Need some advice

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by ncphotographer, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. ncphotographer

    ncphotographer TPF Noob!

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    Hi! I'm new to the forums- I went searching because I would like the advice of other pros, please.

    I recently invited another photographer who is thinking about going pro to come along and get some experience at a wedding. We happen to be friends and I wanted them to get a feel for whether or not they were really wanting to do it; additionally I thought it would be a good way to have a second shooter around. Their facebook status and twitter updates were all about being excited about being asked to second shoot- although when the day of the wedding came, it was a mess.

    When I told them that the standard SS rules would apply to the photographs taken that day (can use them in print but not on a website) they flipped out. Since I hadn't had them sign a contract (I made the error of not thinking it was necessary since we were friends) and for the sake of the friendship, I let it go, because there really was no legal way I could enforce it, and basically my only recourse was to determine to never ask them to shoot with me again. I am not sure how someone could agree to second shoot without understanding what it means to be a second shooter, but maybe that's just me. I've shot as a second shooter plenty of times and I don't throw a fit that I'm not using the photos on my website. It's always been a valuable learning experience, and I'm happy to leave it at that.

    Sure enough, they posted photos of the wedding on their blog, etc. and I just feel like it's so unprofessional that it makes me want to cry. Not the image that I want for my business AT ALL.

    Not only that, now the Bride is emailing me, only one week after the wedding, because she saw the photos that my friend posted on facebook and their blog, and wants to know if she can see more of the photos now, because she doesn't want to wait.

    How do I indicate to the bride (without sounding rude) that with 1200 photos to go through, it will take longer than a week? When she hired me, it's in the contract that the photos will be ready no later than 4 weeks after the wedding date. I just don't know how to word that professional images are in no way related to anything seen on Facebook, and she needs to be patient.

    I could use some advice. And please, don't beat me up- I'm doing that enough for everyone. It's a crappy lesson to learn, but I'm happy I've learned it now, even if it is painful and terribly embarrassing.
     
  2. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here's a try - Quality vs Quantity.
    In short, "processing takes time. my lab has contacted me and informed me that it won't be available due to them being backed up. I'll try to rush the job to the best of my ability."

    In Long - clients think digital is point and click, they don't care how processing is done (either film or digital), they just want to see results. You could spend LOTS of time explaining how processing is done, and who's doing it, but I think the shorter part is better and straight to the point.
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Dealing with the client will be a delicate balancing act. I can't help you very much on that point. Just do your best to deliver as quickly as practical without letting quality slip.

    I would suggest that you very firmly suggest (read: demand politely) that your SS remove all images from any publicly visible location, print or web. Regardless of your agreement with the SS, that SS needs a model release from your client before they may any public display of the image. You contract with the client may give you some display rights (portfolio use, etc) but it wouldn't extend to an independent SS unless specifically mentioned. The SS is at risk of getting themselves and you in some serious legal trouble.

    I would suggest in the future that you keep full control of all images. No SS should ever get any rights to any images. They are working for you. They walk away from the job with experience, not pictures.
     
  4. ncphotographer

    ncphotographer TPF Noob!

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    Dwig,
    I completely agree with you! They claim, however, that they weren't serious about their indications of being a SS, and thought we were shooting the wedding as a "team". They then went on to say that they would never agree to give up rights to their photographs, etc.

    This, of course, has led me to put a solid SS contract into place. Something like this will never happen again.

    One recommendation I read and will actually be following in the future is to provide memory cards to them, and get them back after the wedding, so they don't actually even leave the wedding with any of the photographs in their possession, eliminating these kinds of issues.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    :hug::
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    I do a fair bit of 2nd shooting and this is the typical arrangement. I signed a contract and they provide me with cards which I return to them at the end of the night.

    However, they do make an exception for me, and allow me to use the photos I take. They just put RAW files onto discs and send them to me. Of course, I give them the courtesy of not showing them publicly until they have delivered to the client.

    Also, I would try to explain to your friend, exactly why you didn't want them splashing the photos all over the place. It's your business and your reputation...and now you are having to answer to the client. If they really are a friend, maybe they will understand.
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And remember.... any photograph made under your direction is yours.

    -Pete
     

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