Supermodel is ‘Terrified’ of Posting on Instagram After Photographer Sued Her

Paulina Porizkova
Porizkova in 2017.

Former supermodel Paulina Porizkova has revealed that she is now “terrified” of posting on Instagram after she was sued by a photographer.

On Wednesday, Porizkova shared a selfie on Instagram with a lengthy caption explaining that she is only posting her own images on social media now — because she is fearful of photographers suing her.

“One reason I’ve been posting a lot of self generated content lately is because I’m terrified,” Porizkova writes in the caption.

“Of what, you may wonder? Of getting sued. Again.”

‘I Didn’t Even Realize This Was a Thing’

Porizkova — who has over 1.1 million followers on Instagram — describes how her fearfulness started after she was sued by a photographer in 2022 when she shared his photos of Ukraine on social media.

“Here’s the deal. Last year, while posting about the horrors in Ukraine, I used photos I found on Instagram to illustrate the story,” she recalls.

“Six months later, I was slapped with a lawsuit by a law firm on behalf of one photographer. I had used his photo without his approval or without paying for usage.”

The former supermodel says she did not know that reposting a photographer’s images on Instagram was considered copyright infringement at the time. Porizkova also notes that her own pictures are republished frequently.

“Until that point, I didn’t even realize this was a thing- reposting photos from the internet being illegal,” Porizkova states.

“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.

“There are law firms that do nothing but scour social media for dummies like myself who have enough followers to pay up.”

Porizkova says that she managed to reach a settlement with the photographer but the lawsuit ended up being a costly mistake for her.

“We settled out of court, because my best intentions notwithstanding, they were right,” Porizkova writes.

“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!”

Porizkova then apologized to her followers for the plethora of selfies and photographs on her Instagram recently. She said that the quality of the content on her platform would not be improving now because she can no longer post other photographer’s images on her Instagram profile.

She writes: “So, if you find my thread unbearable in its vanity and narcissism already, it’s not gonna get better.”

‘This is How Photographers Survive’

Porizkova’s post received over 31,000 likes and thousands of comments. Several photographers chimed in with their thoughts on the matter and showed their support for the supermodel.

One individual comments: “That’s ridiculous. I’m a photographer and… I would never stoop to suing someone for using one [a photo] without my permission.”

However, another photographer explained that artists needed to be compensated for their images.

“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,” the photographer comments.

“Photographers do not and should not work for free. Years of expertise and knowledge go in to every image.”

Likewise, another commercial photographer argues: “Believe it or not this is how photographers survive. It’s called usage. You want to use one of my creations? You must pay for that right.”

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.