Licensing art photos?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by DGMPhotography, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I was always under the impression that if someone was going to sell prints of my photos, that I should license them. And that's generally what I've always done.

    I took pictures of a painter's paintings and now he's all in a tizzy that he has to license the photos to sell prints of his art.

    Thoughts?


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    How are you doing your licensing? If this is a simple case of photographing a sculpture/painting so that the artist can use the images for promotional purposes, then I'd provide the license for the cost of the session fee & product.
     
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  3. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The painter should be demanding his own license, too, actually. His painting is copyrighted, and he is giving you the right to photograph it, which is essentially a reproduction.

    If he is the one who is going to use that photograph, then you license the right to reproduce your photograph.

    Price both of the licenses the same and call it even.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
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  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Depends... did the OP create the images at the request of the artist? Then I would say that any necessary licensing is implicit in the work-for-hire request. If it was a mutual project with reproduction allowed on both sides, perhaps...
     
  5. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The client contacted me and hired me to take photos of the paintings to use for listings to sell the original paintings.

    I had mentioned maybe he should look into doing prints, so he asked me about it later and that's when I brought up the licensing.

    It's just what I've always done but maybe it's different because of the medium?

    I've taken pictures of cosplayers, where the paid a session fee, and then they would also license a photo or two to sell prints of themselves. Same thing with my friend's band. They paid for the shoot, but also licensing to use the photos on their physical albums for sale.
     
  6. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Bump
     
  7. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, I think this is a different situation. The typical process for prints of paintings is for an artist to go to a printer to have giclee prints made. I think large flatbeds are used. I don't see anything like typical inket prints of paintings being sold at art exhibits, art shows, or in artists co-ops, etc.

    Until it was brought it up I hadn't thought about copyright of the artwork as well as the photographer's copyright of their photos; I don't know how that's handled. Try photographers organizations like American Society of Media Photographers - Homepage or PPA.

    If an artist wants photos of the artwork to market or display online, then the photographer could provide digital images. When I've done juried exhibits I submit a digital copy, and if it's a lumen print, cyanotype, Polaroid, etc. I scan those (hi-res). I found scanning 2 D work produces much better results than photographing them.

    For whatever will be provided, FIRST do a contract specifying usage (for how long, where and how the images will be used, etc.). THEN set up a shoot and take the photos. If additional usage is requested later, then a contract would need to be done to cover that additional usage.

    What's done for cosplayers is similar in sports to photos used at autograph signings. Typically those are provided by the team and would have been part of work contracted by a team photographer with the team (or might have been part of a work for hire situation although more is done freelance these days). This doesn't seem to be that type of situation, except maybe an artist would want a print of one or more of your photos to put up in an art center or something? Can't say I've ever seen that done; a photo of someone's artwork might be in a brochure or pamphlet or on a poster for an upcoming show or exhibit.
     
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  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Your Cosplayer example is spot on; the artist using your work to make prints for sale... that's a tough one. Logic says it should be the same, but I can see a lot of artists balking at it....
     
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  9. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Exactly, that's why I'm having difficulty with this.

    I just don't know the best way to go about it.
     
  10. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Supporting Member

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    I did a shoot recently for an artist where I knew the photos would be reproduced onto mugs, rugs, prints etc.

    I took it as a hired job and quoted a studio time expense + a licence fee per image that was accepted. Studio fee was paid up front and the rest paid after. It's the only way I could even comprehend to shoot something like this.

    Edit: I just read about the painter wanting a licence.
    I reduced my licence fee to allow for me to use the images of the paintings I shot.
     
  11. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Okay, so it isn't totally crazy to license photos you took of someone's art.

    Can you tell me about your license and fees?
     
  12. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Mugs and rugs?? that's getting into retail use, a different type of usage that would be licensed differently.

    Closest thing I know offhand is a photo in a brochure, licensing would be for the first year's print run and # of copies; add'l. licensing for a second year/print run, etc. But that's to license usage of the photographer's own photo.

    I was wondering if usage in this situation could be for a specific timeframe, specific number of photos/prints to be made and used...? but not sure if that seems right or how copyright for both would figure into this.

    I did a quick search on ASMP and an article came up about an artist and 'reproduction' rights for prints of her photo collage. It seems like your situation may be more about the artist having the work reproduced and his rights to reproduction... I don't know of artists having their work reproduced by having photos taken.

    Did you try the US Copyright office website? All I know is to get on there or American Society of Media Photographers - Homepage or try PPA to learn about this stuff; ASMP offers webinars etc. that are available to non-members.
     

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