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Working with Photographers

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Working with Photographers

Post by Geekophile on Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:53 pm

Ok, so I have reached out and made some contacts with photographers to do some painting in trade for photos. I actually have one shoot under my belt and another set up for this week. But I've found a complication. Now, Shannon warned me that sometimes photographers will take the photos and run- never sending your copies. That's not what happened here (thank goodness) but it's a little touchier. The photographer sent me the photos, and I love them but every single one is watermarked with her logo. Now, on the one hand that's great because it shows that I work closely with other professionals- gives me cred. But on the other hand, I can't really use the photos for my own promotions with her name blazoned across it where my name should be. The idea was that we could both use these images- it was a belly painting and I specifically mentioned a brochure to put out at the birthing center. I know copywrites are a touchy subject for photographers, but what if I wanted to use it as a car wrap? I certainly wouldn't want it to say "Joe Schmo's Photography" on the back of my corrolla just as she wouldn't want "Sophie's Smiley Faces" on the back of her car. I don't mind crediting the artist, but I would want the option to do it discreetly, ya know? So what do you think? Would I be wrong to ask for the images sans watermark? And how can I keep this from happening with the other photographers I choose to trade with?
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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by debranewmanart on Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:58 pm

Why not simply ask politely? As for future shoots, let them know beforehand.

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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by Mehndi Masala on Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:59 pm

For this type of thing I get both water marked for my site and facebook, and plain for adverts and posters. If you put it in just that way, they should understand. I go over several things with my photographer. One is the releases, but the second is what I need out of the shoot. They can get all artsy all they want AFTER I get what I call the 'product shots'. Clear shots of my work that is not shadowed, hidden by props, etc. I may prefer the art shots later, but I want to know that I have the shots I need before the paint gets trashed or otherwise beaten up!

They know what I want the shots for and I ask them for a banner or create one for them and let them know part of the deal is that they have a link under the links page of my website under 'friends of...'. If you guys worked the usual deal where the model gets shots for herself, the photographer gets thier promo shots, and you get yours, it's unresonable for them to think that the watermark is splashed across the artwork anymore than it's good for your logo to be splashed across his photos so he cannot use them. If they are unusable to you, then his/her part of the bargain is unmet. Be clear and nice and let them know it's not becuase you are going to profit per se from the pix or anything, you just need clean pix for your purposes and the photog byline will be super small beside or in other places.
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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by Noella on Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:05 pm

It may have just been the "proofs" so you could see which ones you like best so they can give you a best resolution (non watermarked) version of the one you are going to put on your brochure (with credit). Ask?
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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by Gretchen on Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:17 pm

Yeah, that was my first thought too...were they just the proofs that you received? If so they do that on everything, then you order your final prints or files. I'd either ask nicely if you can get them without watermarks so that they are useable for your business, or "play dumb" and say "I love the proofs you sent...please let me know what the next step is to order the final files with photo release from you so that I can use them(minus the watermarks)?"
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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:54 pm

The deal should be that you get photos that YOU can use, so that means no watermark. At the most a copyright in small print across the bottom as a photographer credit would be okay, at least with me.

Assume they are proofs and ask for useable files... like the others said.

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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by Geekophile on Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:41 pm

I'm pretty sure that in this case it was just not something she was thinking about and she will give me the uncredited shots if I ask. I just wasn't sure if this was the norm when working with photographers or not. Should I try for a written agreement in the future?
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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:14 pm

I haven't used a contract yet. I've been lucky with most of the photographers I've worked with. I know to take my own photos at every shoot, if I want to make sure I have some to use.

I have worked with several pros and most do not have a problem with me taking my own shots, I just don't have the benefit of the lighting as they have it set with their equipment.

The one I am working with now is great... he makes sure to take photos specifically of what I want featured even though it is completely his shoot, I'm just working for him.

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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by Geekophile on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:06 pm

Hmmm. Maybe I DO need to get this stuff in writing. I sent her polite request for the photos so I could use them specifically for brochures and she responded that she would "have to think about it." And that it was her understanding that the shoot was to be used for "cross promotions and possible collaborations on paid gigs." But to me using her logo in my advertising (rather than a discreet photo by:) just, I don't know. It doesn't sit right. I'll keep you posted on the outcome of this, but tonight I'm writing up a Trade Agreement so it is crystal clear for the next time!
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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:28 pm

Send her a bill. State seeing that you did not get usable photos without her watermark you will have to bill her for your services. Then say you will accept non-marked images in lieu.

Cross-promotion doesn't mean she plasters her watermark on them... it means, credit is given and she is acknowledged by name whenever the photos are used.... geesh.

How do you benefit in her mind??

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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by jennvangogh on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:14 am

Wow I never thought about a scenario like this. I just did a barter with a photographer and thank goodness this didnt happen to me. I would ask her to put your watermark all over her photos for her profile in exchange then. Tit for tat... if she doesnt agree then isnt she stealing or using your work without permission. It goes both ways doesnt it? If there is no written contract protecting you from her so I would assume it goes both ways and she doesnt have the right to use your art on her promotions and protfolios then. Maybe ask her to stop using the photo of your work then if your half of the bargain is not met. Might give her something else to "think about"

I would hope all artists would be respectful and mindful or other artists and understand though. Aren't people thoughtful anymore?? Geez whats wrong with people nowadays!!
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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by Griffinblue on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:25 am

I cannot believe she's so selfish! Wow, I never would have thought of that happening.
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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by Geekophile on Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:56 am

I have permission to use her watermarked photos in any way that I wish- which is super I guess. But it means that what ever I put it on directly advertises for her- not just gives credit. and if I use it as a primary photo on my postcards I'm afraid people will think they are contacting the photographer- or that I work exclusively with that photographer. Like I said, I don't mind it for use in most applications. But we did this as a [/i]trade, so I don't think one artist should have greater claim to the images than the other. By insisting on use of her logo she is restricting my use of the image. Unfair.

I haven't heard her answer yet, but my hairs are prickling. I think this may not be so much fun after all. I did get my model release signed by the mother (the photographer did not) and one quick snap with my cell phone camera- (which is all I have and why I am keen to trade for photos.) So if all else fails I can just use that.
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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by SuzySparkles on Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:44 am

Take all of the photos... Put your watermark on them (obnoxiously of course) Then email them back to her and tell her that she is to use the photos with both watermarks only.

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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by Manabanana on Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:46 am

WOW geek. I would be livid!!!! I would totally send a bill or suggest that the non-watermarked photos would sufice. I'm bad a letting people know exactly what I think, but then again people know I dont except less then what is deserved. I would call her. Email is so impersonal and you cant really tell how the mannerism of the email is. Calling lets them know you mean business and you want it resolved now. If no response send a bill by certified mail.

That's how I roll Twisted Evil

this is how we learn though. Protect yourself next time and make every party involved sign a waiver, including the photographer. Saves time confusion and being taken advantage of.

Good luck!

p.s. I love my 2 friends (professional photographers) being my photographers. Had one shoot already with one last month another with her in october. And 3 with the other one in the next 2 months. Another of my husband's friend reached out, she specializes in maternity photos and asked my rates. YAY!

Good luck again Geek! flower
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Re: Working with Photographers

Post by Geekophile on Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:32 pm

Got the reply guys. And I re-started this train-of-thought in the "where's the beef" section. Evil or Very Mad
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