Who's the photographer?

DrumsOfGrohl

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This might be a trivial question of semantics, but I was thinking about setting up a photo with myself as the subject. I know I could use a timer or a cable release, but I think I might have a friend help me out and take the photo.

If I set the picture up, frame it the way I want, and adjust the exposure, but my friend is the one who actually puts the camera up to her face and takes the photo, can I still claim credit for it? I don't mean legally, as I'm just doing this for fun, social media, etc.

Can I still say something like "I took this photo yesterday?"

Is it even my photo?

I guess now that I'm thinking about it, would it legally be my photo? If I were to sell it, would I have to give some or all of the money to her? Do I have to ask her to allow me to take credit for the photo?

Isn't a photographer "a person who takes photos?"
 

tirediron

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Of course rules vary by country, but I thought at least in the US that there was precedent which stated "He (or she) who pushes the button, irrespective of who owns the equipment, owns the copyright"?
 

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Is this just a hypothetical question or are you actually planning to do this?

Are you a world famous celebrity whose photo will likely sell for enormous amounts of money in an art gallery? If not, then you might be over-thinking things.

If you really are that worried, use a remote release and remove all doubt.
 
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DrumsOfGrohl

DrumsOfGrohl

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Is this just a hypothetical question or are you actually planning to do this?

Are you a world famous celebrity whose photo will likely sell for enormous amounts of money in an art gallery? If not, then you might be over-thinking things.

If you really are that worried, use a remote release and remove all doubt.
Just hypothetical. I AM planning a taking a photo this way, but I'm new to photography and have never sold a photo. I don't plan on selling this one either.
I was just curious.
 

Designer

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As I see it, if your friend wants to claim authorship of the photos that she takes, then you either have to fight with her for ownership, or you can just allow her to claim them for herself. So in my world, it would depend on the mindset of your friend.

Here's an example: Last summer, we took family photos. I own the camera, the lights and the backdrop. I set everything up before the family assembled, and made some test shots. During most of the family groups, I was not included, so I was the one who clicked the shutter. When it was my turn to be included in the shot, my grandson's GF clicked the shutter. She merely waited until we were ready, and clicked the shutter. Later, I processed the entire shoot by myself. I consider all the shots as my creative property.
 
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DrumsOfGrohl

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As I see it, if your friend wants to claim authorship of the photos that she takes, then you either have to fight with her for ownership, or you can just allow her to claim them for herself. So in my world, it would depend on the mindset of your friend.

Here's an example: Last summer, we took family photos. I own the camera, the lights and the backdrop. I set everything up before the family assembled, and made some test shots. During most of the family groups, I was not included, so I was the one who clicked the shutter. When it was my turn to be included in the shot, my grandson's GF clicked the shutter. She merely waited until we were ready, and clicked the shutter. Later, I processed the entire shoot by myself. I consider all the shots as my creative property.
This seems to make the most sense to me. You don't feel you have any responsibility to even mention the fact that you didn't take the photo? What if you weren't using a tripod, and she had put the camera up to her face to take the photo, but everything else was done by you. Would you have done anything different?
 

tirediron

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As I see it, if your friend wants to claim authorship of the photos that she takes, then you either have to fight with her for ownership, or you can just allow her to claim them for herself. So in my world, it would depend on the mindset of your friend.

Here's an example: Last summer, we took family photos. I own the camera, the lights and the backdrop. I set everything up before the family assembled, and made some test shots. During most of the family groups, I was not included, so I was the one who clicked the shutter. When it was my turn to be included in the shot, my grandson's GF clicked the shutter. She merely waited until we were ready, and clicked the shutter. Later, I processed the entire shoot by myself. I consider all the shots as my creative property.
Yes, but does the law agree with you? I consider that every lottery jackpot should be won by me, but...
 

Braineack

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the person (or monkey) who physically pressed the button shouldn't matter.

what if I spent hundreds of dollars, and lots of man hours setting up a studio shot to capture a ballon popping. Part of the setup invovled an audio trigger, that will engage the shutter when it hears dB levels above a certain threshold.

if we go by "whomever presses the button", who owns the resulting image captured on the sensor?

or what if I travel thousands of miles to photograph monkeys in the wild and a monkey grabs hold of your camera (that would have never existed in this space without you) and happened to trigger the shutter and the resulting image was save worthy. Does the monkey get to own the copyright to your image because he pressed a button. Sorry, but no.

I'm sure there's a public toliet bowl metaphor here somewhere.
 

tirediron

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the person (or monkey) who physically pressed the button shouldn't matter.

what if I spent hundreds of dollars, and lots of man hours setting up a studio shot to capture a ballon popping.
part of the setup invovled an audio trigger, that will engage the shutter when it hears dB levels above a certain threshold.

if we go by "whomever presses the button", who owns the resulting image captured on the sensor?
Not arguing, nor disagreeing; rather, I thought that there was a precedent under US law which made the presser of the button the copyright holder irrespective of all else. I may be wrong...
 

Braineack

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just because something is law, doesnt mean it's right.
 

Braineack

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im sure most would -- it's about winning/losing to them, not if it's right or wrong; but that's besides the point :p

If I faclitate the image being created, im the owner. everything else is just a tool in the process.

giving hading your camera to someone and asking them to take a shot, is no different than using a tripod and remote trigger.

hell we could argue that the camera manufcaturer holds all rights if you use their any priority modes, auto-focus, or metering...
 

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just because something is law, doesnt mean it's right.
10,000 lawyers might not agree with you! :lol:
If one considers how lawyers are "educated", you might not consider their opinion to be worth much.

For the past hundred years or so, students in law school have been drilled and re-drilled on case law, but are almost completely ignorant regarding Natural Law, Common Law, or ordinary history. And law school graduates are where our judges come from. Sad but true. It's no wonder that our judicial system is in utter shambles.
 
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DrumsOfGrohl

DrumsOfGrohl

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just because something is law, doesnt mean it's right.
10,000 lawyers might not agree with you! :lol:
If one considers how lawyers are "educated", you might not consider their opinion to be worth much.

For the past hundred years or so, students in law school have been drilled and re-drilled on case law, but are almost completely ignorant regarding Natural Law, Common Law, or ordinary history. And law school graduates are where our judges come from. Sad but true. It's no wonder that our judicial system is in utter shambles.
I feel like we've taken this off topic. So now there are 2 questions. Who is the legal owner of the photo, and who SHOULD get the credit.

The @Braineack 's monkey comment is I think more inflammatory than it is relevant. A monkey doesn't have the same rights as a human. Even if the monkey put in all the effort and set up the shot and took the picture, it would still not legally belong to the monkey.

So at what point does the photograph belong to the person who pushed the button?

What if you set up everything, and then they changed the aperture one stop and then pressed the shutter? What if the camera belongs to them?

Again, there are 2 questions here: legally, and "morally."
 

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