My girlfriend has a very particular eyes iris diaphragm and we have photographed it with an appropriate camera, to be applied on t-shirts. Can we get the exclusivity on the image use?

Undoubtedly it is possible to use the photograph in an exclusive way, protected by the law on copyright. The original and creative images benefit of an appropriate protection and the authors can claim all rights simply by applying on t-shirts, under the photo, the text “copyright by” followed by the name of the owner’s rights, the place and date of publication. In this specific case, though, there could be some problems should the photographer claim some rights over the photograph taken, in the case that the picture has original features. In fact, the rights of the portrayed person are added to the rights of who takes the pictures. It would be advisable then, as the work is carried out on commission, to have a releasing clause given by the photographer in order to avoid any future unpleasant effects. However, for better guarantee, the image would have to be deposited at the SIAE as unedited work and, even better, registered as a trademark. It is possible, with the trademark registration, to commercialize the image, and apply it to the products indicated in this question. It is not necessary to deposit, next to the photo, a name or a particular word, as the registered trademark can have just the graphic. The only precaution is to indicate all the possible ways in which the image/trademark would be used, as the application for the deposited trademark cannot be changed, therefore, if we want to protect any new products in the future, a new trademark application would have to be done.