Forums > Photography Talk > Models Retouching Photographs Okay?

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

An MM photographer and I recently semi-argued about appropriator artists. Artists such as Richard Prince, Sherrie Levine and Barbara Kruger, who take other artists work and appropriate it as their own. Here is a link to the artist we were discussing in case you're interested.

http://hotyoungbodies.org/tihm.html

The argument made me think about the rights of models to edit their photographs even though no permission was given by the photographer. What is the difference between the appropriationists and the model (other than the simplest answer that model are not artists to which I may argue the same about Prince, et al.) who wants to retouch her images?

This is posted as an intellectual exercise only. Anyone who gets their knickers in a twist will be sat in the corner. Thank you.

Oct 06 08 12:19 pm Link

Photographer

S_N

Posts: 679

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I'm pretty sure that link you linked to, they would have to ask the photographers permission to edit. Same goes for models.

Oct 06 08 12:28 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

S_N wrote:
I'm pretty sure that link you linked to, they would have to ask the photographers permission to edit. Same goes for models.

Not at all. The photographer, Richard Avedon, is dead and even if he were alive, I'm fairly certain he wouldn't give permission. Richard Prince took photographs of advertising photography and sold it as art. Barbara Kruger pasted words over photographs and sold them as art. That's why it's called appropriationist art – they're appropriating anothers work.

Oct 06 08 12:35 pm Link

Photographer

F Stop Photography

Posts: 1711

Boynton Beach, Florida, US

Minor cosmetic editing is fine if done by the model. This has been established in many threads posted here. Apropriation where the work is taken and edited far beyond the derivative without the original photographer's permission is copyright infringement. My release states "No altering without written permission." Period.


Edit: see these threads:

https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=152213

https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=343911

Oct 06 08 12:41 pm Link

Photographer

Ryan Colford Studios

Posts: 2286

Brooklyn, New York, US

F Stop Photography wrote:
Minor cosmetic editing is fine if done by the model. This has been established in many threads posted here. Apropriation where the work is taken and edited far beyond the derivative without the original photographer's permission is copyright infringement. My release states "No altering without written permission." Period.

Yeah I have the same clause too.

Oct 06 08 12:44 pm Link

Photographer

S-U-B-L-I-M-E

Posts: 1557

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

F Stop Photography wrote:
Minor cosmetic editing is fine if done by the model. This has been established in many threads posted here. Apropriation where the work is taken and edited far beyond the derivative without the original photographer's permission is copyright infringement. My release states "No altering without written permission." Period.


Edit: see these threads:

https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=152213

https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=343911

Agreed

Oct 06 08 12:46 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

F Stop Photography wrote:
Minor cosmetic editing is fine if done by the model. This has been established in many threads posted here. Apropriation where the work is taken and edited far beyond the derivative without the original photographer's permission is copyright infringement. My release states "No altering without written permission." Period.


Edit: see these threads:

https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=152213

https://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=343911

So too do most of the artists who have their works appropriated. I know it's a stretch to include model's retouching photographs in this argument but if an artist can blatantly rip off another's work, citing either fair use or parody, where does the line get drawn?

Oct 06 08 01:02 pm Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54186

Buena Park, California, US

MMDesign wrote:
An MM photographer and I recently semi-argued about appropriator artists. Artists such as Richard Prince, Sherrie Levine and Barbara Kruger, who take other artists work and appropriate it as their own. Here is a link to the artist we were discussing in case you're interested.

http://hotyoungbodies.org/tihm.html

The argument made me think about the rights of models to edit their photographs even though no permission was given by the photographer. What is the difference between the appropriationists and the model (other than the simplest answer that model are not artists to which I may argue the same about Prince, et al.) who wants to retouch her images?

This is posted as an intellectual exercise only. Anyone who gets their knickers in a twist will be sat in the corner. Thank you.

That right there is the problem.  Not the work itself.

Even if a model has an implied license or an explicit license to retouch photos, this still does not give a 3rd party artists rights to an image for their own book.  That would be a copyright violation.

Oct 06 08 01:09 pm Link

Photographer

Hamza

Posts: 7791

New York, New York, US

F Stop Photography wrote:
Minor cosmetic editing is fine if done by the model. This has been established in many threads posted here.

Established here in MM Threads? 
Jesus fucking Christ man!
Wait, you're most likely the same guy that quotes Wikipedia...

Holy shit what's this fucked up world coming to?

Minor Cosmetic Re-Touching is NOT fine if done by the model, it still infringes upon the copyright of the Photographer.

Avedon is dead, but his his Estate still owns the copyrights to his work, EVEN though he is dead. 

Try using one of Elvis' songs in a movie without consulting Graceland...

Where do you people come up with this shit?

Oct 06 08 01:11 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

Christopher Hartman wrote:

That right there is the problem.  Not the work itself.

Even if a model has an implied license or an explicit license to retouch photos, this still does not give a 3rd party artists rights to an image for their own book.  That would be a copyright violation.

So then why are Richard Prince's re-photographs selling for over a million dollars? Can the model just re-photograph the work and make it their own?

Oct 06 08 01:13 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

Hamza wrote:

Established here in MM Threads? 
Jesus fucking Christ man!
Wait, you're most likely the same guy that quotes Wikipedia...

Holy shit what's this fucked up world coming to?

Minor Cosmetic Re-Touching is NOT fine if done by the model, it still infringes upon the copyright of the Photographer.

Avedon is dead, but his his Estate still owns the copyrights to his work, EVEN though he is dead. 

Try using one of Elvis' songs in a movie without consulting Graceland...

Where do you people come up with this shit?

So then why are Richard Prince's re-photographs selling for over a million dollars?

Oct 06 08 01:14 pm Link

Photographer

Hamza

Posts: 7791

New York, New York, US

MMDesign wrote:

Christopher Hartman wrote:
That right there is the problem.  Not the work itself.

Even if a model has an implied license or an explicit license to retouch photos, this still does not give a 3rd party artists rights to an image for their own book.  That would be a copyright violation.

So then why are Richard Prince's re-photographs selling for over a million dollars? Can the model just re-photograph the work and make it their own?

The model can NOT re-Photograph the work, that's called "r e p r o d u c t i o n".

Richard Prince was able to get away so to speak with what he did because the artists whose are he used either chose not to pursue the issue legally or there was some other form of agreement made between the artists.

Richard Prince in essence is stealing another persons work as Puff Daddy is putting his lyrics over other artists music.

As for Richard Princes' photographs selling for million dollars? 
a) Some people have way too much money and should be shot dead.
b) A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
c) Crack Kills
d) Don't believe the Hype!

Oct 06 08 01:19 pm Link

Photographer

MB-1

Posts: 2493

Honolulu, Hawaii, US

MMDesign wrote:

So then why are Richard Prince's re-photographs selling for over a million dollars? Can the model just re-photograph the work and make it their own?

This is precisely what I'd like to know. I'm glad you posted this, because while I was reading the threads here about copyright, derivative works, and a model's rights, I had Richard Prince in the back of my mind. How does a person who photographs other photographers' work and then legitimately sells the prints for millions of dollars fit into all of this?

Oct 06 08 01:19 pm Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54186

Buena Park, California, US

MMDesign wrote:

So then why are Richard Prince's re-photographs selling for over a million dollars? Can the model just re-photograph the work and make it their own?

I'm there's an explaination somewhere that doesn't have anything to do with models retouching images.

Oct 06 08 01:22 pm Link

Photographer

Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai

Posts: 1229

Denver, Colorado, US

If a model sat for a painter, would it be OK for him/her to grab the brush and alter it afterward?  I think not, and I see no difference here.

I would not work with a model who altered my images.  He/she is more than welcome to make a request, but not to just have it it on their own.

- CJ

Oct 06 08 01:29 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

Hamza wrote:

MMDesign wrote:

Christopher Hartman wrote:
That right there is the problem.  Not the work itself.

Even if a model has an implied license or an explicit license to retouch photos, this still does not give a 3rd party artists rights to an image for their own book.  That would be a copyright violation.

So then why are Richard Prince's re-photographs selling for over a million dollars? Can the model just re-photograph the work and make it their own?

The model can NOT re-Photograph the work, that's called "r e p r o d u c t i o n".

Richard Prince was able to get away so to speak with what he did because the artists whose are he used either chose not to pursue the issue legally or there was some other form of agreement made between the artists.

Richard Prince in essence is stealing another persons work as Puff Daddy is putting his lyrics over other artists music.

As for Richard Princes' photographs selling for million dollars? 
a) Some people have way too much money and should be shot dead.
b) A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
c) Crack Kills
d) Don't believe the Hype!

Totally screwed up quoting Hamza.

Richard Prince was able to get away with it because he re-photographed an advertising piece (the Marlboro Man), the photographer, Jim Krantz, apparently sold the copyright along with the photograph. Sherrie Levine appropriated Walker Evan's work. It's done quite a bit and I am of the opinion that it should most definitely be illegal.. but it's obviously not in a large number of cases.

Oct 06 08 01:31 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

Christopher Hartman wrote:
I'm there's an explaination somewhere that doesn't have anything to do with models retouching images.

You're probably right but if I'd have made a post entitled "Appropriationist Art, Should it be Legal?", there'd have been two posts, my original one and the second one I posted saying nevermind.

Oct 06 08 01:35 pm Link

Photographer

MB-1

Posts: 2493

Honolulu, Hawaii, US

Here's an interesting article on Mr. Prince that questions whether or not his practices fall under the definition of "fair use"

Richard Prince and the art of Fair Use

Oct 06 08 01:36 pm Link

Photographer

FStopFitzgerald

Posts: 872

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, US

MMDesign wrote:

Not at all. The photographer, Richard Avedon, is dead and even if he were alive, I'm fairly certain he wouldn't give permission. Richard Prince took photographs of advertising photography and sold it as art. Barbara Kruger pasted words over photographs and sold them as art. That's why it's called appropriationist art – they're appropriating anothers work.

We just call it theft.

Oct 06 08 01:38 pm Link

Photographer

FStopFitzgerald

Posts: 872

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, US

F Stop Photography wrote:
Minor cosmetic editing is fine if done by the model. This has been established in many threads posted here. Apropriation where the work is taken and edited far beyond the derivative without the original photographer's permission is copyright infringement. My release states "No altering without written permission." Period.

Holy Cow!  You're enough to make me want to change my name!

Skip

Oct 06 08 01:40 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

FStopFitzgerald wrote:

Holy Cow!  You're enough to make me want to change my name!

Skip

Are you the photographer F Stop Fitzgerald who released the book "Nightmares in the Sky" back in 1988? If not, you may be "appropriating" his name. smile

Oct 06 08 01:44 pm Link

Photographer

Star

Posts: 17966

Los Angeles, California, US

MMDesign wrote:
An MM photographer and I recently semi-argued about appropriator artists. Artists such as Richard Prince, Sherrie Levine and Barbara Kruger, who take other artists work and appropriate it as their own. Here is a link to the artist we were discussing in case you're interested.

http://hotyoungbodies.org/tihm.html

The argument made me think about the rights of models to edit their photographs even though no permission was given by the photographer. What is the difference between the appropriationists and the model (other than the simplest answer that model are not artists to which I may argue the same about Prince, et al.) who wants to retouch her images?

This is posted as an intellectual exercise only. Anyone who gets their knickers in a twist will be sat in the corner. Thank you.

1. retouchers are fine, even without the photographer's permission, to retouch photographs because there is an assumed license given to the model to display the photographs in her portfolio, and as such the retoucher is able to "modify" the existing image as long as somewhere around 75% of the original image is still there. meaning, clean it up, liquify, even photo illustration retouching is currently fine under copyright law, however the model cannot use your photo in another image, such as holding her headshot in an image that she then begins to distribute since that is now a derivative work.

It could also maybe be considered crossing the line if she were to change the background or use it as a composite, and possible be bad if the retouching was so heavy as to substantially change the original image's intended composition and content.

2. Retouchers like Amy Dressler and other of the best retouchers who work on ad campaigns, doing heavy reconstruction of images, in affect illustrators and special effects artists will most likely in the next ten years be awarded dual copyright on the works they produce with the photographers, or they will have to begin to sign work for hire contracts releasing all claims to their portion of the copyright.

Oct 06 08 01:49 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

Star wrote:
1. retouchers are fine, even without the photographer's permission, to retouch photographs because there is an assumed license given to the model to display the photographs in her portfolio, and as such the retoucher is able to "modify" the existing image as long as somewhere around 75% of the original image is still there. meaning, clean it up, liquify, even photo illustration retouching is currently fine under copyright law, however the model cannot use your photo in another image, such as holding her headshot in an image that she then begins to distribute since that is now a derivative work.

It could also maybe be considered crossing the line if she were to change the background or use it as a composite, and possible be bad if the retouching was so heavy as to substantially change the original image's intended composition and content.

2. Retouchers like Amy Dressler and other of the best retouchers who work on ad campaigns, doing heavy reconstruction of images, in affect illustrators and special effects artists will most likely in the next ten years be awarded dual copyright on the works they produce with the photographers, or they will have to begin to sign work for hire contracts releasing all claims to their portion of the copyright.

Thanks for supplying that. I didn't realize they had that much leeway.

Now, what are your thoughts on "appropriationist artists"?

Oct 06 08 01:58 pm Link

Model

098767895

Posts: 119

Eškašem, Badakhshan, Afghanistan

You know, if you give a model digital pictures for her port or you post pictures online... there's not a whole lot you can do about a model retouching the photos to his/her liking. I'm a graphic artist. I've been using photoshop since version 4.0. I retouch all of my pictures. I have never posted a picture in my life that I did not retouch first, whether it be on model mayhem, myspace or one of my own websites. And it doesn't matter if you don't like the way I retouched my photos, because they are a hell of a lot better than how I received them, and they are exactly the way I want them to look.
It's nearly impossible to keep track of images online, because chances are they will be produced in some way and you will never know about it. As long as what you have on your port is a good representation of what you want others to see you as, then what's the problem? Unless you have some kind of copyrighted logo or trademark that is altered with, there's nothing you can do.
Don't tell me that none of you have ever gone on google images, or taken photos from anywhere on the web and reproduced them for any reason at all.

Oct 06 08 02:00 pm Link

Photographer

Hamza

Posts: 7791

New York, New York, US

MMDesign wrote:
Richard Prince was able to get away with it because he re-photographed an advertising piece (the Marlboro Man), the photographer, Jim Krantz, apparently sold the copyright along with the photograph. Sherrie Levine appropriated Walker Evan's work. It's done quite a bit and I am of the opinion that it should most definitely be illegal.. but it's obviously not in a large number of cases.

Well there you have it...

When you sell your photographs to Marlboro, they own them lock stock and barrel.

Since Marlboro was getting free 'Exposure' they saw it as an opportunity to get their name brand made into art.  As a Corporation, if the image was not degrading or humiliating in any way, how can it hurt the company image?  It can't.  Free Advertising!

I am not 100% sure this is why he didn't get sued for use of the image, but I'd bet my left ball this totally had something to do with it.

Oct 06 08 02:03 pm Link

Photographer

Ken Sklute

Posts: 66

Tempe, Arizona, US

Rita Lovely wrote:
Unless you have some kind of copyrighted logo or trademark that is altered with, there's nothing you can do.
Don't tell me that none of you have ever gone on google images, or taken photos from anywhere on the web and reproduced them for any reason at all.

No, that is COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!
We respect and live by those rules and laws. Life is not just free for what you can take!

Oct 06 08 02:06 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

Hamza wrote:

Well there you have it...

When you sell your photographs to Marlboro, they own them lock stock and barrel.

Since Marlboro was getting free 'Exposure' they saw it as an opportunity to get their name brand made into art.  As a Corporation, if the image was not degrading or humiliating in any way, how can it hurt the company image?  It can't.  Free Advertising!

I am not 100% sure this is why he didn't get sued for use of the image, but I'd bet my left ball this totally had something to do with it.

"Though Jim Krantz owns the copyright to most of his photographs, he no longer owns the copyright to the Marlboro Man photos. The Philip Morris Company, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, owns the copyright. Any fair use challenge to Richard Prince’s art would have to initiate from Philip Morris.

Mr. Krantz said it best, “If I italicized ‘Moby Dick’, then would it be my book? I don’t know. But I don’t think so.”

From the article above linked by Michael Bonner.

Oct 06 08 02:08 pm Link

Photographer

Bobs Fine Art

Posts: 1371

Falls Church, Virginia, US

Reminds me of what Andy Warhol did with the stack of campbells soup cans he appropriated for his famous picture. Evidently he never got permission, but in the end the company didn’t think he was hurting sales either, and requested one themselves

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell's_Soup_Cans

Oct 06 08 02:12 pm Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54186

Buena Park, California, US

Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai wrote:
If a model sat for a painter, would it be OK for him/her to grab the brush and alter it afterward?  I think not, and I see no difference here.

I would not work with a model who altered my images.  He/she is more than welcome to make a request, but not to just have it it on their own.

- CJ

Bad analogy.  I doubt many painters would paint that big giant pimple on their forehead.

Oct 06 08 02:16 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

isphotography wrote:
Reminds me of what Andy Warhol did with the stack of campbells soup cans he appropriated for his famous picture. Evidently he never got permission, but in the end the company didn’t think he was hurting sales either, and requested one themselves

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell's_Soup_Cans

He did the same with some lady photographers work and ended up settling out of court. Another appropriationist not previously mentioned was Robert Heinecken.

Oct 06 08 02:19 pm Link

Photographer

Hamza

Posts: 7791

New York, New York, US

Rita Lovely wrote:
You know, if you give a model digital pictures for her port or you post pictures online... there's not a whole lot you can do about a model retouching the photos to his/her liking. I'm a graphic artist. I've been using photoshop since version 4.0. I retouch all of my pictures. I have never posted a picture in my life that I did not retouch first, whether it be on model mayhem, myspace or one of my own websites. And it doesn't matter if you don't like the way I retouched my photos, because they are a hell of a lot better than how I received them, and they are exactly the way I want them to look.
It's nearly impossible to keep track of images online, because chances are they will be produced in some way and you will never know about it. As long as what you have on your port is a good representation of what you want others to see you as, then what's the problem? Unless you have some kind of copyrighted logo or trademark that is altered with, there's nothing you can do.
Don't tell me that none of you have ever gone on google images, or taken photos from anywhere on the web and reproduced them for any reason at all.

I can tell you I have NEVER reproduced an image from the internet, EVER!
I don't have to.  If I see something I like I can go out and shoot my own version of it. 
I have no reason to STEAL images off the net.
Just so you don't jump to conclusions, I don't STEAL music off of the net either.  I have over 1500 CD's...   If I download something from the net and I like it, I buy the CD.

By Re-Touching images that don't belong to you, as in you don't own the copyrights, you are breaking the law and are a Criminal according to the United States of America.

How does it feel to openly admit to being a Criminal in an open forum?

It would be interesting to find out how many photographers will no longer give you images if they read your statements here.

Oct 06 08 02:23 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

Christopher Hartman wrote:

Bad analogy.  I doubt many painters would paint that big giant pimple on their forehead.

You must not be familiar with Lucien Freud or Jenny Saville.  smile

Oct 06 08 02:24 pm Link

Photographer

M A R T I N

Posts: 3893

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

MMDesign wrote:

He did the same with some lady photographers work and ended up settling out of court. Another appropriationist not previously mentioned was Robert Heinecken.

the appropriationist works are largely based on iconic images and the idea goes back to the art of the everyday, even preceding Duchamp. This is a very different question from whether a model can retouch one of her fashion shots, though I'm surprised by Star's quote and have to read more on that.

Oct 06 08 02:36 pm Link

Photographer

MMDesign

Posts: 18647

Louisville, Kentucky, US

myshkin90 wrote:

the appropriationist works are largely based on iconic images and the idea goes back to the art of the everyday, even preceding Duchamp. This is a very different question from whether a model can retouch one of her fashion shots, though I'm surprised by Star's quote and have to read more on that.

Here's what I posted to Christopher above. It works here as well.

"You're probably right but if I'd have made a post entitled "Appropriationist Art, Should it be Legal?", there'd have been two posts, my original one and the second one I posted saying nevermind."

I was using the model angle to further explore the issue.

Oct 06 08 02:39 pm Link

Model

Zoe SS

Posts: 263

Atlanta, Georgia, US

In general, a fair amount of the photographers I work with ask me to edit the images myself. If I'm not happy with the end product, then I touch it up myself. I've never had a photog complain. (The work I've done with Sean Jenx, Studio 206 and Paul Dempsey was edited by them though.) Not sure how legal it is though. Haha.

Oct 06 08 02:43 pm Link

Photographer

F Stop Photography

Posts: 1711

Boynton Beach, Florida, US

Hamza wrote:
How does it feel to openly admit to being a Criminal in an open forum?

It would be interesting to find out how many photographers will no longer give you images if they read your statements here.

If you ever read any of her previous posts this would not be a surprising statement!


https://i454.photobucket.com/albums/qq264/fstopphotography/burningstickman.gif

Oct 06 08 02:45 pm Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12117

Tampa, Florida, US

MMDesign wrote:
An MM photographer and I recently semi-argued about appropriator artists. Artists such as Richard Prince, Sherrie Levine and Barbara Kruger, who take other artists work and appropriate it as their own. Here is a link to the artist we were discussing in case you're interested.

http://hotyoungbodies.org/tihm.html

My faith in the American Dream is renewed.

Now excuse me, I have some work to do...

1. Tape a pair of cat's eyes over a print of the Mona Lisa
2. Glue an empty paper towel roll over the penis of Michelangelo's David. (I'll call it MichaelPandolfo's DayVid.)
3. Scratch out the hands of the clock in Salvador Dali's Persistence of Memory and replace the ants with cockroaches.

Oct 06 08 02:55 pm Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12117

Tampa, Florida, US

Hamza wrote:
As a Corporation, if the image was not degrading or humiliating in any way, how can it hurt the company image?  It can't.  Free Advertising!

Thanks. You made my day. Very entertaining. Ignorant...but entertaining.

Oct 06 08 02:58 pm Link

Photographer

MoJo40

Posts: 435

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Michael Pandolfo wrote:

My faith in the American Dream is renewed.

Now excuse me, I have some work to do...

1. Tape a pair of cat's eyes over a print of the Mona Lisa
2. Glue an empty paper towel roll over the penis of Michelangelo's David. (I'll call it MichaelPandolfo's DayVid.)
3. Scratch out the hands of the clock in Salvador Dali's Persistence of Memory and replace the ants with cockroaches.

I'll bid $1,000,000 for that lovely piece of art work!

:-)

Oct 06 08 02:58 pm Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54186

Buena Park, California, US

MMDesign wrote:

You must not be familiar with Lucien Freud or Jenny Saville.  smile

No I'm not.  But I'm sure you got my point. big_smile

Oct 06 08 02:59 pm Link