I want to apply for an exhibition with a series of photos of myself. I did all the set-ups, framing and choosing the space and everything was done with my camera. However I had my friend take the photos because my concept was about including myself in the photos and in the environment.

Are these photos are considered as my art?

P.S. my friend doesn't have any claim on them.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Might be better to ask on law.SE, and to give your country of jurisdiction. \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Sep 10, 2016 at 17:20
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Did your friend do it just as a favour, or did you pay them? If you paid them, it's much easier to answer the question. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 11, 2016 at 7:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not a direct answer, but if your friend doesn't make any claim to the photos, you could always ask them to transfer to you any rights to the photos they may have. For the U.S., see page 6 of the Copyright Office Circular 1. That should get you on a solid footing for what is an iffy situation. As always, though, keep in mind the standard disclaimer: IANAL. \$\endgroup\$
    – j_foster
    Sep 12, 2016 at 1:18

2 Answers 2


As you did the set-up, the concept and provided the gear, most jurisdictions would consider it your art because your friend acted like an assistant following your directives.

However, you have to check the law of your place. There is no rule of thumb here.


The closest you'd have to any kind of rule of thumb in this area would be who has possession of the originals / raw files. Possession being 9/10th of the law and all that. If it's only you then you're in a strong position, if it isn't then things will get more complicated.


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