O.k. Here is my situation.
Over the last 2-3 years, a friend of mine modeled for me on a couple of occassions. She was a very willing model and great fun to work with. She even was THRILLED when I posted the images on the web for review. She in fact encouraged it. And yes, some, but not all, were nudes.
Fast forward to the recent months....
She meets this guy up in Phoenix. WIthin under a month he asks her to marry him. She being young, and apparently out of her freakin' mind, says yes. So they plan on marrying in August.
Now, last month, at my wedding (my one for the family...see the "Details for Jorge" thread), she came to me during the rehearsal dinner and said her husband to be (whom I shall call Butthead for want of a better term), was "really upset" that those pictures were out there, and that they wanted the negatives!
Of course here I am with my entire freakin' family around, so I said "don't worry, we can talk after the wedding." And then I downed a Manhattan at the prospect of dealing with this crap.
Anywho, the day AFTER the wedding she and Butthead tried calling me every hour, on the hour, and even waited outside the house for my wife to show up and they asked her for the negs! And not just the nudes! ALL of them! Even some very clothed ones. One of which I printed an 11x14, selenium toned print of, and mounted so she could give it as a gift to her dad (no thanks there I guess...) Now, I was working on a project and just simply not available. My wife was dealing with all the family members who were leaving, and in the case of her parents, staying around for a while.
Needless to say, the verbal lashing they got from my wife was extreme. Never piss off a working-class lass from North Yorkshire!
Anywho, later we get an apologetic e-mail. Haven't seen both of them since, but I figured maybe things calmed down.
Now, keep in mind, ALL of this concern is coming from HIM. She is just trying to "make things work" and keeps saying she is proud of the pictures, etc. And I have reassured her that I will not, hell I CAN NOT, sell the images, they won't be on the web is she doesn't want them (all the Photo.net critiques were deleted), etc. But she says Butthead doesn't like the fact that "someone out there has pictures of his wife". In fact he even sent ME an e-mail stating this. So I know it is his psychosis here starting this crap.
It should also be pointed out that a previous boyfriend was given prints of these pictures (I paid for prints for her modeling for me), and still has them. Making me, to say the least, a "minor threat" as I have a professional reputation to garner here, and the ex does not.
So today I get an e-mail from her. She is asking to BUY the negatives. She even is willing to finance the purchase of them!
So here are my concerns -
1 - This Butthead guy is nucking futz and even engaging in talking to her on any level may trigger who knows what in this guy. Should I even bother?
2 - This girl has little money. I would of course charge market rates, with an appropriate discount for her share of the work. But that will still be a financial stress on this person. To NOT charge market rates would be unprofessional, and I feel somehow cheapen the whole concept of pro photography. Kinda like if I started shooting weddings for free. I mean those negs are MY work and worth something. But should I allow someone to put themselves in that much debt when I know it would be harmful to them?
3 - They want all the negs. First off, I see value in revisiting work. Especially to see how I have progressed. So I am reluctant to give them up. The nudes, I probably could, but I got some other good shots and THOSE I want to keep. They are good. Am I too attached here? I would get paid.
4 - This issue is apparently causing much stress in their relationship. Part of me is inclined to say "Look, you gotta deal with her past." The fact is these are MILD nudes. Just boobs and butt. Far from porn, and the fact that he wants ALL the negs seems to indicate some sort of Talibanesque mentality towards her past. I mean her sitting on a rock looking sad with a beer is OFFENSIVE to him? Her DAD has that picture! In glorious 11x14 B/W! If he so so riled up that it is causing friction between them (which she indicates in her e-mail), why discourage it? The guy is obviously some sort of nut-case and I'm thinking in the back of my head "Well, maybe if he dumps you over this, it will save you from a horrible future." Or should I just ignore that, realize it is her fault, and take the cash?
Any help here? I am not too worried about this, but I want to behave professionally.
Which is why I never once threatened to wring her scrawny boyfriends neck like a wet towel....
I only thought it....