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Photographer
jfscott103
Posts: 43
Mesa, Arizona, US


I have been looking for laws, regulations or just rights that a photographer might have or need to read when shooting under 18 models. i have had a few underage models want to work with me but i have been putting them off because i dont want the headache. any suggestion. maybe where to look for the laws or whatnot? whats your opinion or something you have picked up along the way?
May 30 11 06:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JDF Photography
Posts: 1,904
Marengo, Ohio, US


Lately there have been a number of threads on the subject of working with underage models. My policy has been keeping parents/guardians in the loop, present during the shoot, get a signed release and keep it G-rated. I also have an assistant present with me at the shoot. Know the laws that apply to your area/state.
May 30 11 06:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Swank Photography
Posts: 18,977
Key West, Florida, US


JDF Photography wrote:
Lately there have been a number of threads on the subject of working with underage models. My policy has been keeping parents/guardians in the loop, present during the shoot, get a signed release and keep it G-rated. I also have an assistant present with me at the shoot. Know the laws that apply to your area/state.

This. Full stop.

The youngest I am working with now is 11 years old.
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/248794_10150203585827891_711287890_7174542_1538782_n.jpg

I keep it G-rated...except for the vogue like shoot yesterday (heavy makeup)...she rocked it.

But yeah I don't do anything without the mother on board and present.

May 30 11 06:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GER Photography
Posts: 7,491
Imperial, California, US


Parent and a female assistant in the room at all times is the way to go and all release's / usage licensing signed before click #1.
May 30 11 06:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Glamour by Glenn
Posts: 930
Nashville, Tennessee, US


JDF Photography wrote:
Lately there have been a number of threads on the subject of working with underage models. My policy has been keeping parents/guardians in the loop, present during the shoot, get a signed release and keep it G-rated. I also have an assistant present with me at the shoot. Know the laws that apply to your area/state.

Well said. I communicate with the parents if they are minors. And they are always there when I shoot. I will not work with a minor without a parent present and it is going to be G-Rated and age appropriate. I had all boys, but if I had a daughter there is no way she would do any sexy photos until she was at least 18. There is a time for everything.

May 30 11 07:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Barry Kidd Photography
Posts: 2,367
Red Lion, Pennsylvania, US


Just as above Lex was 11 when I started snapping shots of her.  She's now 16 but was 11 in the images below.

Her mom has always been present.

http://www.barrykidd.com//photos/lex_2.jpg
http://www.barrykidd.com//photos/lex_1.jpg
May 30 11 09:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
S de Varax
Posts: 7,270
Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


youngest I've worked with are 16.
their agencies send them to me without parents or escorts.
May 30 11 09:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Diana Santisteban
Posts: 358
Miami, Florida, US


S de Varax wrote:
youngest I've worked with are 16.
their agencies send them to me without parents or escorts.

Ah! thats crazy. Even though i am a female i refuse to work with 18 or under, i just think its too much of a hassle.

May 30 11 09:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chicchowmein
Posts: 14,348
Palm Beach, Florida, US


I work with underage models a lot.

Never had an issue -- ( except for an occasional stage mother or two) usually the parent is present since they are normally the ones paying for it.

If you are shooting them for agency submission make sure you know what the agency wants -- normally they want to see kids looking like kids -- no make-up aside from concealer if necessary, some gloss maybe some concealer and powder - depends on the age and the market ( commercial vs fashion) but they normally want to see fresh faced esp if they are under 14.

If you are shooting for personal projects just keep it clean and it is a good idea esp if you are a male to have someone else present and get the parent to sign a release.
May 30 11 09:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
S de Varax
Posts: 7,270
Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Diana Santisteban wrote:

Ah! thats crazy. Even though i am a female i refuse to work with 18 or under, i just think its too much of a hassle.

why?
lots of photographers work with under 18s- see school portraits.
for fashion photographers this is even more common considering models get signed to agencies as young as 13.

May 30 11 09:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TJ Day
Posts: 1,804
Murray, Kentucky, US


My avatar is of my 14 year old daughter.

I worked with one 16 year old.  I had a signed release and her mother was there the whole time.

It's not complicated.  Make sure you have a parent/guardian sign a release and don't compromise yourself by being alone with the minor.
May 30 11 09:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LightWriting
Posts: 399
Long Beach, California, US


I shoot a lots of kids, never a problem. Parents ALWAYS there. A lot of the younger models I work with book more real jobs than the ones over 18. In fact the girl below has done 3 films, working on another as we speak. Another just shot for Claire's, and I see others I've worked with in H&M all the time.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110429/20/4dbb8317b6788.jpg
May 30 11 09:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Pfrangle Images
Posts: 3,560
Worland, Wyoming, US


http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/080312/09/47d7d81a04842.jpg
Age 9

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110407/22/4d9e9d887f278.jpg
Age 16

http://member.onemodelplace.com/member.cfm?ID=249879


I worked with Keshia Rain since she been 9 and now she 16 and she a wonderful model.  I have never had any problems.  Her mom (Barb) was an MUA, Hair artist and clothes stylist in the industry for over 25 years and it all worked out great for all of us.
May 30 11 09:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Miss Leilani Jade
Posts: 2,497
Decatur, Alabama, US


I am a young model and have been modeling for over 2 years now.  I dont think I have ever had any complaints and I along with my Mom set my boundaries to where I am comfortable

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110415/00/4da7f26b6b469.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110522/21/4dd9e3aed87d4.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110512/06/4dcbdaeb72a91.jpg
May 30 11 10:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chicchowmein
Posts: 14,348
Palm Beach, Florida, US


http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110525/21/4dddd481cd11d_m.jpg
16 year old model ( sorry about the quality but it is a copy of a tearsheet)
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/080325/08/47e8eaa82f99f_m.jpg

6-year-old model -- has booked everything from oxyclean, Ford Commercials, Catalog, print, etc
May 30 11 10:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mike Kelcher
Posts: 12,711
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


jfscott103 wrote:
I have been looking for laws, regulations or just rights that a photographer might have or need to read when shooting under 18 models. i have had a few underage models want to work with me but i have been putting them off because i dont want the headache. any suggestion. maybe where to look for the laws or whatnot? whats your opinion or something you have picked up along the way?

I've photographed literally thousands of kids under 10. In almost all instances, they were accompanied by an adult. I've photographed 5,000+ 17 year olds, usually without parents being present, and of those 5000+ shoots, I maybe got twenty model releases signed.  Never had a problem.

Contrary to the beliefs of many on here who "think" there must be some type of law against it, there is no law in any state in the US that prevents you, or any photographer from photographing anyone under 18. Sears, JC Penney, and most photographers with brick and mortar studios that specialize in high school senior portraits do this as a matter of routine. Furthermore, nothing prevents you from having such a shoot without parental involvement. Additionally, I know of no law that would prohibit the shoot from involving tasteful, artistic nudity. (Note: In other threads I've challenged others to link to a law that would prohibit underage nude photo sessions and nobody has yet come up with one).

If you want to work with such models without charging a fee...go ahead. If you'd like to charge a fee...do so. However, before you think you can do whatever you like without a problem....there are a few things to remember or be concerned about:

1. If you intend to publicly display such images, sell such images, etc., you need a model release...in order for that to be legal, it needs to be signed by the parent or legal guardian.

2. With regard to nudity, personally, I don't feel nudity equals pornography. Pornography involving a minor is illegal in most, if not all, states, and there are also Federal pornography laws. If you do nudes of an underage model, with or without parental/guardian permission, you are walking a fine line, legally. Defending yourself against pornography allegations, is very expensive and problematic. So, unless you have deep pockets and a really good attorney in the family, my advice is to avoid anything involving nudity or pornography, because someone will always find a way to connect nude art to pornography and will consider even the finest art to be pornographic if nudity is involved. In an nutshell....it's probably just not worth the gamble/risk....but it's not illegal...technically....unless a court considers it to be pornographic....thus...the "fine legal line".

3. If you don't intend to publish or display the images publicly, you don't need a model release or any sort of parental involvement to take someone's photo, regardless of their age.

I hope that helps.

May 30 11 11:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Designit - Edward Olson
Posts: 1,626
Eureka, California, US


jfscott103 wrote:
Contrary to the beliefs of many on here who "think" there must be some type of law against it, there is no law in any state in the US that prevents you, or any photographer from photographing anyone under 18. Sears, JC Penney, and most photographers with brick and mortar studios that specialize in high school senior portraits do this as a matter of routine. Furthermore, nothing prevents you from having such a shoot without parental involvement. Additionally, I know of no law that would prohibit the shoot from involving tasteful, artistic nudity. (Note: In other threads I've challenged others to link to a law that would prohibit underage nude photo sessions and nobody has yet come up with one).

Not that the OP said anything about nudity, but to satisfy you, and as the OP happens to be in Arizona:
http://law.onecle.com/arizona/criminal- … -3552.html

May 30 11 11:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mike Kelcher
Posts: 12,711
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


Designit - Edward Olson wrote:

Not that the OP said anything about nudity, but to satisfy you, and as the OP happens to be in Arizona:
http://law.onecle.com/arizona/criminal- … -3552.html

OK...so in AZ, according to the law there, section #2 of the law might apply if you photograph the minor nude and it's frontal nudity and if you are paid for the shoot. However, if it's a shot that isn't frontal, no problem, apparently.

Thanks Ed for pointing this out. I wasn't aware of it.

May 30 11 11:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Emily Maddison
Posts: 784
Perth, Western Australia, Australia


I havent had a parent with me since I was 14. According to the Police Chief in Perth, Its legal with a parent til 16, Once they hit 16 you can photograph them topless with no parental concent..


http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/i321/EmilyMaddison93/SAM_0590.jpg
May 31 11 02:02 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Rays Fine Art
Posts: 5,917
New York, New York, US


I don't shoot anyone under 18.  The benefits are generally far outweighed by the potential problems, IMHO.  The problems, which I freely admit may very well never actually appear, might come from so many directions that you spend more time and effort in dancing than in shooting.
May 31 11 04:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,637
El Segundo, California, US


jfscott103 wrote:
I have been looking for laws, regulations or just rights that a photographer might have or need to read when shooting under 18 models. i have had a few underage models want to work with me but i have been putting them off because i dont want the headache. any suggestion. maybe where to look for the laws or whatnot? whats your opinion or something you have picked up along the way?

Be aware that opinions and law are often at odds. And that real-world considerations and the law are also.

Threads about Minor Models

General Industry > Question on shooting minors...
General Industry > 17 = trouble?? WTF!!
General Industry > Photographing minors without a consent release (4+ pages)
General Industry > shooting underage models (NON-nude, not implied)
General Industry > shooting a minor????
General Industry > So this underage girl wants a shoot.. (3+ pages)
General Industry > Photographing minors
General Industry > OH no. Minor's parents left!
General Industry > Under Age Models (Why are they even on MM?)
General Industry > Shooting Models Under 18....
Model Matters > Underage Models (3+ pages)
Model Matters > working with minors
Model Matters > Underage models for implied shoots?!
Model Colloquy > Legalities, Being a Minor, and General Ignorance
Photography Talk > Shooting an Underage model - Rules and Regulation (Casual/Old Navy)
Photography Talk > Ever feel baited by a minor?
Photography Talk > Minor situation...
Photography Talk > Legal issues while working with minors?
Photography Talk > Shooting with minors (Laws)
Photography Talk > Minors and other legal issues. Criminal vs. Civil
Photography Talk > underage models
Photography Talk > Underage models? Never again.. (6+ pages)
Photography Talk > One Minor Model Thread To Rule Them All...
Photography Talk > Models underage... (who works with them?)
Photography Talk > 17 Year old Models (Headshots, portraits, etc.)
Photography Talk > Do you limit yourself from working with minors? (Including ‘senior photography’)
Photography Talk > Underage models in Europe
Photography Talk > Models age question (Cars and bikinis)
Photography Talk > Underage model? (Male model, sports & underwear)

It helps a lot if you:

Understand the society under discussion.
Understand the laws in that society.
Understand the reasons for both of the above, and the penalties for violating either cultural norms or the law, while recognizing that the laws are not the same as the cultural mores.

There are many instances where unlawful activities are widely accepted (e.g. speeding, changing lanes without signaling, tax evasion, copyright violations), and many instances where lawful activities are anathema (or are proclaimed to be anathema...) to many (e.g. adultery, adult pornography).

This is an area where many peoples' beliefs are at odds with the law, yet many of them insist that There Is A Law, apparently because they feel there should be one.

Certain kinds of photography of minors are unlawful--some clothed, and some unclothed.
Certain kinds of photography of minors are lawful--some clothed, and some unclothed.

May 31 11 06:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,174
Salem, Oregon, US


i'm shooting a ten year old model on sunday. her mom is actively involved.

i've also had minors show up without a parent and we just did an age-appropriate shoot and so far no problems to report. usually i'll ask them in advance if their parents are ok with them modeling and if the answer isn't what i'm looking for i'll pass on the shoot. some parents do attend the shoots, or at least come for the beginning and then leave.

i'm talking with a 17 year old model who has a list full of sexy images that i wouldn't be willing to shoot with her until she is 18 (and even then i can just imagine her showing them off to her friends at high school). i don't even feel right about swimwear with them. just senior portrait type shots (which can be somewhat sexy but with street clothes on).
May 31 11 08:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Great Lester
Posts: 1
Rochester, New York, US


I don't shoot with models under 18 years of age. They are not worth the trouble.
May 31 11 08:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
S W I N S K E Y
Posts: 24,315
Saint Petersburg, Florida, US


Great Lester wrote:
I don't shoot with models under 18 years of age. They are not worth the trouble.

I've shot plenty of models

May 31 11 08:24 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
GPS Studio Services
Posts: 34,420
San Francisco, California, US


jfscott103 wrote:
Contrary to the beliefs of many on here who "think" there must be some type of law against it, there is no law in any state in the US that prevents you, or any photographer from photographing anyone under 18. Sears, JC Penney, and most photographers with brick and mortar studios that specialize in high school senior portraits do this as a matter of routine. Furthermore, nothing prevents you from having such a shoot without parental involvement. Additionally, I know of no law that would prohibit the shoot from involving tasteful, artistic nudity. (Note: In other threads I've challenged others to link to a law that would prohibit underage nude photo sessions and nobody has yet come up with one).
Designit - Edward Olson wrote:
Not that the OP said anything about nudity, but to satisfy you, and as the OP happens to be in Arizona:
http://law.onecle.com/arizona/criminal- … -3552.html

Edward, you are absolutely correct.   I often hear that there is no law prohibiting artistic / tasteful nudity with a minor, but Arizona is the exception.  They appear to prohibit it for almost any kind of nudity from the front if it for commercial purposes.  To my knowledge, the statute has yet to be tested in the courts.   I am not completely comfortable that it comports to the first amendment, but that is just my opinion.  You never know what our current SCOTUS would do.

But, by golly gosh, don't people here know how to behave with a minor?  I am certainly not going to ask them to shoot nude.   I am more than happy to work with under aged models.  They make great subjects. As long as your shoot is appropriate for their age, and you have the parent available to sign the release (if one is needed) then I don't understand the problem.  California even has some child labor laws dealing with the entertainment industry.  Even they are easy to comply with.

May 31 11 08:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,174
Salem, Oregon, US


but sometimes it's the minor who wants to go the sexy route. i imagine they're thinking "i'm almost 18 so let's get going already" um, no.

ei Total Productions wrote:
I am certainly not going to ask them to shoot nude.   I am more than happy to work with under aged models.

May 31 11 08:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TJ Day
Posts: 1,804
Murray, Kentucky, US


Designit - Edward Olson wrote:

Not that the OP said anything about nudity, but to satisfy you, and as the OP happens to be in Arizona:
http://law.onecle.com/arizona/criminal- … -3552.html

I don't have the energy to debate the link.  But to me that sounds more like Sexual exploitation and commercial photography (photography for profit). Not nudity in itself.

If I take a picture of my 4 year old in the bathtub, is that sexual exploitation?

May 31 11 08:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Matt Schmidt
Posts: 3,643
Greensboro, North Carolina, US


15

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110314/14/4d7e8cee7ba5f.jpg

. . . her parents loved her port images.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110316/09/4d80e141204f5.jpg
May 31 11 08:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KungPaoChic
Posts: 2,881
West Palm Beach, Florida, US


Terry M Day Jr wrote:

I don't have the energy to debate the link.  But to me that sounds more like Sexual exploitation and commercial photography (photography for profit). Not nudity in itself.

If I take a picture of my 4 year old in the bathtub, is that sexual exploitation?

Depends who you ask

May 31 11 09:33 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
GPS Studio Services
Posts: 34,420
San Francisco, California, US


ei Total Productions wrote:
I am certainly not going to ask them to shoot nude.   I am more than happy to work with under aged models.
hartcons wrote:
but sometimes it's the minor who wants to go the sexy route. i imagine they're thinking "i'm almost 18 so let's get going already" um, no.

We are supposed to be adults here.  That is where the word "No" comes in.

May 31 11 09:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TJ Day
Posts: 1,804
Murray, Kentucky, US


Christine Rose Photogra wrote:
Depends who you ask

I agree.  Unfortunately sometimes there is little room for common sense in the legal system.  Everything seems to be black and white.

I suppose if you are a famous photographer who shoots nude children (and they exist) and you have bottomless pockets of money to defend yourself it might be worth the risk to make a point.

If you are Joe Average trying to get by from day to day on PB&J, you better not even photograph a minor in make up or clothing that isn't age appropriate (which I think is the common catch phrase these days).

It doesn't matter that Hot Topic is marketing lingerie to 12 year olds.

I am in no way saying people should photograph nude children, I'm just saying that there should be some common sense in the law.

Should I send the government after my parents because they have full frontal nude shots of me at 3 years old, standing in the bathtub?

This is why so many photographers are claiming that photography of minors is a hassle.  If someone complains that the clothes or makeup are not appropriate to the age of the model, the photographer is the one who gets crucified and loses everything.

May 31 11 10:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Harold Rose
Posts: 2,925
Calhoun, Georgia, US


jfscott103 wrote:
I have been looking for laws, regulations or just rights that a photographer might have or need to read when shooting under 18 models. i have had a few underage models want to work with me but i have been putting them off because i dont want the headache. any suggestion. maybe where to look for the laws or whatnot? whats your opinion or something you have picked up along the way?

Under 18 cannot legealy sign their own documents.  In that case a guardian has to sign.   For adult type work..   No  No  untill adult age..

May 31 11 10:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,780
Olivet, Michigan, US


jfscott103 wrote:
I have been looking for laws, regulations or just rights that a photographer might have or need to read when shooting under 18 models. i have had a few underage models want to work with me but i have been putting them off because i dont want the headache. any suggestion. maybe where to look for the laws or whatnot? whats your opinion or something you have picked up along the way?

1.  There are specific legal issues in Arizona, be careful of anyone who gives advice without awareness of that issue.
2. If you are at all interested in fashion photography, talk to Breana Rambo.

May 31 11 10:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,780
Olivet, Michigan, US


LightWriting wrote:
I shoot a lots of kids, never a problem. Parents ALWAYS there. A lot of the younger models I work with book more real jobs than the ones over 18. In fact the girl below has done 3 films, working on another as we speak. Another just shot for Claire's, and I see others I've worked with in H&M all the time.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110429/20/4dbb8317b6788.jpg

That's a lovely shot!

May 31 11 10:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TRC Photography
Posts: 611
East Brunswick, New Jersey, US


Diana Santisteban wrote:

Ah! thats crazy. Even though i am a female i refuse to work with 18 or under, i just think its too much of a hassle.

If I'm shooting a family style portrait, under 18 welcome with parent/guardian. MODELS under 18 looking to do something sexy? Never. Not ever.... did I say never?  NEVER... smile

May 31 11 10:37 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Miss Leilani Jade
Posts: 2,497
Decatur, Alabama, US


Great Lester wrote:
I don't shoot with models under 18 years of age. They are not worth the trouble.

If there is no inappropriate things shot I cant figure out what your saying is all the trouble.  Never had a single complaint or one problem in over 70 shoots

May 31 11 10:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Image K
Posts: 23,355
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Lil Miss Jade wrote:

If there is no inappropriate things shot I cant figure out what your saying is all the trouble.  Never had a single complaint or one problem in over 70 shoots

Read some of the threads that Kevin linked above.

Many of them explain why many photographers do not like to shoot minors.

May 31 11 11:51 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
GPS Studio Services
Posts: 34,420
San Francisco, California, US


Great Lester wrote:
I don't shoot with models under 18 years of age. They are not worth the trouble.
Lil Miss Jade wrote:
If there is no inappropriate things shot I cant figure out what your saying is all the trouble.  Never had a single complaint or one problem in over 70 shoots

+1000, I have never figured out what the "trouble" is.

Jun 01 11 07:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DRH Photography
Posts: 167
Alameda, California, US


under 18?  unless you're doing a senior forget it is IMHO

while doing a senior have the DAD present- that way he can't knock your block off LOL
Jun 01 11 07:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
976 Photography
Posts: 4,599
Shreveport, Louisiana, US


JDF Photography wrote:
Lately there have been a number of threads on the subject of working with underage models. My policy has been keeping parents/guardians in the loop, present during the shoot, get a signed release and keep it G-rated. I also have an assistant present with me at the shoot. Know the laws that apply to your area/state.

This.

I'm shooting a 16 y/o next week. Parent(s) must be present during the shoot. Age appropiate. etc, etc.

Also remember, don't just get a signed release from the model, make sure their parent (or legal guardian) signs it as well.

Jun 01 11 07:36 am  Link  Quote 
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