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Forums > Photography Talk > 14 year old girl contacts me.... Search   Reply
1234last
Photographer
Moon Pix Photography
Posts: 3,890
Syracuse, New York, US


interested in doing a "Gay Pride" shoot with her girlfriend.  Basically they just want to come out and show the world they are gay and proud.  I am sure it would be nothing sexual.

My concern is legality.  I know I should get parental consent from both the girls parents, but what if they are not supportive?  Can't I legally take photographs of them... especially if I was not to charge them?

I live in NY... don't know if I am necessarily looking for legal advice since I really should investigate that on my own... I am mostly curious about others thoughts, but other's understanding of the law would also be appreciated.
Jul 30 12 10:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
eos3_300
Posts: 1,457
Brooklyn, New York, US


Think about this for a min from a common sense POV
How many kids get their photo taken in the mall sears photo studio across this country every day ?
No paper work
No parents

What news stories  have you read about people being arrested for what you were asked to do ?
I have never seen any.
Jul 30 12 10:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Cole Morrison
Posts: 3,958
Portland, Oregon, US


i would first talk to the girls about their parents to make sure you dont out them
Jul 30 12 10:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
LittleMissVivacious
Posts: 198
Redding, California, US


Pretty sure that it is actually illegal to side-step the parents purposefully, regardless of whether or not money exchanges hands.

14? That's pretty young to do anything photographic related (involving an adult photographer) without parent consent, on a moral level, regardless of legality, don't you think? And although she and her girlfriend may continue to have the same sexual preferences ten years from now, together or separate,  there is a chance that it might be more curiosity or a type of rebellion .. And pictures are forever. Plenty of people do recognize that they are homosexual in their early teens -- at the same time, I know plenty of girls who are "lesbian" for the attention. Imagine if her parents are horrified at the fact that she defines herself as gay, .. And this photoshoot is not about being proud of who she is, but it's a way to rub it in her parents' faces.

Or, the picture comes up after she's long since become a fully developed woman, and realized that she is straight. What repercussion might that have for her?

As an adult, thinking about what it means beyond a 'picture' is what you need to do -- because children often don't even think about it.

Just my thought on the matter. smile
Jul 30 12 10:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,837
Delphos, Ohio, US


Moon Pix Photography wrote:
interested in doing a "Gay Pride" shoot with her girlfriend.  Basically they just want to come out and show the world they are gay and proud.  I am sure it would be nothing sexual.

Remove the sexuality from the situation for a moment... would you still shoot it?

Moon Pix Photography wrote:
My concern is legality.  I know I should get parental consent from both the girls parents, but what if they are not supportive?  Can't I legally take photographs of them... especially if I was not to charge them?

If the parents aren't supportive, the pictures could trigger a shit-storm you might not want to deal with. Can the parents sue you or have you arrested? No. But they can drag you through the mud. Would I particularly worry about it? Probably not. But you have to be prepared for the fact that the parents may lash out at you in the process (especially if this shoot is the girls' way of announcing their lesbianism.)

In the long run, it could cost you clients. It could also gain you clients. Hard to say, really.

Moon Pix Photography wrote:
I live in NY... don't know if I am necessarily looking for legal advice since I really should investigate that on my own... I am mostly curious about others thoughts, but other's understanding of the law would also be appreciated.

I don't know NY law, but if I were shooting something like that here in Ohio, there wouldn't be any kind of contact between the two of them that could be remotely interpreted as sexual.

Hell, kids aren't even allowed to hug each other in school anymore around here. I use that as my "litmus" test these days.

Jul 30 12 10:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
New Art Photo
Posts: 701
Los Angeles, California, US


I can't think of a worse idea... (You could be the greatest guy in the world) and this could still blow up your life. All the the judge will see are the words: "Fourteen year old girls.)
Jul 30 12 10:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Moon Pix Photography
Posts: 3,890
Syracuse, New York, US


I completely see everyone's  point of view... interesting topic for me.  I know I personally would not feel comfortable photographing them without their parents consent and at the same time was curious how others would handle this situation.  All are valid thus far IMO... For me, 14 is too young to be professionally photographed without consent.

Thought about the shit-storm it could cause too...

I just photographed a gay wedding... I think some how they must have been referred to me. I support the gay community which is why I am hoping I will be able to get parental consent.  Which brings up a question:

Do I need BOTH parents consent or will one of the two parents suffice? Meaning, do I need both parents from both of the girls?

Interesting discussion for me.. probably worn out to many.  If MM had a functioning search engine for topics I probably would have checked it out.
Jul 30 12 10:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cherrystone
Posts: 35,962
Columbus, Ohio, US


Except for one, the points of view you've seen so far just make me roll
And I stay fairly conservative these days.
Jul 30 12 11:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,837
Delphos, Ohio, US


Moon Pix Photography wrote:
I just photographed a gay wedding... I think some how they must have been referred to me. I support the gay community which is why I am hoping I will be able to get parental consent.  Which brings up a question:

Do I need BOTH parents consent or will one of the two parents suffice?

If you're going to get permission from one, you have to get both (in my opinion.) You could actually make the situation worse by obtaining permission from a single involved party (you can't feign ignorance at that point.)

Some parents might get UBER pissed that you failed to get their permission, yet lobbied for permission from the other (if that makes sense.) I realize that it's no longer your problem at that point - you only need permission from one legal guardian - but it could create tension within the family if we're talking about divorced parents. Again, not your problem, but I do think about these things sometimes.

Moon Pix Photography wrote:
Interesting discussion for me.. probably worn out to many.  If MM had a functioning search engine for topics I probably would have checked it out.

I'm here quite a bit and I really don't recall seeing a thread about this subject matter, specifically.

The more I think about this situation, the less inclined I would be to take the shoot.

Jul 30 12 11:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,837
Delphos, Ohio, US


Cherrystone wrote:
Except for one, the points of view you've seen so far just make me roll
And I stay fairly conservative these days.

Would you shoot this scenario?

Jul 30 12 11:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DanaBarrett Photography
Posts: 1,030
Franklin, Tennessee, US


If it were me, I would want parental permission for both girls from a guardian of each girl.  But I want that whenever I do a shoot. 

I would tell the girls, that I need their parents permission, and then proceed according to their response.  (if their parents are in the know or not)

The shoot could be a lot of fun, but I like to have the parents involved whenever I shoot a minor.  good luck
Jul 30 12 11:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vulpes Photography
Posts: 73
Seattle, Washington, US


LittleMissVivacious wrote:
Pretty sure that it is actually illegal to side-step the parents purposefully, regardless of whether or not money exchanges hands.

14? That's pretty young to do anything photographic related (involving an adult photographer) without parent consent, on a moral level, regardless of legality, don't you think? And although she and her girlfriend may continue to have the same sexual preferences ten years from now, together or separate,  there is a chance that it might be more curiosity or a type of rebellion .. And pictures are forever. Plenty of people do recognize that they are homosexual in their early teens -- at the same time, I know plenty of girls who are "lesbian" for the attention. Imagine if her parents are horrified at the fact that she defines herself as gay, .. And this photoshoot is not about being proud of who she is, but it's a way to rub it in her parents' faces.

Or, the picture comes up after she's long since become a fully developed woman, and realized that she is straight. What repercussion might that have for her?

As an adult, thinking about what it means beyond a 'picture' is what you need to do -- because children often don't even think about it.

Just my thought on the matter. smile

+1

I would pass on this one..  I see nothing wrong with them using a cell phone camera like all the other 14 year old's..

Jul 30 12 11:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,837
Delphos, Ohio, US


DanaBarrett Photography wrote:
I would tell the girls, that I need their parents permission, and then proceed according to their response.  (if their parents are in the know or not)

Exactly. If they balk the second you mention mom/dad, walk away.

Well, they will likely make the decision for you and vanish like a fart in the wind.

Jul 30 12 11:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Moon Pix Photography
Posts: 3,890
Syracuse, New York, US


DanaBarrett Photography wrote:
If it were me, I would want parental permission for both girls from a guardian of each girl.  But I want that whenever I do a shoot. 

I would tell the girls, that I need their parents permission, and then proceed according to their response.  (if their parents are in the know or not)

The shoot could be a lot of fun, but I like to have the parents involved whenever I shoot a minor.  good luck

Exactly.  This is what I have done.  We shall see if they contact me back.

Jul 30 12 11:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RP Nudes
Posts: 38
Chicago, Illinois, US


New Art Photo wrote:
I can't think of a worse idea... (You could be the greatest guy in the world) and this could still blow up your life. All the the judge will see are the words: "Fourteen year old girls.)

Succinct and to the point.

OP, your portfolio doesn't really show any shiny, happy people holding hands, so this is not in your range. The kind of pictures 14 and 14 want can be taken by same-age friends or themselves with a point and shoot. Also, they're teenagers...6 months from now, they might not be BFF's anymore.

A more important question for you would be, why do *you* want to take these pictures? There's a lot more to this story that you haven't shared, so forgive me (us) if this is a family friend or otherwise personal connection.

Jul 30 12 11:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Scarlett Renee
Posts: 217
Salt Lake City, Utah, US




Do it. Let us know how it goes.

..... hmm
Jul 31 12 12:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R.EYE.R
Posts: 2,716
Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan


At that age it's hardly about gay pride but more due to FTW attitude and to provoke angry response. They will change their minds eventually and you will get flack!
Jul 31 12 12:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mirror With A Memory
Posts: 282
New York, New York, US


Walk away from this project.
Jul 31 12 01:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sonoma Coast Photograph
Posts: 651
Sebastopol, California, US


I'd suggest that unless you have at least one parent from each girl present that you not shoot.  I had an issue with one young lady (16) who had her BFF's mom (claimed she had 'legal guardian' status) at the shoot.  Completely innocent, age-appropriate shoot, fully clothed, etc.
A month later, I get a call from the police from her area.  She had run away in order to rebel against her parents, and they were livid that she was modeling, because they expected me to be a DOM-type GWC.  Turns out I never heard back from them.
Jul 31 12 01:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman van Gestel
Posts: 1,905
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands


R.EYE.R wrote:
At that age it's hardly about gay pride but more due to FTW attitude and to provoke angry response. They will change their minds eventually and you will get flack!

+1

However they want to do this, the moment you help them without consent of the parents you're liable for ANY damage incurred, and the parents will do that, no matter the opinion of the girls

The girls need to convince their legal guardians, if they're serious about coming out......and with that you will get their written consent....

Jul 31 12 01:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Daxxx
Posts: 55
s-Gravenhage, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands


It will blow up legally in your face, if you don't have the consent of the parents...

as stated above, if they want to come out, they need to that in their private surrounding, getting the support from their family and friends..

..anything less would not be really "coming out"......

Once they dealt with the official coming out, it will be easier to get consent from their parents....
Jul 31 12 01:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,227
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


Is she really gay or just going through a rebellious stage and saying she is to annoy her parents? At that stage she is probably emotionally confused, so does she even know herself? You don't really need work like this , so it is best avoided.
Jul 31 12 01:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,798
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


Just a few thoughts:
- no matter what parental consent you have, if you are considered to have broken the law the consent will not protect you
- the law with regard to this, both in terms of  'under a given age for certain photos' and homosexuality varies from country to country and, in US of A and some other places, state to state
- I am puzzled at how this is going to be achieved:

Moon Pix Photography wrote:
Basically they just want to come out and show the world they are gay and proud.  I am sure it would be nothing sexual.

without pressing some people's buttons on the legality.

Run away from it.

If it was just a couple of minors wanting some photos taken then I would go throught the parental consent route and go ahead with age related images but from the brief that you have shared with us it is not that.

Jul 31 12 01:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DG at studio47
Posts: 2,362
East Ridge, Tennessee, US


Let them shoot a cell phone pic of themselves in a mirror and title it whatever they want. seems fine for the rest of the planet, especially at that age.
Jul 31 12 01:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
The Art of Churchwell
Posts: 3,171
QUEENS VILLAGE, New York, US


Just go to the gay pride parade or halloween parade or mermaid parade, all here in NYC. Everyone, any age is walking the parades nude or topless and thousands are taking photos. After the gay parade go to Washington Square park where everyone is basically nude or topless or wearing nothing but leather chaps and hats. take your photos there
Jul 31 12 08:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,730
Buena Park, California, US


LittleMissVivacious wrote:
Pretty sure that it is actually illegal to side-step the parents purposefully, regardless of whether or not money exchanges hands.

14? That's pretty young to do anything photographic related (involving an adult photographer) without parent consent, on a moral level, regardless of legality, don't you think? And although she and her girlfriend may continue to have the same sexual preferences ten years from now, together or separate,  there is a chance that it might be more curiosity or a type of rebellion .. And pictures are forever. Plenty of people do recognize that they are homosexual in their early teens -- at the same time, I know plenty of girls who are "lesbian" for the attention. Imagine if her parents are horrified at the fact that she defines herself as gay, .. And this photoshoot is not about being proud of who she is, but it's a way to rub it in her parents' faces.

Or, the picture comes up after she's long since become a fully developed woman, and realized that she is straight. What repercussion might that have for her?

As an adult, thinking about what it means beyond a 'picture' is what you need to do -- because children often don't even think about it.

Just my thought on the matter. smile

There's no side-stepping.  They are clients.  Does a store need parental permission to sell you a shirt? a candy bar?

Jul 31 12 08:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,730
Buena Park, California, US


New Art Photo wrote:
I can't think of a worse idea... (You could be the greatest guy in the world) and this could still blow up your life. All the the judge will see are the words: "Fourteen year old girls.)

And while the judge is only seeing, Fourteen Year old girls...what exactly is he being prosecuted for?

Jul 31 12 08:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,176
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Legal or not it has way too much potential to turn out bad for you and really no upside.  Hell this thread has already cost you more time then it's worth (exactly zero).  Move on and find a paying client then forget all about this.
Jul 31 12 08:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,730
Buena Park, California, US


RP Nudes wrote:
A more important question for you would be, why do *you* want to take these pictures? There's a lot more to this story that you haven't shared, so forgive me (us) if this is a family friend or otherwise personal connection.

Money?

Jul 31 12 08:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Efan Bruder
Posts: 640
Vermillion, South Dakota, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:
There's no side-stepping.  They are clients.  Does a store need parental permission to sell you a shirt? a candy bar?

A thousand times THIS! What's with all the FUD in these threads?

Jul 31 12 08:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Don Olson Imagery
Posts: 291
Eugene, Oregon, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:

And while the judge is only seeing, Fourteen Year old girls...what exactly is he being prosecuted for?

If the parents, that's 4 at least get pissed, anything they can dream up.

For the OP, personally I can't think where this is a consideration but where it me I'd give the little hormones with feet a release and parental consent form and and tell them all 4 guardians must sign and have it notarized.

Jul 31 12 08:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeffrey M Fletcher
Posts: 4,314
Asheville, North Carolina, US


So just what in the image is going to identify them as gay? A sign? I'd shy away from any photos of behavior beyond a chaste and friendly arms around each other. Other than that they're clients and you are not in an age restricted occupation.
Jul 31 12 08:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeffs Photography
Posts: 3,608
Dakota, Minnesota, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:
There's no side-stepping.  They are clients.  Does a store need parental permission to sell you a shirt? a candy bar?

I agree. What does their orientation have to do with anything? How is this any different than two friends getting a picture together? Would this question have come up if it were a male/female couple seeking images?

Why treat them any differently?

Jul 31 12 08:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeffs Photography
Posts: 3,608
Dakota, Minnesota, US


Don Olson Imagery wrote:
For the OP, personally I can't think where this is a consideration but where it me I'd give the little hormones with feet a release and parental consent form and and tell them all 4 guardians must sign and have it notarized.

Do you require this for male/female shoots too?

Jul 31 12 08:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Untitled Photographer
Posts: 1,179
Dallas, Texas, US


There is nothing illegal about a minor hiring a photographer to photograph them.  There are legal implications if you publish those photos, but not giving them a copy.
Jul 31 12 08:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,176
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:

There's no side-stepping.  They are clients.  Does a store need parental permission to sell you a shirt? a candy bar?

So long as you have the same creditably as a major store, or and you don't think Walmart could catch a shit storm for photographing minors wanting to "come out" about their relationship?  They just don't care if some angry parents try to drag their name mud in the local press.

Again I just don't see the OPs upside

Jul 31 12 08:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 53,730
Buena Park, California, US


Don Olson Imagery wrote:

If the parents, that's 4 at least get pissed, anything they can dream up.

For the OP, personally I can't think where this is a consideration but where it me I'd give the little hormones with feet a release and parental consent form and and tell them all 4 guardians must sign and have it notarized.

Oh...well, then you should just quit photography all the together because that 29 year old model can get pissed and dream up anything against you as well.

Jul 31 12 08:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeffs Photography
Posts: 3,608
Dakota, Minnesota, US


AJScalzitti wrote:
So long as you have the same creditably as a major store, or and you don't think Walmart could catch a shit storm for photographing minors wanting to "come out" about their relationship?  They just don't care if some angry parents try to drag their name mud in the local press.

Again I just don't see the OPs upside

You don't see a downside to refusing a legitimate service to somebody because of his/her sexual orientation?

Jul 31 12 08:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
nolngeractive
Posts: 178
Reno, Nevada, US


Moon Pix Photography wrote:
interested in doing a "Gay Pride" shoot with her girlfriend.  Basically they just want to come out and show the world they are gay and proud.  I am sure it would be nothing sexual.

My concern is legality.  I know I should get parental consent from both the girls parents, but what if they are not supportive?  Can't I legally take photographs of them... especially if I was not to charge them?

I live in NY... don't know if I am necessarily looking for legal advice since I really should investigate that on my own... I am mostly curious about others thoughts, but other's understanding of the law would also be appreciated.

you'd be nuts to get involved - just think about the endless ways you can end up in a jam. they want to make a statement  - all good - but let their 15 year old friend take the pictures

Jul 31 12 08:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
john_ellis
Posts: 4,375
Spokane, Washington, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:
There's no side-stepping.  They are clients.  Does a store need parental permission to sell you a shirt? a candy bar?

No, but the store would need a parent/guardian release to use their likeness for images used to sell said candy bar.

As you suggest, they are clients, but they are under-aged clients, which means they don't have the (legal) ability to make certain choices for themselves - including signing contracts.

I wouldn't consider shooting them even for portfolio work, unless each of their parents signed a release.  Don't get me wrong, I dig what they're doing, and I can completely understand why you'd want to shoot this for them, but their age is an issue.  Or at the very least, it could be an issue - one that wouldn't be worth it in hindsight.

Jul 31 12 09:05 am  Link  Quote 
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