You Don’t Have The “Rights” 2 Exhibit That Picture

So I was at a colleague’s exhibition stand on December 6 at Eko Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria. The turnout of potential clients that showed up at the exhibition was impressive. While I was busy admiring some of the pictures being exhibited, a young gentleman walked into the exhibition booth. He had been drawn from afar by the picture of a beautiful model on a runway. Apparently the photographer was one of those commissioned to take pictures at the recently concluded MTN-sponsored Fashion show in Lagos, Nigeria. The pictures were “WOW” & the photographer decided to exhibit about 10 of them. One of the pictures stood out among the rest and it was the one that caught the attention of the gentleman. While he was admiring the model’s picture, you would not believe who showed up. Take a wild guess…..guess again… Twas the model herself. I couldn’t believe it myself. Twas then I was reminded of how “pictures” have the tendency to LIE. Looking at the the picture, I would have sworn by my beautiful wife that the model was 6 ft 2inches; in real life she was just about 5ft 8inches or there about. She looked bustier in the picture than in real life. Hey, I’m just describing what I saw (stop looking at me like that). She was fairer in the picture than what I was seeing in real life. Dont get me wrong, it wasn’t as if she was not beautiful in person; its just that there was a noticeable difference. Infact the reason I knew she was the model was because she told us when she got to the exibition stand. “That’s me” she said. And I was like “get out of here” (jokingly ofcourse). She was actually excited that her picture was being exhibited. Up till that moment she had never met the photographer and had no idea whatsoever that she’ll meet her “other self” being exhibited that very day. She was so happy that the photographer decided that the exhibited pictures will be given to her at the end of the exhibition; kind of like a severnoir. And then she was off; off to see other creative artists in the exhibition hall. It wasn’t until after she left that the gentleman I mentioned earlier asked the photographer why she was exhibiting someone’s pictures without the person’s permission. The photographer was attempting to explain to him that she (the photographer is a lady) had the right to showcase the picture considering the conditions under which it was taken (a fashion show i.e.). Apparently the gentleman was the type of guy that likes to win every argument he gets into (in which case I would be mistaken to refer to him as a gentleman). He should have studied law. Come to think of it, maybe he’s a lawyer…because he was almost shouting “You Don’t Have The “Rights” 2 Exhibit That Picture. If I was the model’s agent, I would sue your a**.” For him, the situation got personal. I had to caution my colleague to keep quiet and just admit to him that what he’s saying is true….if not, I could have sworn the gentleman was already loosing his temper and anything could happen. I know at least one of the party here is wrong: either the photographer or the gentleman or both. Question is what do you think & what would you do if you were the photographer that’s being accused? for daily photography-related tips and articles, visit


  1. D'mayo · January 10, 2012

    So far the Subject that is been Photographed is in a Public Space you the right to take a Photograph and exhibit it. Most people don’t know the Laws that Govern Photography as a Profession


  2. Linda Adigun · January 12, 2012

    The ignorant ”gentleman” was very wrong. But since the customer is king (one lousy maxim i learned working in the bank), you do not argue with him. Let him win his ”case” and perhaps his massaged ego may come asking you to do a portraiture for him someday.


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