There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Answering a Reader Question #137

SageGypsy Wrote:

I've been told that if the photographer pays the model, than the photographer has complete control over the pictures. What exactly does that mean as far as my career as a model? 

Hi, SageGypsy, great question! What models must know upfront is that by law any photo taken by a photographer automatically becomes their creative and intellectual property. This means the photographer is automatically given the rights to the images they create--models never own images unless they buy the rights from the photographer.

However, that almost never happens because for one thing, the images are the bread and butter of a photographer's business/livelihood (for those that do it as a paying career) and second, if a photographer does sell the rights, it's going to cost the model a small fortune because they know there is a possibility that they'll be losing future income by giving the rights to those pictures away to the model.

So regardless of whether a photographer is paying the model for the shoot or not, the rights are going to go to them, which is why model release forms were created. In most cases, this doesn't cause any harm to a model's career. Models get copies of their images to use for promotional purposes and in their portfolios so there is still a beneficial exchange of services between both parties. As long as you're dealing with a legitimate and reputable photographer that won't alter your images, put your head on someone else's body, etc., this type of arrangement won't pose as a hazard to your career in the long run. Photographers use the images gained from a shoot for the same purposes that a model does: to update their portfolio, showcase/promote their work online (social networking sites, official websites, etc.), to submit to clients for jobs and so on. It's just a part of the process in the industry and it's all business.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dania!

I'm an aspiring male model, and I had some questions I'm hoping you could answer. If I'm going to submit any pictures to any agencies, should I photoshop out any scars I have, or should I leave them so that agencies know what I look like in a more natural look?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #139." Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Some photographers do sell their images to companies for commercial or advertising purposes - I think it's important to note that it does not necessarily benefit the model to sign a release form that gives the photographer complete rights to his/her image and that it is important to specify that direct financial gain from the pictures is not a part of the deal. If a photographer hands me a release form stating that I will have no right to any profit made from the images, then I will not sign it. Otherwise, what would be the point in having an agency negotiate deals of 4 or 5 figures when the advertising agency can simply buy the images from the photographer and avoid the model fee all together?