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Thread started 17 Aug 2010 (Tuesday) 20:53
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Dilemma with my photographer friend

 
jamesb
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Aug 17, 2010 20:53 |  #1

Nvrmind


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jgogums
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Aug 17, 2010 20:59 |  #2

It's not right vs. wrong IMO. It's what makes you comfortable. It's a transaction, plain and simple and you are not comfortable with the terms. Hopefully your friend will understand that you have put alot of thought into it and doesn't take it personal.




  
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Viva-photography
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Aug 17, 2010 21:05 |  #3

I would never give a client RAW files (unless a magazine, etc)


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maytay20
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Aug 17, 2010 21:10 |  #4

Viva-photography wrote in post #10741187 (external link)
I would never give a client RAW files (unless a magazine, etc)

I would even feel uncomfortable with a magazine. If I was comfortable with it there would be an extra charge involved.




  
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madspartus
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Aug 17, 2010 21:15 |  #5

i dont think you're every out of line if you are uncomfortable with the terms of a contract thats your participating in.

That said, there is a tactful way to deal with that, which it appears you have also done. Now its just a matter of are you willing to let this one time slide for the sake of getting the job done etc. or if its enough for you to stay out of it. Either way your position should be made clear now for the future.


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Aug 17, 2010 21:34 as a reply to  @ madspartus's post |  #6

James, I hope that I would have handled the situation as well as you did.

Personally, I am of like opinion as Jared in the matter of turning over RAWs: only to Commercial clients, and then only through a well negotiated contract, vetted by a contract attorney.


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strmrdr
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Aug 17, 2010 22:06 |  #7

there isn't anything he can mess up with the raw files he cant mess up with jpgs so what is the big deal?

raw file == negative is a silly comparison in my opinion, and when I was in the business we gave out thousands of negatives with packages anyway.


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Sam6644
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Aug 17, 2010 22:08 |  #8

If I get the amount of money I want, I don't think I'd really care.


I'd charge extra for it though... or not waste my time editing photos for him at regular price.


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jamesb
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Aug 17, 2010 22:47 |  #9

Thanks guys. I have been friends with him for many years. I don't want him to take this the wrong way. He called me a little while ago but I wasn't able to answer so I will be talking to him tomorrow to hear what he thinks about it. The email I sent him was below. The only reason I sent an email and didn't call him is so I can express how I feel in detail without forgetting to mention anything on the phone. Sometimes it is easier to get my thoughts out in writing.

Hey so and so,

So, I was thinking about the meeting we just did and have to say i'm not comfortable with what was agreed upon. When I saw your note on the client asking for the unedited RAW files, I mentioned on the way there that I don't want to give a client these files. I tried to explain why I think it is a bad idea. We, the photographers, are getting paid to edit the images to our standards. Giving the client the unedited files allows them to manipulate them however they choose, which could reflect badly back on us and possibly cause us to lose future clients. From checking around, some photographers charge per file if they even give unedited images out at all. I, like other photographers, do not want unedited photos winding up being seen by other potential clients. There is a divide among wedding photographers on this issue and i'm on the side that I DO NOT think it is ok to give away your "digital negatives", or unedited RAW files. I didn't think it was appropriate for me to mention this with the client sitting there, but I tried making it known before hand in the car. If I had known this prior to tonight, in all honesty I would have declined to even go to the meeting.

I don't want to you take this the wrong way. It is your business and I hope you know i'm not trying to tell you how to run it, but I personally don't feel comfortable with this practice. If the client decides to book I think you need to find somebody else who is OK with this and will shoot the wedding in my place.

Right now, with you booking weddings for me to shoot, they are based on your terms. I think we should sit and chat about what you expect from me and what I feel comfortable doing in future weddings.

Thanks for understanding,
Me


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Aug 18, 2010 00:41 |  #10

Although I'm not likely to convince you otherwise, I'd say that you'd want to keep the rights to, and the client forfeits his/her rights to, commercial use of the images from the RAW files if you were to provide the RAW files. I hadn't really considered the providing of RAW files like the providing of film negatives to a client, but I can see that side of the argument. If the client is paying you to use film, I'm sure the client would want those negatives as part of the payment is for the cost of those negatives. Whether or not a client could replicate your post-processing talent is another issue. Some clients want to make their own prints and some pay for others to do it for them. I suppose it comes down to what kind of services you want to provide.



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clupica
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Aug 18, 2010 06:43 |  #11

I agree with you on this, mostly. The contract should prohibit the use of the photos in any commercial context, it should cost extra, you should provide only the images you deem to be of suitable quality. you should provide trhe images as tiff (giving you the abilty to remove blemishes and other imperfections), you should retain all commercial rights, you could even ask for a model release. But msot wedding photos I know don't give out the RAW files. If you give them TIFFs you have a little control on the image quality before turning them over.

--
I disagree with some about it not being a big deal. In the past a significant income for wedding photographers was in providing reprints. This can only happen if the agency retains the negatives. The current version of this is using a service like smugmug. The images are there to see, any one with access can order prints. People get the prints they want and the photographer gets the equivalent of royalties. ANother variation of this is a privately published book using Blurb or a similar service.

--
Not to be a bringer of bad news but I'd say you burned your bridge. It's his call since you shoot for him. In a sense, you're his employee. I would not only find someone to shoot this wedding on my terms, I'd use them to replace you all together. I would't expect much work from him in the future, friend or otherwise.

just my opinion
Charles




  
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adam8080
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Aug 18, 2010 07:53 |  #12

He hired you to shoot for a certain amount of time. Unless I'm missing something, that is it. He (the actual business owner) can do whatever he wants with the photos. He can give them away for free, throw them away, etc. It shouldn't matter to you. Your reputation/business isn't on the line anywhere. The best part of second shooting is showing up, take pictures, get paid, and go home; no more obligation. Now this only applies if this is work for hire. In other words, if you are his employee or have signed away rights to your images.

Now, if you haven't then you still own the copyright to your images, and if you don't like the things done with your images, then you should/can take care of the problem.

But the main thing is if you don't like the rules, then take your ball and go home. Start your own business and do it your way.


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jamesb
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Aug 18, 2010 08:56 |  #13

clupica wrote in post #10743019 (external link)
I agree with you on this, mostly. The contract should prohibit the use of the photos in any commercial context, it should cost extra, you should provide only the images you deem to be of suitable quality. you should provide trhe images as tiff (giving you the abilty to remove blemishes and other imperfections), you should retain all commercial rights, you could even ask for a model release. But msot wedding photos I know don't give out the RAW files. If you give them TIFFs you have a little control on the image quality before turning them over.

--
I disagree with some about it not being a big deal. In the past a significant income for wedding photographers was in providing reprints. This can only happen if the agency retains the negatives. The current version of this is using a service like smugmug. The images are there to see, any one with access can order prints. People get the prints they want and the photographer gets the equivalent of royalties. ANother variation of this is a privately published book using Blurb or a similar service.

--
Not to be a bringer of bad news but I'd say you burned your bridge. It's his call since you shoot for him. In a sense, you're his employee. I would not only find someone to shoot this wedding on my terms, I'd use them to replace you all together. I would't expect much work from him in the future, friend or otherwise.

just my opinion
Charles

I don't think my bridge is burned at all. We have been friends for 10 years and enjoy shooting with each other. We actually have another meeting this Saturday for a wedding he is double booked on as well as shooting a wedding together this Sunday. My issue is nothing was discussed prior to the meeting with the client. As a photographer, to me it seems he feels if he can book them, he will give his RAW files if they request it. No extra charge, nothing.

adam8080 wrote in post #10743242 (external link)
He hired you to shoot for a certain amount of time. Unless I'm missing something, that is it. He (the actual business owner) can do whatever he wants with the photos. He can give them away for free, throw them away, etc. It shouldn't matter to you. Your reputation/business isn't on the line anywhere. The best part of second shooting is showing up, take pictures, get paid, and go home; no more obligation. Now this only applies if this is work for hire. In other words, if you are his employee or have signed away rights to your images.

Now, if you haven't then you still own the copyright to your images, and if you don't like the things done with your images, then you should/can take care of the problem.

But the main thing is if you don't like the rules, then take your ball and go home. Start your own business and do it your way.

I guess he did "hire" me to shoot for a certain time. We have no written contract between us at all. He lets me keep all my files from each wedding i'm 2nd shooting which allows me use in a portfolio.

He has been awesome! I've learned a good amount from him over the past couple years. I originally got him into photography. I just personally don't like drama. I've been second shooting weddings with him for a little over 2 years. I've even taken the lead on a few to get a feel for being the main photog. My only other issue is that in meetings he is showing albums of his stuff with a little of mine tossed in some, but it is mainly his work. I as a 2nd shooter feel his stuff is stronger than mine and want the client to book based on what they see of my work, not his. Especially if im the shooter for the wedding. I will say that looking at our stuff next to each other, you would be hard pressed to see a huge difference.

Don't get me started on the fact that he tells some people I do this full time when I don't. That really gets me annoyed. I work 40 hours during the week at my primary job and shoot on the weekends with him. I don't have the means to go full time quite yet.

The company I would be shooting for is more budget oriented, mainly people shopping on price. Packages starting at just under $2k. All packages include a CD of the high-res JPEG images (the finished images). He has been guaranteeing clients for this budget company at least 600 images on the disk, the same he does for his mid-high end company. I keep telling him that is too many images to give and it waters down the really good stuff. I think it should be 400 for this company. That is still plenty of images, without going too overboard. Most likely, you would still be giving the client more than that anyways. It comes back to underpromise, over deliver. That is my take on it at least.

He is an amazing photographer and a great friend. He blows me away with most of his work. Always pushing the bar higher which makes me work that much harder. I just don't like to "fib". I want to get hired based on my work and personality.


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adam8080
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Aug 18, 2010 09:05 |  #14

Well unless you signed away your photo rights, technically you own them and everything that goes along with it.

My take on the situation. Shooting second is fine. Different angles, more images, better chance of catching something important, backups, etc. Everyone could use that. But when you are meeting with clients, shooting the wedding by yourself or the lead photographer, I don't see why you just don't do it for yourself. You have the skills obviously. You will have more money from the event and more control over the images. It does take more work though.

Also, if you don't like the terms of business, then tell him you won't work under those terms. Change them or leave.

Working with family and friends is always a tricky issue.


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jmborkowski
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Aug 18, 2010 10:56 |  #15

Well unless you signed away your photo rights, technically you own them and everything that goes along with it.

Most if not all second shooters are under a work for hire arrangement so the photos actually belong to the primary photographer.

In this situation, I'd do whatever the primary wanted since the photos technically belong to him.




  
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