Ask an Agent (LPA)
- By Lisa Pritchard. Owner of Lisa Pritchard Agency (LPA)
- 0 comments
Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – a sort of photography agony aunt.
This month, one I’ve not come across before.
I work for a design agency and we recently commissioned some photography for a care home client of real residents in care. I had a question, can we still use the images if any of the ‘models’ die?
This sounds terribly cold hearted and officious but legally it all depends on the small print- i.e the model release form.
When photographing people for commercial purposes it’s vital to get their permission in writing for their images to be reproduced in a specific way in association with a specific product or service. So in this case I assume the individuals in question, and/or perhaps their families, have been asked to sign a model release stating these details. This form will contain a paragraph similar to the following :
For valuable consideration received I hereby grant the photographer and any licensees or assignees, the absolute right to use the photograph(s) and any other reproductions or adaptations, from the above mentioned photographic shoot, solely and exclusively for the following usage plus the Photographer’s own promotional use:
I understand that the Photographer owns the copyright of their work and I therefore waive any claims I may have based on any usage of the photographs.
I am over 18 years of age.
The odds of a model dying are unfortunately a little higher than your average shoot here but it would be impractical for you to be expected to remove images as and when any of the patients die.
Having said that, and this is an ethical rather than a legal point of view now, if someone has been in touch asking you specifically not to use the images (as it may cause offence because they have died), if it’s easy to remove the images from use, i.e on a website, that would be the best route to take.
Ok, looking forward to lighter questions next month! If you have any questions you’d like to ask a photographers agent please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This advice should be taken as a guide only. Lisa Pritchard and LPA take no responsibility for any omissions or errors. Please seek professional legal advice should you require it.