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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Child Photography Model Release, and Parent Consent
Octavian Cantilli, Photographer, Assistant
Orlando | FL | United States | Posted: 7:29 PM on 11.26.13
->> One of my friends found herself in a ridiculous situation, and I don't know where to look up the law that governs this.

In a nutshell, my friend photographed a reporter who she once worked with along with the reporter's daughter and fiancee. The reporter was beyond happy with the photos. My friend was paid, and the images were posted on her business FB page along with her blog. Then, the reporter's bitter and scandalous ex-wife decided to write my friend a nasty cease and decease email to say that she never consented for her child to be photographed and that my friend needs to remove the images at once from online. If she doesn't do, so this wretched creature claims to take legal action against my friend…. Ridiculous, right! Could someone please reference the law that governs this situation. Thanks!
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David G. McIntyre, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hong Kong | . | CHINA | Posted: 7:37 PM on 11.26.13
->> One parent gave consent, so that is fine. The ex-wife is just being a pain.

It would never hold up in court. If the ex-wife decides to become mean about it and hurting the photographers business, then the ex-wife could be liable for damages, etc.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Octavian Cantilli, Photographer, Assistant
Orlando | FL | United States | Posted: 7:42 PM on 11.26.13
->> Thanks David. I totally agree. This seems like common sense to me too. But it would be helpful to us to know where to reference the written law that governs this situation…
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 8:37 PM on 11.26.13
->> First question would be whether the parent who was photographed with the child had legal standing to grant consent or a release. There is always the possibility that the father has visitation rights but NOT custody rights.

One solution would be to have dad post it on HIS wall then the photographer can SHARE it on the photographer's wall. At that point the onus is off the photographer as 'sharing' is allowed within the Facebook TOS and the photographer isn't actually POSTING anything.
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Octavian Cantilli, Photographer, Assistant
Orlando | FL | United States | Posted: 8:54 PM on 11.26.13
->> Great point Eric, thanks! Yes, the father has joint custody. The reason I'd like to see the written law is so my friend can send it to this woman. We feel like this parent is relying on bogus threats and on the belief that my friend doesn't know her rights.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 9:15 PM on 11.26.13
->> "One parent gave consent, so that is fine. The ex-wife is just being a pain."

"But it would be helpful to us to know where to reference the written law that governs this situation…"

Honestly, Mr. Cantilli did not supply enough information to dispense legal advice (which nothing in my reply should be construed as) which we should not be doing. My understanding is the laws in the state of residence and how guardianship has been assigned between the natural parents. Mr. McIntyre's advice is premature since the father's legal rights, as outlined in the divorce settlement, are unknown. The statutes vary from state to state so I would opt for a more logical approach.

My advice is ask your friend is it worth at least $350 or more to continue to display the image on her website and blog. If yes, then she should spend that money on competent legal counsel in her state to determine what her exposure is as well as her rights in this situation. She can then decide to call or raise the ex-wife's hand continuing to keep the image online or fold and remove it.

I suggest she fold and and remove it from online use. In her shoes, if it was the greatest picture since Italian Toast, then I would continue to use it in face-to-face interactions with potential clients, but it is not worth the headache and stress, especially if the ex-wife happens to have deep enough pockets to carry out any legal action. Your friend would be better served focusing on her current clients or attracting new paying clients than waste time dealing with a family feud she doesn't need to be a part of in all honestly. She can go out and do another portrait session for headache free content to post to her online properties to promote her talents.
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 9:35 PM on 11.26.13
->> Just delete the photos from the website and go on to the next one. Why bother!
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 10:15 PM on 11.26.13
->> Ian, that would be just a chicken s... thing to do. Then the ex believes she can bully her former spouse on any matter and use the child as leverage when it suits her.
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 10:23 PM on 11.26.13
->> Jeff... I personally would not care, not my problem. I don't need someones personal problems impacting me getting on with my photography.

Is the photographer going to take sides in a domestic dispute involving a kid? The guy has been paid, so what is left? Pride? Does the photographer want to be a photographer or marriage counselor?

There is no "win" in this. The guy should just walk away. Of this I am 100% sure.
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 10:31 PM on 11.26.13
->> Consult an attorney. Plus, what Ian said. In that order. there might be negative legal implications to removing the image.

--Mark
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | US | Posted: 11:02 PM on 11.26.13
->> Remove the image or get a layer and tell her to go pound sand.

My wife is an attorney so it wouldn't cost me anything. Funny thing is that as soon as I tell people that my wife is a Washington DC based Harvard/Georgetown Law educated attorney they stop with those type of "threats".

Mark...what "negative legal implications" could come from removing an image? Just wondering...
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Octavian Cantilli, Photographer, Assistant
Orlando | FL | United States | Posted: 10:18 AM on 11.27.13
->> Thanks again for your input, everyone. I was hoping this was a simpler situation. I guess not. My friend is based in Michigan. She recently quit her staff job to have more time with her toddler and to start a portraiture business. While theses particular images weren't the best ever, they were very nice and useful for her book and marketing efforts.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 10:40 AM on 11.27.13
->> Delane, I have no idea. I just suggest consulting with an attorney before making *any* move at all.

--Mark
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Andrew Link, Photographer
Winona | MN | USA | Posted: 10:49 AM on 11.27.13
->> Even if the photographer would "Just delete the photos from the website and go on to the next one. Why bother!," she should still get legal advice for future situations like this. No point in getting stuck in this situation again later on and still not know what to do.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

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Thread Title: Child Photography Model Release, and Parent Consent
Thread Started By: Octavian Cantilli
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