Thursday, June 18, 2009
A Lesson Learned- a warning to other artists.
Well, I got a HUGE lesson in what one should and should not to do when looking for human subjects to paint recently. Most definitely get a written agreement up front, and do not for any reason trust a stranger with your photos, even if you feel sorry for them. I thought I was very fortunate to be able-with verbal permission-to photograph a woman and her 2 daughters in a lovely setting that would have made a beautiful painting. I did not have any written permission slips for the use of my photos to paint from as reference. She asked for my information, and called me that night "interested" in a painting. Her youngest had fallen into the pond right after I had taken the photos (they were actually there to be photographed by someone else it turned out which I hadn't known and so got no photos themselves). I felt sorry for her and sent her some of my photos, believing since she had indicated that I could use them as reference that I would be allowed to paint a lovely picture from them- whether or not she wanted the painting herself. I would have gladly sent her every photograph I had taken, along with several another friend had also taken for that permission. Once she had the photographs she tried to manipulate me into painting something for her at a cut rate if I wanted the use of the images. When I told her that was not possible but that I would be happy to do it on a payment plan, I didn't hear back from her. So after a reasonable amount of time waiting for a response I again contacted her asking for permission. I did tell her that if I did not have that permission I would delete the photos from my files, but that she also did not have my permission to use my copyrighted photos. I got an immediate and VERY NASTY response. Threats of police and lawsuits if I were to use those photos for a painting, and that she had already contacted attourneys. Needless to say, I have already deleted the photos, (can you imagine trying to paint from them at this point?!) I am very fortunate not to have any further dealings with this person- I can't imagine trying to do a painting and working with someone like that. But I thought I would remind any artists out there to be sure to get written permission- and do it immediately. I don't like to be manipulated and I doubt you do either. I will continue to look for opportunities to paint people, but it certainly reminded me of why I love to paint animals!