What happened to my pictures?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by superman63086, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. superman63086

    superman63086 TPF Noob!

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    Hi new here and dont really take a lot of photographs. Except for my cars and motorcycles.
    So I am doing a favor for a friend. And to my surprise, he has some olan mills pictures. Dated in 89, not so bad but the pictures arent in great shape. SO restoring them is very expensive and very hard to do, and possiblly not doable at all.
    So here is my question? What happened to all those prof. photo negatives that you werent allowed to have because of ...ehem... Copyrights?
    Now where are those negatives?
    Are they required to keep them?
    And if so why can I not find a shred of evidence that would lead me to believe that you could get them?

    I mean common sense would say..... " Hey why dont we make an archive of all of the photos we have ever done and keep the negatives there. So that 20 years down the road, when the family who didnt have $500 dollars for 4 photos on a peice of film wants some new ones?..... DOH!

    Thanks
    From the ever annoyed, and overly blunt
     
  2. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    wait...lemme see if im understanding...

    you are looking for negs from olan mills from 1989? eek.

    my first suggestion would be to have your friend call the location he had them done...IF they are still there...IF he can remember.

    this is going to be a wild goose chase if i had to guess.

    good luck.
     
  3. RancerDS

    RancerDS TPF Noob!

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    Imagine you are running a business where you can keep records/negatives/other errata as long as you wish. Now imagine you are a highly successful business with computers and a heavy workload with a secretary that only keeps the records that are strictly necessary to run the business (financials for up to 7 years for IRS purposes). Taking it a step further, you are a renowned leader in the industry with a huge client base and multiple offices while possibly franchised. Wonder how much effort it would require to archive every single exposure taken? And since a lot of this was pre-negative/film scanners or even office computers, in what format is it going be be stored?? Probably microfiche in the best case scenario... which is not an inexpensive archival method.

    And then have to ask if you've archived any one thing for 20 years on a personal level? It would take a pack-ratting OCD disorder type of person to keep anything that obsessively well and long. My bet is that if they DID have your negative for that period, you would probably be paying a HUGE amount for their archival processing fee.

    Not trying to be an overly smart arse here. Just trying to point out some of the problems indicative of satisfying a customer within a reasonable time frame. If I ran a photo studio, I would probably never keep anything over 2 years. And if it was staffed properly, would make at least 1 or 2 offers for reprints in that time span before destroying the negatives. As to actually selling the negatives... again, would probably be very pricey, especially for a business oriented to selling the "prints". :)
     
  4. superman63086

    superman63086 TPF Noob!

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    As I understand the business side of things fairly well. What kind of horse manuer is it that a business that is suppose to be "professional" acts in a very unprofessional way. Choosing one way or another would be the most customer oriented action. Either give them the negatives and the copyright before that year is to be "tossed" OR Keep them indefinately. Which seems easier? So then what basis do they have for being such an amazing company. Because in this case, I would almost guarantee that a law suit would loot him a very big portion of money. Considering it was the only picture of his mother and father that was ever taken. And it is very unlikely that the have this written into their disclosures or other legal paperwork. And that even so they probably wouldnt have a record of the legal documents that were produced that year. Case in point, which would cost less, $20,000,000 over a set of negatives or maybe $6,000,000 to keep all those photos and the chance at not having Bad PR?
    Sorry to vent but in 89 $500 for negatives, in the working class was probably more than they saved in a year.
     
  5. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

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    I am a little slow sometimes so sorry if I am not following you here. Have you talked to the Olan Mills franchisee that took the portraits and what did they tell you?
    Are you upset because Olan Mills wanted $500 for the negatives in 1989 or because you can't find the negatives today?
     
  6. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    Probably easier and cheaper to do this than hunt down the negs tbh
     
  7. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

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    I agree with JamesMason. Have you tried scanning them and then use whatever post processing you have to touch them up. Many of the new printer/scanner combos can scan in pretty high dpi and get a decent image to work with.
     
  8. Graham18ce

    Graham18ce TPF Noob!

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    I'm pretty sure when any photographer sells you a photo, they are selling you the "print". they actually own the neg and the image itself unless otherwise stated in a release form.
    There would be no law suit or case in anyway, no bad pr for anyone if they took said neg and had disposed of 10 minutes after the shoot. It is their property and they have no reason to hold anything for days, weeks, years, let alone 20 years! that simply isn't realist for any company.
    always work asking the simple question of where are they now, but to expect an answer of "oh, there are over here, one minute...that was shot 28837594 you say,....oh here it is!"
    even if you call DHL for a proof of delivery 6 months after the shipment date you are going to pay $50 (i think) to open a case for it. i've open several over the years and haven't more than a 10% recovering for things within one year.
     

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