I am a photographer, and I am having trouble with a model. I photographed the model 5 days ago, and she immediately started sending texts regarding the return time of the images. Her and I had spoken only of planning to shoot together, and a rough number of how many images would be returned to her. No contract
delegating turn-around time was signed during the shoot, nor any sort of release paperwork for the usage of her images. There was no monetary exchange either.
I can admit that I was not especially pleasant after what I felt to be harassing, and continuous calls and texts, even after I had informed her that I was driving
in a car, and could not talk to her or text her back.
I had informed her that paid work that I had backed up took priority, and that I could not turn them around in the time frame she wanted. I told her that I could fast-track her images before I left for a working trip in 2 weeks if she was willing to pay my standard rate for the edits. I specified that she would receive images in around 6 weeks ( me needing time for both backed up paid work, and working travel trips ) which is standard for me and many of my peers.
After a long back and forth, I finally sent her proof images, to which I received a frightening and harassing e-mail. The email was from her mother, who was quick to inform me that she was a judge in good standing, and their whole family were lawyers. She was also quick to inform me that she has plenty of expendable money laying around, and was willing to spend it to try and hurt me. I was told that I would be sued for everything but the kitchen sink, including defamation
of character, in regards XXXXX XXXXX made on facebook ( 2 ) and instagram (1 ) ( these were never specific, not naming names, and all but irrelevant to her - she was referred to as an amateur on a photo that was posted of her on instagram, but it was also posted without her name, while in reality, she does not model professionally, and is therefor an "amateur", the instagram post has since been deleted ). In her explanation, the case would be based around the idea that her daughter's/client's time is equal to payment, therefor needs to be considered a paid shoot, as in, she paid us ( even though this is my profession, and my time is valuable as well ) and that the correspondence we had in picking a time and a date, and me specifying the amount of images I typically return from a shoot is a binding contract in which I have to return images based on her demands.
She informed me that the way I would avoid having litigation
brought up against me would be to return images to her, in a quantity and time frame of her specification, to be screened by her for quality.
What rights does she actually have? Her whole argument seems like a straw man to me, but I've never dealt with anyone like this before.