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Model
Honolulu Deb
Posts: 8
Honolulu, Hawaii, US


Sorry if this is a silly question (yeah, you can blame the newbie!)...I thought model releases were more to protect the photographer?

This came up because I recently did a TF shoot, and liked one of the pictures so much I wanted to use it on my profile here (duh, that was kinda the point!). I didn't sign a release, and have no problem doing so. However, when I told the photographer about using the photo here, they got rather upset and insisted I needed to sign a release--RIGHT AWAY. The tone of the email exchange was one of "slapping my hand because I'm such a newbie and how dare I post a picture without signing a release" type of thing.

I've since taken the picture down, and am meeting with the photographer to sign a release. But for my own piece of mind, am I over-reacting? I felt so hurt, because I've been trying to do things the right way and not infringe on anyone's business/rights/photgraphs.

Thanks for the advice!
Nov 06 12 05:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Miss AY
Posts: 8,164
Portland, Maine, US


Did the photographer send you what they want you to be signing?

But I'll say that yeah, a model release is about the modeling signing off rights so that the photographer can use the photo for x,y,z. Not about what the model can do. That would be a usage agreement.

I'll also say that when I've shot TF I've rarely had to sign releases. Maybe twice? The rest of the time we just shoot in good faith. Never had an issue, but I'm also very picky about who I trade with.
Nov 06 12 05:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R A V E N D R I V E
Posts: 15,867
New York, New York, US


yeah there are two issues working against each other here


1. the image copyright is owned by the person that created it. in this case the photographer, so therefore the copyright holder controls where the image is copied. So for that reason he can say take it down.

2. you own the rights to your likeness. so the photographer is limited in where HE can post it because it portrays you.

the "model release" is usually a contract or agreement which includes:

a) a limited license that may detail where you have permission to post it. this addresses point #1

b) a model release that gives permission to the photographer to post it somewhere



these things aren't 100% necessary but distribution via social networks and the internet is very popular right now, so these issues should be addressed via agreements
Nov 06 12 05:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lamar
Posts: 72
Wilton, New Hampshire, US


I typically, but not always, have the model sign a release and I also provide them with a written usage rights agreement allowing the model to use the images I provide them in their portfolio and on social networking sites.
Nov 06 12 05:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L2Photography net
Posts: 2,494
University City, Missouri, US


Honolulu Deb wrote:
Sorry if this is a silly question (yeah, you can blame the newbie!)...I thought model releases were more to protect the photographer?

This came up because I recently did a TF shoot, and liked one of the pictures so much I wanted to use it on my profile here (duh, that was kinda the point!). I didn't sign a release, and have no problem doing so. However, when I told the photographer about using the photo here, they got rather upset and insisted I needed to sign a release--RIGHT AWAY. The tone of the email exchange was one of "slapping my hand because I'm such a newbie and how dare I post a picture without signing a release" type of thing.

I've since taken the picture down, and am meeting with the photographer to sign a release. But for my own piece of mind, am I over-reacting? I felt so hurt, because I've been trying to do things the right way and not infringe on anyone's business/rights/photgraphs.

Thanks for the advice!

When I shoot a model TF we both sign my release and both of us keep a copy.
L2

Nov 06 12 05:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PatRat
Posts: 146
Charleston, South Carolina, US


The photographer does own the copyright to the images (as stated previously) BUT since nothing is signed neither of you can do much with the images.

Sounds like he is a noob in his own rights and is only looking out for his own best interest as an afterthought. A photographer who gets his panties in a wad over you posting an image that he delivered to you in your profile is someone to be wary of.

You can sign over your rights and have no usage rights of your own.
I would tell him that you want a signed usage agreement BEFORE you sign over your rights to him.

At this moment the power is in your hand...
He can't make you sign.

=

I've only had one model leave a photo shoot without signing a release
(I didn't have a blank one at the moment)
Now she wants the images but will not sign a release...

So, I have a disk full of pretty much worthless images.
I have no release so I can't do much with them and because she refuses
to sign a release, I won't deliver the images over to her.

Nobody wins. Stalemate.
Nov 06 12 05:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,470
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Honolulu Deb wrote:
Sorry if this is a silly question (yeah, you can blame the newbie!)...I thought model releases were more to protect the photographer?

This came up because I recently did a TF shoot, and liked one of the pictures so much I wanted to use it on my profile here (duh, that was kinda the point!). I didn't sign a release, and have no problem doing so. However, when I told the photographer about using the photo here, they got rather upset and insisted I needed to sign a release--RIGHT AWAY. The tone of the email exchange was one of "slapping my hand because I'm such a newbie and how dare I post a picture without signing a release" type of thing.

I've since taken the picture down, and am meeting with the photographer to sign a release. But for my own piece of mind, am I over-reacting? I felt so hurt, because I've been trying to do things the right way and not infringe on anyone's business/rights/photgraphs.

Thanks for the advice!

You need to review this site.   
http://www.newmodels.com/

It talks about model releases, usage & also addresses TF.

The part from your post in bold is bullshit... you're right that theres no point to shooting TF unless you get photos. 

Just my thoughts ~ MR

Nov 06 12 05:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,470
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


L2Photography net wrote:

When I shoot a model TF we both sign my release and both of us keep a copy.
L2

Why are you the photographer signing a model release ?

Nov 06 12 05:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,470
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


PatRat wrote:
The photographer does own the copyright to the images (as stated previously) BUT since nothing is signed neither of you can do much with the images.

Not true..

Nov 06 12 06:09 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Rays Fine Art
Posts: 5,917
New York, New York, US


Sounds like the photographer includes a usage agreement in his model release, which some do for TF shoots.  Nothing at all unusual about your request other than the fact that you were polite enough to ask.  Indeed, portfolio development is the primary reason why models shoot TF--Otherwise, what benefit is it to them?

If my assumption is correct, you might want to see his "release" but not necessarily sign it.  It would be good to know what privileges and restrictions it assigns to each party before deciding to do so.

And if nothing else, you've just had a valuable lesson early on in your career:  that some photographers are every bit as vain and self-important as some models--and that some are even more so.  wink

All IMHO, as always.
Nov 06 12 06:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GCobb Photography
Posts: 15,885
Southaven, Mississippi, US


What did he think you were going to do with the images?

Don't sign a release and hold him to that.  Don't put up any images, find someone more willing to work with you and display their work so it benefits them too.
Nov 06 12 06:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 20,834
Portland, Oregon, US


Yeah, the model release protects the photographer -- note that the model is the only one who signs a model release -- the photographer isn't promising or releasing anything.

The issue is that when I take a picture, the picture is mine, all mine as long as it stays here on my computer, but as soon as it is released to the Internet, it becomes available to everyone, including strangers who could conceivably (and illegally) exploit that image for their own gains without my permission.  Further, without a signed release, the model herself can cause problems down the road.

The big issue is that your photographer is presumably a newbie, too, because more experienced photographers get the model release signed before making the first exposure.

Don't make a big deal out of it -- you & your photographer are learning.  Sign the release and get on with your lives.
Nov 06 12 06:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Honolulu Deb
Posts: 8
Honolulu, Hawaii, US


Thanks to everyone for the feedback, I really appreciate it! I am learning, and trying to make sure I'm not offending anyone, or stepping on toes, in the process. *sigh* I guess I'll just have to make sure I'm on top of everything from the get-go!
Nov 06 12 07:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Josie Lee
Posts: 722
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


I try in most cases to get the model release prior to the shoot to have more time to review it (via email). I also add stipulations to anything I'm not comfortable with, especially any shoots involving a degree of nudity. I let photographer know ahead of time so there are no surprises and photographer has sufficient time to agree or re-cast another model.

You meant no harm, and it shows that you have integrity by letting photographer know that you were posting the image. But the photographer does have the right to restrict your posting.

It's natural to make some mistakes until you become more familiar with the industry. Don't be discouraged......

Another friendly suggestion if I may? Hire a copyright/entertainment attorney to teach you how to completely understand model releases, photography releases, etc. To protect your interests it's well worth whatever that legal fee that may cost. Also, ALWAYS get a copy of any release that you sign, even if it's scanned or snail mailed to you at a later date. Keep it in your files.....

Good luck! Best wishes!!!
Nov 06 12 07:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
KelliOnLineGlamourNude
Posts: 2,870
Barrie, Ontario, Canada


Images by MR wrote:

Why are you the photographer signing a model release ?

I don't think that's what was said.

Nov 06 12 07:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Josie Lee
Posts: 722
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Hi Kelli! How are you? Long time no see! Xoxo
Nov 06 12 07:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Blue Ash Film Group
Posts: 9,297
Cincinnati, Ohio, US


KelliOnLineGlamourNude  wrote:

I don't think that's what was said.

Yes it was. Images by MR even quoted it in his response.

Nov 06 12 07:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GER Photography
Posts: 7,502
Imperial, California, US


No sign-y, no click-y.
Nov 06 12 07:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
KelliOnLineGlamourNude
Posts: 2,870
Barrie, Ontario, Canada


Blue Ash Film Group wrote:

Yes it was. Images by MR even quoted it in his response.

He said the model gets a copy of his release, which is quite common!

Nov 06 12 07:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
KelliOnLineGlamourNude
Posts: 2,870
Barrie, Ontario, Canada


Josie Lee wrote:
Hi Kelli! How are you? Long time no see! Xoxo

hiya! wink

Nov 06 12 07:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L Cowles Photography
Posts: 830
Corona, California, US


I wouldn't sign a model release unless the photographer gives you an usage agreement.
Nov 06 12 07:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,734
Santa Ana, California, US


It sounds more like the photographer is trying to restrict usage (your posting of the image), because he doesn't like the fact that you didn't sign a release.

But, that said, a model release's existence or non-existence doesn't in of itself, effect your ability to post an image. It serves the purpose of simply (as was stated above), releasing your right to object to the use of your likeness.

Of course there are MM (Internet) photographers who fold all kinds of non-model-release junk into their model release which at best, simply weakens the release as a release.
Nov 06 12 07:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L2Photography net
Posts: 2,494
University City, Missouri, US


Images by MR wrote:

Why are you the photographer signing a model release ?

We both do.. Mine is more of agreement on a TF shoot. So we are both agreeing to what's on the release.

Nov 06 12 08:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cherrystone
Posts: 35,982
Columbus, Ohio, US


Did the photographer pass along the edited image to you via email, disk?

Use it...
Nov 06 12 08:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,470
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


L2Photography net wrote:
When I shoot a model TF we both sign my release and both of us keep a copy.
L2
Images by MR wrote:
Why are you the photographer signing a model release ?
KelliOnLineGlamourNude  wrote:
I don't think that's what was said.

Well then you think / read wrong,  I mean it's only one sentence how hard could it be..

Nov 06 12 08:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Blue Ash Film Group
Posts: 9,297
Cincinnati, Ohio, US


KelliOnLineGlamourNude  wrote:
He said the model gets a copy of his release, which is quite common!

I'm not sure what part of "we both sign a release" you don't understand. And, of course the model gets a copy. Usually nobody is going to sign a contract and not get a copy of what they signed.

Edit: see post above.

Nov 06 12 08:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DG at studio47
Posts: 2,362
East Ridge, Tennessee, US


I used a "Model Agreement", drafted by a lawyer, for the years I shot mostly with models. It provided 'protection' for me and the model. It also defined what the model would receive in exchange for their time with me and my camera/computer. I always provided models with a CD of high resolution, selected images from the shoot and a "studio release" [on official letterhead] that coincided with the statements in the "Model Agreement" and reminded the model of their rights in using the images. I basically put NO limitations on the model except that they NOT re-edit or alter the images in any way. Did I ever have problems with models? oh yes. All I usually ever had to do was have them read what they signed. I remained generous to a fault whether I got burned by the last person I worked with or not.I always gave the benefit of the doubt to individuals and let them prove themselves to be total greedy dumb asses that could absolutely not read and comprehend anything. This may sound funny for a 100% TFCD shooter, but a select few had to be educated over and over before they got it. Our society at large has a horrible entitlement/poor work ethic syndrome.
Nov 06 12 09:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dowdell Photography
Posts: 6
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


I'm new to shooting models, so I have been reading through the law to figure out what a release must contain and when it is needed.  It appears the US has a two tier copyright system.  You have copyright the instant you release the shutter.  But, if you pay to register your images you may get a higher amount awarded as damages if you have to sue someone later.  Canada seems to just have the first part of this arrangement.  An exception in both countries is if you are employed to shoot, your employer may get copyright, typically spelled out in the contract.
Anyone other than the copyright holder needs permission to use the photo.

A model release is needed for certain uses, mostly advertising, and it is the publisher, not the photographer that needs the release.  Of course photographer and publisher could be the same person, or different people.  It is up to the publisher to obtain a release but as a practical matter it is easier/more convenient for the photographer to obtain a release before or during the shoot.  If you are going to the trouble, it is worthwhile getting a copy of ID that shows the model is old enough to enter into a contract.

So far, research indicates you need a release for use in an advertisement, you may or may not need a release for using the photo in a book, you do not need a release to use the photo for fine art prints or to display your own work as an advertisement for yourself.

The law around this is complex and there are a number of court cases that bend the law further.  Consult a lawyer familiar with copyright and publishing if this is an issue for you.
Nov 07 12 05:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
The F-Stop
Posts: 1,426
New York, New York, US


But the release also gives the right to the photograher to go after anyone that steals his photos.. that is another good reason to have the release even if it is a TF.
Nov 07 12 05:45 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Eliza C
Posts: 7,884
Monmouth, Wales, United Kingdom


I'd imagine it was perhaps more likely to be that you already had what you wanted and were using it whereas he couldn't as you hadn't signed the release.

However I'd look at the small print before you sign just in case.

I had one once that made me raise an eyebrow as it forbade me using the images even in my portfolio. Not that I minded because I had been paid and they explained some publications want absolute exclusivity but worth checking if your arrangement is tf and make sure you have the right to use them for portfolio.
Nov 07 12 06:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LetitiaAnnaKing
Posts: 17
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom


I'm relatively new to working on a professional basis with models, it was normally friends who owed me a favour to, or just wanted a bit of fun one afternoon, so we never bothered with release forms.

I just signed a release for my own work as a model I worked with wants to submit my image to a magazine which is great, I'm flattered and wouldn't expect her to bother asking me, it really wouldn't hurt me in the slightest. A few of the other girls often use my images as her profile pictures on facebook, purple port and of course here, I really don't mind, in fact I actively encourage it. Possibly because they gave me their time for free, it's the least I can do, and secondly it's free advertising, it's well known that models get viewed more on sites like this than us lowly photographers, especially when you're just starting out.

I think in the future when I'm paying a price for a model's time I would like to have that blanket of a release form, but when it comes to using it on social media like this, I will continue to email a watermarked small, lower quality image for them to use as they wish, but when it comes to publications, competitions and the such a RF may be a good idea, just to cover my own arse rather than anything else.

Anyway, that probably doesn't answer your question

What I'm trying to say is, that if you're photographer is an established guy, which I doubt if he's not paying you, I think he's over-reacting. Why would you have access to the images if he didn't expect you to see them? He could have quite heavily watermarked the images shown to you after the event to prevent you using them for publications and the such.

Sometimes you do get to meet a few dramatic types in the industry. Diva photographers are  more common than you think.
Nov 07 12 06:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Flex Photography
Posts: 5,083
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada


Blue Ash Film Group wrote:

I'm not sure what part of "we both sign a release" you don't understand. And, of course the model gets a copy. Usually nobody is going to sign a contract and not get a copy of what they signed.

Edit: see post above.

A release, by itself, is signed only by the model. (only her/his permission to use there likeness) Only the photographer requires a copy, though some give the model a copy as a courtesy. It is not a contract, as contracts are both parties agreeing to something, and therefore both would sign that.

A usage or shoot agreement is a different animal, that outlines what both parties agree about how/where the images will be used. (Mine also mentions other conditions such as crediting each other, and delivery timeline, etc.) That is a contract and is signed by both parties, who each get copies.

Some combine both documents into one page.

Nov 07 12 06:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Abbitt Photography
Posts: 11,353
Oakland Acres, Iowa, US


I think this is the deal: 

The fact you did not sign a release means he is limited in how he can use the photos.   He doesn't think it's fair for him to give you extra usage rights without him also having extra rights provided to him via a release.

You are asking him to expand the usage rights granted to you and he wants something similar in return.

Good to talk about issues of release and usage prior to the shoot.
Nov 07 12 06:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
The F-Stop
Posts: 1,426
New York, New York, US


Now here is another question,. not to hijack the thread but to enhance it...

If I shoot with the same model a few times.. do I need her to sign a new TF release each time or can I have her just inclued the present date n initial the same one each time we shoot?
Nov 07 12 06:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L2Photography net
Posts: 2,494
University City, Missouri, US


The F-Stop wrote:
Now here is another question,. not to hijack the thread but to enhance it...

If I shoot with the same model a few times.. do I need her to sign a new TF release each time or can I have her just inclued the present date n initial the same one each time we shoot?

I would get one each time. Just in case, comes back later I didn't sign one last time etc.
L2

Nov 07 12 07:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,180
Salem, Oregon, US


i rarely use releases on TF shoots. what's the point of the shoot if the images can't be used for self-promotion (by both parties)? anyway what he's thinking about is a usage license, not a model release (unless he intends to combine them into one document). when i make a CD for customers i give them a usage license that lets them print the images, use them in social media, etc. for models they can do whatever they want although technically i'm not sure if they can legally sell the images given that i have copyright.
Nov 07 12 07:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Azimuth Arts
Posts: 1,418
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


The F-Stop wrote:
Now here is another question,. not to hijack the thread but to enhance it...

If I shoot with the same model a few times.. do I need her to sign a new TF release each time or can I have her just inclued the present date n initial the same one each time we shoot?

It depends on the language of the release.  Most of the release forms I have seen specify the date(s) of the session which are covered.  So unless you have a release which specifically indicates a longer term (as written by a lawyer) I would suggest getting it signed each time.  If you are doing a project which takes a few days in a row you should be able to indicate that on the form (i.e November 1 to November 3, 2012).

Just my $0.02
Always seek legal advice from competent council - not the Internet.

Nov 07 12 10:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,734
Santa Ana, California, US


The F-Stop wrote:
But the release also gives the right to the photograher to go after anyone that steals his photos.. that is another good reason to have the release even if it is a TF.

Huh? Would you care to explain exactly how you think a model release accomplishes that?

Nov 07 12 10:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
nolngeractive
Posts: 178
Reno, Nevada, US


Images by MR wrote:

L2Photography net wrote:
When I shoot a model TF we both sign my release and both of us keep a copy.
L2

Well then you think / read wrong,  I mean it's only one sentence how hard could it be..

JEEEZZZZ! what could possibly be the harm in a photographer countersigning the model release? is there no point too insignificant to debate?

The OP asked a reasonable question and is getting useful advice  - does every thread have to be littered with petty crap?

Nov 07 12 10:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kent Art Photography
Posts: 2,650
Ashford, England, United Kingdom


OP, maybe your photographer knows as little about model releases as some of the photographers in this thread...

I hope your meeting goes well, and you get your usage rights.
Nov 07 12 10:35 am  Link  Quote 
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