It is quite a
compliment for a photographer to be asked if an artist could use their
image for a reference photo for a painting.
The important thing
is to ask! There are copyright laws specifically made to protect the
artist/photographer and their ownership of their work. Some people
think because an image is posted online it is ‘fair use.’ No it
is not. (This is the reason I put my mark on nearly every image I
post online. For both protection and identification.)
Last year, my second
cousin Ellen Freeman Mac Arthur asked for my permission to use one of
my photos for a painting. I gave it to her along with my blessing to
use any of my photos she wished, as long as I know which ones.
I had been curious
about the painting and finally got to see it at our recent 2018
Stearns Family Reunion. I loved it! Very beautiful and very charming.
She plans to add more leaves (perhaps real pressed ones) and I look
forward to seeing it then. She is very good and I am honored she
chose to use my photograph.
I share this photo
here with the artist's blessing.
Thank you Ellen!
(It looks much better in person!)
If someone wants to
use one of my photographs as a reference photo, just ask. I will
probably say yes. But the important thing to do is ask. It is the
right and legal thing to do.
I have asked people
in the past and have been granted permission. Some of them I used and
when I do, I give them the credit for the image. Some are still in
folders awaiting when I get to them.
I have also used
multiple elements of different photos to create my own work, but by
the time I am done, they are changed so much they are ‘mine.’
I confess that
when I first began painting, I used a few images of people (such as
Janis Joplin and Helena Bonham Carter) and did not ask permission.
For this reason… the work (aka as ‘Fan Art’) will never be
available for sale. They stay in personal collections. But, as much
as I can, I prefer to use my own images as reference photos for my
I haven’t been
painting much lately but now that I have more time I am getting ready
to begin again. And, since I have been focusing on photography the
last couple of years, I have plenty of my own photos. Should be fun!