Ghost Photographer?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Cinka, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

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    A friend of mine just told me about "Ghost Photographers" - that is, not people who take pictures of ghosts, but people who photographer for better known photographers. The better known photographer, who doesn't have time to shoot, hires someone who is just as good to do the work and the better known photographer takes the credit.

    Has anyone heard of this? If so, has anyone done it? What's the deal and how do I get some?
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've heard of similar things with wedding photographers. You call John Smith Photography, meet with John Smith a few times, chat about whatever, and it ends up being Generic Photographer Name #2 who shoots your wedding, not John Smith.

    This photographer is good, but you thought it wasn't John Smith who was to do your wedding.

    I assume if you are a "ghost" photographer, you still need to be pretty damn good. Else, the main photographer might be sued for crap work and misleading advertisement or whatever else legal terms should be used
     
  3. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

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    Right. You'd think that John Smith would have to choose someone he could stand by their work. Seems sort of like an odd thing to do, in general. I suppose very famous photographers get busy...but so busy they can't do their own work? Seems like a cheat.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't think I've heard it called 'Ghost Photography'...more like sub-contracting or out-sourcing.

    It's common that the most 'successful' photographers are the ones who can sell themselves & their business better than others. The quality & creativity of the images often comes second to that. So for them, it makes sense to out-source parts of their business...which in some cases means the shooting. More often, it might be the post processing.

    I think a key point is how this is conducted. I've read a few horror stories about weddings where the couple is surprised when a different photographer shows up on their wedding day. If a photographer is going to out-source the shooting, they should let the client know...especially if they represented to them that they would be the one shooting.

    On the other hand, some people go to a Photography Studio/company to hire a photographer. As long as the 'studio' adheres to a standard of quality (only uses good photographers)...it may not matter who the actual shooter is.

    As for the main photographer/company taking credit...again, I think it depends on how they conduct themselves. Photographers working under them are probably in a 'work for hire' scenario...so the main photographer or the 'studio' would own the rights to the image.
     
  5. CrimsonFoxPhotography

    CrimsonFoxPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Big Mike hit the nail on the head. You make it sound as though John Smith wasn't a hypothetical example and that he's out to get someone. Yes, there is a such thing as being too busy to do it all yourself; on one hand, telling phone call after phone call that you're booked solid let's people know that you're wanted, on the other hand it shuts out prospective clients who may've brought tons of money to your business in the long run. You want to be able to keep the engine running as hard and fast as demand calls for it without burning yourself out. This means hiring second shooters and associate photographers as the need arises but OBVIOUSLY, only hiring people that you have faith in comes first.
     

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