photogs keeping wedding photos

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Romphotog, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. Romphotog

    Romphotog TPF Noob!

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    How long do wedding photogs keep negatives or original shots anyway?
    If the client got what he/she asked for, do you expect them, or another relative, to come back a month, a year, 2, 5, or 10 years later to ask for re-prints?
    Can anyone ask for prints and videos of the wedding? Or does it have to be the person(s) who hired the photog?
    My cousin got divorced 10 years later [his wife just ran off with a man to Miami]. He never shows photos and video of wedding which reminds him of the mistake he made... nevermind the $50,000 he wasted. He probably trashed all the photos anyway. Why keep a video of himself dancing with a woman who ran away with a married man?
    But I'd like to get prints of my grandpa's sister, who was the grandma of the groom(my cousin). And ifcourse myself and my mom in younger days.
    Now if the photog is still in business, and if he kept the negatives, and if he labeled the box, how much could I expect to pay for a few old prints?

    Why cant I offer him $25 to take all the negatives off his hands? So, he'll make $25 for 10 years of storage of a wedding. Good deal?
    Nope!
    I wouldnt keep originals more than 5 years. Just call up bride and groom(if they are still together that is) and ask if they'd like all the original materials for $100. If not, trash it all.
    BTW, what if photog goes out of business? What happens to the videos and photos he is claiming copyright on and was storing in hope of hearing from someone for prints?
     
  2. Rrr3319

    Rrr3319 TPF Noob!

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    Well, how long someone keeps negatives would probably vary person to person. Your best bet would be to find out who did the wedding and see if you can track them down. If you can find them and they still have the negatives they might be happy to sell them to you for $25, but they would be the only ones who could give you an answer to that.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Copyright starts at the time an image is recored, either to film or a memory card. In general, it then lasts for the lifetime of the creator, + 70 years, here in the US.

    From www.copyright.gov:

    How long does a copyright last?
    The term of copyright for a particular work depends on several factors, including whether it has been published, and, if so, the date of first publication. As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. For works first published prior to 1978, the term will vary depending on several factors. To determine the length of copyright protection for a particular work, consult chapter 3 of the Copyright Act (title 17 of the United States Code). More information on the term of copyright can be found in Circular 15a, Duration of Copyright, and Circular 1, Copyright Basics.

    The +70 years is for the protection of the heirs. It's how Elvis can still make $8,000,000 a year even though he's been dead since 1977. :drool:

    No not a good deal for the photographer, but there is no harm in asking.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  4. irfan

    irfan TPF Noob!

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    id imagine there are no hard and fast rules regarding that, and it all varies person to person. Unless the photographer explicitly states s/he'll keep them for a certain amount of time then he can probably dispose of them whenever he wants. just ask.

    when my sister got married she got a disc with all of the images on them in full size, and id imagine she's SOL if she loses it now. I wouldnt expect a photographer to keep them more than a couple years.

    As to who can ask for reprints, well that would depend on what the couple requested. If they state that only they can order prints, then thats that. personally Id have anyone else get written permission from the couple.
     
  5. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    I keep them, the only ones disposed of were from the business I took over and of those I only disposed of those over 10yo so some of them are now 16yo and will probably get the chop soon. I have every raw file since turning digital in 2004, shooting raw all of the time, its too soon to dispose of anything so recent, just in case.

    You could have a couple who suffer a house fire or other disaster and come back for a reprint album or simply a death of a relative they want a print of and would be relying on a professional business to archive these images.

    However, unlike modern machine gunning "Pro's" I dont take thousands of shots at weddings as I'd need HD space which wouldn't be practical. H

    PS: and anyone who wants to buy a print, can, copyright belongs to me, sales are mine. H
     
  6. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The photographer that did the wife & I's wedding 30 years ago did her parents wedding 50 years ago. We went to him at as we were planning their 50th wedding anniversary to see about getting a photo or two and he was retiring in a couple of months. He gave us all the negatives from their wedding as well as ours.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Unless the photographer sold the B&G the copyrights, or has a clause stating otherwise in the contract the B&G signed, the photographer (being the copyright owner) can legally sell the images to anyone, and for any purpose, the photographer wants to sell them to, with no input from the B&G.
     
  8. Romphotog

    Romphotog TPF Noob!

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    Regarding fires, floods, death or retirement of photog, loss, etc. If it could happen to B&G, it could happen to the photog. Storing negatives at his place or in my basement makes no difference. However, I wouldnt store anything for 50 years, neither would I be personally responsible for someone's wedding photos and videos for more than 5 years.
    There has to be a max storage clause stating that if no one returns for reprints within a specified time frame, then all goes into trash.
     
  9. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    No one is saying a disaster can't befall the tog or the premises, regardless if it did, the files / negs belong to the tog so whether they are destroyed or not has little to do with the client.

    The max storage clause bit matters even less, files on a HD aren't really getting in the way and could sit there forever as far as I'm concerned, neg folders are a different matter as storage has to be considered regards temp/humidity etc etc.

    If you offer a pro service then binning all your files every five years just because no-one wanted reprints is silly, there are other markets for good images. H
     
  10. swoop_ds

    swoop_ds TPF Noob!

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    I have a small terabyte hard drive that I keep in a safety deposit box of raw imAges from client shoots. Once that's full ill see if I can cram another one in there. The safety deposit box is "free" with my banking accounts at my bank (although I'm sure that I pay for it one way or another!)

    I use this as a selling point when I tell clients that I will have their prints locked up forever.

    Another point, I've never looked into it, but online storage might be a useful tool although I'm sure a Terabyte of space isn't cheap on a backup server.
    -Dave
     
  11. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    HD drive space is quite cheap right now, you can get Tbs hard drive for around 50-60 bucks,
    i also keep copys on dvd-dl since ive had a few hard drive failing on me over the years. hard drives are not reliable if not into a raid configuration.
     

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