Are you an aspiring fashion photographer who shoots tests of teen models for agencies? Do you work with fringe magazines that like to publish shocking pictures? Do you put Budweisers in their hands as props? What about having them ride a motorcycle in California without a helmet? How about scantily clothed? What about sexually suggestive poses? And do you do all this while the parents are watching and the agency says it’s cool thinking they will have your back down the road? If so, read this cautionary tale as the parents of a hot young fashion model have sued photographer Jason Lee Parry (and 3 clothing companies) for twenty eight million dollars.
The original source of their outrage is the appearance of images taken by the photographer of their then 15 year old daughter on t-shirts and other clothing from 3 different companies: Brandy and Melville, Blood Is The New Black and Urban Outfitters. The parents have hired Edward C. Greenberg to file a lawsuit against the photographer and clothing companies and in the letter to all of them (download it here) he hits the photographer like a freight train full of bricks claiming “this case appears to be literally ‘one for the books’” because of the photographers “reckless disregard of any/all applicable laws.” Oh, and according to Greenberg there is no signed model release. The very last page of that document is an email back to the lawyer where the photographer says he did not get a model release because it was a test/editorial and he thought the agency had it. He aslo admits knowing about the images going on the t-shirts and trying to negotiate a deal with the modeling agency but never hearing back from them.
In the 66 page court filing (download it here) Greenberg claims perry posed her in a sexual manner, gave her Budweisers (a crime in the state of CA), had her ride a motorcycle without a helmet (a violation of CA vehicle code) and gave or sold images for apparel that are offensive and libelous all without a model release.
Many photographers have images on their websites and in their promotional material that are not model released and while most people wouldn’t allow those images to be used commercially there’s the possibility that it could be stolen and end up on a t-shirt somewhere and you could be receiving a letter like the one Jason did.
thx to Dude for the court docs.