fifty-fifty photographer-model for stockphoto

Started Aug 25, 2010 | Discussions thread
Charlie Self
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Re: fifty-fifty photographer-model for stockphoto
In reply to Paul Grupp, Aug 31, 2010

Paul Grupp wrote:

Do you seriously put a line like that in your model release? Sounds like a total nightmare to me. I've had models ask me not to use images because they make one leg look fat -- isn't that derogatory? Who decides what is derogatory, and does the usage have to be a little derogatory, or a lot derogatory? You say "in any way derogatory" --- I wonder, has a photo ever been made of someone that a good lawyer couldn't characterize as somehow, deragatory?

Sorry, other than pure defamation of character (which existing law protects against anyway) I don't give models any weasel-room in releases. The more open-ended, subject-to-personal-interpretation clauses you include in your release, the more likely you are going to have to defend yourself against a model who five years from now after she becomes a soccer mom president of the Sunday School association and now wants to erase the fact that she ever did any kind of modeling.

I'm all for fairness to models. But a deal is a deal. If you stand in front of my camera, particularly if I pay you to stand in front of my camera, you're gonna sign a very broad release that is very difficult for you to get out of.

Charlie Self wrote:

If she signs a model release, she needs to make sure it contains language protecting her from use of the photos in any way derogatory to her,

I do a particular kind of photography, where later sales of the photos are damned unlikely, so I can use that clause without much fear. I don't do nudes, etc., or glamor, or seniors or anything like that. I illustrate magazine articles and books, usually my own, and the only second use of such photos is likely to be in another of my articles or books.

Even then, things can get hairy. Many years ago--about '70, I think--I did an article on "soft" drugs affecting motocross riders, for a motorcycle magazine. I sent in a couple of photos of riders, with captions to the effect that these riders wouldn't be where they are if they used any kind of drugs. The blasted magazine took my shot of a top MX rider, and overlaid it on a larger shot of a marijuana plant. The magazine hit the stands and I found myself talking to the rider's lawyer within a day or two.

After I explained what I thought had happened, they dropped my name from the suit, which the rider won.

That's derogatory use in my world, but it wasn't me doing the using. The magazine went out of business a couple of years later. I guess their insurance got too expensive, because they kept altering photos.

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