Copyright and Protecting your images as a Photographer!
Happy New Year everyone, I hope you all had a fab time , I certainly did and this year will hopefully be just as exciting as last if not better.
So what’s the gossip? Welllllll my studio is all but finished. All that is left is minor tweaking such as painting cupboard doors, replacing a studio bulb (that my son broke) and filling it with pictures which shouldn’t be so difficult since I’m a photographer right?
So what am I up to? – At the moment I’ve not long finished rebranding and in the middle of updating blogs, websites, designing, buying props – you name it I’m doing it. One of the things I’m excited to tell you about is frame designs for your home, making your life that little bit simpler when it comes to choosing your images and deciding what you would like to buy. Many clients are overwhelmed by the choice they are faced with when it comes to deciding what they want so I want to make life that little bit easier for everyone.
One thing that I will be doing this year is supplying each client with a 72dpi watermarked print of each image purchased Why? Well many of you have digital photo frames, laptops, Facebook, relatives that live abroad and you want to share those precious images of your loved ones. I’ve seen time and time again people and blog posts where people scan or even photograph a print they had taken from a professional photographer and use as screenshots, profile pics or even reprints. Can you imagine how frustrating this is for the photographer seeing their work reproduced at a terrible quality?
Here is an interesting article I read that I think you may find interesting http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=90370908731
I agree wholeheartedly with Shannon Holdens blog post
You may ask, “But if I pay the photographer to create portraits of my own child or family, don’t I own those images?” Quite simply, no. When a photographer creates an image of your child during your session, she owns the copyright to each and every image. By purchasing prints or other artwork created with the images, you have permission to enjoy the images in your home or office, or share them with family. You do not have permission to copy those images. This includes home scanners and printers, or photo stations at drug stores and supermarts.
“But what is one little scan going to hurt? I invested a lot of money in my session.” I am always thankful for each and every one of my clients, and I appreciate the value of the investment you have entrusted to me. Photography is not only my passion, it is how I support my family. I have chosen this career because I am passionate about it, but I also work to pay the bills. My income is a necessary part of our family’s cash flow. Just one or two people scanning may not impact my business, but imagine if it were more than a few? What if several clients purchased just one 5×7 of their favorite image, scanned it, and printed 8×10s at Supermart to give to all their relatives. That would start to cut into my income, which would in turn influence my prices as I would have to make up for that loss in income.
Scanned images also devalue my work, as the scans will often result in poor quality reproductions of the image. This impacts my reputation as a photographer, which also impacts the health of my business.
“What is the difference in a print release and relinquishing your copyright?” If you purchase a digital negative from me, you are not purchasing the copyrights to the image. I am not giving up any of my rights as an artist. Instead, you are purchasing a license which allows you to reprint the image for your own personal use (or for business use, if and only if that is part of the license agreement we both sign). You may print enlargements, holiday cards, post it on your personal blog, etc. because my license gives you permission to do so. I still own the creative rights to the work, which means you may not make any profit off that image commercially, present it as your own work, or make artistic alterations to it.
“Aren’t you flattered that someone would want to use your photograph on a commercial site?” Sure, I am! I’m flattered every time I hear from a new client interested in my work. But because I am a professional photographer, because this is my career and my source of income, I simply cannot give away my work. (Ok, when I win the lottery, I’ll start giving away photographs for free. Until then, my checkbook and my accountant won’t let me.) I must guard the value and my ownership of my work and choose carefully where and how it is used, especially in commercial endeavors.
Another artists work I really enjoy is a girl called Lara Jade. I loved her self portraits and reading her blog and I remember reading a while back about a company that had stolen one of her images to use on a Pornographic CD, she was just 14 at the time! Shocking I know, but this is what some people do, steal images.
Read the article here http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2010/09/17/breaking-news-lara-jade-coton-awarded-130000-in-damages/, I hope this is a warning to many who consider using images without permission.
I would love to hear your feedback on this, whether you’re an amateur or pro photographer, client or potential client .