo download )..with enough tweaks ( and maybe a little work in photoshop or corel painter )you can create a portrait face with it that will probably do what you want ..

Comparison of some basic 3d software here for newbies at 3D and 3D portrait software ..

Not one of my sites ..just a place that I point beginners to..simple explanation of face generation software possibilities from free or cheap software..

Autodesk also have some stuff ( from free to price of a small car ) the learning curve is steeper though..

Then there is Zbrush ( which I love ) and others..

[edited by: Leosghost at 12:39 am (utc) on Nov 6, 2012]


 12:38 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Fantastic - thanks for your responses - on the stock photo websites now.


 12:47 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)



 1:02 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

The problem I see with using a stock photo is she'll be deliberately impersonating someone else. There might be ethical issues with regard to that. I think you'd be better off going with Leosghost's suggestions.


 9:57 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

The problem I see with using a stock photo is she'll be deliberately impersonating someone else.

The company that I purchase stock photos from is slightly vague about this.

If you have a legal disclaimer on your website that makes it clear that images used on the site can include stock photos, and aren't representative of your contributors/staff/clients, that seems to keep you in the clear.

The exception is when a photo is used in such a way that it puts the stock photo model in a negative light (random image used in an article about child abuse, or heavy drug abusers).

The short answer is that the stock company, photographer and model probably won't care if the photo is passed off as a portrait, given the author isn't writing anything inflammatory.


 3:30 pm on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't understand why the website won't accept a blanked-out photo of no-one? Basically, be upfront about the fact that your reporter is anonymous.

It's standard practice in papers local to me to have stories with the byline "Court reporter" or whatever. People are not too stupid to understand that sensitive issues mean that journalists need protection. Take it back to the site and ask them not to be so inflexible.


 12:07 am on Nov 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Did you ever ask the site what they meant by "no problem - but we do need a photo"?

"I can't give you a picture of so-and-so."
"That's fine, just give us a picture."

Doesn't quite add up, does it?


 3:46 pm on Nov 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

What about a picture of her hands or something non-identifying? Or even her desk - something creative?

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