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This is a problem kicking around for quite a while, and I’m finally pissed about any of it. It’s assistants capturing their mouths off about photographer’s proprietary information, things they see and should just keep their mouths zipped about. The latest example is a person who requires a swift kick in the pants, and has (supposedly) given enough information that it would be very easy to narrow down who he could be.

So, let’s assume that this idiot is merely the latest in rumor mongering that occurs on models. What do we do about it? I can let you know that I have had to signal several multi-page non-disclosure contract (a.k.a. From law companies to manufacturers with new products being photographed, to software companies I had been speaking with, NDA’s are a way of life. My assistants too have had to sign these same documents. I am certain that Annie signed one as well (and has many many times), and this purportedly 5th Assistant was a one-off pickup for your day, and was not asked to sign one probably. But does that matter?

Probably legally yes, but morally and ethically, it doesn’t matter. Press releases are regularly embargoed from release but delivered to give reporters time to analyze and file stories once the embargo is lifted. When Steve Jobs announced the iPod, Time Magazine authorized NDA’s to do the photography for the cover and the reporters do too to report and test drive it beforehand. How then, can you impress upon those who find themselves supporting you with this need and obligation?

Make them signal a legal document saying they’ll keep their mouth shut. I am not an attorney, nor will i play one on tv, but more than one friend has recommended I should be one. To that end, I’ve drafted something that needs to be a fairly good starting place for you to review and modify to best work for you.

  • Reduces missing shares situations
  • “Safety First is Safety Always.” – Charles M. Hayes
  • Be Fearless
  • Define a common platform for communicating task status in conditions of business commitments
  • A. Atallah, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, 15 April 2001
  • Need to submit document for fraud and security check
  • 12 Copy estimate

Before the commencement of the assignment, I must have a non-disclosure contract on file for you. This agreement essentially states that by signing you have agreed to keep confidential the info, products, or persons that you see, is/are discussed, or revealed to you while on the task in any other case. I’ve attached a PDF of this document. And you then send along a modified version of the Assistant’s NDA that I published. This NDA is a variance on previous NDA’s I have authorized, taking parts from them, and making them suitable to an helper who is working for a professional photographer either once, or on a continuing basis.

It need only be authorized once for assistants who regularily work for you, as it remains in effect until cancelled. You can even use this with minimal modifications to apply to stylists, makeup individuals, location managers, companies, and so on. In addition, you may also consider using a variation on this Assistant’s Contract which outlines what you anticipate, and the actual assistant can get, when payment is usually to be made, etc.

Maybe this guy just made this up, this time. But he serves as a shining exemplory case of the blow-hards before him (and, sadly, after him). How will this influence Annie legitimately? She could be in some hot water if this is true. She (because someone with whom she contracted did so) breached the NDA. The 5th assistant is judgement proof therefore will skate.