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Thread started 29 Nov 2011 (Tuesday) 07:59
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Clients taking cell-phone pics during sessions?

 
Dan ­ Marchant
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Nov 29, 2011 18:44 as a reply to  @ post 13469960 |  #16

PicBug wrote in post #13469045 (external link)
The most recent session the mom posted her pics on FB. So I'm wondering in a snarky way why did they need me again??

FB pics are to photographs what twitter/text messages are to email/letters. They are literally just a snapshot of "what I am doing today". They quality is unimportant because they are just a visual aid. When granny comes to visit it is your real photos that will come out/be on display.

ssim wrote in post #13469355 (external link)
You are not going to stop it so I embrace it. After I have a grouping posed I stand aside and tell those milling around if they want to take shots with their cameras to step up and do so.

+1. You should embrace them doing it as part of the event but only after you have taken your shot. Explain this to the client and get them to wrangle the crowd.


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RDKirk
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Nov 29, 2011 19:10 |  #17

It's pretty different when its a low quality cell phone pic from an angle to capture the moment than totally riding a professional's coattails and potentially losing him money or reputation.

That's why I don't mind when my seniors' friends take snaps of "the experience." The take that gets into Facebook usually includes even me as I'm taking the picture. I should probably ask them to take video.


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Ross ­ J
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Nov 29, 2011 19:40 as a reply to  @ Dan Marchant's post |  #18
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The OP is describing something that used to be called "shot-stealing." In fact, there is a very popular photographer (often featured at one of the big photo blogs) that got his start in the industry by shot-stealing a celebrity involved in another photographer's shoot. That guy is a real POS and it goes to show that entire careers can evolve from stealing another photographer's shot. In all fairness, there are lots of instances where it is perfectly reasonable for a make-up artist, hair-stylist, or friends and family to take behind-the-scenes type of snapshots and videos. But the prevalence of cheap high resolution digital cameras and iPhones is going to increasingly blur the line between a happy snapshot and a raging shot-steal. Unfortunately, there is no practical way to deal with the problem and the situation is similar to what the music industry is facing when it comes to illegal downloading. The public is becoming increasingly brazen and unable to establish clear boundaries between themselves and others. Many think that everything is supposed to be shared at that there is no private property. Professionals are really defenseless against this new public attitude and rising collectivism.

Media theorists predict that digital imaging is going to eliminate the single-point perspective of the individual photographer and replace it with the multi-point perspective of the crowd. This is an abstract concept, but it's similar to how Google street-view operates. The following statement might be controversial in a forum, but theorists predict that digital imaging is creating an environment where photographers will be unable to claim ownership of the images that they produce and all images created will be part of the public domain. Eventually, there will be a death of image ownership because copyright is impossible to enforce. One of the reasons why it's so easy to share photos with free-hosting services and social media websites is because the corporations are getting people accustomed to sharing their images on the internet. Eventually, the sequence between memory card and hardrive will be eliminated so that every digital image captured will immediately be uploaded to a server and made part of the public or corporate domain. The bottom line is that the increase in shot-stealing caused by easy access to digital imaging combined with a rising culture of collectivist sharing is only the beginning of much more serious problems to come in the future for professional photographers.




  
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RDKirk
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Nov 29, 2011 19:52 |  #19

Eventually, the sequence between memory card and hardrive will be eliminated so that every digital image captured will immediately be uploaded to a server and made part of the public or corporate domain. The bottom line is that the increase in shot-stealing caused by easy access to digital imaging combined with a rising culture of collectivist sharing is only the beginning of much more serious problems to come in the future for professional photographers.

There could then be a social backlash that would make hardcopy prints highly valuable again...because ultimately human beings will want something that they own privately.

The initial anonymity that made possible "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog" has through social media turned to "On the Internet, everyone knows you're a dog." I suspect, however, people will begin to desire that ol' anonymity again when they begin to meet the consequences of everyone knowing they are dogs.

In the same way, I suspect people will begin to cherish images that only they have access to. What becomes rare usually becomes valuable.


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Shamir
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Nov 29, 2011 21:51 |  #20

I have client family and friends take behind the scenes pictures of my work for Facebook.. I let them take those pictures but as said, only after I did mine..

One good quote that I say out loud when I see some distraction because the cameras is "Everybody using a smaller camera than mine, please back off just for a second" .. with a big smile and laugh always :)


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ssim
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Nov 29, 2011 22:29 |  #21

Ross J wrote in post #13471058 (external link)
The OP is describing something that used to be called "shot-stealing."

You make it sound like this is some sort of disease. The OP was talking about family and friends taking shots with their phones and P&S cameras. As I said in my earlier post I think it is best to embrace and control the problem. I get the subjects posed and then stand aside and tell everyone that they can shoot away to their hearts content for the next couple of minutes but once I step back and start shooting that I would liek them to cease shooting. By and large this has been a very successful approach for me. By the time I start to shoot everyone has had their fill and I get the attention of the subjects.

People are going to continue to shoot these kinds of shots and they are going to end up on their social media sites. Its a fact of life, accept it, move on. People that are posting their aunt's wedding on their Facebook page are not our competition. It is an irritant but its not costing us money.

I always try to limit people's access to the group shots that I take at a reception or similar by trying to find a room in the facility or on the stage behind the curtains closed. When people see this very few of them try to partake.


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S.Horton
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Nov 30, 2011 05:24 |  #22

Ross J wrote in post #13471058 (external link)
The OP is describing something that used to be called "shot-stealing." In fact, there is a very popular photographer (often featured at one of the big photo blogs) that got his start in the industry by shot-stealing a celebrity involved in another photographer's shoot. That guy is a real POS and it goes to show that .....

I've come to believe that careers are about 75% luck.

And, POSs can do very well because they're the best liars.


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Ross ­ J
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Nov 30, 2011 06:17 |  #23
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S.Horton wrote in post #13472939 (external link)
I've come to believe that careers are about 75% luck.

And, POSs can do very well because they're the best liars.

1000% correct




  
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treebound
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Nov 30, 2011 09:21 |  #24

Interesting discussion. And to be totally honest, I am one of those people taking pictures near or behind the hired photographer, but I'm doing so as a family member or as an invited guest. And if I'm shadowing the hired photographer, like at a recent wedding, I often end up helping the photographer (holding an umbrella in the rain for the photographer while her assistant is freed up for other stuff or if the assistant needs to go pose or position the couple), and I've also helped the photographer by bringing stuff to their attention (the photog. completely missed the symbolic decorations on the dinner table that symbolized what the couple believed in and modeled their life at home around, until I brought it to the photographer's attention). But, and take note, I'm not pushy, and I'm not hovering in the photographers ear nor getting in their hair nor in their way nor do I try to take over the photo shoot. But I do quite often get photographs that the hired photographer missed out on. And if I do end up shadowing the photographer I make sure to get a photograph of the photographer standing with the couple, and also take several of the photographer at work with the couple in the background. I've never been told to back off, never been told to stop, and have never had a hired photographer give me the stare-down. And just for the record, I don't intrude and don't offer help to every photographer I see working at an event (but I might ask about their equipment if I see them taking a break). And I always make sure to turn off my flash if it will be distracting.

As to the shot-stealing, well, as SSIM noted if the photographer wants exclusive ownership of the staging and setup then the photographer needs to find a place or time with limited access. And to take this out of the realm of family-wedding events, would it be considered "shot-stealing" if I'm at a park someplace and see a landscape photographer set up for a shot and I set up and take a shot as well? (Not sitting in the photographer's pocket, but not waiting until they are done either if I also happen to be there at the same time. Giving them fair space to not encroach into their comfort zone, but fair is fair and they don't own the scene.)

As to controlling image ownership, the same things are happening with written words. How can I personally control ownership of the words I just typed in, and how could I reasonably enforce copyright protection if someone "steals" my words and uses them as their own plagerized words in some context that they are getting paid for. It is not a lost cause, but sometimes the field mice do take over the barn for awhile.

Some of you probably hate me now. No problem, I'll be out in the barn taking family photos of the field mice if you need me.

'scuse me while I duck and run.


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jra
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Nov 30, 2011 11:59 |  #25

If it's just a quick cell phone or p&s pic, I have no problem with that. In fact, I always hope that it works to my advantage so that when they see my finished product after looking at their photos, they'll understand why they hired me to do the job. ;)




  
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mpix345
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Dec 01, 2011 06:49 |  #26

RDKirk wrote in post #13471132 (external link)
There could then be a social backlash that would make hardcopy prints highly valuable again...because ultimately human beings will want something that they own privately.

The initial anonymity that made possible "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog" has through social media turned to "On the Internet, everyone knows you're a dog." I suspect, however, people will begin to desire that ol' anonymity again when they begin to meet the consequences of everyone knowing they are dogs.

In the same way, I suspect people will begin to cherish images that only they have access to. What becomes rare usually becomes valuable.

I think these are good points. I also think that the value of high quality prints will sustain or increase as the world is saturated with "average at best" cell phone pics. The mediocre or worse pro photographers will likely feel more and more pressure to succeed, but the better ones may find themselves in even more demand.


  
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ZXDrew
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Dec 01, 2011 10:44 |  #27

@Treebound: What you're doing is fine in my book. I'd say you're more of the exception as you know more aware about the process and what the photographers are doing than Uncle GWC.


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snyderman
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Dec 01, 2011 13:23 |  #28

I would handle it my usual passive-aggressive approach. As soon as the cell phone shooting started up, I'd remove myself from the area, find a place to sit down and let everyone shoot until they had enough. Then, the shoot would resume without the distraction.

Hate to say it, but many people are completely self-centered. So much so that it doesn't register that someone has hired a professional to perform a service for their benefit. They are oblivious to the fact that their actions are inappropriate, that they are in the way and their behavior is causing an issue.

"What? Who me?" "I was just taking a picture." "What's the big deal?"

Just stop shooting. Maybe someone will be kind enough clue in the clueless.

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Executive ­ Images ­ Photo
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Dec 01, 2011 13:39 |  #29

Tarzanman wrote in post #13469444 (external link)
If it isn't cutting into your $$$-flow or time, then chill out. They are already paying you for your services.... mission accomplished.

Can you really blame them, given the number of photographers who get all butt-hurt when they see photos that have already been paid for popping up on facebook?

Sounds like you are money hungry. Its not all about getting the job, its about performing the job. If I am contracted for a shoot and cant get a good shot because Joe Smith with his Iphone is distracting the subject, who do you think the client is going to yell at first? What are you going to say when they say "You didnt get a shot of me looking at the camera?" Mind you they have already taken your 1 hour portrait window down to 30 mins and added 10 more shots they wanted in their "must haves". Dont think it happens? Think again....

treebound wrote in post #13473619 (external link)
Interesting discussion. And to be totally honest, I am one of those people taking pictures near or behind the hired photographer, but I'm doing so as a family member or as an invited guest. And if I'm shadowing the hired photographer, like at a recent wedding, I often end up helping the photographer (holding an umbrella in the rain for the photographer while her assistant is freed up for other stuff or if the assistant needs to go pose or position the couple), and I've also helped the photographer by bringing stuff to their attention (the photog. completely missed the symbolic decorations on the dinner table that symbolized what the couple believed in and modeled their life at home around, until I brought it to the photographer's attention). But, and take note, I'm not pushy, and I'm not hovering in the photographers ear nor getting in their hair nor in their way nor do I try to take over the photo shoot. But I do quite often get photographs that the hired photographer missed out on. And if I do end up shadowing the photographer I make sure to get a photograph of the photographer standing with the couple, and also take several of the photographer at work with the couple in the background. I've never been told to back off, never been told to stop, and have never had a hired photographer give me the stare-down. And just for the record, I don't intrude and don't offer help to every photographer I see working at an event (but I might ask about their equipment if I see them taking a break). And I always make sure to turn off my flash if it will be distracting.

But its not your job to do that. If you are "pointing things out" to the photographer then thats pretty much questioning the photographers ability to do his/her job. Also standing behind a photographer and taking photos of his posed shot is exactly "shot-stealing". The photographer posed the individual and should be the only one getting the shot. Of course when it comes to weddings side shots are going to be there but Joe Smith with a DSLR with a 70-200 attached standing right off my right side 5-8ft behind me is where I draw the line.


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Dec 02, 2011 11:33 |  #30

PicBug wrote in post #13467673 (external link)
My husband and I are just expanding our business and recently had two large group sessions, which we were new to. At both sessions, members of the smaller family groups took snapshots with their P&Ss and phones. The group from this weekend posted them all on FB and of course they were terrible.

Is this something that should be tolerated during a session or mentioned during the session or in the contract to not allow? It did get distracting during the second session of this weekend

How do you feel when clients or family members work over your shoulder with their own cameras during a session??

Unless they're actually getting in my way physically, I welcome it. It would be career suicide to even attempt forbidding it anyway.

What you do is manage the people you're in the process of photographing and ignore everyone else.


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Clients taking cell-phone pics during sessions?
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