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09-15-2020, 10:51 AM - 1 Like   #1
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The view from the other side of the lens

This article was interesting. We have discussed Richard Prince and his "art" before. This talks about that and much more.

In the case of photos used in a book without her permission. If Emily Ratajkowski is to be believed (which I don't think we can determine given the lack of direct evidence) then her release form was faked and she never gave consent for wide use of her photos but the major damage was already done by the time she learned of the release of the photos.

Lots to unpack here...

Emily Ratajkowski on Reclaiming Her Own Image

09-15-2020, 11:37 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Lots to unpack here...
Yes...lots to unpack. I don't work with models, but have often wondered what the dynamic is when the capture is unflattering, embarrassing, or reveals details of body parts that the model was unaware were in the frame. Does the photographer include the model in the first round of winnowing or do they simply consider the model as sort of a warm and fleshy posable mannequin with a pouty expression. Pay the fee, snap/flash, thank you ma'am.

Does the model own their image? Do they own it less if they were drunk during the shoot? Do they own it less if the image is printed, with their permission, to the cover of hundreds of thousands of magazines and promoted widely elsewhere? Do they own it more if it is shot candid on a public sidewalk without their permission. Do they own it more if they are famous.



The subject of the above saw the photo on Flickr and requested permission to use it and others in the sequence in promotional materials for her "hooping". I reciprocated in exchange for credit and grant of a release for use of her image. Quid pro quo


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-15-2020 at 11:48 AM.
09-15-2020, 11:54 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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In all my years as a working photographer, I met many rogue and unethical photographers. I've remained in contact, however, with the ones with a conscience and true respect for their subjects.

It was once, 'better to ask for forgiveness than permission". But now it's become "better to lie and deceive than to ask for forgiveness." Powerful article.
09-15-2020, 12:15 PM - 5 Likes   #4
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An interesting article indeed, but one that left me feeling some degree of despair for the tawdriness of it all. Given the dangerous combination of photographers with low moral standards and the unstoppable distribution juggernaut that is the web, it's a wonder anyone wants to be a model these days - yet so many still flock to it, despite all of these cautionary tales. It's extremely troubling, and terribly sad...

09-15-2020, 01:43 PM   #5
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These kinds of situations and photo theft make me wonder if an image format with strong DRM shouldn't be the defacto type used in public. One that had strong revocation capability would be ideal. Models and photographers could assert control over images dumped into the world with court ordered removal being more practical.

Mind you I don't like the idea of DRM in every image but I wonder if it wouldn't cure more than it would cause harm.
09-15-2020, 02:05 PM - 1 Like   #6
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What I find interesting is how this happens in the "artist" community. Of the limited number of professional artists I know they are usually really good about respecting the work of others. Even someone like myself who takes pictures because I like taking pictures has had occasions where people have wanted to use them and I have been fairly willing to let them. Granted those images are things in the night sky and it has all been astronomy professors asking if they can use the image in their class. So even there the respect of one's work exists. That said because of the professional artists I know I have heard a number of stories where there is a bad actor in the art community.

On the flip side I have seen other photographers work being co-opted for profit and/or political statements so I am not unaware that these things happen frequently. It just annoys me since I wouldn't do that to someone.
09-15-2020, 02:49 PM - 3 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
What I find interesting is how this happens in the "artist" community. Of the limited number of professional artists I know they are usually really good about respecting the work of others. Even someone like myself who takes pictures because I like taking pictures has had occasions where people have wanted to use them and I have been fairly willing to let them. Granted those images are things in the night sky and it has all been astronomy professors asking if they can use the image in their class. So even there the respect of one's work exists. That said because of the professional artists I know I have heard a number of stories where there is a bad actor in the art community.

On the flip side I have seen other photographers work being co-opted for profit and/or political statements so I am not unaware that these things happen frequently. It just annoys me since I wouldn't do that to someone.
I realise I'm stating the blindingly obvious here, but there are good and bad people (and degrees of good and bad in between) in all walks of life and at every level. Talent, success and demand for someone's services don't necessarily correlate with high morals. Those both in front of, and behind, the camera must ensure they always have measures in place to avoid both personal and commercial dangers, and be prepared to walk away - perhaps at professional cost - when suitable conditions can't be established and maintained.

In the early 90s I recorded someone's demo song in my home studio for a very small London dance music label. The vocalist was only sixteen, and - along with a rep from the label - she had a family chaperone with her throughout the process. My then-wife was also present. I remember thinking at the time how sensible that was for all concerned... I know I'm a decent and upstanding fella, but the girl couldn't have known that, nor could I have known she was well-adjusted. Such measures have always been wise, but I can't help thinking they're essential these days...
09-15-2020, 06:54 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I realise I'm stating the blindingly obvious here, but there are good and bad people (and degrees of good and bad in between) in all walks of life and at every level. Talent, success and demand for someone's services don't necessarily correlate with high morals. Those both in front of, and behind, the camera must ensure they always have measures in place to avoid both personal and commercial dangers, and be prepared to walk away - perhaps at professional cost - when suitable conditions can't be established and maintained.

In the early 90s I recorded someone's demo song in my home studio for a very small London dance music label. The vocalist was only sixteen, and - along with a rep from the label - she had a family chaperone with her throughout the process. My then-wife was also present. I remember thinking at the time how sensible that was for all concerned... I know I'm a decent and upstanding fella, but the girl couldn't have known that, nor could I have known she was well-adjusted. Such measures have always been wise, but I can't help thinking they're essential these days...
Nicely put.

09-15-2020, 08:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
If Emily Ratajkowski is to be believed (which I don't think we can determine given the lack of direct evidence) then her release form was faked and she never gave consent for wide use of her photos
I think that is unfair. She admits she gave permission to her agent to sign. She admits she was naive. This is an expose about herself and her revealing herself in images.
I find the story very personal. Her portrayals of others is very dry while stating her perceptions. She allows you to see how she sees people only enough to see she sees them as an effect on her being. You can conclude what you want about those people but she deliberately distinguishes between her view and what the reader should think. I enjoyed that part in particular.
There is alot to unpack because for once it wasn't unpacked for you.
09-15-2020, 08:54 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote

The subject of the above saw the photo on Flickr and requested permission to use it and others in the sequence in promotional materials for her "hooping".


Steve
Great composition. I could do a lecture on it. The rest of the things you touch on are politically loaded.
But I am with you in not knowing. Politics averted, some wisdom sustained.
09-15-2020, 10:49 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
I think that is unfair. She admits she gave permission to her agent to sign. She admits she was naive. This is an expose about herself and her revealing herself in images.
She did not exactly say she gave her agent permission to sign, and her agent says she didn't sign it.

---------- Post added 09-15-20 at 10:55 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Does the model own their image? Do they own it less if they were drunk during the shoot? Do they own it less if the image is printed, with their permission, to the cover of hundreds of thousands of magazines and promoted widely elsewhere? Do they own it more if it is shot candid on a public sidewalk without their permission. Do they own it more if they are famous.
I think the theme of the article is that in many cases, the people using her image think they own it, and maybe an extension of this is that they think they own her, sort of how the photography sexually assaulted her. And it isn't really just "people", but specifically men.

Your questions about whether the model owns their image, or whether the hooper owns her image -- well, legally there are many cases and situations where the photographer owns the image of the subject, but to some extent that is the way it has worked out, but not the only way it could have worked out. The could be more ownership of one's image in public places than there is in the US currently. In other countries there are laws that favor the subjects of photos more than they do here.
09-16-2020, 08:51 AM - 1 Like   #12
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I'm not certain this article illumines much of anything...

...except maybe the parlous state of the U.S. judicial system and tort law specifically. While I appreciate this woman's concerns....and am with her on some of the legal issues, she also seems very confused to me---being a model of this sort especially makes your image into a commodity. That said, I wish everyone could have a percentage of the money generated by the sale of their image, with or w/o releases. I'd personally LOVE to "see" many many many fewer images of celebrities as a result. As in maybe not see any at all.


And while I also have some issues with Richard Prince, I don't believe that it warrants quotation marks around "art".

The arts have for centuries had differing relationships and understandings of originality, copies, quotations, & etc. Modern life has made these relationships more fraught for varying reasons, but a lot of them have to do with money and the relatively new concept of copyright. If copyright standards were very strictly applied (and Prince's work comes into some focus here), Pop Art could not exist at all, and a bunch of other things as well.
09-16-2020, 10:56 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
being a model of this sort especially makes your image into a commodity.
Unfortunate, but true. She leveraged her assets and in retrospect felt the violation. Naivety might sound like a reasonable explanation, but most young people who enlist for military service might also claim the same, though I would expect that most of those know after that first live fire drill what the job involves.


Steve
09-16-2020, 12:51 PM - 7 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
This article was interesting. We have discussed Richard Prince and his "art" before. This talks about that and much more.

In the case of photos used in a book without her permission. If Emily Ratajkowski is to be believed (which I don't think we can determine given the lack of direct evidence) then her release form was faked and she never gave consent for wide use of her photos but the major damage was already done by the time she learned of the release of the photos.

Lots to unpack here...

Emily Ratajkowski on Reclaiming Her Own Image
Reading that piece, and giving Ms. Ratajkowski the benefit of the doubt, I am struck again by how lacking in any sort of humanity people can be. The facts as laid out (remember I am giving her the benefit of the doubt) seem to point to what we politely call a sexual predator with a camera taking advantage of a young lady.
Besides shooting what was, at best, borderline pornography, he apparently attempted a sexual assault. Was that included in the contract he says she signed off on?
For that matter, since she was, apparently, very drunk, was she actually in a legal position to fulfill whatever contract she purportedly signed off on?
Since it was the photographer who was pouring, what responsibility does he have regarding responsibility and liability.
The law probably says none, but there is an old phrase about the law and posteriors.
Then to add insult to injury, he forged a release and used the images to more or less humiliate his model while making a fair profit for something she most likely didn't agree to.
Certainly the lingerie was a surprise if she is to be believed.
This whole thing smacks of someone using the system (and a couple of bottles of Zinfandel) to set up and then take advantage of a situation.
As an aside, and since it was mentioned in the article, I think Richard Prince is a talentless hack who is also a thief.
But that's just my opinion.

I shot models for years. One of the first things I learned doing that is that drunk girls, while often willing, are horrid models. Drunken skin turns blotchy, expressions go flaccid, and the ability to accept any sort of guidance is out the window.
Not to mention the very distinct possibility of them falling down and breaking something valuable.
I learned this the really hard way while photographing weddings where the occasional bridesmaid turned herself into a drunken zombie after the ceremony but before the pictures. It's amazing how little alcohol it can take to mess up someone who has been so keyed up for the last day that they haven't eaten anything, and how fast it can happen.
The reason why I tend to give Ms. Ratajkowski the benefit of the doubt is because of the number of times I have run into this sort of tawdry tale. Spend a few years perusing the forums on websites such as Model Mayhem and you will read exactly this story time and again. All that changes is the names and locations.
When I was shooting models for an agency, there were more than one "art photographers" in town whose modus operandi was exactly what Ms. Ratajkowski described.
If what Ms. Ratajkowski is saying is true, she is another victim of a system that gives tacit approval to what she was subjected to.
Of course, what she is saying may not be true, and I have spent half an hour in front of my keyboard defending a stone cold liar.
Knowing what I know from my own background in the industry, my bets are that Ms Ratajkowski is telling the unvarnished truth.
09-16-2020, 02:33 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Reading that piece, and giving Ms. Ratajkowski the benefit of the doubt, I am struck again by how lacking in any sort of humanity people can be. The facts as laid out (remember I am giving her the benefit of the doubt) seem to point to what we politely call a sexual predator with a camera taking advantage of a young lady.
Besides shooting what was, at best, borderline pornography, he apparently attempted a sexual assault. Was that included in the contract he says she signed off on?
For that matter, since she was, apparently, very drunk, was she actually in a legal position to fulfill whatever contract she purportedly signed off on?
Since it was the photographer who was pouring, what responsibility does he have regarding responsibility and liability.
The law probably says none, but there is an old phrase about the law and posteriors.
Then to add insult to injury, he forged a release and used the images to more or less humiliate his model while making a fair profit for something she most likely didn't agree to.
Certainly the lingerie was a surprise if she is to be believed.
This whole thing smacks of someone using the system (and a couple of bottles of Zinfandel) to set up and then take advantage of a situation.
As an aside, and since it was mentioned in the article, I think Richard Prince is a talentless hack who is also a thief.
But that's just my opinion.

I shot models for years. One of the first things I learned doing that is that drunk girls, while often willing, are horrid models. Drunken skin turns blotchy, expressions go flaccid, and the ability to accept any sort of guidance is out the window.
Not to mention the very distinct possibility of them falling down and breaking something valuable.
I learned this the really hard way while photographing weddings where the occasional bridesmaid turned herself into a drunken zombie after the ceremony but before the pictures. It's amazing how little alcohol it can take to mess up someone who has been so keyed up for the last day that they haven't eaten anything, and how fast it can happen.
The reason why I tend to give Ms. Ratajkowski the benefit of the doubt is because of the number of times I have run into this sort of tawdry tale. Spend a few years perusing the forums on websites such as Model Mayhem and you will read exactly this story time and again. All that changes is the names and locations.
When I was shooting models for an agency, there were more than one "art photographers" in town whose modus operandi was exactly what Ms. Ratajkowski described.
If what Ms. Ratajkowski is saying is true, she is another victim of a system that gives tacit approval to what she was subjected to.
Of course, what she is saying may not be true, and I have spent half an hour in front of my keyboard defending a stone cold liar.
Knowing what I know from my own background in the industry, my bets are that Ms Ratajkowski is telling the unvarnished truth.
This is the kind of comment informed by experience I hoped for when I posted this. It is easy to be jaded and biased in either direction from an outside perspective, it is quite another thing to respond from experience.
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