Should Photographers provide images or prints to Models?

The quick answer to this is: Depends.

If the Photographer pays the model for the shoot –

Then all of the images belong to the Photographer.  The Model was paid for her modeling time.  She has no claim to the images.  If she should decide that she wants images for her portfolio, website, or other use, she can pay for the images just like anyone other client.

  • However, one thing that I personally do for Models I work with is If I end up with Tear Sheets from our shoot then I will usually give her a copy as a courtesy.  I am not obligated to do so though unless that is specifically spelled out in the original shoot agreement. 

If the Model pays the Photographer for the shoot –

Then the images are hers.  The Photographer still owns the Copyright but the Model has a full right to use any of the images from the shoot as spelled out in the Shooting Contract.

  • I personally do not require or need Tear Sheets or credit attached to the images.  I also do not watermark these images in any way.

** Editing these images: Unless our original Shooting Contract specifically spells out details about editing the images, they are the Models to do with as she sees fit.  Since my name (and reputation) is not being attached to these images I don’t have a concern about their editing.

Details –

When working with Models all shoots should be planned in advance and all of the details spelled out in some form of Contract or document and agreed upon by all parties involved, (not JUST a Model Release).  Who pays, or who doesn’t pay, TF*, $$, clothing (wish list) trades, or other options, all need to be spelled out and agreed upon in advance.  Contracts should also cover Copyrights, Watermarks, distribution and usage rights.  Also, delivery times for the images (if necessary) should be spelled out. 

These should all be spelled out and agreed upon in advance of the shoot.