I’m a model. If I hire a photographer, who gets the copyright?

I am pursuing my career as model and hired a professional photographer to help build my portfolio. He must have taken around 200 pictures of me of which I get to pick 20 of them for him to edit and sell to me in a disc. Am I buying the copyrights to those 20 pictures? Since the photos are on a disc, do I have the right to distribute them to as many modeling companies as I want or even to sell them? I didn’t sign a release form so does he have the right to use my pictures as advertisements, post them on the Internet, sell them, or use them in his portfolio (online portfolio or a physical portfolio)?

Mike Keel on March 19, 2012

It sounds like you are buying to use his photos of you. He would keep the copyright, but you can use the images to promote yourself. You could write out a short contract, or ask the photographer to do so, to say who owns the copyright (probably the photographer) and what you can do with the images (probably anything). If you didn’t sign a model release then the photographer does not have the right to sell photos with your image without your permission. Good luck with your career!

model photos

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