How to Screen Photographers

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by ep2002, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. ep2002

    ep2002 TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,

    I am going to be looking for photographers some time down the road, & I need to know what questions to ask them in order to know if they are experienced, ethical, legit, etc.

    Oh I almost forgot...

    If an agent pays for a model's shoot, who owns the rights to the photos, since she clearly didn't pay for them?

    Can she later on buy them back from the agent?

    Thanks


    Michelle
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum Michelle.

    I'm not sure of the best way to screen photographers...my advice would be to use common sense. If you get a bad feeling about someone, then maybe they aren't the right choice for you. Asking for referrals might be a good idea. You might want to choose someone who is 'known' (has a public profile). This doesn't guarantee they won't be a jerk, but it may be better than someone who is a complete stranger & unknown.

    As for the rights to the photos...this should be decided before the shoot and put into a signed contract. The laws can vary from place to place but for the most part, the photographer owns the rights to the photos. The photographer can sell or grant certain rights to whoever.

    If you just want some shots to keep for your portfolio, then let them know about it before hand. You may have to buy them but maybe not.

    If you want to buy the rights to the images, so that nobody else can use them...that might be tricky and/or expensive. If you want more control over your images, it will probably have to be worked into the contract...but keep in mind that if your contract has too many demands, you may be labeled 'hard to work with' etc.

    A good agent should make your rights and option very clear for you...so don't be afraid to ask lots of questions.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    If you haven't already, you might get some good information on the forums at www.modelmayhem.com .

    Like Big Mike says, if you or an agent pay for the shoot, the photographer owns the copyrights unless a different agreement has been reached by the parties involved
     
  4. ep2002

    ep2002 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I already got the answer to the "rights" question, now I just need to know what to ask to screen photographers.


    Michelle
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Experience: Ask how long they have been in the business and what publications have used their work.

    Ethical: Everyone will say they are ethical even if the aren't. So, you ask some of the photographers other clients.

    Legit: There is a lot of business information available to the public through various government agencies since most business require a license to operate.
     
  6. ep2002

    ep2002 TPF Noob!

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    Hi Keith,

    Ok, what if they haven't shot for publications, only for sites, small businesses, headshots for professionals, etc.?

    Thanks


    Michelle
     
  7. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, look at their portfolio. Like what you see? Meet them in person at a public place, coffee shop is a popular one. Ask them general questions like kmh said. By then you should be able to get a feel if they are someone you want to work with. If you get a bad feeling, but aren't sure, find another photographer. There's enough good photographers out there that you shouldn't have to worry about finding another one.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Then all 3 of your questions become harder to answer.

    If they have only shot for sites, small businesses, headshots for professionals.....they likely don't know how to shoot for a models portfolio. They don't know the clothes, accessories, poses or light.

    You are looking for a very specific kind of photographs. I would contact the nearest agency(s) and ask for a photographer referral and working models in your area you could contact. I really think you would be better served persuing industry sources for information, as opposed to these forums.
     
  9. ep2002

    ep2002 TPF Noob!

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    Actually I disagree, but of course you do have the right to your opinion.

    Just b/c you can't answer my questions doesn't mean everyone else can't, & if I'm learning, then I would be more likely to make a more informed consumer decision.

    That's how life works, living & learning & exploring.

    Thanks anyway


    Michelle

     
  10. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

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    Michelle,

    Your mentioning models and photographers and agents, so I am assuming money is involved here.

    Keith answered your question more than you think. In the business world where time is money, you could drain a budget very quickly with someone who is inexperienced with getting a model shoot done on time and on budget. Yes, life is full of live and learn lessons, but let me say this, if you hire someone with no credentials or portfolio based on what you want them to do (a model shoot), then you might eat that "live and learn" line more than you want to financially. The results may not be desirable, money for the proposed shoot is depleted and your models may not be willing to go through the same performance next time.

    Just a thought!
     
  11. ep2002

    ep2002 TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    Well I'll disagree again.

    I asked these same questions on another forum or two, & received a lot more detailed answers, but hey, like I said, everyone has the right to their own opinion.

    I am NOT the one who said my questions couldn't be answered, Keith was the one who said these forums weren't for me.

    Maybe you should re-read what was said, b/c it's sounding like you don't understand my questions or what he said. Eventually I would have been more clear on my questions, but since I didn't get what I needed the first time around, it never came to that.

    Yes this is for professional women (not models) who want to show their pics on their sites & no, I never said they should hire just anyone & waste money LOL, I meant this is why I'm asking these questions NOW.

    Thanks for everyone's help, I will find my answers elsewhere.

    Wishing everyone all the best.


    Michelle

     
  12. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

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    No, you are now wrong. I understand perfectly what Keith said, because unlike you, he does know what he is talking about. He has experience, he offered advice. You didn't get the answer you wanted to hear.

    Now to answer your jab.

    Questions you need to ask:
    1. Show me your Portfolio so I can see that you have EXPERIENCE so I don't waste my time and money
    2. Give me some phone numbers so I can call your previous clients to see how you conducted yourself in an ETHICAL fashion and professional attitude
    3. Show me your business license so you I can be assured I am dealing with a LEGITIMATE business registered with the state.

    Anymore questions?
     

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