Paulina Porizkova recently shared some insight on why she’s taking a break from posting professional photos to her Instagram.
The former supermodel took to Instagram on Aug. 1 to share a close-up selfie taken first thing in the morning with a lengthy caption.
“One reason I’ve been posting a lot of self generated content lately is because I’m terrified. Of what, you may wonder? Of getting sued. Again,” she began her caption.
In 2022, the former ‘80s supermodel took to Instagram to share a photographer’s photos of the war in Ukraine with her 1.1 million followers.
“Here’s the deal. Last year, while posting about the horrors in Ukraine, I used photos I found on IG to illustrate the story. Six months later, I was slapped with a lawsuit by a lawfirm on the behalf of one photographer. I had used his photo without his approval or without paying for usage,” she said.
“Until that point, I didn’t even realize this was a thing- reposting photos from the internet being illegal. My images are used all the time, and unless someone is trying to sell something with the images, I thought this was fine. It turns out it’s not.”
She noted there are “law firms that do nothing but scour social media for dummies like myself who have enough followers to pay up.”
Porizkova shared that the parties “settled out of court” because her “best intentions notwithstanding, they were right.”
“I did use an unauthorized photo- even if it was carrying on the message I thought the photographer was trying to make – that war is evil. And boy, did that turn out to be an expensive mistake!” she admitted.
The 58-year-old warned her followers they “may want to unfollow” her since she plans to be sticking to pictures of herself going forward.
“For those of you who don’t mind- thank you for taking this journey called life with me. I’m so very grateful for you! #betweenjloandbettywhite #gettingsuedisexpensive,” she concluded. “Yes, this is what I look like in the morning.”
Porizkova’s post sparked commentary from other professional photographers.
“That’s ridiculous. I’m a photographer and… I would never stoop to suing someone for using one [a photo] without my permission,” one user commented.
However, another agreed with the lawsuit, saying, “If we are talking about photographs of Ukraine in wartime, then that would be a photojournalist who is risking their life to go take those pictures.
“Photographers do not and should not work for free. Years of expertise and knowledge go in to every image.”
Since Porizkova’s post at the beginning of the month, she has shared a few new selfies but nothing professionally shot.