What rights do I have to photos taken of me as a model without a signed model release?

I am a model and stylist. I modeled and styled for a shoot for a startup online boutique. The entrepreneur owner of the future boutique is inexperienced and did not ask me to sign a model release. It was never stated that I allow my photos to be used for commercial purposes. It has been only a couple days, but I have yet to receive payment for my work. Agreement for payment hast been stated in emails and text messages. I am wondering, in case I do not receive payment, what can I sue for? Also, what rights do I have to the photos, considering I gave no written permission for their use?

Asked on August 12, 2012 under Business Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you do not have a signed release for your photos giving up all interests in them as to your likeness then you own such and your photos cannot be used legally by the third party. If you have not received payment for your likeness then you are entitled to be paid for your time and can bring a legal action as soon as possible in small claims court.


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