BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Katherine O'Connor

Rights of a Model

A few weeks ago, I won a competition where I get to be a model for a day. The prize is worth 150, and part of that prize is that I get to look at my photos and purchase them if I want. What I really want to know is what are my rights? I know as a photographer you don't have to get people to sign a model release form if the photo is on the street, but in a studio setting - if my cousin and I don't purchase these photos - what happens to them? What are our rights?

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5/3/2005 11:39:19 AM

Josh Hudson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2003
  Anytime you are taking a photo for commentary, editorial use, or education, you are fairly safe with shooting. However, there needs to be the added issue of whether or not the subject has an expectation of privacy. That is, just because you want to shoot a photo for a news story about, for example, "Peeping Toms," that doesn't mean you can go photograph someone in their house without their permission.
In most cases, people have an expectation of privacy. They have the rights to their image and how it is used - even if it is from a street photo. You always run that risk ... especially if you plan on earning money from the photo.
You will more than likely be asked to sign a model release before any photos are shot. There would be very little point by do a prize giveaway if you didn't agree to allow them to market the images. ESPECIALLY if you decide not to buy any pics.
It sounds like this studio is using the "prize" as a marketing ploy to get you to do a free sitting and hope that you buy some images later.

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5/3/2005 12:20:31 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  As to what happens to them, if you and the pictures are good looking enough, they'll use them to promote the next time they hold the contest. If not, they'll delete/throw them out.

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5/3/2005 2:11:21 PM

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