Saturday, 29 November 2008

The use of chaperones and age appropriate work

In a recent conversation regarding photographing the under 18s the following was discussed, and I thought it appropriate to post if here too as it has a real value for those youngsters just starting out in a modelling career.

It is horrible that we have to have chaperones because it's such a nasty world isn't it!

I agree, it does sound horrible. However, There are two main issues here to do with age and the use of a chaperone.

I firmly believe that the priority in any shoot must be safety.

From a models perspective after having had a few shoots with a photographer you may feel happy not to be chaperoned, (and I personally do not like people watching as I work, but tough its there for a reason).

If you are going to use a chaperone on your shoots make sure the photographer is aware of this and clarify what conditions they have. Some photographers insist the Chaperones stays outside, others just that they remain outside the studio area. A few will seize on them gleefully as slave labour to hold reflectors or lights!

No photographer will tolerate a chaperon interfering with the shoot in any way however, so make sure the person you choose is trustworthy sensible and understands this as you WILL be blamed for any misconduct by your chaperone. Jealous boyfriends seeking to control shoots are a sure-fire way of having your career wrecked before it even gets started. Generally a female chaperone will be less of a problem.

Secondly, there is a legal implication in entering into a TFP agreement. There needs to be a Model Release and this is a contract (and) it is extremely important that, as a model, you should fully understand the implications of entering into a contract.

The TFP contract covers a number of areas, one of the key ones is the concept of Copyright. In a TFP context is simply the RIGHT to allow a COPY of a photograph to be created. The creation of a copy of any photograph without the copyright holder’s permission is illegal. By default the copyright holder of ANY photograph is the PHOTOGRAPHER.

This remains the case EVEN WHERE THE PHOTOGRAPHER HAS BEEN PAID BY THE MODEL or another third party to take the images. Unless a model has the permission of the photographer it is illegal to create any further copies of those images.

This means that should you wish to use any photographs taken of yourself you WILL require the permission of the photographer first. For example the fact that a photographer has emailed you a few images after a shoot does not permit you to copy them to an online portfolio or send them to a magazine.

It follows that should you enter an agreement with a photographer where for example you have waived or reduced your fees for the right to use some of the images yourself, that you ensure the photographer has given you that permission in writing and that the permission covers all the situations where you wish to use those pictures.

In some Countries such as the USA a model can claim rights to their own image. This is not currently the case in the UK or many EU countries. A photographer can therefore, as the copyright holder, permit the use of any photograph he takes without needing the permission of the model as long as he does not in the process breach other laws such as defamation.


So why have a guardian or parent present? Well not just for safety, but also for genuine legal reasons.

What is not generally appreciated is that there are rules when contracting with minors (under the age of 18), and generally seeking, anyone who contracts with an infant or minor is doing so at their own peril. The reason for this is that the law gives to minors the ability to void, or exit the contract as they see fit. The most common justification for the rule is to protect minors from assuming obligations which they are not capable of understanding. It is obvious to see that this will lead to harsh results, so some general exceptions have been created, however, as far as I can see (and I'm no lawyer) none of the exceptions cover photography.

the bottom line is that safety first, but also consider that the TFP contract (Model Release) for minors should be sighed by the guardian in order to also protect the photographer as much as the model.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Britains next top model?


Britain's Least Competent Art Team?

What an appalling excuse for a program more like.

Such a sad reflection on the industry - that's just what tonight's 'show' was.

I'm simply appalled by the lack of professional ability shown by 'Veteran' judge Lisa Snowdon tonight. She really let herself, and the contestants down when she appeared to be unable to understand the whitewash in tonight's episode. She bizarrely, just followed a very vague line that she appeared to have been given to speak and mocked the contestants ability to guess what was required of them in the task.

What is sad, it that she showed no apparent appreciation for the task and supported the detrimental, facile, and somewhat amateur approach of the so called art director/music guru - one of tonight's 'judges'. You know, what really grinds is the fact that the girls were given no support, no guidance, and no motivation. The kick was that they were to be the face on a new album cover (of a never to be heard of again group?), the bottom line was that they had to parade around for a few hours in the cold
in a bikini, for a few out of their depth guy's, only for a head shot at best to be chosen for this so-called 'album cover'.

There was a photographer, who gave no guidance, and really appeared to be struggling to work with the bare fleshed women, the 'guru' appeared not the be able to offer any useful advice, and also struggled with the technicalities of live models and it was this 'guru' who's line of conversation amounted, it seamed, to be totally exclusive of any help or guidance - come on! you're claiming to be the customer, tell the girls what you want, they are not mind readers guy's!!

And Lisa, to stand there with your judging cohorts and criticise the images your photographer and post-production 'team' produced as faults of the models is reprehensible. Yes, they are to be professional models and there is an expected level of ability, but you know, they were given no guidance, no support, and of the many images (in bikini to topless it appears) only a few poor head shots were pasted into a poor floral frame - something my five year old nephew can do by the way for much less money!

Come on living TV - get a grip!

I am so unhappy at this flagrant amateurism on British TV.