The answer in a nutshell; The photographer owns your escort photos
It’s assumed that when you pay for photos that you own the photos, but this is not the case.
The copyright to the photos remains with the photographer.
This means that you cannot reproduce the photograph in any means or medium, without the photographer’s consent.
The extent to which you can use your photographs is limited by what has been agreed upon between the Model, Agency and Photographer.
The photographer, as the copyright owner of their photographs, can dictate terms for reproducing their work including where it may appear and for how long. Using photos beyond the purposes originally agreed is a breach of the photographer’s copyright.
You can only use the photos in places and on mediums as agreed with the photographer. Escort photographers know you will be using them for escort sites however you cannot use them for say a magazine submission or use them in your own lingerie store.
Without the photographer agreeing to the photos to be used in a commercial endeavor outside of their original intended purpose, you are in breach of both copyright and contract law.
If you wish to own your photos then you need to discuss with a photographer and have a written contract in place.
You need to consult a lawyer for such a contract and in most cases, the cost of the photos will increase significantly (Many photographers have boilerplate contracts for the transfer of rights).
If you work with an agency or establishment and they arranged a photo shoot, the possession of the rights to the photos and the agreement is in place between the agency/establishment and the photographer.
You are simply the model & the photo ownership is not yours. So you cannot take the photos and use them yourself without breaking copyright and contract law.
If you stop working with an agency/establishment you cannot take photos that they arranged for you and use them for your own purpose without their permission
You cannot use them on advertising sites or on your social media without breaking copyright law and the site you use to post the pictures is also breaking the law by allowing them to be posted.
It doesn’t matter if you are the model in the photo unless you have permission to use them, you are breaking the laws.
To stop any confusion, clearing up copyright ownership from the outset is the best way to deal with this problem, you can do this by covering yourself with a written contract.
If there is no contract in place between yourself & the photographer then you need to abide by standard photography copyright law or you may find yourself in hot water.
You can read more about photographs and copyright laws of photographs on www.copyright.org.au
A big Thank you to one of my favourite photographers Chippy for helping me with this blog post and shedding light on an issue that most of us had no clue about