Freelance contracts?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by aries67, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. aries67

    aries67 TPF Noob!

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    I have recently started work doing admin/marketing for a small studio for hire. I have also offered my services as a freelance photographer.

    A situation recently came up at work....

    My boss booked a birthday party on a weekend about 2 weeks ago. He asked me to help take photos with no pay because he's only just started in photography. I swapped my time for a free bday shoot for my daughter later in the year. Yesterday the bday girls mother came in and printed off one of my b&w pics of one of the other girls for her bday. So not related to the original bday. He charged her $45.00 for the print.

    In hindsight I believe I have copyright of the b&w photo and I should be paid by customer for printing/copies or at least in part.

    Is there an industry standard regarding terms and conditions of a contract that a freelance photographer would use for freelance employment? One that protects my copyright, and perhaps gives options as to how the image may be used/onsold/reprinted, etc?

    My boss is a scrap metal man and photography is his hobby so any mistakes made are mine! He had no idea of model releases, etc until I told him!

    So I'm looking for a contract that's industry standard but that also clearly explains the boundaries for both sides.
     
  2. maggamoo

    maggamoo TPF Noob!

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    I do not have any advice on contracts as I am a Noobe myself, but for all the copyright information you want go to www.gocopyright.com it's all free and in words and phrases that are easily understood.

    Hope this helps a little.
    heather
     
  3. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    It is my understanding that your employer holds the copyright not you.

    FRIENDLY REMINDER TO ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS! Get the contract and or agreement signed in blood before the work begins. There is no excuse not to.

    Love & Bass
     
  4. ScottS

    ScottS TPF Noob!

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    No, you own the copyright, but they (depending on the contract) can have full licence to use it however they want.
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I got the impression that her boss asked her to take photos for his studio. How does she (the employee) own the rights?

    Love & Bass
     
  6. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    In most civilized (or civilised if you're in Australia, I guess) countries, if you take the photo, you own the copyright automatically. I wasn't quite clear if the photo sold was taken by you or your boss, though, from your post. If you took it, he might have simply accidentally forgotten since it was mixed in with his.

    For $45, I wouldn't make a big deal over it - or really say anything about it - but in the future make sure everything is laid out in writing.

    I went to Hawaii and before the trip began I offered to compile everyones' photos and make a DVD with all of the pictures on it. Not to sound arrogant, but I came to realize that mine were much better than most others', and I was conflicted about whether I should reduce the resolution of mine for the disk, or do something else to somehow protect them from being printed. But I ended up just handing them out because I had offered initially and I didn't want to go back on what I said. So next trip (Yellowstone later this year), I simply won't make that offer.

    Same thing for you - next time, have something in writing.
     
  7. KhronoS

    KhronoS TPF Noob!

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    Unless u gave all the rights to your boss, then the photos are all yours and i guess you should charge him. because in the end, you aren't tied by a contract which let's him sell your photos. I think you can even sue him (but remember there is a "verbal" contract too, so you shouldn't go so far, to much fuss for nothing)... try talking to you boss

    About the model releases, well you will need them only if you will gonna use the photos in advertising, or sell to other parties the right to use it in advertising or other things...
     
  8. aries67

    aries67 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all your feedback everyone!

    It turns out in Australia "copyright is owned by your employer if the image was taken as part of your job. Alternatively by Section 35(5), if the photograph was commissioned (by agreement and for money) for a "private or domestic purpose" — such as a family portrait or wedding or birthday party — then the client owns copyright, unless there is agreement to the contrary."

    So now my next question would is - if the client signs a model release form that names me as the photographer on the studio's letterhead do we (myself and my employer) get the rights specified in the model release and is it share equally between myself and my employer? Do I really need a contract?
     
  9. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    For the first part - client signing rights away - this is again probably country-specific, but ... unless the contract violates local laws, then the terms of the contract should be binding. In other words, if the client signs away their rights, then they've signed away their rights, period.

    For the second part - do you share equally, yourself and employer - this should be either in the contract the model signed OR in a contract between you and the employer. In other words, there should be specific language stating, "Any profits from photographs taken for [the business] will be split 50% to Person A and 50% to Person B," or whatever split you're talking about. Otherwise, if you're an employee in a photography business, then I would think that all photographs are owned by the business or the business's owner barring any contract or local laws to the contrary.

    Bottom-Line: GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING! ;)
     
  10. aries67

    aries67 TPF Noob!

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    Good advice! Thanks!
     
  11. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    Okay, I got an e-mail saying that D-50 just posted this to the thread, even though I don't see it:

    It was a geology field trip with classmates. We all had cameras. I went in saying I would compile peoples' pictures, but I've gotten to a photography level (at or around the time of the trip) where I think they're good enough to sell (my Aunt took some to a framer for her house and the framer thought they were pro). Now that these people all have the full-resolution digital files, if they happened to be the not-so-honest kind, they could sell them as their own. Hence on future trips of this kind, with people that I didn't know until the trip, I won't make that offer again.
     

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