What should I do?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Sue Bruce, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Sue Bruce

    Sue Bruce TPF Noob!

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    I photographed an event today (a reception party for a wedding that happened a few weeks ago).

    During the party, I was approached by an older gentleman and his wife to take a photo of them. I took the photo.

    After I took the photo he asked me to send him the file. With over 120 guests, I didn't feel like making a big deal about sending one file to him ... so I said I would, and gave him my business card so he could email me to request it.

    He then asked for the RAW file ... which immediately made me wary.

    After I asked if he could receive a 20mg file (he said yes) he said I should also send all photos from the event on a CD/DVD to the host (the person who hired me). This was not the contracted arrangement I have ... nor would I ever send a CD of RAW files. He was insistent, bordering on rude - to which I said my 'agreement' with my client is an established agreement that did not include this. He was even more rude, suggesting I was unreasonable.

    Turns out he is a photographer. I interpret his request for raw files to be suspicious at best. He is a family member of my client. Sounds like he wants to edit my files.

    I do have a clear contract with my client. Files on a CD are provided only to the Bride & Groom for personal use. (JPEG format) I have included in my contract a standard clause stating I am the owner of the copyright.

    Would appreciate perspectives on what might be going on .. what I might do to further protect myself ... and what I might reply if he asks for his individual photo in RAW format.

    What an odd situation!?

    Ideas ... comments ... suggestions welcome!

    Sue Bruce
    Sue Bruce Photography
     
  2. beni_hung

    beni_hung TPF Noob!

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    Weird, indeed. Personally, I have a thing for telling people "no." I love it lol. So I would have politely told him that I could not send him the RAW file, but I will send him the jpeg instead. And everything after that I would honor the contract. That's why it was made in the first place. To prevent anything sketchy from happening.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    His attitude probably belies his intentions. I would not be surprised if he was trying to curry favor with the people who hired you, by having access to raw files and editing them for them...

    Clients in social photography situations are not entitled to raw files. The guy was being a jerk; his insistent nature and his attitude are two things that should make you suspicious. Be advised that your clients possibly,and I say possibly, are planning on having their "friend" or "uncle" the photographer, edit the shots for free,and prepping them, for printing. Proceed accordingly, especially if you have an aspirations of seeing any money from print sales.
     
  4. Sue Bruce

    Sue Bruce TPF Noob!

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    I agree with both replies (thank you both!). I am contemplating taking back my offer to email a RAW file. I have no contract with him.

    The contract provides for either a printed set of 4x6 images .. OR a cd of images for Bride & Groom's use ONLY (dependent on the married party's request). I may site this conversation / encounter as a reason not to provide a CD. Since this was an 'either' 'or' I feel I have the right to refuse one ...

    I have very clear correspondence on copyright, because the client (mother-in-law) asked if they could buy a CD and make all the copies they wanted ... obviously I said no extremely clearly...

    thoughts?

    Sue
     
  5. Sue Bruce

    Sue Bruce TPF Noob!

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    Now that I have had time to think ... my specific question is ...

    Can I refuse to issue a CD of images (in any format) based on the concern that a close family member has somewhat forcefully requested I send RAW files of all images to my client. My belief is that a known Photographer (and close relative) can only be requesting RAW files because they intend to edit my photographs.)

    There is a history of correspondence about intended use of images sent on CD. The client and bride/groom were unsure if they can simply buy a CD and then print as many copies as they like. (Obviously I said 'no' ...) But the thought lingers on ... (especially in light of the conversation today ...)

    I was informed that another photographer had no issue with their files being distributed ... I am wondering if the 'other' photographer may have been the relative attending the event ...

    Another question ... should I let my client know about this conversation right now? I am somewhat in favor of this (ie. to halt this before it gets further). I feel she should know that someone stepped over the line, and now I have lost trust.

    Thoughts??

    Sue
     
  6. Ryvax

    Ryvax TPF Noob!

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    Don't send the individual the RAW file, or the JPEG, you owe him nothing, pretty simple. And resize all the Jpegs on the cd you are going to give them so they can't print anything bigger than a 4x6. Should solve most of your problems. That's what I would do.
     
  7. Sue Bruce

    Sue Bruce TPF Noob!

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    Ryvax ... good suggestions. I admit I am inclined to not send anything to the requester.

    How would I limit the size of the JPEGs on the CD? Simply by resizing to 4x6 ? If they are not that dimension ... should I resize to a similarly small size?

    Sue
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I'm not sure about an agreement specifying a set of 4x6 prints OR a CD of images--that agreement seems vague. Who decides which is provided? if you are going to shoot events and provide clients with CD's full of images, you need to make sure your shooting fee "pays you up front", and that means a minimum shooting fee of $750 to $1,000 to me for a shoot-and-burn wedding.

    If your clients have already inquired about "printing as much as they want," I think it's clear what their intentions are,and I do hope you are not pricing yourself so that you don't clear a reasonably profit for the work you do. If it seems like the client wishes to do all her own printing, that's one thing. But the agreement you have with an either/or makes little sense to me.
     
  9. Sue Bruce

    Sue Bruce TPF Noob!

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    Derrel .. My agreement (which is at greater than the value you indicate) is to shoot the reception, and provide the bride & groom with EITHER: a set of 4x6 prints OR a CD of images for their own use in slide-show (DVD) format.

    Any prints are extra to this agreement (other than an 11x14 complimentary copy for the married couple). Prints are ordered direct from the on-line gallery.

    My fee is simply for the time on-site, editing and CD 'or' 4x6 set.

    I am just a little leary of the aggressive family member I encountered ...

    Sue
     
  10. Ryvax

    Ryvax TPF Noob!

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    Not sure, but I think if you make the image resolution 1024X768, they won't be able to print anything bigger than 4x6(can someone confirm this?). That way, they don't waste your time with small prints, have pics good enough for face book, and just go to you for the bigger prints. That's how my wedding photog is doing it. I think it's a great way to do it. And forget trying to edit a jpeg that size, don't think it will turn out any good, so they won't be able to edit your pics. When I eventually start my business, that's how I'm going to do it.
     
  11. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In my experience, when something like this turns your internal Check Engine light on, pay close attention...

    Clearly there's deception at play and there's no reason for you to do ~anything~ to expose yourself or your work to what this dude's up to. You agreed to take his picture, but you have no formal agreement. Send him a print of said picture. A really nice one. The best you can manage. a) it shows your good work and b) it will annoy him that you gave him what he asked, just not how he asked.

    Next on the agenda would be a call to the people you do have a contract with and politely ask them if they could shed some light on the matter. And maybe offer an explanation as to why you still own the rights to your work even if you give them (and them alone) a CD of the pictures.

    Watch your tail.

    Edit: Under NO circumstance EVER give these people RAW files.
     
  12. ErectedGryphon

    ErectedGryphon TPF Noob!

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    No need to sue (j/k), give them only what is stated in the contract, nothing more. Once you start giving them more, you set precedent for them to demand more.

    To limit the size they can print from the CD, adjust your "DPI" settings, there is no need to provide 300dpi, send them 72dpi, or what ever is equivalent to 4X6in.
     

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