Need some help, need some opinions...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by manaheim, May 20, 2009.

  1. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My brother in law and his wife are getting their law firm going. They're doing an "online ad campaign" of some kind and have expressed interest in using some of my photos as part of it.

    I'm not sure how I feel about this.

    First off, I don't get the impression that it has ever occurred to them that I actually make money from my photography and this would be akin to asking me to do photo stuff for free, which I have a problem with. I do very occasionally do a bit of work pro-bono to get up a bit of experience or get some extra source material, but it's rare and I'm not sure I see a "win" for me in this particular arrangement. Dunno.

    Now the flip side of this is he's an attourney... now living in my home state and practicing. That strikes me as potentially handy... and I think to myself "Well, if I wind up needing an attourney some day, would I ask him to help me?" I'm not actually sure what the answer is. Part of me thinks no... I'm not sure I'd be comfortable asking a family member to do something like that, and I think I'd feel guilty if I wasn't paying him... but I'm not sure. I wonder what his reaction would be were the tables turned.... dunno.

    Now in addition to this, I'm not sure how I feel about having my stuff used in this way. This isn't my commercial photography here, this is more of my artistic stuff. I don't know that I necessarily have an issue with it or not... I just don't know as I hadn't considered the works in this way. My initial reaction is that the extent of commercialism I want these things used for is for sold prints as "art" and to promote myself as a photographer... but again... I'm really not sure.

    I'm really at a loss.

    Very curious of anyone's thoughts.

    Thanks.
     
  2. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    My suggestion is that you sit him down and talk this out with him. Explain your concerns and see what he says. It might strengthen your relationship with him.

    Ian
     
  3. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I would bring up your concerns. Let him know that you do sell pictures. But you are willing to allow use of your photos with propper credit for no cost to them, but that if you need legal help in the future you would expect the same in return.

    If anything bring it up with your sister first. You should feel a little more comfortable talking frankly with her.
     
  4. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    A lot of attorneys aren't exactly artistically minded and they probably have lots on their minds with opening a new practice, so you may need to spell this all out to him. I agree that you need to sit down with him or her or both of them and explain your concerns.

    I do think their website might be a good platform for your work, publicity-wise - depending, of course, on what sort of law they practice (I don't see a lot of juvenile offenders being interested in purchasing prints, for example).

    I guarantee everyone else in the family asks for free legal advice - you won't be the first. And as long as it's appreciated and not completely disregarded, most attorneys don't mind helping out family members.
     
  5. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Definatly discuss your issues with them.

    If they are expecting free pictures and you don't feel this is right, you have a few options. If you start going down the "I wont charge family for pictures" route, then other family members may expect the same. You can always charge them your cost or a bit above.
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Print them, frame them and sell them from his office. Let him tell his clients that he can get them a deal on the prints and any other photo work as well.

    Consider the web work advertising you are paying for by allowing limited usage of the images. You can also tell him that if anyone steals them from the web he can be the one to sue and you can sit down and go from there. A gentler way to let him know that you have bills too. ;)
     
  7. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Dude, it's family ... how can you charge family ... and in return, you should recieve legal advice pro-bono. My cousin is an attorney, I find him a wonderful resource for quick answers via email or phone call.

    Additionally, this may be an opportunity to expand your portfolio and revenue sources. I would think that other attornies and professionals would see the web site, admire the images (with your copyright/ID) and call you for your services.

    Gary
     
  8. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    All great thoughts, everyone, and thank you.

    Gary really made me stop and think. :lol:

    In the end, I've decided that the exposure I get from this is basically none, and where I do get exposure I'm not totally comfortable with it. (There's one piece I didn't mention... he is currently doing most DUI defense stuff)

    I've also decided that having some of the artistic pieces I'm proud of as some sort of background material on a website is kinda diminishing to those pieces. (how haughty does that sound) Commissioned work for a purpose is one thing... taking your precious babies and using them as wallpaper is kind of another.

    I've told him that I'm just not comfortable with my art being used in this way, but that I would be VERY happy to get any images that he wants of anything in the area, and all he needs to do is let me know. He was excited about that and has even posed the idea of possibly getting me into his local courthouse to take some pictures- he says the place is scary cool looking and would give him some great stuff for his site, and get me in somewhere that photographers wouldn't usually be allowed anyway. win/win

    Fortunately, my brother in law happens to be a very cool guy- very nice, very understanding, and really was doing this in part because he figured it would be a good thing for me.

    So, all in all, I think I've managed to work this out and I think I've managed to figure out where I want to be in respect to my works, which is very cool.

    Thank you everyone VERY much. (and I've thanked you all, btw.) :)
     
  9. adamwilliamking

    adamwilliamking TPF Noob!

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    Hey,

    My first thought is that if he's already "pre-expecting" you to give him these pictures for free, than he doesnt know the value of good photography, and probably will not feel that photography is an even trade for having the power of attorney. So I would throw the idea out the window that doing this is going to incline your chances of receiving the favour back. In terms of law, you're family, he's either going to help you in that time of need or not, I don't think that this instance has much of an impact on that. Law firms have money, possibly not at first but they will one day. If you're providing him with top quality photograph maybe introduce the idea of fronting the photos and possibly receiving some payback sometime down the road. Make sure you vocalize this though and not just expect the power of attorney in return. :) - Good luck

    damn I was late! ugh!
     
  10. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    heheh

    btw, I don't want anyone to think I was considering this only just to make sure he'd help me if I got sued... more just thinking "well, hey, if the tables were turned here, what would that mean? what would I do? what would he do?"
     

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