Advice: Permission to use one of my photos

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Puckman, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Puckman macrumors 6502

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    #1
    As some of you may have seen in the Photo of the Day thread, I recently posted some photos I took at a car show.

    The owner of one of these cars contacted me this morning on another forum where I also posted said car and asked for permission to use my photos on his website (dedicated to this particular car, a Ford GT40 replica).
    I have no problem with that of course, since I don't do this for a living, but wanted to seek out the advice of those of you who've been in this position. Any particular thing I should be wary of? Is my simply emailing this guy back and giving my permission sufficient? Are there any strings attached (for example, can I ask that it not be used for any commercial gain?).

    Just curious.
     
  2. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #2
    Unless there was an explecit "no cameras allowed" policy shown in public view and the participants there knew it that photograph you took is his. You need his permission to use it. Not the other way around.
     
  3. filmbufs macrumors 6502

    filmbufs

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    #3
    In this day and age, it's actually nice he has asked for your permission to use your photograph. And it's a nice compliment too. I would think as long as your chain of emails illustrate the purpose for their use (and possibly any limitations you'd like to include) you won't have any issues. You might ask for a photo credit and/or put a small watermark on the image if that seems reasonable for the usage, but that seems secondary to me.

    Once you come to an arrangement, send a follow-up email that provides a summary of your agreement. Congrats.
     
  4. Puckman thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    This makes no sense to me. I took the photograh. I'm fairly certain that means I own the rights to it.
    (And no, there were no explicit signs about photography. This was a public event at the local fair).

    ----------

    This makes more sense. This was my understanding too. But since I've never done this before, I was curious whether there was any specific mechanism to it. Thanks for your reply.
     
  5. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

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    #5
    You are correct, you own the rights to the photo. And it was nice of him to seek your permission to use it.

    As far as next steps, I think a simple email back to him giving him authorization to post the photo should be sufficient. As others have mentioned, asking him to attribute your work to you would be nice... something like a small caption with your name, or "Photo courtesy of Puckman". When this situation arises for me, this is what I do.
     
  6. Puckman thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Perfect. I will do that. Thank you.
     
  7. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    #7
    I'm in a similar situation but in a slightly different way.

    I am getting a credit and no monetary compensation. Will they profit from the photo? Probably. Will I? Not in terms of money but hopefully the exposure will be good. How will this benefit you? Exposure, a contact, prestige (knowing your shot has been 'published').

    I keep a little folder on my computer of where my shots have been used round the web. It's not big at the moment but hopefully it will get to a point where if ever I am going for a job or someone questions me I can pull it up and show off where my shots have been used.

    In your instance I see nothing wrong with sharing if it is just a hobbyist/non-photographer. In fact, I was filming interviews today and one of the interviewees just asked if I could take a snap of him as he doesn't often get a chance to wear a suit. This sort of off the cuff thing is fine with me.

    If he had asked to quickly do him and the next 10 people so they could use the shots to front the campaign it would have been a little different.
     
  8. Puckman thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    There is no monetary compensation here, for me or for the "client".
    This is simply a car enthusiast who showed off his car at a car show at the local fair. It's a replica of a Ford GT40 that he's very proud of.
    He apparently has a website for this car (just a blog, if you will, describing the car and its history, nothing commercial) and wants to post the photo I took on that website.

    I emailed him back saying I'd be happy to share the photos I took of his car, provided a watermark and a credit line as long as there was no commercial use of the photo. He agreed.

    For reference, this is the photo:

    [​IMG]
    YL Car Show-31 by Puckman2012, on Flickr

    And this is his website (I looked it up first to make sure it seemed legit).

    http://www.gt40zone.com

    By the looks of it, the page (it's more a page than a site) is pretty rudimentary and does not appear intended for any commercial use.
     
  9. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #9
    You could of course offer to do him a series of photos for a fee to brighten up his website.
     
  10. Puckman thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    The thought has crossed my mind, but considering this was my first ever attempt at shooting cars, I'm certainly in no position to do anything all that great (ie, worth money). I've seen some of the pro work on cars (it's not an easy subject, due to reflections and other considerations) and it usually requires a lot of know-how, and if to be done absolutely right, some pretty expensive lighting.

    Having said that, I'm not past the idea of offering a free photoshoot, for my own practice/edification (with the caveat that results may be crap).
    It could be a win-win in the sense that I'd get access to a "model" and get to plan and practice a shoot (which I have never done before), and the guy would get to spruce up his website as a result.

    But we'll see...
     
  11. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #11
    I have no problems with this kind of arrangement, though I know many photographers do... arguing that they should get paid for any photos provided. I agree with you that offering to trade photos - good or bad (**see my caveat below though) for access to the car is a balanced deal. Otherwise you'd have to pay someone for access to a car like this.

    **My caveat is simply that you get to edit your images and judge which photos are good enough to share with the owner. If you end up a with a load of cr*p, you don't want those out there with your name all over them. Take some conservative shots that you know will work, along with all of the experimental shots. That way the owner will have something in exchange you'll likely have continued access to the car. More importantly, as your shots get better this owner will introduce you to other owners.

    Make sure you make it very clear to this owner that you are offering him, and him alone, this special deal. Once you are more confident with your shooting you may try to earn a few dollars from other owners that the GTO fellow introduce you to.

    Luck.
     
  12. Puckman thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Agreed. I would never want to share non-edited/processed photos.
    Again, I am not in this for any kind of career. I take photos for fun and have no real thought about how to monetize any of this. So I've never really looked into it the way I see other photographers do so (on other forums). It's just an interesting opportunity. That's all.
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #13
    One doesn't have to think of it as a 'career' in order to ask for some money for your time and effort. Often, people will value the image more if they have had to pay for it. You don't need to get all fancy about asking to get paid. If approached by someone, you could simply ask for $50. Or a case of beer. Or tickets to a car show. Something nominal. Which for a few hours of shooting, and then processing, is still peanuts. However, you do have out-of-pocket expenses. Batteries need replacing. Memory cards get corrupted after being used for a bit. Your camera may need a repair or two. Eventually it will need replacing. So, a little cash here and little cash there will help you with these costs. Otherwise you are subsidizing their hobby. Certainly, if you feel that you are getting phenomenal opportunity, you can forgo the renumeration. I'm simply talking about the shoots you do where you are doing something you already know how to do. You may not be ready yet to ask for renumeration... in which case just keep this advice in the back of you mind. You will be at some point, in all likelihood.
     
  14. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

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    #14
    Harlan Ellison would disagree with you. Strongly.

    (substitute photographer for writer in his colorful rant)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj5IV23g-fE
     
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #15
    Good clip by Ellison. For this particular thread I think we need to make the distinction between someone using your Image/Writing for free to create something of value (Ellison's example); And the OP's situation where I think they are trading 'stuff' of equal value. In the OP's case they are getting access to a subject they would otherwise have to pay for, likely. In Ellison's case, they were just being cheap.
     
  16. Puckman thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Correction: The matter of me getting access to the car for a photo shoot is a future hypothetical.

    At this stage, it's only been the guy asking me if he can use my photo on his website (where he shows off his car). It's his car. He has a website dedicated to it. He happened to find a photo of his car on the internet (I posted it on a couple of photography forums) and asked me if he can add it to his website.
     
  17. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #17
    Nice of the guy to ask. It always tikes me when I see a photo here and the next post just says "Thanks! My new desktop". Did I ever tell you how much I hate Pinterest? That site has elevated thievery to an art form. Everyone seems to think that if it's on the Net, it's up for grabs.

    Be nice to the guy and see what happens. Race cars and models are my other interests and I can tell you that the web sites dedicated to model building and autos in general are in bad shape (for the most part). Even the commercial performance auto parts web sites that bring in big bucks are poorly designed and in need of good photography content. As any gambler will tell you, you never know what's gonna happen when you play the cards and never count yourself out.

    Dale
     
  18. Ish macrumors 68010

    Ish

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    #18
    If it's only for use on his blog there's no need to send him a full-res photo. That will limit the chance of it being used commercially.
     
  19. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    #19
    I agree with his point but it highlights that every scenario is different.

    Maybe Puckman should give his photo for free just in the same way that the car owner has probably shown off his car for free at the show? A sort of quid pro quo.

    If it was a big auto magazine wanting it for a feature it might be a different scenario.

    In my case the 'client' is a giant website that everyone has heard of and they are looking to feature my picture with a credit on one of their 2013 round up blog posts. That's all it is as well, a blog post. Yes it may generate some ad revenue but it is not a tangible product or a repeat feature.

    Realistically do they have the money to pay me, yes, but as soon as I ask for money they will go away to the next photographer on their list. The difference is that when Harlan would have given the interview he would have been 'working'. A lot of the photos on my Flickr are taken for fun and all are creative commons licensed so that other people can use them for fun as long as they are not profiting from them.

    In my case I do believe there is publicity value even if it's me telling others that I was featured on so-and-sos homepage. In this competitive industry it's little mentions like that which help to set you apart from the other 20-30-50-100 people competing for the same job.

    If the image had been taken for a client and I had been paid for the shoot then they turn around and say that along with the web delivery (Facebook etc.) they no want the shots on billboards all over the country I would ask for more money as I had only agreed the rights for online.
     
  20. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

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    #20
    I have a hard time following the logic here, but maybe it's me.

    In any event, I think Ellison's points are that (1) creators should be paid for creating, and (2) there are so many amateurs willing to give their creative work away for free, it undermines the professionals who do it for a living. The same is true for photographers (using your example of the big website, why pay for a professional photo when they can find an amateur photo just as good for free?).
     
  21. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

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    #21
    Well, whether you like it or not, whether it's legal or not, but it's the fact of life: if it's on the internet, it is up for grabs. Nice people will ask, or say thanks, but there is no way you can even attempt to control someone who wants to use your photo as a wallpaper or any other private matter. Well, you can restrict publicly accessible files to low resolution, but that's about it. And of course, you can just keep it off the internet.

    I can understand the commercial use stuff, and if it's a significant enough case you can try the legal channels, but personal use for a desktop wallpaper? Really, that bothers you?
     
  22. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    #22
    It's the same with most industries. I know that I could make a cake for my friends birthday but it's not going to be as good as a professional baker doing it.

    The blog post in question is looking at popular viral photos of 2013 so as such it's not advertising a product/promotion so the site does not directly profit.

    I could imagine that if I asked for money they would just find another slightly less popular shot.

    I would also assume that the viral photos that they are looking at aren't made for commercial gain aka. they will be only asking amatuers/photographers taking fun shots in their spare time.
     
  23. Puckman thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I'm gonna stop right there and disagree completely with this sentence.
    I don't know if it was Ellison's point or your interpretation of him, but either way, I disagree with this statement completely.
    At least the way it is phrased.
    The notion that creators should be paid for creating paints the entire subject in a commercial, greed-driven light (which is not at all surprising for this day and age), but that I personally find terribly objectionable.
    I have no problem with creators getting paid for their work, of course. But I would never state it in such a manner that seems to imply that ANY Creative work should be done entirely for the purpose of getting paid and that conversely, no work should be done if there is no money involved.

    Historically, creators have created primarily because they were inspired, driven, excited. Creation is usually a labor of love, pride and joy. And framing the entire concept of creation within the boundaries of monetary compensation is an awfully demeaning and sad way to view things.

    Having said all that, it does not surprise me in the least to read such points of view in this day and age. More and more, humanity seems to be about instant gratification and greed. Fewer and fewer things are "created" at all. More and more things are "produced" (the difference between "created" and "produced" should be pretty evident).
     
  24. TheAppleFairy macrumors 68020

    TheAppleFairy

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    #24
    I think you misread his post. OP took the picture, car owner is requesting OP's approval to put the picture on his website. The car owner wants to use the picture of his car, but the picture belongs to OP.
     
  25. Designer Dale, Oct 10, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013

    Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #25
    I hear this argument quite a bit, but I believe that it's overstated. It sounds like the existence of professionals is being threatened by the proliferation of amateurs. There are amateurs who can handle a camera but they don't understand the business like a paid pro does and that's the difference. A pro doesn't just give you a good photo, but provides the support you might need to make that fit for you, including the understanding of all the legal stuff. When you pay a pro for a photo that includes a product like a new iMac or Nikon, you can be pretty sure that a company lawyer isn't going to me calling you with a cease and desist order. An amateur can make no such guarantee.

    EDIT: themumu: Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but how hard is it to just ask first?
    My photos contain the line Copyright DShearon 2013 All Rights Reserved. That means it's mine unless you ask. Posting doesn't make it free to take.

    Dale
     

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