This is a bit of a gray area. On one hand, the law states that any photographs shot at a place where a person has no reasonable right to privacy are acceptable for publication without a signed photo release. On the other hand, it is always best to have a signed photo release for the protection of your organization.
HM follows the National Park Service rule of not showing recognizable faces unless we have a signed photo release. We recommend all members use this guideline. This rule protects both you and your visitors – many parents do not want their child’s photograph to be placed where it can be reused by strangers, someone attending a program at your site may not wish to appear on the cover of your next brochure, and so on.
Here is a list of places where you can search data bases for artwork that can be used for free or at a nominal charge.
Library of Congress
National Park Service
Maryland State Art Collection
University of Maryland Libraries
The best way to gather images is to keep a camera at your site’s entry desk and shoot your own photos. Don’t have a camera? Maybe an HM Mini Grant would help out.