Every once in a while we get mails like this.
In my defence. These mails are never send only to me, but to all photographers the model worked with. And because I get a lot of questions about how to handle this I thought it would maybe help to write this post.
In the past we worked together, but I want you to immediately remove all images you took during our sessions, including links online and articles. And I hereby declare that our contract is not valid anymore”
The reasons vary from misunderstood avg/GDPR rules, new boyfriend, new job etc.
Let me make clear that I’m one of those guys that really takes care of my team and am far from cold or heartless but this is where I draw my line.
To all models that think they can pull this off.
Images are created with a team. All images are property of the photographer but are also part of the portfolio of the rest of the team just as your posrtfolio. We all have invested time in these images and it’s of course out of the question that just because you think you want them offline that this is the same for the rest of the team.
Photos for me are often part of articles I wrote, reviews etc. So they can’t be removed without destroying the content. Meaning this is something you can’t even ask.
Now I have to be clear. We don’t shoot nudes that I put online. If I shoot nudes or glamour this is never put online and it’s for the model only. Now when you do put nudes online I would advise to be considerate to your model. But for portraits and fashion I have a very distinct not open for discussion line.
If I take your image with your permission you can jump high or low, but without a really solid reason these images are my property and will not be taken offline.
Now before you think “that’s harsh” do realize that all our models have signed a model release and in most cases these images are not sitting useless on my drive or in a folder. I use the images I put online in a concept being it a tip or article.
Did I ever make exceptions?
Yes of course
I’ve heard reasons that I can agree with or at least that I understand and in those cases I would remove the images from prominent spots or simply change the name of the model so it’s hard to find back. But you better have a really really really good reason.
Please models realize that you’re a model, but images we take of you are our work and you are just a model that fits the space in that shot and idea. So for the same account it could have been someone else.
Demanding a photographer to take your images offline is like demanding an author to take his book out of the shops because in one chapter he interviews you. You’re just a part of a bigger scene.
If you willingly step in front of a camera and agree on having your images taken you have to realize that the photographer and his/her team invest time in the shoot where you are just a small part in.
Now let’s turn it around, what if a photographer that took amazing shots of you mail you with the remark that he/she demands that you take the images offline? Weird right? Ridiculous? Well we feel the same way.
Since the avg we get some mails about this but much less that other photographers I talk too. When I reply (I always do) in most cases I actually hear that they don’t have problems with me keeping the images online but they send it out to everyone. In that case same goes… Models check the work of the photographer and when in doubt don’t to the gig or make clear what you want right after or during the shoot.
Would love to hear your opinions and what the weirdest thing is you ever got in the mail considering this subject.