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Archive 2013 · urgent advice needed
  
 
Vlad_IT
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p.1 #1 · urgent advice needed


Hi all, I thought my question would be very appropriate for this forum as possible money will change hands.

I have been doing a lot of family events for the past 2 years, including my daughter’s birthday party few weeks back. The party held at local “we do dishes” place and I set up several Speedlight around the shop, but also used LightSphere on camera. I did similar work for years, but we usually had very close circle of friends/people we knew well and everybody was sharing pictures without any concerns or copyright demands.

This year was a different situation. My family recently relocated to Florida and we did not make many friends yet. So to make this birthday party meaningful for my child, she had invited some of her classmates she likes. Most of the parents were socializing during this 2.5 hour event and the party spieled over to our house afterwards. Some parents brought their own cameras, but many asked me to give them my pictures. I said I will and I did. All parents got hi-res pictures of their kids on CD for free. I did not consulted anyone about “privacy and children” situation, but to protect myself somehow from “strangers” (most of the parents I saw for the first time) I did extra work and re-arrange pictures for each child into two categories – single child portrait and group portraits. Every image with more than one child on it I “watermarked” with Copyright sign and my name. The single portraits are free from watermarks, just copyrighted in EXIF.

Each of the parents received the CD with my note that they free to use the images without watermarks (individual images of their kids, or siblings in some cases), but images with watermarks (where their children were with some of classmates) can be only printed or stored on personal computers. And they cannot be displayed anywhere on the Web.

Questions:
#1: how did I handle this situation?

#2: what should I have done to handle such situation better? Not to distribute group images at all?

#3. And here is a tricky part. I was approached by two of the parents asking if I’ll take paying job for their children's upcoming birthdays. And here I need a little bit of your help and expertise. Being that this is a possible a whole new chapter for me in photography I need advice on how to handle these offers. What to charge? Per Time? Per Image? How to make sure some other parent will not turn around saying why is my kids image is display on Facebook, etc. As soon as word “money” evolved I need to minimize the possibility that something hits the fan.

Your “non-legal” advice is greatly appreciated.

Best regards,
Vlad



Feb 16, 2013 at 07:37 AM
myam203
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p.1 #2 · urgent advice needed


#1: I think you put too much thought into this. Imagine if you were one of the non-photographer parents there... I'm sure they never thought about copyright or privacy before tossing their shots on Facebook. Just because you know better and took better shots, doesn't mean they're holding you to a higher standard in that regard.

#2: I would've just sent out all the shots to everyone and let them simply enjoy them how they please. It wasn't a paid situation anyway, so there's no reason to get all business-y about it, because most people don't "get it" anyway. Just my opinions here!

#3: The short answer is to decide what you think the job is worth and charge that. Definitely don't charge by the image, as that'll open up a big can of worms, but charging for your time makes sense. Find out how long they need you and quote a price. However, you don't necessarily have to break it down to an hourly rate for them, just quote what you need to do the whole job. As far as privacy and Facebook goes, that's in the client's hands. Once you deliver the images, they can do what they want with them. Unless you think you can make extra money on prints from the other people at the parties, just get paid and get out and don't complicate it too much. If it were a real event or commercial job, I'd have a different response, but for a kid's party, I'd keep it simple.



Feb 16, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Vlad_IT
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p.1 #3 · urgent advice needed


Mike, after i though about it i think you have vary valid points. Thank you


Feb 16, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Mr645
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p.1 #4 · urgent advice needed


If people are at an event, or in an environment where photography is expected, such as a birthday party, sporting event, rally, weddings etc. There is no expectation of privacy and you can shoot and give out the photos as you want.


Feb 17, 2013 at 01:19 PM
gschlact
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p.1 #5 · urgent advice needed


My 2 cents...
In your first party event, since it was your party, handing out the photo jpg's from a party is a nice touch - pretty standard for any non- pro attending a party. I dont think there is anything wrong with handing them all out with the watermark and providing people full right to print and post, but no transfer rights. You can simply indicate that this is standard for any professional to articulate the rights when they providephtotos to anyone. If someone were to ask you for a nonwarermark copy for their ability to print their own, I would give it to them since it was good karma from your own event.

For the second scenario, I would suggest considering providing them two choices, both with the keep it simple in mind, and under the assumption that it is not too common to hire a pro for a basic birthday party and to therefore providing fixed price choices. 1- $D/hr * Xhrs and you proved all non intrusive watermarked photo HRes jpg's with rights to print and post, and transferable for personal use. 2- same as the first but full copyright and ownership and you are done. In both cases I would say you do a full cull to delete bad shorts. And for the others one pass to make minor crop, exposure and horizon adjustments so the pro-quality is maintained. The edit time needs to be minimal to keep it affordable after you add it to the shooting time.

Many mod-range pros charge about US$300/hr when doing the later option here in the Chicago area.

-Guy




Feb 24, 2013 at 02:37 AM
Vlad_IT
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p.1 #6 · urgent advice needed


Guy, thanks


Feb 24, 2013 at 05:15 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Scott Sewell
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p.1 #7 · urgent advice needed


Mr645 wrote:
If people are at an event, or in an environment where photography is expected, such as a birthday party, sporting event, rally, weddings etc. There is no expectation of privacy and you can shoot and give out the photos as you want.




IMO, such a blanket statement is really bad advice. Sorry, but it is.

I think you went a little overboard with the watermarks and restrictions on the first event when you gave the images away. Seriously, what would you do if you were to find out someone posted some of those images on their Facebook page? If you set such restrictions in place you also have to have in place a way to deal with the situation if the "rules" you set are broken.

In situations like this, I take an approach to what Guy mentioned in his second option. I set a flat rate, shoot the event, burn print-ready images to a CD and give that to the client. The images are then theirs to do with as they please. I will also include a release (as a PDF burned onto the disk) that allows them to print the images. I price these in a way that covers my time to shoot the event, process the images, and a reasonable amount of money for likely print sales. This could be anywhere from $300 to upwards of a couple thousand dollars, depending on the client.

Is it safe to assume you're an amateur photographer and haven't sold images before? If so, you're taking a step into the business side of things that is going to require you to really start treating this like a business. That would include having liability insurance and a plan for how you deal with situations like this (among a ton of other business-related issues).

Good luck.




Feb 24, 2013 at 05:50 PM
glort
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p.1 #8 · urgent advice needed



I refuse to exacerbate and perpetuate all this garbage over the top Privacy and child protection Crap which is blown out of proportion by Those with a PhD in sensationalist TV watching.

Here in Oz as long as I don't shoot in change rooms or try to get naked pics of the kids, I can take what I like for private, non commercial purposes. And that's what I do.
The neurotics can complain and whinge all they like. I'm doing nothing wrong and am not going to act as if I am by trying to cover my backside for something that dosen't need it covered for.

I had a neurotic do-gooder complain to me the other week that she didn't want a pic given to other parents because her preschool kid was in the team group shot. I said you stood right there with the other parents and watched me take the pic, why didn't you pull her out if you didn't want her in it?

She said she didn't want the kid to miss out on being in the pic. I said so you now want every other kid in the shot to miss out on having the shot because you don't want them having a pic of your daughter?
She said she had a right to protect her childs privacy. I said no, you don't in this case as you already gave permission for her to be photographed by having her in the shot in the first place and further more you are a self centred, I'll informed idiot who wants everything your own way and you are not going to get it from me.

She carried on about child protection and complaining to the " authorities" about me. I handed her a card and said before you ask, here's my card, Ring and complain to everyone that will listen to your stupidity then they can tell you that you are wrong, ignorant, selfish and have none of the rights you are saying you have. Maybe you will wake up to yourself.

I'll probably see this Neurotic again at my Daughters grand Final Footy match Tomorrow Night so it will be interesting to see what she has if anything to say for herself then and if we do another Team shot, I will refuse to have her daughter in it. going by the comments I got from the other parents, they are going to refuse to let their kids be in any pics the neurotic takes be it a group or on field shot.

If people want to go on like idiots and put sinister connotations on purely innocent and everyday things we all did as kids, then they are not going to get one bit of co-operation out of me to push their stupidity.

I don't know what the laws in the US are with this type of thing but all I would say would be to comply with them and nothing more and don't make a problem out of one that doesn't exist.
If the parents are happy as is, don't make an issue of something they are not concerned about.



Feb 24, 2013 at 11:37 PM
justruss
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p.1 #9 · urgent advice needed


I agree with the sentiments here: You're at a party, shooting for fun/free, then I'd ask if anyone prefers to not have their child in the shots (or just wait and see if anyone complains), and I'd give out the shots without watermarks or any of that nonsense. Out of courtesy, I'd avoid photography any kid that parents ask to not be photographed... but, does this ever happen? No.

Also agree with the sentiment that: If you're charging, you better get up to date on contracts, licensing rights, and pick up some personal liability insurance... for when someone trips over a camera, doesn't like XYZ, etc. And then hope you don't need to use it.

Charge by hour/day/half day. Make it easy. Deliver print resolution images on DVD, give the right to print/share electronically for personal purposes (facebook, etc). Perhaps give one folder for printable resolutions and one for web-based display. Basic processing-- exposure, contrast, sat-- and cropping. No retouching. Offer prints only at very profitable prices, same with specific retouching of images. Ideally you never print/retouch except when it is highly worth your while.

Charge according to what your time is worth, where you plan to position your business (if this is what it is), and what you can get. And realize that people charge between $10 and $500+ an hour-- with happy clients and various levels of personal happiness/profit (barely being able to feed oneself on rice and beans<--->owning luxury cars and properties).



Feb 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM
Vlad_IT
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p.1 #10 · urgent advice needed


Scott Sewell wrote:
If people are at an event, or in an environment where photography is expected, such as a I think you went a little overboard with the watermarks and restrictions on the first event when you gave the images away. Seriously, what would you do if you were to find out someone posted some of those images on their Facebook page?




Folks, thanks. Many good points here. on my own child's birthday party i was concerned that other parents can find pictures of their kinds posted as a part of group shot someplace on the web (like Facebook) without their permission by someother parents, whom got the images from me. That's why i put watermarks as i was a photographer as well as a client who gave away the images...

On my paid job I’m planning to request to sign a liability waiver by the client as well as a contract on what they will get. I let them have all images without watermarks at 1200x800 resolutions. It will be their problem how they re-distribute the images. Any prints over 8x10 - they need to get hi-res images from me at extra cost.
At list this is how i see my actions after reading all your advises.

Thanks, Vlad



Feb 25, 2013 at 10:18 PM
gschlact
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p.1 #11 · urgent advice needed


Let's assume you got a fair price for the work you will provide at you new paod gig. I think you might want to rethink-
1a- the resolution you provide. Say you get a great shot that they want larger prints. You Will leave a bad taste since in their mind they already have all the photo files. I know you called them out but at 1200x800 it is barely printable quality resolution for 4"x6" print.
1b- Did you offer a different price that they declined to include full set of high res?
2- I suggest fully defining what you give to them. This goes beyond files and resolution. You need to specify and convey copyright usage rights you want to provide like personal use, print or online, where online, transferability etc. it isn't complicated, but is clear for all.

Guy



Feb 28, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Vlad_IT
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p.1 #12 · urgent advice needed


Guy, i still a month away from the paid event. (I just finish one more promotional party, besides my kid's birthday, where i actually provided parents with a fraimed 16x20 portrait of their birthday girl as one of the gifts but as well as for advertisement of my work (I used a picture of their child i took on my child's birthday party). So like around 15 parents so it and i hope it will do some good for me.

For now i need to put one leg into the local birthday party business - it's a mall community and now professional photographer around. Sears Portrait studion is all they have here. I'm Planning to charge only $99 for two hour event or $125 for 2.5 hours (price including my time on computer) but i'm hoping to make extra money on 8x10's and 16x20's and possibly a photobook of the events, that can be re-ordered on request for many parents.

At least this is a game plan as i see it right now. the customer (parents of the birthday girl/boy) will know upfront the price, the resolution on the CD and they will need to announce in the invitations that a pro photographer will be on the site. this way i can make parents to sign a release form as they will drop off the children. If someone wants to a child to be excluded- i'll do my best to work around it.



Feb 28, 2013 at 12:48 AM





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