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Thread started 11 Sep 2016 (Sunday) 10:13
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Shooting a restaurant/coffee shop during business hours

 
ESMcBlurM3
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Sep 11, 2016 10:13 |  #1

I have a client who is trying to capture the "buzz" of a local restaurant and coffee shop during normal hours. People enjoy their time at each establishment.

The problem is, the client is the web developer who is located a few hundred miles away - and frankly, I'm not comfortable walking into a restaurant and shooting, having releases signed, etc., while people are trying to enjoy their dinners/each other. It's not so much me being shy (I'm not!), but this just seems awkward.

I've expressed this to the client but she has reassured me that she's contacted the owners of each and they are OK with it (but don't have a set time or obviously any 'models' that are prepared).

Am I out of line to be uncomfortable with this? If I were on the receiving end as the patron I'd probably be turned off.


Your thoughts and experiences?


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Hinson
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Sep 11, 2016 10:34 |  #2

I would put the onus on the client and/or owner of the establishments. Make up a nice sign to post in the window announcing that on "xx day we will be shooting advertising photos between the hours of x & x" then give that to the owner and a handful of releases to pass out to the customers as they enter/order. Those not wanting to be photographed will simply not enter on that day.

Believe me, there will be enough that WANT to be in the photographs to show the 'buzz'. However, just walking in and shooting images will get a mixed reaction and it might not be pleasant. I did something similar once at a charity luncheon and was almost attacked by one of the patrons who did not know photos would be taken and was adamant that "my photo better not show up in print".


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ESMcBlurM3
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Sep 11, 2016 19:26 |  #3

Hinson - I appreciate your input, and I very much like the idea of posting flyers leading up to it. Thanks for the idea!


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MalVeauX
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Sep 11, 2016 19:35 |  #4

Heya,

Think of it like how club scenes are. People almost fight to get a chance to be in some of the shots.

Very best,


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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Sep 11, 2016 20:19 |  #5

If that's what the client wants, put the responsibility on them of getting all the ducks in a row so to speak.

I recently did a photoshoot at a coffee shop where the owner wanted something similar and so many people asked not to have their photo taken, she told me to come back after they were closed and she would arrange for "customers" to be there. It was way more hassle than it was worth.




  
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seanlockephotography
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Sep 11, 2016 21:41 |  #6

MalVeauX wrote in post #18124733 (external link)
Heya,

Think of it like how club scenes are. People almost fight to get a chance to be in some of the shots.

Very best,

Try to take a photo of me to promote the location while I'm eating or drinking and minding my own business, and I'll tell ya to get lost.




  
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Scott ­ Spellman
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Sep 11, 2016 22:03 |  #7

ESMcBlurM3 wrote in post #18124191 (external link)
I have a client who is trying to capture the "buzz" of a local restaurant and coffee shop during normal hours. People enjoy their time at each establishment.

The problem is, the client is the web developer who is located a few hundred miles away - and frankly, I'm not comfortable walking into a restaurant and shooting, having releases signed, etc., while people are trying to enjoy their dinners/each other. It's not so much me being shy (I'm not!), but this just seems awkward.

I've expressed this to the client but she has reassured me that she's contacted the owners of each and they are OK with it (but don't have a set time or obviously any 'models' that are prepared).

Am I out of line to be uncomfortable with this? If I were on the receiving end as the patron I'd probably be turned off.


Your thoughts and experiences?

Yes its good to be concerned about model releases and educate your client. You do need to make sure each photos at each location have the approval of the owner/managers. Signs at all entrance doors are essential. I have often make prior arrangements with patrons of a client to receive gift cards or other freebies if they are concerned or disapprove. You do not specify the type of use planed by the client, but model releases are only a privacy concern for commercial use- advertising and marketing. They are not required for news, guides, or digital/print publication. It is important to know that the legal liability is on the publisher of the photos- the magazine or client, and not the photographer. In any case, your contract with the client should always hold you harmless and free of risk from any use of the images.

If you had several friends willing to help you with this project, $20 each for an hour of their time could completely eliminate all the risk of commercial images without model releases.




  
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nqjudo
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Sep 11, 2016 22:21 |  #8

I know a film guy who does this type of thing for TV shows. After numerous configurations the only thing that works is an invitation only service that is closed to the public. Kitchen scenes are usually done on a separate day. An impromptu session with an unsuspecting public is probably going to be messy and possibly costly.


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texkam
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Sep 11, 2016 23:21 |  #9

You are a photographer. You shoot. All those things are the client's responsibility. If the scope of work dictates that you're going to have to provide art director, project manager services, etc, then you need to make a decision. Options might include, turning down the job, or charging a premium to cover the additional legal, logistical and other responsibilities which may involve you bringing in someone to take care of these things that are not your forte. Chances are the client is a cheapass and will not understand that this type of project is more complicated and costly than they realize. Good luck trying to convince her. Don't set yourself up to fail, or to be ripped off.




  
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Alveric
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Sep 12, 2016 00:10 |  #10
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The chances of running into trouble are high.

The potential troubles are manifold:

  • Uncomfortable (even quarrelsome) patrons.
  • Photographer getting in the way of patrons and business owner freaks out and sides with patrons (or course, they're the ones bringing the $$$.
  • Mediocre shots because patrons are with their backs towards the camera, glaring at the camera, in awkward poses, &c.
  • Photography is less efficient and takes longer, or photographer runs out of time without being able to obtain all the shots that are required. The result is the client is displeased: either there's need for a second shoot (which might not be compensated because it was the photographer's 'fault'), or the client says it's good enough but resents the photographer.
  • Freak accidents: patrons bumping into equipment and damaging it, or worse: equipment landing on some kid's head.

This is some feedback that I once sent to a client who was in the habit of scheduling these types of shoots: "[The shoot] will be a nightmare if: In the attempt to portray lots of people enjoying the products and services, it’s scheduled to take place during busy times (frankly, in some cases, it’d be even better to have the shoot outside of business hours). This is especially true of restaurants. If the photographer is ‘in the way of customers’, the client will side with the latter versus the former every time. Yet, customers tend to be in the way of the photographer constantly, and there are few ways or things one can do to prevent them."

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Dan ­ Marchant
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Sep 12, 2016 04:02 |  #11

Rule #1. The client will be using the images and they are legally responsible for arranging model releases and letting their customers know what is happening.
Rule #2. It is essential that the photographer ignores Rule #1.

Regardless of who should do what or who is legally responsible. When something goes wrong the client will blame the photographer. That means it is up to you to make sure everything goes to plan. Assuming the general public will do what you want, when you want, without any prior arrangement = suicide. Even posting notices in advance is a huge risk because it assumes that the people coming in on the night saw the notice in advance and came in anyway.


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ESMcBlurM3
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Sep 12, 2016 07:47 |  #12

I appreciate the input/insight from everyone, and relieved to know that my thoughts seem aligned with the majority here. I'm going to call the client and tactfully discuss. I don't want to waste my time, or theirs - if this can't be organized more effectively.

many thanks all!


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Wilt
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Sep 12, 2016 10:56 |  #13

ESMcBlurM3 wrote in post #18124191 (external link)
I have a client who is trying to capture the "buzz" of a local restaurant and coffee shop during normal hours. People enjoy their time at each establishment.

How about a relatively low ISO, and a relatively long (a couple of seconds) shutter speed, with an appropriately small aperture, with a tripod mounted camera

  • ...captures the locale,
  • ...the restaurant clientel will be mostly blurred enough to not be recognizable,
  • ...the restaurant staff will be mostly blurred streaks as they move about from place to place.



Hinson's suggestion, in preparation, is a good one.

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armis
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Sep 12, 2016 12:11 |  #14

Naive alternative: arrange a staged shoot? Get random bystanders, friends and family or even a handful of paid models to come during closing hours and shoot to your heart's content.


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kjonnnn
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Sep 12, 2016 12:40 |  #15

One thought ...

If you decided to go with posting that the shoot is happening on a certain day to warn participants, you
might need some type of confimation that the participants waived away their right for any compensation seeing as this ad will be for commercial purposes.

I'm not saying it will happen but that it could (ive heard of instances). You take the photos with regular diners, and at some point someone sees themselves in a successful ad compaign and they say to themselves "hey, I didnt get paid for that." Thats probably why most situations like this are staged. I've had the experience that employees and I were always in former employers' ads (a national association) for various things, and we signed a release and were compensated two dollars. LOL

I might might be better to stage the setting with employees and their friends and family and provide the free meal as compensation. Thats a safe and cheap way to go.




  
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