Contractual and ethical wars in the modeling industry



By Ramadhani Ismail

These days, these models will blow your mind as soon as you open an Instagram post. Most of them know how to highlight their beauty, pose and flaunt themselves.

Some come and go, stick in the public’s mind for a season while another part tries to stay in the spotlight and keep rolling, making the most of their modeling and modeling careers. photographer.

Before the advent of social media, photographers and videographers relied heavily on the television and magazines available at the time because it was difficult for them to find clients if your work was invisible to the public.

The problem is, both parties are likely not to be aware of their business limits until they reach the point of sharing images that they have not agreed to.

If you have followed closely, you will find that for a long time there has been a pattern of models and photographers exchanging words on the internet when they are done with their work. This is often the result of a delay in sharing the final product or using photographs without express permission.

This profession has received a bad reputation due to the fact that many do not go to school and that is why such things happen.


A large number of videographers and photographers are trained on the streets but do not have enough knowledge about the legal bases or ethics of photography for models, news or advertising.

This has led to poor situational judgment between photographers and models and a complete lack of professional ethics.

The challenges of photographers

There is so much that photographers face, one of the most important things is money, bad writing or complete lack of contracts and sexual corruption.

Sexual corruption

There are times when a model comes to pick up a photographer with the intention of working well with him but at the end of the day, once the job is done, the model uses her beauty to seduce the photographer in order to erase the debt. .

Payment after work

Since their job involves verbal agreement, it becomes very difficult to negotiate in front of law enforcement when a dispute arises. It has become common for models to enjoy working with great photographers and then leave behind a debt that poses a serious challenge later.


There is a very small percentage of photographers or videographers who go the extra mile to draft contractual agreements with their clients.

Many rely on verbal contracts, which are often more difficult when they go to court.

Albert Manifester: photographer and videographer

Albert Manifester, who still does wedding, commercial, fashion, journalistic, maternity and portrait photography, gave us a picture of how the industry works and how certain issues sometimes lead to conflict between photographer. and models.

Model in Tanzania

He confirms that in our country there are rarely official contracts between a model (client) and a photographer, although the option to be professional like him is always there and one can create a contract to share with his client before doing so. Business.

“From what I know and my professional experience, there are usually no formal contracts between models and photographers, but in my work I use contracts, especially when photographing weddings,” Manifester said.

“One of the biggest challenges is that there are models who want to be introduced to the fashion world for visibility and these are often the ones who prove difficult when photographers use their photos on their own. profit, “he explains. .

Before and after the photo is published

The number one aspect that any professional photographer should understand is that the photo is generally the property of your client and you are not supposed to use it for personal use without their consent.

Manifest adds that exhibiting your model’s photo on social media or elsewhere is not the right way to go, as the main reason this person has chosen to work with you is that they trust your work ethic. .

Prince Bern Art: Nudity, fashion and culture photographer.

Prince Bern Art is a photographer who works with different companies to create documentaries but does photo shoots with models and other clients.

Speaking with Life & Style, Bern art explains that a huge percentage of freelance working models in Tanzania are willing to do just about anything to climb the career ladder.

Based on his experience taking nude photos, models tend to want to take the option of having sex with him in order to sort out their financial problems.

“One of the biggest challenges is when taking nude photos, the models get too alluring and if you’re not engaged in your job you’ll end up having a free photoshoot,” Prince said.

Since many players in the industry rely on verbal contracts, Prince admits he’s had serious problems posting photos of a model after failing to pay their bill.

He admits to doing it as a remedy to make up for the time and resources he used to complete the job.

The challenges facing models

The modeling industry is notoriously fierce. It has long been plagued by allegations of abuse of underage girls, lack of diversity, sexual harassment, promotion of an unhealthy lifestyle and just about any other horrible cliché ever attributed to fashion.

So many women are reduced to compromising their physical and often mental health for the advancement of their careers. This means that sometimes they don’t even have access to a good meal.

The limits of what a model should be are too black and white, leaving little room for error or individuality.

Khanifa Marry: works through agencies

Khanifa, who has worked for modeling agencies for about a year, says the most common challenge she faces with business is delay or lack of financial support.

“Most agencies charge high fees and charge models for every communication they are supposed to make in order to promote them. On top of that, a model should cover their travel, accommodation and other costs while they are working, ”says Khanifa.

“I don’t think it would be an acceptable situation in other areas of work that require traveling and staying in hotels in different cities,” she added.

Sometimes models who work through agencies hear talk like “you have to trust me” or “you are going to make that much money someday”, and still see no pay.

Shanny Diana: Nudes and Model

Doing a nude photo shoot is a big challenge when the photographer is a man and does not have a woman on his team.

Shanny clarifies the air that these are the same photographers who expose them for lack of having completed their payment.

Most of the time the photographers contact us to do a photoshoot but in the end they want us to pay them, which is not acceptable.

“Photographers are mean because they check you out on your social media and explain that they want to do a free session with you, but in the end they post photos without knowing our family background or work activities, which can lead to disputes, ”Shanny said.

Legality of consent

However, posting photos that include someone’s likeness may require a model’s consent. Typically, a model release is only required if the way the photo is posted gives the impression that the person in the photo endorses the product, service, or organization.

What should be understood is that a model release would almost always be required if used for advertising purposes.

Abeid Abeid: Lawyer

Abeid confirms that in Tanzania there is no official law governing the modeling and photography industry with regard to the issue of contracts.

Abeid attests that most of these companies use verbal contracts, although sometimes, when both agree, financial contracts can be made.

One of the most difficult cases in court involves people who have verbal contracts because it is the word against the other, which makes it difficult to determine who is right.

Tips for making sure both parties are safe under the law

Abeid lists some simple tips that will help photographers and models do their business in a mutually beneficial way.

Always use a contract which, as an option to release the model

In the contract, try to include a simple version of the template. By having a contract with your clients that includes model permission, you will be able to use photos of your wedding, portraits, or other clients on your website and on social media and whatever the contract allows.

Do not do paid filming without a contract

Models should understand this as much as possible, as failure to do so can lead to contradictions that may arise in circumstances where the posting of photos has taken place without permission or concern.

If a model’s photo containing nude photos is published, cybercrime law is there to protect the model.

Cybercrime law

Some of the offenses identified in this law include sending information without the consent of the person, distributing sexually explicit images, computer fraud, identity-related offenses, forgery related to computer problems and distribution of child pornography.

The law states that anyone found distributing pornography, immorality and insults will be fined at least 30 million shillings or imprisoned for a period of 10 years, while a person who Distributing pornography will be punished with a fine of at least 20 million shillings or imprisonment for up to seven years.

Models and photographers should be open to each other about their activities and expectations while working within the limits set by law.

They both need to understand that what they’re going to do is behave like one.



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