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I had an oral agreement with a photographer who did not deliver the services he promised. Just want to know how to resolve it.

Aptos, CA |

I'm a model who posted an ad for a TFP photo-shoot online. TFP is a standard
term in the industry that refers to a mutually beneficial arrangement done so both model and photographer get photos for their portfolio without having to pay the other party, essentially its a trade. This was the term of our agreement and the nature of my ad. We discussed the project specifics and agreed to do a shoot the following week. Overall it took about 4 hours + driving time from my city to San Jose for the shoot. During the shoot we discussed the number of photos I would receive and he also let me flip thru the shots we took so I could select my favorites. At the end I signed a model release and he said he's be in contact. And....I've never received the photos I was promised.

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Attorney answers 3


How long has it been? Is he snubbing you? Create a written record and go from there...



Sometimes he replies, but very very briefly. He won't have a full conversation. Its been about a month and a half, he did send 4 extremely small proofs after some pressure. But their resolution is far too low to be used online or in any project I would need them for. They’re a little bigger than thumbnail size. A model can't use a proof in her portfolio, it's not legitimate. Basically I’m just getting the run around. I’m considering small claims, but my biggest concern is whether the model release can trump the oral contract we made. I don’t think it does, since the nature of the shot and the agreement was to exchange services in the first place. But it’s still a concern.

Scott Richard Kaufman

Scott Richard Kaufman


But what is the retisecnce to sending you pics? Can't cost that much in today's day and age...



I agree. It actually costs him nothing if he does it online. I really have no idea what his issue is. I've been nothing but cordial with him.


I need more facts .Do u have an agent? You have previous shootings with other photographers?
Do you have a portfolio ?this is your first portfolio? Where the photographer is located,his previous jobs? Did you try to check with the site you posted? This and much more .

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I would try to resolve this matter informally at first. Contact the photographer and remind him of your agreement. Let him know that you fulfilled your promises under the contract and that he should do the same. Document all of your attempts to contact him informally (only do it through a letter or at least an email, not over the phone or verbally in person).

If he still does not uphold his end of the bargain, you should hire an attorney and sue him for breach of contract.

I handle this type of work.

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