Sunday, July 19, 2009

Other Photographer turns down a model who wants full editing rights

I wrote this in response to someone in the General Industry forum on Model Mayhem.

Depending on the model, I might sign like this (release where the model wants full editing rights, ie. she wants to be able to say yea or ney on whether any of the photos get published). If the model wasn't worth it, you did right by not agreeing. But I could think of situations where it might be worth the risk of the model nixing all your photos. In fact, you hear about this more and more with celebrities or models who know they have leverage with a photographer who really wants to get known. If I were a rising or established celebrity, I may be trying to control my "brand" and how I'm perceived in the media. The successful brand are the ones that are professionally and closely managed. Know what I mean. Your model friend may be trying to do the same. She may want to make sure none of your photos that get released have some expression or whatever that she does not want to make public.

I worked with a model once who asked me to not publish any of the photos that had her in profile. Everything else was OK, but she was really concerned with the ones that had her looking to the left and where we could see that her nose was a bit long. I complied because I respected that she was trying to create a persona and her profile expressed some things that didn't fit into that persona. I can respect that.

I encourage models to really think about what THEY want out of the model release, not just agree to my terms but really think about what they're saying and cross out the things they don't like and add in things they want. Then I read it and do the same.

Most of the time, models just skim it and sign the release.

Models, you DO have power here. You are 50% partner in the endeavor.

Negotiation is an art.

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