When an opportunity falls into your lap...: Take it or run?

clarcorona

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Recently, I discovered a passion for Boudoir photography and put into action a plan for a big testing/portfolio shoot.

While it's been difficult to find models I was able to secure a few as well as a MUA at a fee.

This is my hobby... A passion and turning it into a business is premature as I work on solidifying my technical skills.

That being said, I do not have a studio and will rent a hotel suite for this shoot.

Well, I was contacted by a big time wedding photographer who saw my online casting call.

The photographer is looking to add intimate Portraiture to his studio and seeking an established photographer with a clientele to join his team.

I explained that I am merely a beginner who's only done a few Boudoir shoots for friends yet eager to learn the ropes.

We discussed my upcoming shoot and he offered to allow me to use his studio and help me with lighting.

His condition: He'd be allowed to use my images for his website stating he offers Boudoir.


I'm feeling torn about this as I am investing my own money into this shoot and IF I ever get into a situation where I'd like to make the leap I'd like to use my photos for promotional purposes.

And while I think this shoot is way to see if I'm up to snuff for a possibility of working together it hasn't been discussed.

I understand that he's allowing me to use his studio, props, and lighting expertise and so this should be a collaboration & trade off but I don't know...

Also, my artistic vision doesn't quite coincide with the layout of his studio and what he's seeking.

Other photographers have given me mixed feedback...

One says I should run for the hills. Another more established photographer with a thriving business told me to take the photographer up on his offer and see where this could lead.

Any advice?


TIA!

clarcorona
 
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tirediron

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Something about this sounds a little fishy to me. Without meaning to put down your abilities, WHY would a well established wedding photographer want to team up with someone who is just getting started, and WHY would he/she want to use your work to advertise?
 

manicmike

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What tirediron said.

Sounds a little odd to me.
 

KmH

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Run Forrest! Run!

Unless you don't mind being taken advantage of, in a business sense.

Whatever people appear in the images would also have to give their written approval (release) for their likenesses to be used in any advertising or promotional (commercial) use. Your's or the "big time wedding photographer"'s.
 

pixmedic

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you'll know what the deal is when you find out the "established studio photographer" has all the rights to your photos since they were taken in their studio.
Also, dont be surprised when you get a bill for your studio time.
 

CowgirlMama

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He wants to use your photos to advertise that he does boudoir. He wants to use you to help him lie to clients. He isn't the one who does the boudoir. You are. RUN.
 

MOREGONE

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yeah I see the concerns others raise, but here are some thoughts on the other side

If you can 'use' the photographer (sorry for a lack of a better way to put it) for their studio, and to get better quality photos while learning something along the way for the low price of using your photos, I wouldn't necessarily be against it. I wouldn't abandon my rights to the photos, but I wouldn't be opposed to giving them use rights. Who knows, they may think you have a knack for this and you could be their photographer. Make sure they don't have the right for stock photography, contests etc., just marketing and promotional use.

Say you go your separate ways and they use your photos, they will be the one in an awkward position when they get client and try to replicate what you do. Unless you expect these pictures to be your defining moment, I personally wouldn't mind seeing my pictures getting used somewhere, especially early on... just saying
 

MOREGONE

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He wants to use your photos to advertise that he does boudoir. He wants to use you to help him lie to clients. He isn't the one who does the boudoir. You are. RUN.

Plenty of studios have associate photographers, unless I see Some Name Photography, I assume the work represented is from a collection of photographers anyways.
 

KmH

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The only way you can protect your interests is to have the "big time wedding photographer" sign a contract you have had drawn up.

You would also present the "big time wedding photographer" with use licenses for whatever images he/she uses that you own the copyrights to.
Even if you shoot in the "big time wedding photographer"'s studio. You would still own the copyrights to image you make, unless you sign a document that transfers those rights.
Business Resources | American Society of Media Photographers
Licensing Guide | American Society of Media Photographers



 

andywag

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you'll know what the deal is when you find out the "established studio photographer" has all the rights to your photos since they were taken in their studio.
Also, dont be surprised when you get a bill for your studio time.

How on earth do you come to that (incorrect) conclusion ?

The only way the studio owner would have ANY rights to the photos would be if there was a contract to that effect which the photographer agreed to/signed.

A bill for studio usage/instruction? Yes, off course. But nothing else.


to the OP. This "big time" photographer should know better than to want to use your shots to advertise his services if you are not actually going to be the one handling those "services".
 

Gavjenks

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I think this is a pretty easy decision.

You are not yet a professional photographer, and you said you barely know what you're doing / are still working on technical skills. Your photographs are certainly not going to be at auction at Sotheby's any time soon. We are talking about what will be medium to maybe fairly decent photographs here, probably.

Therefore, the risk you are taking for sharing your photos with a potentially sketchy person is not really all that high, because their value is not immense in the first place.

However, the potential gain could be significant, if the photographer turns out not to be that sketchy, and actually wants to work with you more afterward (which I think is probably decently likely, honestly. He may have trouble finding those types of clients, and you probably have more experience in boudoir, even though you don't have much. That may be enough for him to invest an afternoon with you on spec).

I think you should absolutely 100% do this, due to having little to lose and potentially a lot to gain. At the same time, to further minimize any chance of losing anything anyway, I think you should absolutely 100% bring a contract for him to sign as well when you do:

"We the undersigned agree to an exchange of services on [date of shoot], subject to the following conditions:

a) [you] will be given access to [such and such studio] for [such and such hours], including the usage of [such and such equipment on site, if any], for the purposes of a boudoir style photo shoot.
b) [you] will provide the models for this shoot, and be solely responsible for compensating the models and contacting them before and/or after the shoot.
c) In compensation for studio usage, [you] will NOT be charged any studio fees (regular or otherwise) [he] might typically charge for the use of the premesis [and equipment, if any]. Instead, in place of any and all fees, [you] shall provide [him] with copies of [some number of digital images] from the shoot. [You] will NOT be transferring any underlying copyright for these images, but will instead be offering them under a limited license only, for purposes of [him] advertising boudoir-style photography as a service available at [his studio]. Any other usage of these digital images must be cleared separately through [you].
d) [You] expressly reserve the right to publish, sell, advertise with, or in any other way use the images [you] take during the shoot as you see fit for [your] own purposes, in addition to the limited license offered for those images to [him].
e) [You should make it clear whether he is allowed to take photos of his own during the shoot of your models and your poses, etc., or not. Up to you. More protection from skeezyness, but also less likely he'll agree]
f) [You should also make it clearly stated whether he is allowed to act as if the photos are his in the course of advertising boudoir for his studio. Or whether your name needs to be associated with them in any advertising materials, or a watermark, etc. Again, your call, but write down whatever you think it should be. If you aren't sure, make two different copies to choose from, or draw a blank to write in when discussing the contract with him.]

Names, Dates, Phone, Address, Signatures at the bottom.


Then, after you're done with the shoot, be sure to officially sign up for a copyright on all the images you took with the government ASAP.

Do all of those things, and I can't imagine anything bad happening to you at all as a result of this, no matter how skeezy he is or is not. Unless he kidnaps you and keeps you in the basement as his boudoir photographing slave.
 
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clarcorona

clarcorona

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Thank you for all of the advice.

My gut instincts (or possible lack of confidence in my photographic skills) were too much for me to overcome at this time so I placed the project on the back burner.

I did not burn the bridge as one may never know if or when knowing this person may come in handy.

clarcorona
 

ronlane

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My gut feeling on this is that you'd loose creative control of the project if you used this photographers studio, lighting and help with lighting.
 
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clarcorona

clarcorona

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My gut feeling on this is that you'd loose creative control of the project if you used this photographers studio, lighting and help with lighting.


Exactly! While we were discussing what I had in mind the photographer would overrule me... "No, I don't like that idea. Here's what I had in mind..."

I was perturbed but still tried to keep an open mind.

I weighed the pro of having lighting help vs the con of losing that creative control... And realized I did not want to lose my creative vision during my first major project.

Whether or not I could achieve what I had in mind is a different story but at least I would've attempted it on my own terms.


clarcorona
 

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