Client Editing Photos

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by erphoto, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. erphoto

    erphoto TPF Noob!

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    First time poster here. Hopefully this will be a place for me to come with questions and "learning".

    Here's my dilemma. The way I work is that when I shoot a wedding, I give them a dvd of the images and a rights to print release that states that I still hold the copy right, they only have the right to reprint for personal use.

    I have someone who has taken my images, some of them the "original, optimized" version, but some of them the artistic changed version and has done her own things to them through Picnik.

    I'm a bit offended and extremely p*ssed off about this. Do I have the right to be angry? Or am I just overreacting?

    Thanks!
     
  2. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Did you tell your client up front that they can't edit the pictures you gave them on DVD? I have found most client do not fully understand that although they have the images on DVD they are not theirs to do what they want with them.
    Have you spoken to them? I think before you get upset you should talk to them and see it there are any services you can offer, or if there is a reason they want to change them.
     
  3. erphoto

    erphoto TPF Noob!

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    On my Rights Release, it states:

    3. Grant of Rights. As per agreement, photographer grants client the following rights to the shoot stated above:

    A. Rights to copy, duplicate images through a printer or copy shop for personal usage only.

    B. Reservation of Rights. All rights not expressly granted hereunder are reserved to the photographer.

    Pretty much, the client has only the right to print and/or copy the images. Not change them.

    What they did to the pictures looks cheap and very unprofessional (obviously, she was just playing around o picnik or whatever site she did the editing on.) I just don't want something that looks like that associated with my name.

    I only know she did this because they are posted on facebook, which she friended me on.
     
  4. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Well you can nicely ask her to take them down, or you have to decide if you if it is worth it to have your pictures the way you wanted them or if you want a client pissed off at you and telling everyone they feel you are being unreasonable (even though you are not).
    You need to make the decision of what is going to impact you more.
     
  5. erphoto

    erphoto TPF Noob!

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    To be honest with you it's not worth the energy. The pictures were good pictures but my subjects were not. Thanks!
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Did you tell her what the rights release says? Only its my experience in life that most people never read the fine print with things - and if they do it rarly sinks in or is remembered.
    Its not about being harsh when telling as you hand over the prints, its just a reminder that whilst they have the images and the right to print they do not actually own the images themselves- something that most people (even in pre digital ages) often find hard to grasp - you can see this when people go to have a wedding or portait shot scanned and copied professionally and they don't have a signed release from the photographer - even though the shot might be 40 years old (something that can happen at funerals as people find good photos only to find that not only don't have have the rights but the photographer in question also long dead).

    I would be polite about approaching your client in this respect and point out your reasons for having such a policy. Further since she has done this editing and liked the effect it might do you good to offer to touchup the shots she has editied in the manner which she has at a better level - that would help save any bad feelings she might have about this
     
  7. ryan7783

    ryan7783 TPF Noob!

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    Until a potential customer sees HER version of the photos and is turned off because they think it's YOUR version of the photos. Her crappy edit job = less work for you
     
  8. chakalakasp

    chakalakasp TPF Noob!

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    The problem with doing this is that you might invalidate your contract.
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    well you can still point them to key parts of the contract that they might overlook :)
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    How about if you write this stuff in language they can easily understand. It works for me.

    3. I retain all rights to these images. What follows is what this contract allows as far as what you can do with these images.
    a. I grant permission for you to make prints, or have prints made by an independent photo processor. I highly recommend www.mpix.com, a quality online consumer print lab.
    b. Here's what you can't do with these images:
    1. You're not allowed to change them in any way other than minor cropping to facilitate different print sizes (aspect ratios), unless you get my written permission to do so.
    2. You're not allowed to use the images for commercial purposes, unless you get my written permission to do so.
    3. You're not allowed to enter any of these images in any kind of contest, unless you get my written permission to do so.
    4. Anything else I haven't mentioned is also not permitted, unless you get my written permission first.
     
  11. bcshort

    bcshort TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Keith here,

    Theres a common misconception by customers that if it is not written in the contract, then it must be OK. Sometimes you really need to spell it out to them what they can and can't do. If something goes wrong, you an then say "Well if you look at Item Number blah it clearly says"

    Unfortunately my experience with contracts (not necessarily in photography) is that a customer will tend to exploit any grey area in the wording to their advantage.
     
  12. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Editing your photos is a serious violation of your copyright under the circumstances mentioned and has a potentially negative effect on your business depending on who or how many people see the edits.

    Depending on the variables in the situation, it is up to you to decide how to follow through. At the very least, I would explain the above and gage your client's reaction. I would also go after getting the edits back in your possession.

    In a court situation it would revolve around what rights you gave to your client in the contract and if a well meaning client might assume that she had the right to edit them, given nothing in the contract to the contrary. There is some room for argument, depending on the skills of the lawyers.

    skieur
     

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