hot water

The model, the photographer, and the album cover

Vampire Weekend - Contra

Well, this is a curious one. It seems as if Vampire Weekend, whom I happened to see on Sunday when they headlined at Latitude, the photographer Tod Brody, and Vampire Weekend’s record company have found themselves in hot water over the photograph of a young woman used on the cover of band’s album, Contra.

It’s the sort of thing that happens when you use a picture of someone for commercial purposes without their consent, which is precisely what Ann Kirsten Kennis—amodel back in the 1980s and 1990s—is alleging. Whilst Brady is claiming that he took the photo as a test shot in 1983, Kennis’ lawyers say that it is more likely that her mum took the picture using a Polaroid camera. They aren’t really sure, though, and don’t know how Brody came to be in possession of the image. Even more odd: the model release that Brady submitted to support the photograph names the model as one Kirsten Johnsen.

Kennis is claiming $2 million in damages whilst Brady is claiming that Kennis has slandered and defamed him.

Hmm. I shall be intrigued to know how this one works out. It might be a while yet. The defendants have not yet submitted a response to Kennis’ allegations and a court date hasn’t been set.

(Thanks Photo District News)