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Regarding licensing photos and trade shoots with magazines
Old 02-19-2006, 02:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi, I was hoping you guys could help me with this one.. I was recently contacted by a small magazine to shoot some pictures for their upcoming feature/cover. They have no budget and it's basically going to be tfp. My question is.. when I shoot photos for their magazine, do I retain the full copyrights and will I be able to license the photos out after? Am I supposed to give them all the photos after or just pick a handful for them to use? Please help! TY! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Re: Regarding licensing photos and trade shoots with magazines
Old 02-19-2006, 09:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There are some exceptions, but in general a magazine agrees to license an image for one time use only, esp when no pay is involved. If they want more than one time use, then some sort of pay should be involved. BTW, a number of magazines are notoriously careless with photo credit, so make certain that's part of the written agreement.
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Me coach, me! Send me in!
Old 02-19-2006, 10:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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<CENTER> </CENTER>

First, you CAN do anything you want. However, when you take the picture you do own the copyright and that gives you the opportunity to do what ever you want with the pictures (assuming you have releases from the models). The one exception to this rule is if you sign a written "work for hire" agreement where you agree (for valuable consideration) to transfer your copyright to a third party. Now, you may license a third party to use some or all of your pictures for a specified period of time and for a specific purpose(s), and this is separate from a work for hire agreement (where you transfer all rights).

<CENTER> </CENTER>

As some are familiar with here, I had a (insert appropriate noun and modifier) who asked me to do some pictures which he wanted to use in a start up magazine (which had not "started up"), first for pay, then as the day of the shoot approached it became for free. The location was attractive, I had some paid catalog work I could shoot in the middle of the day, so why not? AFTER the shoot, in fact the next day, he shows up with an agreement which he wants me to sign transferring ALL rights to him for ALL the pictures! Yes, yes! I sure you can figure out how I excited I was about that, and gosh, was he surprised! I particularly enjoyed his position (again, after the fact) that none of the models or makeup artists (who also worked for free) could have access to the pictures for their books or self promotion. Had all of this come up before the shoot (I had given him my written limited license the day before the shoot) I would not have bothered but the guy was a [censored], he just ran into some one who learned to do the "Hustle" before he was born. (Ah, now there's a visual you could probably pass on, "Disco Fish"!)

<CENTER>
Erin Upton for the "She She" catalog</CENTER>

Again you can do anything you want, but if you are shooting for free (with the hope of publication), I would suggest a limited license which allows them to use some of the pictures but you retain the copyright. Sit down with them in advance and work all of this out so there is no misunderstanding. I do have clients who ask for a work for hire agreement, they pay (significantly) for me to shoot under those circumstances and it's all arranged in advance. There is one client who's name appears here frequently who insists on a work for hire agreement for anything done on assignment, and trust me, they pay verrrrry well for that arrangement.

Disco Fish
--
John Fisher
Couture Model Management
900 West Avenue, Suite 423
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
305 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com
http://www.couturemiami.com
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No Budget?
Old 02-19-2006, 12:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If a magazine lacks a budget, how does it get printed?
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Re: No Budget?
Old 02-19-2006, 02:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Easy, they sell only enough advertising to get the thing printed and hope that as it gains in popularity they can start making money of the sale of the magaziner after 6 months to a year. We just came off a deal where a magazine we were shooting for was doing just that. It was run by friends so we decided to be a part of it cause we felt sure that it would eventually become something good and we were working out a deal for new studio space as compensation. They just gave the first 3 issues away to try and help build exposure for the rag and after their first year they we're going to start distributing it for sale. However, a couple of weeks ago they pulled the plug on us for some unknown reason. The day before the fourth issue was to be completed and sent to press. I still haven't heard what the reason is but I'm hoping it's just a matter of someone paid a pile of cash to take it over and that it may still be going. We'll see.

Anyways, my take is to always try to retain your copyrights. In Canada here it's still a great big cluster-f*ck because as long as someone throws money at me (or otherwise compensates me) they own the copyrights! Even if I don't get paid, as long as their mug is in the shot, they own the copyright! Unless there's more than 5 people in the shot in which case it becomes a group photo and the rules change again! Stupid country.

And always try to get some kind of paycheck! Even if it's a lifetime subscription to the magazine! Try to get something in return, something more than "Exposure". People can die from exposure.

Good luck!
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Re: No Budget?
Old 02-19-2006, 02:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Easy, they sell only enough advertising to get the thing printed and hope that as it gains in popularity they can start making money of the sale of the magaziner after 6 months to a year. We just came off a deal where a magazine we were shooting for was doing just that. It was run by friends so we decided to be a part of it cause we felt sure that it would eventually become something good and we were working out a deal for new studio space as compensation. They just gave the first 3 issues away to try and help build exposure for the rag and after their first year they we're going to start distributing it for sale. However, a couple of weeks ago they pulled the plug on us for some unknown reason. The day before the fourth issue was to be completed and sent to press. I still haven't heard what the reason is but I'm hoping it's just a matter of someone paid a pile of cash to take it over and that it may still be going. We'll see.

Anyways, my take is to always try to retain your copyrights. In Canada here it's still a great big cluster-f*ck because as long as someone throws money at me (or otherwise compensates me) they own the copyrights! Even if I don't get paid, as long as their mug is in the shot, they own the copyright! Unless there's more than 5 people in the shot in which case it becomes a group photo and the rules change again! Stupid country.

And always try to get some kind of paycheck! Even if it's a lifetime subscription to the magazine! Try to get something in return, something more than "Exposure". People can die from exposure.

Good luck!

[/ QUOTE ]

The structure of this magazine is flawed to begin with. It assumes success
without the proper capital to sustain it for a time long enough to maybe
have a chance to catch on with the public.

Even in Canada you do not have to sacrifice your "rights." Just make it
part of the contract. Don't take the money w/o negotiating those
specifics you are sensitive about. It's almost like bending over w/o the
butter (cash).

I don't mind helping out "friends." But this is a business and I am driven
to make business minded decisions. It constantly amazes me how many photographers talk about wanting to get paid, but get suddenly weak about the subject when it's time for it to come up. If people are not budgeting for
content, then they are not prepared.

As long as people are willing to 'ho' their services, this will continue to
be a problem.

If you want to be published, try self-publishing and then putting your work
out there in the market-place.

















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Re: Me coach, me! Send me in!
Old 02-19-2006, 03:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey Fish, nice tutorial. I wish all my textbooks in high school had contained such nice "illustrations" [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]. I would have paid much more attention.

I have been down this road also. I shot a cover image for a local small mag for $200 plus a photo credit. When I showed up with the work they seemed "puzzled" by my request for payment. When the issue hit the stands it was missing the credit. At least the check cleared, though. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

more illustration [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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This is how you do it.
Old 02-19-2006, 04:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok, you charged $200.00 with photo-credit.
You should also have on the same invoice $2000.00 for same image w/o photo-credit.
That way they have a choice, and you have financial options.
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Re: This is how you do it.
Old 02-19-2006, 05:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
You should also have on the same invoice $2000.00 for same image w/o photo-credit.

[/ QUOTE ]

Greg, excellent point. That option did not occur to me when I wrote the invoice. I did however include a warning concerning their use of the photo without proper payment first. That is probably why I got the payment in such a timely fashion. This was my first situation like this. Luckily for me I am a staff photographer for a local company that I am quite happy with and have the comfort of a steady paycheck. They do allow me to do outside work when it doesn't conflict so hopefully I will do more in the future. I assure you that I won't repeat this mistake next time.
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Re: No Budget?
Old 02-19-2006, 07:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
And always try to get some kind of paycheck! Even if it's a lifetime subscription to the magazine! Try to get something in return, something more than "Exposure". People can die from exposure.

[/ QUOTE ]

I agree with your philosophy Dave, but remember that as soon as you receive anything of value you are deemed to have receive "consideration" thus running the risk of completing a contract. If the consideration is financial or a photo credit, that is one thing. If you end up inadvertently assigning a lifetime of photo rights for a few years of subscription to a magazine on dog grooming you not only wasted your time, but you may have lost your rights.

"But I didn't ever sign a contract," you say. All the publisher has to say is that an oral contract was in place and it becomes your word against theirs. You can take it to court and you might even win, but you still lose money, time, and (more importantly) a future buyer.

Quite simply, if you're going to be a pro in any field you need to do three things: (1) hone your craft to be worthy of the "profesional" label, (2) conduct your business in the highest professional and ethical manner that you can, and (3) don't be afraid to tell people that you are worth the price, and be willing to act accordingly. If they disagree let them walk. If your work is good enough, and if they are legitimate, they will return.
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