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Storygirl

Concerns about DD's senior photo shoot with an amateur photograher

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I would welcome your gut response to this situation, as well as any suggestions you may have about how we can make sure it goes well (if it goes forward).

DD17 is a senior, and she has had a few friends offer to take her senior pictures for her, because they love photography, and she is beautiful -- she has strangers tell her how pretty she is sometimes. I understand why they would offer, and I understand why DD would think this would be fun.

But I feel leery, and I want to check to see if my reaction is over protectiveness. I also want to be able to ask questions of the photographer, so that we are all on the same page about what the photos can be used for, etc. So, feel free to tell me if you would have no problem with this scenario, or if you would not allow it, or if you would make some kind of written contract, or anything else that comes to mind.

Here is the scenario. DD17 has agreed to have a male friend from work at Chick-fil-A, who is around age 23, do a photo shoot for free. This guy wants a long-term career with Chick-fil-A (is training to move up), so photography is a hobby, not his career plan. She has seen and likes pictures on this person's Instagram, so she thinks he will do a good job. They've been talking about this for awhile, but the plans are still tentative. So far, she thinks they may meet on Sunday to take the photos, but she doesn't know where yet (park??). She also does not know a time yet, though she thinks he said 5:00 (too late -- it will be dusk then, if not dark). Another female friend has agreed to go along, so that the two of them would not be alone.

DD17 thinks this is fine!! I am asking her a ton of questions to make her think through what might go wrong and how to make sure she remains safe. She is annoyed this morning and is saying, "Fine, I just won't do it.' That would be okay by me, but I want to use this as an opportunity to help her think maturely about things like this, because they are bound to come up again.

To be clear, if this photo shoot were to happen, DH or I would go along. Probably DH, because although he is mild mannered, DH is intimidating in size. (The idea of taking an extra friend was arranged by DD and the guy, after I said that they could not do this alone).

And, I have made it clear with DD that I would consider this photo shoot just for fun, and that I am sure that we will want professional pictures taken. She rolled her eyes at that. In my opinion, this photo session does not need to happen for her to have nice senior pictures. And it will not happen, if DH and I don't feel comfortable with it.

I keep asking her questions that she does not know the answers to. She has not asked the photographer to explain. I said this morning that if she does not want to ask him the questions, that she should tell him that I want to contact him .Here is what I would want to know:

* In what form will he be giving DD the pictures?
* He mentioned making a portfolio. We need to know if this would be for us, or for his use.
* Is he planning to use his pictures of her in any way to market a business or promote himself?
* What will he do with his digital copies of the photos? I am leery of some guy having a bunch of photos of DD that he could use any time in any way.

He is offering do to this for free. He may be a perfectly great guy with good intentions. But I don't know him.

Would you not allow this? If you would allow it, what questions would you ask?

Edited by Storygirl

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I would totally allow it, with supervision, on the condition that there be a written agreement wrt how the images would or could be used/distributed and sent to me/dd. On his website or insta for promo, fine. Sold for stock photography use, not fine. Distributed to random friends for non-business generation purposes, nope. ETA: I would also have a backup plan b/c if the photos suck you may not be able to get a spot anywhere else right now.

Edited by Sneezyone
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I don't see an issue with it.   Write something up for him to sign if your concern of his motives might be.    

Edited by lynn
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I’d let your daughter handle this. She’ll be 18 soon and needs to navigate some things on her own. If you hate the photos, get them done by someone else later. Young people are less jaded and often do things for free for their friends/co-workers. Remember how easy it was to get help moving in your twenties?

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This sounds paranoid to me. He’s saving you a ton of money vs getting a professional but if you’re that worried, maybe you should just hire someone and spend it (around here, a professional would be $300-500 plus prints). I kind of feel sorry for him that you’re so suspicious. 

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* In what form will he be giving DD the pictures?-Probably on like a disk or USB drive


* He mentioned making a portfolio. We need to know if this would be for us, or for his use.-Probably his.  He probably means a portfolio for his website/instagram


* Is he planning to use his pictures of her in any way to market a business or promote himself?-Probably yes, that's usually what a photographer is meaning when he says he's putting a portfolio together....that it's a portfolio of his work to show others that might want to hire him.


* What will he do with his digital copies of the photos? I am leery of some guy having a bunch of photos of DD that he could use any time in any way.-Most likely put them on his website/instragram/facebook/whatever he uses.  

Have you seen his website at all?  

It's very common for people who want to start making money from photography, even as just a money making hobby or side business, to do several shoots for free or super discounted rates just so that they have pictures to put on their websites.  

 

Having said that, it's also common for male photographers to be looking for models to offer "free shoots" to get adult photos.  Now, that doesn't sound like what's going on here, it sounds like she was discussing it with him at work and either she asked or he offered or both.  But, having seen guys pull the "oh, you are so beautiful, you should be a model.  I am a photographer, I would love to give you a free photoshoot" bit more than once, I just wanted you to know that your cautiousness isn't crazy.

Generally, if you or your DH are there, the situation should be safe enough.  

Edited by happysmileylady
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My gut reaction is that in a public place like a park with her father present, and dressed in clothes (not bikini etc) sounds safe enough.  

But maybe you have some additional negative vibe from the particular guy. 

 

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My gut response is absolutely no. I would not allow it. 

I think other posters have made valid and logical points and I'm not arguing with those--but you asked if we had a gut response and I had a strong one. 🙂 

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I think your concern is warranted, but the things he's saying are pretty normal. If he's ethical, he would have her sign a release to use her pictures elsewhere. If he's not, well there you go. 

As long as your dh is there and it's in public places, it's fine. Even if he likes her, what's the big deal in that? Have you met him? If you meet him and your creep meter goes off, don't allow it. 

My dh is 6 years older than I am. It would be totally normal for them to be attracted, just maybe not legal or advisable to do certain things. 

Park and 5pm light is totally normal btw. It's really the most beautiful time of day. We're pitch black here by 7pm and he's novice. He might like to start at 4:30 just to be safe. But he's not saying things that are odd. But a teen friend is not enough chaperone, no. Definitely your dh drives and your dh is there the entire time.

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My gut reaction is that yes, you are being over protective. She's a senior, about to graduate, and she knows this person well enough to trust him. Has she given you reasons in the past to not trust her or her judgement? 

I have a male amateur photographer in my family and he does so, so many senior photos. Most sign a release for him to use the photos on his social media because it's how he drums up more business. 

I get the worry though. I worry tons about my college kiddo but in the end, I know we've had all the tough conversations and I have to hope he listened. So far, in his second year, things are good. 

 

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12 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Park and 5pm light is totally normal btw. It's really the most beautiful time of day. We're pitch black here by 7pm and he's novice. He might like to start at 4:30 just to be safe. But he's not saying things that are odd. But a teen friend is not enough chaperone, no. Definitely your dh drives and your dh is there the entire time.

 

Yes. A lot of photographers use dusk and dawn when there’s not a lot of bad shadow and glare

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Unless you have a reason to feel suspicious of this guy, I think you are being over protective.  Sounds like they will be in a public place, in what will be a busy time of day.   She's almost an adult and likely will be making decisions on her own very shortly.

I do think it's reasonable to make sure he's clear on what is okay to do with the pictures.   You seem a little overly worried about that too, but doesn't your daughter already have pictures "out there"?  It would be pretty unusual for a 17 year old to not already be sharing pictures on Instagram or similar places.

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30 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I think your concern is warranted, but the things he's saying are pretty normal. If he's ethical, he would have her sign a release to use her pictures elsewhere. If he's not, well there you go. 

... But a teen friend is not enough chaperone, no. Definitely your dh drives and your dh is there the entire time.

 

One of my nephew is 23 years old and he is so used to people (locals and tourists) snapping photos on cellphones, cameras that he won’t think about asking before posting on Facebook, Instagram and other social media. He knows not to tag though and let his friends tag themselves. So it might not be unethical to not offer a photo release form to OP’s daughter. It would be different if the person is already earning an income as a freelance photographer. OP or OP’s husband could definitely ask.

OP’s husband staying there has the added benefit of taking some photos himself of his daughter. 

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Just to respond to a couple of comments....

I haven't met him.

DD17 is naive and has shown some questionable judgement in the near past, so I can't leave this completely up to her to manage. Her logic skills are less mature, so I've been trying to prompt her to think through some things for herself. I am cognizant of the fact that she will need to be ready to take care of decisions like this completely by herself in the near future, but for right now, she is not quite ready and needs some guidance. For example, I have encouraged her (more than once) to ask him some questions about what he will be doing with his copies of the pictures, and she has not, even though this plan has been in the works verbally for a few weeks. In all of our conversations about this, I am encouraging her to think for herself and ask questions. Instead of asking him herself, she wants me to text him. I would rather she gather the information herself.

I have no idea if he likes her. She's had many guys express interest in her, and she manages to handle it on her own (so far, she has only had one short term boyfriend). I'm not really concerned about that.

I don't think I'm paranoid. Just cautious. Also,  I want to have things lined up properly and know what paperwork we should ask for, if we do it. I have never posted pictures of my children online myself, so I would not be thrilled to give someone else license to do so. My teens do have social media accounts and post pictures of themselves, but that is much different to me than offering a portfolio of photos of my daughter to someone else.

DD17 showed me some pictures he put on Instagram, but it's been awhile. I'll look at them again. I don't think he has a website, because right now he is just a hobbyist, but I will find out.

I'm not worried about any timeline for getting the pictures done. She goes to a small private school and won't need to give them senior photos for the yearbook until sometime in the spring. So if we have these pictures taken, and they are great, and we decide we don't need professional photos, that would be fine. But I told her that I may want professional photos done as well.

Edited by Storygirl
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I think offering her advice on being sure they have a simple contract that he cannot use her image beyond XYZ (probably promoting his business on his website and IG)  is wise.  And your dh going along is almost too much, but better safe than sorry.  I would suggest your dh stay out of the way so the young photographer can work without the pressure of a dad being too nearby.  

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7 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

Just to respond to a couple of comments....

I haven't met him.

DD17 is naive and has shown some questionable judgement in the near past, so I can't leave this completely up to her to manage. Her logic skills are less mature, so I've been trying to prompt her to think through some things for herself. I am cognizant of the fact that she will need to be ready to take care of decisions like this completely by herself in the near future, but for right now, she is not quite ready and needs some guidance. For example, I have encouraged her (more than once) to ask him some questions about what he will be doing with his copies of the pictures, and she has not, even though this plan has been in the works verbally for a few weeks. In all of our conversations about this, I am encouraging her to think for herself and ask questions. Instead of asking him herself, she wants me to text him. I would rather she gather the information herself.

I have no idea if he likes her. She's had many guys express interest in her, and she manages to handle it on her own (so far, she has only had one short term boyfriend). I'm not really concerned about that.

I don't think I'm paranoid. Just cautious. Also,  I want to have things lined up properly and know what paperwork we should ask for, if we do it. I have never posted pictures of my children online myself, so I would not be thrilled to give someone else license to do so. My teens do have social media accounts and post pictures of themselves, but that is much different to me than offering a portfolio of photos of my daughter to someone else.

DD17 showed me some pictures he put on Instagram, but it's been awhile. I'll look at them again. I don't think he has a website, because right now he is just a hobbyist, but I will find out.

I'm not worried about any timeline for getting the pictures done. She goes to a small private school and won't need to give them senior photos for the yearbook until sometime in the spring. So if we have these pictures taken, and they are great, and we decide we don't need professional photos, that would be fine. But I told her that I may want professional photos done as well.

Well there ya go.  I would just text him and ask for him to sign a simple contract that he will not use her image beyond what is agreed.  And then just be done with worrying about it.

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24 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

Just to respond to a couple of comments....

I haven't met him.

DD17 is naive and has shown some questionable judgement in the near past, so I can't leave this completely up to her to manage. Her logic skills are less mature, so I've been trying to prompt her to think through some things for herself. I am cognizant of the fact that she will need to be ready to take care of decisions like this completely by herself in the near future, but for right now, she is not quite ready and needs some guidance. For example, I have encouraged her (more than once) to ask him some questions about what he will be doing with his copies of the pictures, and she has not, even though this plan has been in the works verbally for a few weeks. In all of our conversations about this, I am encouraging her to think for herself and ask questions. Instead of asking him herself, she wants me to text him. I would rather she gather the information herself.

I have no idea if he likes her. She's had many guys express interest in her, and she manages to handle it on her own (so far, she has only had one short term boyfriend). I'm not really concerned about that.

I don't think I'm paranoid. Just cautious. Also,  I want to have things lined up properly and know what paperwork we should ask for, if we do it. I have never posted pictures of my children online myself, so I would not be thrilled to give someone else license to do so. My teens do have social media accounts and post pictures of themselves, but that is much different to me than offering a portfolio of photos of my daughter to someone else.

DD17 showed me some pictures he put on Instagram, but it's been awhile. I'll look at them again. I don't think he has a website, because right now he is just a hobbyist, but I will find out.

I'm not worried about any timeline for getting the pictures done. She goes to a small private school and won't need to give them senior photos for the yearbook until sometime in the spring. So if we have these pictures taken, and they are great, and we decide we don't need professional photos, that would be fine. But I told her that I may want professional photos done as well.

Just so that you are aware, every photographer owns the copyright to any image he or she shoots as soon as it's shot.  In the case of a studio (such as lifetouch) it's the studio that owns the copyright, but whoever has the copyright has the right to post, print or share any photo they take, regardless of any sort of "release" or not.  So any person you have take her pics will have a portfolio of her images to do whatever they want with.  Obviously, this would exclude stuff like porn, as well as stuff like false advertising campaigns and a few other things, but generally, there's nothing about being a "professional" photographer that prevents a photographer from using the photos in a way you don't approve of, except that photographers reputation.  Legally, they don't need a release to use the photos how they want.  

When I shoot a wedding, it's written into the contract that I own the photos and will be posting them on my website, using them in advertising, etc.  If someone specifically requested I don't, then I wouldn't, but there's nothing about that that is binding in any way.  This isn't asking them permission, it's just making sure that they are aware that I will be using them how I want.  

In fact, if you do decide to let this guy do the pics and he gives you a flash drive of images but doesn't give you a copyright release, you might even have problems getting the images printed yourself.  Just because you have the digital images, that doesn't mean you have the right to print them without the photographers permission.  

Edited by happysmileylady
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For what it's worth, this kind of arrangement is extremely common in performing arts circles. Photographers offer to take head shots or other photos for performers for free on the condition that the photographer is allowed to include the photos in his/her portfolio. It's a win-win, because the performer (who is usually far too broke to pay for a good professional photographer) gets the photos and the photographer (who is far too broke to pay for a model) gets samples of his/her work to show to potential paying clients.

My daughter (performer) has done several sessions to get head shots for herself. And my son's girlfriend (aspiring photographer) has done some freebies and some extremely discounted head shots for friends in order to get experience and build her portfolio. 

As others have said, the only sticky part is making sure that everyone understands who has the rights to do what with the photos, and it's best if those agreements are in writing. 

Edited to add: I couldn't remember the shorthand term for this when I posted. It's "TFP," trade for prints (even though it's more commonly digital now, rather than actual prints). I did a quick search for "photography TFP contract" and came up with a bunch of hits with lots of info. Here are a couple: 

https://www.format.com/magazine/resources/photography/tfp-shoot

http://www.vanityaffairphotography.com/blog/the-basics-tfp-contract

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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I am thinking this is bothering you so much that you should just say no.  FWIW, I took my dd's senior pictures in a local park with her iphone, set in Portrait mode, and they were amazing.  And I am no photographer.  That Portrait mode is unbelievably great.  Then I uploaded the pics to Shutterfly, and ordered the sizes I wanted.  Easy peasy and way less than hundreds of dollars.

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For those wondering why she'd be suspicious:

1.  the world of "revenge porn" and such, where images that are NOT adult are photoshopped so the person's head is put onto naked bodies, is a real thing. And a money maker. Someone my DH is in contact with via the world of cyber security has made it her mission to address this issue, help women dealing with it, etc. 

2.  yes, there are men using "I'm a photographer" line to lure young women either into inappropriate photos or just to lure them into their apartment where they seduce or rape them. 

On the other hand - you've told her to do this in a public place, and as long as she keeps to that rule when she looks at the proofs as well or has them sent to her she won't fall victim to #2. And #1 seems very unlikely given she knows this guy, works with him, and can get him fired from his job if he does anything, etc. And the truth is, it can be done without a special photo shoot anyway. 

So you are not paranoid, but given the parameters I wouldn't worry about it, just make sure there is a signed agreement not to sell her images or to make them public anywhere other than his photography website/instagram/portfolio. So I'd let her do it, I wouldn't even have your husband go - just drop her and the friend off and then pick them up. Give her some freedom - just not enough to hang herself with. She's not going to get naked in the park 🙂

But I'd ALSO explain revenge porn and the luring women into unsafe places using seemingly innocuous "bait". Because you need to have VERY frank, detailed, explicit conversations about that NOW, before she goes to college. And that knowing a guy doesn't  mean he won't push for things, and doesn't mean he won't rape. Plenty of women are raped by people they know fairly well, or even have dated. Coworkers in particular. That even as an adult woman you would not go to the private space of a coworker, etc. 

Edited by Ktgrok
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1 hour ago, Storygirl said:

DD17 is naive and has shown some questionable judgement in the near past, so I can't leave this completely up to her to manage.

Absolutely! She was definitely showing her social ignorance and my dd was saying similarly insightful, brilliant things at that age, lol. 

1 hour ago, Storygirl said:

I want to have things lined up properly and know what paperwork we should ask for, if we do it. I have never posted pictures of my children online myself, so I would not be thrilled to give someone else license to do so. My teens do have social media accounts and post pictures of themselves, but that is much different to me than offering a portfolio of photos of my daughter to someone else.

So this is a little in the weeds, but it's stuff that is fair game to ask about, sure. If he's novice, they're things he may or may not have thought through. 

When you take a picture, there is EXIF data. There are also tags a photographer will make when they edit pictures, because it helps them organize their pictures in their software. He might tag the park where the pictures were taken, the geo coordinates (if he has a camera that can do this), her name, or something really generic like "senior portraits". Those tags and bits of info in the meta data are then *searchable* by Google IF HE INCLUDES THEM WHEN HE EXPORTS. 

He also has the ability to make a watermark on the pictures. And he can do what is called right-click protect, depending on where he uploads them.

So given that he is a novice, an amateur, I would not feel at all bad about just asking him flat up whether they'll have personally identifiable information in the meta data, whether they'll be right-click protected, whether they'll be watermarked. 

Remember, google can already identify you by face, meaning they can already connect stuff just with what your kids have posted. It's not like this is inescapable on a functional level. But it is appropriate to ask for normal safety precautions, yes. These are issues professional photographers are keenly aware of, how their photos are tagged in the meta data, how they will search with Google, whether they're creating risk with the metadata, etc. So if he hasn't thought about these things, it's a good learning experience for him to be asked about them. 

So to me, I would be ok with a tag like "senior portraits" or "my state name" because these help the pictures show up when people google for "senior portraits in state" kwim? But I would not be ok with my child's name, precise geo coor, etc. I would expect watermarking and low res pictures online and for you to receive full res shots you're allowed to share as you wish. It's a more expensive type of hosting site that does right-click protect, so I would *not* expect that. That's why the pics that he posts to promote his business will probably be low res with a watermark or his logo or something.

1 hour ago, perkybunch said:

That Portrait mode is unbelievably great. 

Yes it is! And the parks around here are BEAUTIFUL right now. Find some senior shots you like and imitate them. You might need to get up higher and look *down* a bit on her. Or get some depth behind you or some locations with textures. 

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50 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

For those wondering why she'd be suspicious:

1.  the world of "revenge porn" and such, where images that are NOT adult are photoshopped so the person's head is put onto naked bodies, is a real thing. And a money maker. Someone my DH is in contact with via the world of cyber security has made it her mission to address this issue, help women dealing with it, etc. 

2.  yes, there are men using "I'm a photographer" line to lure young women either into inappropriate photos or just to lure them into their apartment where they seduce or rape them. 

On the other hand - you've told her to do this in a public place, and as long as she keeps to that rule when she looks at the proofs as well or has them sent to her she won't fall victim to #2. And #1 seems very unlikely given she knows this guy, works with him, and can get him fired from his job if he does anything, etc. And the truth is, it can be done without a special photo shoot anyway. 

So you are not paranoid, but given the parameters I wouldn't worry about it, just make sure there is a signed agreement not to sell her images or to make them public anywhere other than his photography website/instagram/portfolio. So I'd let her do it, I wouldn't even have your husband go - just drop her and the friend off and then pick them up. Give her some freedom - just not enough to hang herself with. She's not going to get naked in the park 🙂

But I'd ALSO explain revenge porn and the luring women into unsafe places using seemingly innocuous "bait". Because you need to have VERY frank, detailed, explicit conversations about that NOW, before she goes to college. And that knowing a guy doesn't  mean he won't push for things, and doesn't mean he won't rape. Plenty of women are raped by people they know fairly well, or even have dated. Coworkers in particular. That even as an adult woman you would not go to the private space of a coworker, etc. 

Although #1 is totally and completely true, no one needs to pretend to be a photographer to participate in such a thing.  All it takes is an online image that isn't right click protected.  (and even then, I don't know that there is protection against screen shots on any site.)  Although women are primary targets of revenge porn, it can happen to guys too.  Which, the teen in the OP is female, but just as an aside, revenge porn is something we should all be aware of with all of our kids, regardless of who is taking their photos. 

With regards to #2, even with the shoot starting in a public place, it doesn't take much to get vulnerable people to a place where they would be more vulnerable, which is why having a parent or other adult with the OP is a good idea.   The parent doesn't really need to even be near by.  Just.....there.  And a very simple "Hey honey, I will be right over here, it's stupid for me to drive all the way home and then turn right around and drive all the way back" should really be enough and sensible.  

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9 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

When you take a picture, there is EXIF data. There are also tags a photographer will make when they edit pictures, because it helps them organize their pictures in their software. He might tag the park where the pictures were taken, the geo coordinates (if he has a camera that can do this), her name, or something really generic like "senior portraits". Those tags and bits of info in the meta data are then *searchable* by Google IF HE INCLUDES THEM WHEN HE EXPORTS. 

He also has the ability to make a watermark on the pictures. And he can do what is called right-click protect, depending on where he uploads them.

Yes, EXIF data can be turned off when uploading pics to websites.  But not everyone even knows it exists, let alone that the file can carry it when it's uploaded.  But if people do know it exists, then it's not hard to use it to get all sorts of info.  FTR, I think this is something everyone should ask most photographers.  Espeically a new/hobby photographer which may not even know it exists, let alone how to exclude it.

A watermark is a good way to quick and easy make it difficult for images to be used.  Most image upload sites, that I am aware of, offer the ability to include a watermark.  This would prevent an image from being usable (mostly, depending on the water mark) even with a print screen/screen shot image.  I am sure that most people who are snatching images from sites are generally just looking for easy marks, and while removing and photoshopping out a watermark and usually be done, it's not as easy as just taking a non watermarked image.

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OP, if you are in my area (and I don't think you are) I would totally do the senior pics for free.  I haven't done senior pics in a while, except my own kid, and I don't shoot enough out here.  Weather's and leaves are so pretty right now.  

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2 hours ago, Scarlett said:

 And your dh going along is almost too much, but better safe than sorry.  I would suggest your dh stay out of the way so the young photographer can work without the pressure of a dad being too nearby.  

 

It’s not too much for a parent to be there.  Perfectly normal for the parents to tag along.  One of my photography friends even tells the parent, “If you want to be in a couple shots with your child, make sure you wear something nice to the photoshoot,” because it’s expected than a parent will be there. They don’t have to be, but it’s completely normal if they are.

I’ve taken a number of senior portraits for my friend’s kids and usually a parent is there.  They follow us all around the location and watch the proceedings, but stay out of the way.  The parents usually find the whole thing a lot of fun to watch and as long as they’re not trying to direct the subject on where to stand, etc, it’s fine with me and with every photographer I know (I have a bunch of photographer friends.)  I’m ok with them following us around.  

Actually, it can be helpful.  A number of times, the parent has offered to help me carry my camera bag.  🙂

 

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This is all great advice! Thanks! I hope others will benefit from this discussion, too. I know very little about photography, so the information is really helpful.

Before DD left for her afternoon class, I had her text the photographer with questions about release forms and how he intended to use the pictures. I've been trying to get her to do this for awhile. He responded right away in a positive way -- "great questions!" -- and said that he just takes photos as a hobby and has no intention of starting a business, so he wouldn't use them for any advertising, etc. He said he would like to be able to post a few shots on his IG story (not his feed), but he won't, if we don't want him to. He does not have a release form but would be happy to make one.

We told DD that she could agree to the date and time for the photos, and we will get back to him about the release form, after DH and I have a chance to talk it over.

I don't have real fears about the photos being misused, or DD being put in a compromising position, because I think the odds of either of those things occurring are small. But I'm a cautious sort, so I like to be careful and know what we are getting into. Perhaps most importantly, I wanted to model to DD that it's okay to ask people questions about their intentions, and that it's important to look out for one's own safety.

I imagine that whichever parent goes with her will wait in the parking lot, or take a walk. I don't picture us hovering over the photo shoot. Just that we will be there. If the friend is still able to go, I'm sure she will watch.

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4 minutes ago, Garga said:

 

It’s not too much for a parent to be there.  Perfectly normal for the parents to tag along.  One of my photography friends even tells the parent, “If you want to be in a couple shots with your child, make sure you wear something nice to the photoshoot,” because it’s expected than a parent will be there. They don’t have to be, but it’s completely normal if they are.

I’ve taken a number of senior portraits for my friend’s kids and usually a parent is there.  They follow us all around the location and watch the proceedings, but stay out of the way.  The parents usually find the whole thing a lot of fun to watch and as long as they’re not trying to direct the subject on where to stand, etc, it’s fine with me and with every photographer I know (I have a bunch of photographer friends.)  I’m ok with them following us around.  

Actually, it can be helpful.  A number of times, the parent has offered to help me carry my camera bag.  🙂

 

Yes, I would have NO issue if a parent is there for a senior photo shoot.  In fact, thinking on it a bit......I struggle to imagine a parent NOT being there.  But, I came from a commercial studio background where we weren't allowed to do a shoot for anyone under 18 without a parent.  

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20 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

OP, if you are in my area (and I don't think you are) I would totally do the senior pics for free.  I haven't done senior pics in a while, except my own kid, and I don't shoot enough out here.  Weather's and leaves are so pretty right now.  

Awww! So nice of you to offer!!! I'm grateful, even though we can't take you up on it.

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I do a fair number of senior sessions, and it sounds like a pretty typical situation with a young hobbyist photographer. I personally would not be worried at all, especially with a parent there. Honestly, the kids take soooo many pictures of each other daily without calling it a photoshoot. This is just making it kind of formal, I guess. 🙂 He may give her a flash drive, though online delivery is pretty common now. He probably just wants to post on Instagram. Sure, the photos could be manipulated into something sinister, but that's true of the many many phone photos that the typical teen produces and posts daily.

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Yes, I would have NO issue if a parent is there for a senior photo shoot.  In fact, thinking on it a bit......I struggle to imagine a parent NOT being there.  But, I came from a commercial studio background where we weren't allowed to do a shoot for anyone under 18 without a parent.  

One time I mentioned to a male photographer friend that I had taken senior portraits of my friend’s 17 yo son alone.  I had known the kid for a decade and my family is good friends with his family. My photographer friend was aghast and cautioned me not to take pictures of minors without the parents there.  

I didn’t feel like it was a big deal, being that we were family friends and all, but I can see how it can be an issue for a professional photographer (probably especially a male) taking pictures of teenaged minors alone.  If I was a professional and not a hobbyist who takes pictures for friends only, then I would probably have a rule that a parent/guardian must be present on site for senior portraits of minors.

 

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1 hour ago, Garga said:

One time I mentioned to a male photographer friend that I had taken senior portraits of my friend’s 17 yo son alone.  I had known the kid for a decade and my family is good friends with his family. My photographer friend was aghast and cautioned me not to take pictures of minors without the parents there.  

I didn’t feel like it was a big deal, being that we were family friends and all, but I can see how it can be an issue for a professional photographer (probably especially a male) taking pictures of teenaged minors alone.  If I was a professional and not a hobbyist who takes pictures for friends only, then I would probably have a rule that a parent/guardian must be present on site for senior portraits of minors.

 

Well, and that's where it gets into........ya know.....things.

The truth is, there are statistical reasons for woman to be more wary of being alone with male photographers than there are for 17yr old males to be alone with adult female photographers.  It's just a statistical reality.

Having said that, even outside of statistical reality, CYA generally says alone is probably not a great idea, regardless of genders.  

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3 hours ago, Storygirl said:

I imagine that whichever parent goes with her will wait in the parking lot, or take a walk. I don't picture us hovering over the photo shoot. Just that we will be there. If the friend is still able to go, I'm sure she will watch.

Yeah, I'm with Garga that it's much better to stay right there. It's just better for everyone. This is not something where you're being intrusive, like following them on a date or something, lol. They should be visible to you at all times. Besides, she might need help with her hair or have a sweater or personal item she wants to take along. She needs a mule. :smile:

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I didn't read all the responses.  I did some modeling as a tween/teen.  I remember my modeling agency sent out this warning letter to be very careful what sort of photography releases you sign because if it's blanket and you don't get photo approval a photographer can do things like hide cameras in the dressing room and sell the nudes.  Apparently this happened to someone.  The photos were sold to some porn magazine, and eventually weren't published because she was underage but if she had been 18 there would have been nothing she could have done about it.  These were in the days before the internet was widespread the way it is now.  So anyway my main concern would be how blase she is being about this, not this particular man.

And if DH went with her and she changed in places this guy couldn't have been I think it would be fine.  Technically if she doesn't sign a photo release he can't sell pictures of her (IN THE USA, other countries have much different rights).  But he could post them online.

As an old mom now, but having been a kid like that I don't think I understood how much most men had ulterior motives. I would absolutely not let her go anywhere alone with him,

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20 hours ago, Storygirl said:

This is all great advice! Thanks! I hope others will benefit from this discussion, too. I know very little about photography, so the information is really helpful.

Before DD left for her afternoon class, I had her text the photographer with questions about release forms and how he intended to use the pictures. I've been trying to get her to do this for awhile. He responded right away in a positive way -- "great questions!" -- and said that he just takes photos as a hobby and has no intention of starting a business, so he wouldn't use them for any advertising, etc. He said he would like to be able to post a few shots on his IG story (not his feed), but he won't, if we don't want him to. He does not have a release form but would be happy to make one.

We told DD that she could agree to the date and time for the photos, and we will get back to him about the release form, after DH and I have a chance to talk it over.

I don't have real fears about the photos being misused, or DD being put in a compromising position, because I think the odds of either of those things occurring are small. But I'm a cautious sort, so I like to be careful and know what we are getting into. Perhaps most importantly, I wanted to model to DD that it's okay to ask people questions about their intentions, and that it's important to look out for one's own safety.

I imagine that whichever parent goes with her will wait in the parking lot, or take a walk. I don't picture us hovering over the photo shoot. Just that we will be there. If the friend is still able to go, I'm sure she will watch.

Yes, this.

She needs to start thinking ahead a little bit to possibilities that could put her in odd positions.

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