What rights do I have to photos taken of me as a model without a signed model release?

UPDATED: Aug 12, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 12, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What rights do I have to photos taken of me as a model without a signed model release?

I am a model and stylist. I modeled and styled for a shoot for a startup online boutique. The entrepreneur owner of the future boutique is inexperienced and did not ask me to sign a model release. It was never stated that I allow my photos to be used for commercial purposes. It has been only a couple days, but I have yet to receive payment for my work. Agreement for payment hast been stated in emails and text messages. I am wondering, in case I do not receive payment, what can I sue for? Also, what rights do I have to the photos, considering I gave no written permission for their use?

Asked on August 12, 2012 under Business Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you do not have a signed release for your photos giving up all interests in them as to your likeness then you own such and your photos cannot be used legally by the third party. If you have not received payment for your likeness then you are entitled to be paid for your time and can bring a legal action as soon as possible in small claims court.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption