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Corrosive Shame
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46 lies or Lie to me
blackvelvetmag From: blackvelvetmag Date: November 8th, 2005 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think you should actually print their contract here, for starters.

Some other bands have had press release forms. I know FFAF also did it on their NME Tour the other year. I can't remember if it said the same thing about £1 - but really, what's a £1? They liked my photo of Ryan Richards and asked if they could use that to go in another magazine and then they used it on their DVD sleeve and I got credited. I'm happy if they like my work and want to use it.
kneeshooter From: kneeshooter Date: November 8th, 2005 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's nothing confidential about a contract like this in my opinion - it's not commercially sensitive and is the type of thing that is regularly discussed. Unless I'm missing a reason? I took care to take off all the address information (which is equally public domain) and the phone numbers (which I wouldn't want to publish). Happy to take opinions though...

I know where you're coming from in the second half of your post. The difference between this and the example you give is that they "asked". Under the terms of this contract you have to give them your material. You effectively lose any control or choice in the matter. You can't use it for your own portfolio. If they want to make it into a poster and it sells thousands they do not even have to credit you.

It is flattering to be asked and pretty much every band that has asked me for stuff I send without a second thought - but this is plain rude. It's not even good business - after all they make unreasonable demands - and don't get coverage. Their choice.

Photographers, like all artists, should in my opinion have a right to have some control over their work and not be strong-armed into giving up that control.

Just to caveat - I think my stuff is good, but I know it's nothing special. I can't imagine they would want to use my stuff but there is a principle.

I've signed, as you have, releases in the past - but none of them have asked for the same conditions as this one. In fact, I've shot Sanctuary artists before without similar problems.
blackvelvetmag From: blackvelvetmag Date: November 8th, 2005 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hm, ok. Well I just personally wouldn't print a full contract out for others to read when it's between you and someone else.

Do you definitely have to send them all photos regardless of whether they ask for them or not? I was under the impression that 1.5 meant that if they request pix then you'd send them to them. Although I think last time I emailed them the 20 photos I had used on my page, for them to see and check they were ok with those being on the site, and that was all. I didn't send them every photo I'd taken and I wasn't asked to send more.
kneeshooter From: kneeshooter Date: November 8th, 2005 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
First point taken.

You're reading all I've been sent. They do have to "ask" for them; and of course they probably never would. But, as has been pointed out above, they might ask for them as "A4 prints" or something equally silly that is actually within the terms of the contract.

It's really 2 and 3 that annoy me the most though. Sending jpegs by email is hardly a chore and I would have done anyway.

I would hate that this kind of contract become normal though - that thought terrifies me. Of course each photographer is happy to work under whatever conditions they wish - and many will no doubt be happy with this.
davefish From: davefish Date: November 8th, 2005 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
but really, what's a £1?

Some might say that its a rather low rate for several hours work from a pro or semi-pro photographer, who is then giving over all rights to the work that he has just carried out.
blackvelvetmag From: blackvelvetmag Date: November 8th, 2005 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
But if you don't want to do it for nothing then you just don't. Simple as. If you're into being paid a decent wage for photos then just go to a different gig where you'll be paid. If you do get paid a wage for the photos then this won't come into it as you'll be being paid by who you're taking the photos for anyway. Giving the photos over to a band's management once in a blue moon is not really going to make much difference, I don't think. If you're a pro photographer then surely one gig - that you were only considering anyway - is not going to really make much difference.
kneeshooter From: kneeshooter Date: November 8th, 2005 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll let Dave come back if he wants - and yes - you're right. In this case the decision was made for me. The contract needed to be signed by the publication, not by me, and they declined to do so because of the content.

We've got slightly different attitudes still - and yours is probably more sensible - over giving photos to management - you're happy to; I'm happy to when I have a choice. But I often get stuck on points of principle. It's a defining characteristic.

You're in a special situation in some ways too - your fine magazine is your portfolio; my portfolio and any publications are separate.

blackvelvetmag From: blackvelvetmag Date: November 9th, 2005 12:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh well that's a bummer that you didn't end up going. Didn't realise you wouldn't have the choice yourself and the publication would have to sign. There were quite a lot of us in the photopit. I didn't count but I'd say at least 8. I can see your point about your portfolio being separate. I guess you don't get to show off too much of your work when working for someone else, so that's where your own site comes in handy.
kneeshooter From: kneeshooter Date: November 9th, 2005 06:44 am (UTC) (Link)
C'est la vie. Glad to read it sounded like fun anyway.

I wasn't terribly worried as it gave me a chance to play catch-up and I wasn't especially worried about seeing the bands.

Look forward to seeing your pics, as ever!
davefish From: davefish Date: November 8th, 2005 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've done plenty of shots essentially for free. Giving stuff over to people. Giving stuff over to some big buisness however, I don't think much of that as a plan.

If I was a taxi driver and took some people to a party, and then I am not likely to take some people coming out of the party home for free (It might not be that far out of my way even)

What if I am being paid, and just like the reply below I lose that evenings pay because my publisher doesn't like those conditions (Which I wouldn't be suprised at.)

As for that pound for sending them images, if you look at the National Union of Journalists recommended digital fees, that should be more like 20 quid for up to 10 images.

Contracts such as those, if they do become commonplace, will be massively bad news for professional photographers, and the only way to stop that would be to say no.
46 lies or Lie to me