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Author Topic: What do you do when people ask you for photos?  (Read 5927 times)
PSA DC-9-30
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« on: June 16, 2007, 03:09:22 PM »
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I often show my photos to friends and co-workers and am increasingly being asked for copies of these photos. I would guess that these people are simply looking to use the image(s) as a wallpaper background on their computer, or to make a print for their home, or some non-commercial purpose along those lines. I would be more than glad to provide original .jpg files (most of these folks wouldn't have the knowledge or software to make any use of a RAW file) or even a framed print at no charge, if I knew for certain that this would be the extent of their use.

Still, as someone who is interested in eventually selling images online and in galleries and entering photo contests, etc.,  I feel uneasy with simply giving away high resolution electronic copies of my best images. Even if the people requesting them are honest, I have no way of knowing whether they may distribute them to other friends without my knowledge, and what these people may do with the images.

What do you do when friends co-workers ask you for copies / prints of your images? I have a feeling that if I explained my concerns to these folks that they would think I'm some sort of possessive, uptight jerk.
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Digiteyesed
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2007, 03:25:03 PM »
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I keep a copy of my price list handy for just such occasions. ;-)
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Neutral Hills Stills
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Petrjay
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2007, 04:43:10 PM »
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Just tell them that you're building up a portfolio and you're saving your stuff for that purpose. If they think you're uptight, etc, who cares? Friends like that nobody needs.
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2007, 06:02:08 PM »
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Still, as someone who is interested in eventually selling images online and in galleries and entering photo contests, etc.,  I feel uneasy with simply giving away high resolution electronic copies of my best images. Even if the people requesting them are honest, I have no way of knowing whether they may distribute them to other friends without my knowledge, and what these people may do with the images.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123162\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is one of the hardest parts of commercial photography - taking that first step to charge for your work.

I would second the suggestion to create a price list for your work. Even if you eventually give it away for free to close friends they can at least see that what you are giving them has a commercial value.

In addition to the pricing you need to consider licensing terms and conditions. Again, even though you may give your work for free it does mean that people have some indication that your work has a limitation on its use and that they can't distribute it on the internet without your permission.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
Ken Alexander
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2007, 10:07:17 PM »
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Still, as someone who is interested in eventually selling images online and in galleries and entering photo contests, etc.,  I feel uneasy with simply giving away high resolution electronic copies of my best images. Even if the people requesting them are honest, I have no way of knowing whether they may distribute them to other friends without my knowledge, and what these people may do with the images.

What do you do when friends co-workers ask you for copies / prints of your images? I have a feeling that if I explained my concerns to these folks that they would think I'm some sort of possessive, uptight jerk.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123162\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

My friends and family get what they want for free.  However, I don't give anybody a full sized image file.  Aperture will export an image to a JPEG and limit the longest dimension of the image to no more than 1024 pixels.  That's what they get, "1024 x whatever".

I take it you're not a professional photographer "yet".  I'd like to sell some of my better stuff someday, too.  When that day comes I'll probably re-think my giveaway policy and maybe restrict the image size to a longest dimension something smaller.  And I'll reassess who gets free images too.  For now, as I establish myself as the new Ansel Adams    I'll give away restricted size images so my friends and colleagues can spread the word about what a good photographer I am.  So far it's working; I've sold a few prints and had a few requests to do some family portraits

Ken
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PSA DC-9-30
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2007, 11:38:04 PM »
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My friends and family get what they want for free.  However, I don't give anybody a full sized image file.  Aperture will export an image to a JPEG and limit the longest dimension of the image to no more than 1024 pixels.  That's what they get, "1024 x whatever".

I take it you're not a professional photographer "yet".  I'd like to sell some of my better stuff someday, too.  When that day comes I'll probably re-think my giveaway policy and maybe restrict the image size to a longest dimension something smaller.  And I'll reassess who gets free images too.  For now, as I establish myself as the new Ansel Adams    I'll give away restricted size images so my friends and colleagues can spread the word about what a good photographer I am.  So far it's working; I've sold a few prints and had a few requests to do some family portraits

Ken
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123230\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks for the replies. In a sense, I am a professional photographer as I make extensive use of scanning and transmission electron micorscopy in my research (as a biologist). These images are published in scientific journals and are sometimes featured on journal covers. In fact, a couple of my scanning electron micrographs will be used in the next edition Cambell's Biology, a first year biology text used by just about every college freshman biology student in the english-speaking world. The organisms I study are microbes that are very poorly studied and understood, and yet they are quite spectacular visually. Colleagues ask me for these images too, and of course if I am collaborating on a paper or something with them, I have no problem handing them over. But, as I am interested in the commercial potential of these as well, I still have some of the same reservations when requests come from others not directly involved in my projects.

This is a whole other ball of wax however that will require discussions with my boss, and possibly lawyers and journals in which my images are published (still, I have many unpublished images with possible commercial potential). So, I'm not really seeking answers for this issue on this forum.  

After years of using film (mostly Kodachrome), I recently bought a digital camera (Olympus sp-500). Buying a dSLR is certainly on my list of things to do, but will probably not happen for a while. I have been enjoying this camera a great deal even if the image quality is not all that great compared to my friend's Nikon D-200 rig. Nevertheless, I do mostly nature and landscape photography with forays into cityscapes, architecture, aviation, and other subjects now and then.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2007, 11:39:56 PM by PSA DC-9-30 » Logged

framah
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2007, 02:59:46 PM »
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Here is a thought... as you mentioned that your photos are from the work you do and that you were thinking of asking your boss, etc... these images, in all likelihood, do not even belong to you. They are the property of the business you work for as you took them in the capacity of an employee.

THAT is the first thing you need to determine here.  You could be sued or fired for theft of property by either giving or selling any images produced while you were working.

 Just because you took them, even if it was with your own camera doesn't mean they are yours.

Of course, if you have a biology lab in your home and you are working in Microbiology at your kitchen table and shooting them, that's another story.
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"It took a  lifetime of suffering and personal sacrifice to develop my keen aesthetic sense."
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2007, 07:05:38 PM »
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Here is a thought... as you mentioned that your photos are from the work you do and that you were thinking of asking your boss, etc... these images, in all likelihood, do not even belong to you. They are the property of the business you work for as you took them in the capacity of an employee.

THAT is the first thing you need to determine here.  You could be sued or fired for theft of property by either giving or selling any images produced while you were working.

 Just because you took them, even if it was with your own camera doesn't mean they are yours.

Of course, if you have a biology lab in your home and you are working in Microbiology at your kitchen table and shooting them, that's another story.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123596\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

But, as I said, this is another issue entirely, and the subject of my post concerns photos I have taken with my own digital camera outside of work. Also, we're talking academia here which is a bit different from working for a corporation. Micrographs taken by employees of the lab (postdocs, grad students and research assocaites) belong to the employee (as they represent original research) and can not be used without permission and without at least proper credit (either authorship in a publication, or at very least a photo credit.). So, in fact, the issue is the complete opposite of what you assume--using an employee's photo without permission, and without giving proper credit can get the employer into hot water with journals, supervisors, etc.!

My comment about the work I do professionally was an aside directed at the other poster and NOT a request for this type of advice!--sorry for the confusion! Advice on the suitability or non-suitability of these images for commercial purposes is not what I'm seeking here; I'm referring only to my own photographic activities outside of work.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2007, 07:21:47 PM by PSA DC-9-30 » Logged

dilip
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2007, 12:41:05 PM »
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But, as I said, this is another issue entirely, and the subject of my post concerns photos I have taken with my own digital camera outside of work. Also, we're talking academia here which is a bit different from working for a corporation. Micrographs taken by employees of the lab (postdocs, grad students and research assocaites) belong to the employee (as they represent original research) and can not be used without permission and without at least proper credit (either authorship in a publication, or at very least a photo credit.). So, in fact, the issue is the complete opposite of what you assume--using an employee's photo without permission, and without giving proper credit can get the employer into hot water with journals, supervisors, etc.!

My comment about the work I do professionally was an aside directed at the other poster and NOT a request for this type of advice!--sorry for the confusion! Advice on the suitability or non-suitability of these images for commercial purposes is not what I'm seeking here; I'm referring only to my own photographic activities outside of work.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123627\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

My solution is to ask people what they want the image for.  I'll explain that the answer will help me give them a file that best suits their purpose.  Often it ends up being the 1024xwhatever image (with a small watermark).  Other times I'll either print a copy or send a copy to the printers for the person.  There are a very small number of people that get high resolution digital images from me.

As for the tangent discussion, the ownership of the materials created in the lab may in fact be yours, but it is a lab by lab (or at least school by school) issue.  Though I'm sure that you know this, I don't want someone else reading the thread to take away the wrong impression.  If you do work for hire in any setting, you may have obligations to your employer with regards to ownership of the images.  Grey areas like this keep Intellectual Property people (like me) busy, but a simple discussion in advance makes life so much easier for everyone else.


--dilip
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larkvi
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2007, 11:53:55 PM »
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I might suggest that if you are planning on selling your stuff, that seems like even more reason to give away images for use as desktop backgrounds than if you are just a hobbyist. It seems like a simple marketing decision to me: you are producing images that are likely to appeal to a technical and scientific crowd, all of whom are likely to spend a lot of time on their computers. Producing 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024, and 1600 x 1200 versions as wallpaper with prominent mention of your name and website (which would then link to your price list and ordering information) would seem to be a great way to reach people, and a good compromise between hoarding your images and giving away high-quality versions. If someone wants a higher-quality image, do what the others have said and mention that you sell them, give them your price list, and perhaps offer them a modest-to-moderate discount depending upon your relationship with them.

If you do end up producing wallpaper, post a link--I am rather curious at this point .

-Sean [www.larkvi.com]
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pixelpro
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2007, 06:20:48 AM »
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Where people model for me and sign a model release form I am generous.
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feppe
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2007, 06:54:14 AM »
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Where people model for me and sign a model release form I am generous.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=132642\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Heh, exactly what I was going to write. I don't pay for models, but I make a deal with them: I give them web-sized and full-sized JPEGs (they wouldn't know what to do with TIFFs or RAWs) on a DVD along with a few prints in exchange for a release. I also make sure they understand that they are not to be distributed anywhere and reasons for that - that's what the web-sized versions on the DVD are for. Everybody's happy.

As for the original question, I give web-sized JPEGs to all who ask, but never release full-sized versions out in the wild.
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Steve Smith
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2007, 08:27:54 AM »
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If they are real friends they can have prints for free.

I have given away many in the past and gone out of my way to produce prints the size they wanted.

I don't do this professionally but I don't think it would make any difference.


Steve.
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LoisWakeman
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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2007, 09:40:11 AM »
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I feel uneasy with simply giving away high resolution electronic copies of my best images. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=123162\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
You are right to be worried- once a high res file is out there - who knows where it will end up?

I would never ever release such a thing for free - sell for licensed use - yes. But as for wallpapers - I make watermarked JPEG images available on my own site for marketing purposes (as suggested elsewhere) - at 70% quality and 1024 wide they are never going to make great prints; but they do give people the glow of getting something for nothing, and may prompt them to think of me if they need a print.

I agree it's difficult to manage without sounding like a tightwad - but once you've given something good for free, word gets around, and it's hard to "put the price up" thereafter. So, you need to get them to empathise - would they give away something connected with their profession/trade for nothing, for example?
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