allow photo usage or not...

MinnesotaMom

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Hi, I am new to this site. I am an aspiring photographer...

Last year I took a photo of a lake, and I had it posted on Facebook. Someone, somewhere along the line saw the picture. This person had a relative that recently passed away that used to visit that lake as a child. To make a long story short, they want to know if they can use my picture to etch on a headstone. I don't know how I feel about this. I have never sold or gave anyone permission to use any of my photos. How would I go about doing this. Also the Monument company that will be creating the headstone is the one who contacted me. Should I ask for compensation??? How would I make sure they aren't going to use the photo for profit? If there is anyone out there who can help me out, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks,
MinnesotaMom
 

cgipson1

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Do you mean you are a ASPIRING PRO photographer??? Or someone that wants to learn photography i.e. an aspiring photographer? (Or is there a difference?) ;)
 
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MinnesotaMom

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Do you mean you are a ASPIRING PRO photographer??? Or someone that wants to learn photography i.e. an aspiring photographer? (Or is there a difference?) ;)
[h=1]Touché[/h]I am an Aspiring Pro Photographer...;-)
 

ryanwaff

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You said that the monument company contracted you, but you also dont want them to make a profit while making the headstone? Are you referring to the company making a profit from your photo ie: as in using it to make the image on the headstone or reselling it online?

Because, forgive me if I'm wrong, but unless your are a non-profit organisation a company is almost likely to never do work that they will not see profits on unless they are doing pro-bono's...

You can try asking them for compensation for the image, but chances are they will refuse, go online and go find a freebie. Or alternatively, you mentioned that you are an 'aspiring pro photographer' so why no try and kickstart your career by trying to get the company to contract you to create a photo book of images that they can present to prospective headstone clients to show them different options that can be put onto the headstone. You could then sell the company the rights to use the photos, or try and arrange a royalties setup. I realise that saying you take photographs for a headstone company may not sound the most appealing, but its one way to get your name out there... Nor do I think that the market for headstone photographs is very lucrative by any stretch of the imagination. But its a place for you to start building your portfolio... I suppose it can be a differentiator on a C.V saying you took images for headstone murals... But then again, I could just be speaking a load of hogwash. I just had a spur of the moment entrepreneurial thought here. :D

Alternatively you can also just let them use the photo and if they have a website ask them to credit you or something. Would it be possible to see the photo in question?
 

tegeltka

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landscapephotosforheadstones.com

what a niche...
 
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MinnesotaMom

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$image.jpg
This is the photo in question. This was taken from my FB page, so quality isn't great. I didn't have access to my computer at the moment.

I guess I am not sure, what I want out of this. Can you put specific restrictions on how the photo can be used? I don't mind letting the family use it for this purpose, but does that mean then the monument company has rights to the photo. Will they be able to re-use it or sell it to others.
 

cgipson1

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View attachment 56759
This is the photo in question. This was taken from my FB page, so quality isn't great. I didn't have access to my computer at the moment.

I guess I am not sure, what I want out of this. Can you put specific restrictions on how the photo can be used? I don't mind letting the family use it for this purpose, but does that mean then the monument company has rights to the photo. Will they be able to re-use it or sell it to others.

Not fond of the processing... looks like instagram? Or some action? The lack of contrast would make it difficult for a stonecutter to use...

Whatever the contract says... that is what they will legally be able to do. As an Aspiring PRO... you might want to look into contracts! ;)
 

amolitor

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There isn't any set price or compensation model for this kind of thing. You can ask for whatever you like, or nothing.

You probably should draft a little contract up, but if you're not asking for a pile of money hiring a lawyer to help out is going to be a money-losing proposition. You can probably do a web search and get some boilerplate you can use, but don't go nuts making a 17 pager. A contract is, ultimately, just an agreement between parties, and there's really only two sensible ways to go:

- draft something small and pretty informal that lays out what you want, and accept that if someone wants to lawyer up it's probably going to get broken
- hire a lawyer and draft something large and complicated that will require a LOT of lawyering to break

That's a nice picture, and I like it'll look good on a headstone. It's simple, strongly graphical.

It's possible that the headstone company doesn't actually need your permission here, by the way, depending on how they plan to reproduce it. If they're carving a new picture based on yours, and it's a single copy, and some other criteria which I don't know much about, they can probably just go ahead. In that case, they're just being nice. If they're doing some digital print that's truly just a reproduction, then they probably do need your permission.

Consult a lawyer if you're interested in the details, or if it really matters to you and you want to double-check me (which you should, if it really matters to you), or read a good book. Buckster has a book that sounds excellent, maybe he'll turn up here, or you could PM him for the title.
 

The_Traveler

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What right you give them are what rights they have.
How they actually use it is something else again.

I am actually surprised they even asked, considering the number of dock photos available. https://www.google.com/search?hl=en...mg..0.5.257.AKZLxVX2PPM#hl=en&q=dock&tbm=isch

I suggest that you say OK but with the proviso that your contract is with the family not the headstone company.
That at least gives you the opportunity to sell a large image to the family as a remembrance.
 

manaheim

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The unnecessary side-car conversation about the "aspiring pro" elements aside (call that a hint)...

It seems like there are several layers here. On the one hand, you have a company that will be making money off of this (the people selling the headstone). Since they make money from it (and even if they didn't, it's a picture you took- your IP, if you will), so therefore there is no reason that you shouldn't do likewise. Therefore set a price you think is reasonable and give them a quote with a contract saying they can use it for this tombstone. If they want to use it again, they must contact you for further usage rights.

There is another layer, though... and that's the "what isn't necessarily professional, but what may well be right" layer, which is... someone died and they want to etch a memory of significance onto the person's memorial. A part of me would have a hard time charging for this. I know there is a whole huge industry making money off of people who lose loved ones, and my experience with this industry is that they are always sensitive and respectful, but it IS a business... but I still have a hard time making money off of someone else's bad situation. You might consider just giving them the image pro bono (though STILL HAVE A CONTRACT- just a $0 contract). If you DO decide to go this route, I personally wouldn't do it without speaking directly with the family... just because it seems to me that giving the image for free to the guy who makes money off the tombstone is meaningless, but giving the image for free to the family is significant.

Still, that latter one is intrusive and complicated. In the end it might just be easier to go with the first option.
 

KmH

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Step #1 - register your copyright with the US Copyright office.
You already own the copyright, but as a legal consideration to fully protecting your copyright it needs to be registered.
You can register your copyrights online, and you can register multiple images at the same time.
http://www.naturescapes.net/articles/business/registering-your-copyrights-using-the-eco-system/

Use License
I hereby grant (monument company name) one (1) time use of my copyrighted image (image file name here) for etching onto a single gravestone.
No other usage is granted or implied.
I reserve all other rights.

I would not charge for use of the image.
 

vintagesnaps

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If you're aspiring to do some professional work in photography this might be a good time to be looking into resources for contracts, releases, etc. I've used American Society of Media Photographers quite a bit for guidelines, sample forms, books and resources, etc. (You don't necessarily have to start from scratch, there are resources available - I recently bought the most recent edition of Tad Crawford's book of Business and Legal Forms for Photographers - it came with a CD so you can print/copy and use the forms).

I don't know if I'd ask for payment for this or not; probably not if I knew the person, but since this was a request for usage I'd probably charge a reasonable fee - funeral homes obviously are businesses and charge for expenses in maintaining their facility, paying staff, handling arrangements, etc. I agree with Lew it might be best to have the contract with the family since they may want a copy or print of the photo later; I would probably go thru the company doing the headstone to find out what they need - I'm thinking if they're etching it in stone they might be doing a drawing of the photo to create their etching instead of reproducing the entire photograph.

Since they found your photo somewhere somehow online thru social media you might think about where you're posting photos - I'd read Terms & Conditions so you know how you're allowing your photos to be used. If Terms say you retain copyright BUT... then state that they may use, modify, reproduce etc. you might be agreeing to allow unlimited usage of your work, sometimes including third parties. (I'm with Lew - it's more surprising that someone actually asked instead of just taking it.)

This could be a good opportunity and starting point for you to get into doing pro work as a photographer - good luck.
 
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texkam

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Establish a price for your work. Ask for compensation in the form of a donation made to the charity of your choice. By doing this, you have established value for your work going forward and now have time to research all the above for the next time an opportunity presents itself.
 

Fox_Racing_Guy

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I guess I am not sure, what I want out of this. Can you put specific restrictions on how the photo can be used? I don't mind letting the family use it for this purpose, but does that mean then the monument company has rights to the photo. Will they be able to re-use it or sell it to others.

Since you don't mind the family using it I would just give the OK to the monument company. I don't think they will try and re-use it to sell to other customers. Here is what will happen with your photo. First it will be loaded into a program such as Corel DRAW, there it will be converted to a DXF file so a laser cutter/engraver can read it.
Next some kid will load a piece of granite onto the the laser engraver table and push a button and the photo will be etched into the stone.
I made a small headstone for my dog just this way in 2009 with my own laser cutter/engraver, even got the granite for free from a place that makes granite counter tops and had some scraps.
 

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