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AttorneyTom, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  Attorney
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As a photographer, I may occassionally ask a model to pose

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As a photographer, I may occassionally ask a model to pose in exchange for providing photographs in print or a CD once processed. This has happened as part of a event where a business may sponsor a group of models, or it may occur as part of a 1:1 arrangement. As part of a larger group, this is a verbal arrangement and once the posing has occured she may move to another photographer for a similar arrangement.

My question is, if the model injuries herself while I am photographing her, could I be liable (either in a group setting or individually)?
Thank you for the opportunity to answer your question. I am sending this answer to you only a few minutes after you submitted your question.
Yes. It is possible that a photographer (like any other business) could be exposed to liability in a variety of ways if an individual (such as a model) is injured during the course of business. Some examples:
A model claims that her image was commercially used in a fashion other than that which was authorized;
A model claims that private pictures were made public (for instance, with nude photos);
A model is injured on a photographer's premises due to negligence or failure to warn of hazards;
A model is injured due to a prop malfunction where the photographer provided a defective or dangerous prop;
A model without a contract claims that an oral agreement included compensation that was not received.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways liability could arise. This doesn't mean that it's likely, but it also doesn't mean that it isn't. Obviously, the more dangerous the activities involved, the greater the probability of injury and legal action resulting from injury. You may wish to discuss with your attorney the possibility of insurance, drafting liability waivers, and drafting modeling contracts so as to ensure that your interests are covered. In the process, your attorney will review the types of photography and the variety of issues that may arise to do his best to draft documents to provide as much protection as possible.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So if I asked a model to pose in a particular fashon, she stumbled and fell possibly resulting in a sprained anke, this may result in liability?
It's possible, depending on the circumstances. If a particular pose, by itself, caused an individual to fall and if that person agreed to enter the pose, a photographer may have defenses based on a model's own conduct in agreeing to do that. However, an injured model could file a suit and try to alleged negligence on the part of a photographer in requesting a dangerous pose or the conditions surrounding it. Anyone can sue anyone else for anything at any time and a model could try to make out a case. Therefore, legal documents, insurance, etc. provide good preemptive measures. Further, otherwise legitimate claims (or claims that might appear legitimate enough in court to allow recovery) could arise. For example, a slippery floor, malfunction of a prop (for instance, if a chair broke), etc. In reality, nothing in life is without a little bit of risk, and included in that risk is the risk of getting sued. Business people are generally wise to attempt to limit those risks and waivers, contracts, and insurance coverage can be helpful in doing so.
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