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  1. #1

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    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....

    Official Photo.net Villain
    ----------------------
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  2. #2
    blansky's Avatar
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    Robert, first the legal part. Did you get her to sign a release. If you did, then legally you need to do nothing. If you wish you could reassure them that you will not ever post them or show them in public.( the nudes)

    But with a release the property is yours and they have no claim to them, if she was paid in money or prints.

    If you didn't, then it can get sticky. I personally would forget the friendship part as they are now not your friends anyway. You have to decided how much you really care about the prints and negs, and if you don't really care that much, I would be tempted to destroy them. I would not under any circumstances give away my negatives. Keep them or destroy them but never give them away.

    If they are important to you then you need to make the decision to fight for them. Sometimes fighting can cost money, friendships and frayed nerves.

    The clincher is the signed release. If you didn't get one, plan to in the future.

    You made a comment about being "professional" and part of the is sticking to your guns on a matter that your profession requires. That what you shoot is your property and nobody elses.

    My 2 cents worth...


    Michael McBlane

  3. #3

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    If it were me, I'd give them the negs, photographs, the whole schmeer. No charge, thank you with a smile and consider it a part of my ongoing education into being a decent human being.

  4. #4
    blansky's Avatar
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    If it were me, I'd give them the negs, photographs, the whole schmeer. No charge, thank you with a smile and consider it a part of my ongoing education into being a decent human being.
    Donald, that implies that to keep them, means that you are not a decent human being.


    I would like to hear from George Losse and Thomas about their adventures and misadventures since they shoot a ton of nudes.


    Michael

  5. #5
    Aggie's Avatar
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  6. #6

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    I'm inclined to agree that returning them with no strings attached is the "best" way to go. It seems to me we too often get all hung up on our "rights" as photographers, or auto-mechanics, or whatever, and forget all about our "obligations" as members of the human race. This doesn't appear to be either a career-maker or career-breaker as far as you're concerned and it's apparently causing severe distress in the relationship of the other people involved. Return all the documentation, put the situation to rest once and for all, and consider it a cheaply-paid-for lesson in the art of human relations. You might even feel good about doing it. At the very least you'll know you did something to help somebody out of a difficult situation. The ole cowboy.

  7. #7
    dr bob's Avatar
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    If I was involved to the depth you seem to be, Robert, I would decide first if any of the negatives might be valuable either personally (I have images that mean a great deal to me) or commercially and set the list out for scrutiny. You might consider negotiation for the valuable pieces and hand over the remaining without charge. Or just give the whole shebang to them and make them both sign a detailed receipt with the restriction that there be no further dealings. I think you might do well to contact an attorney, just in case.
    I love the smell of fixer in the morning. It smells like...creativity!
    Truly, dr bob.

  8. #8
    David R Munson's Avatar
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    I say hang on to the negatives, etc, and tell the two of them that you will use your discretion and not use the images. Furthermore, state that it is a matter of principle that you not give up your original materials.

    Hold your ground. And if the schmuck in question doesn't let up, you can always threaten him with a harassment suit. The threat of legal action does wonders to change people's minds.

  9. #9
    Ray Bidegain's Avatar
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    I would give her the film and call it a day. Use the time you did not spend dealing with it to make some new work. The collaboration you had with her was just that, and she has to have some control over the use. It would be different if you had hired her to model for you in the first place, for one thing this would most likley not be happening.

    Ray Bidegain

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    If it were me, I'd give them the negs, photographs, the whole schmeer. No charge, thank you with a smile and consider it a part of my ongoing education into being a decent human being.
    Donald, that implies that to keep them, means that you are not a decent human being.


    I would like to hear from George Losse and Thomas about their adventures and misadventures since they shoot a ton of nudes.


    Michael
    Michael, you know me well enough by now that I don't usually imply. I call them as I see them. No implication intended or proferred.

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