Marty C. asks: “If I am photographing a building or a house with artwork on the walls and a magazine wants to publish the images, are there copyright concerns regarding the artwork on the walls?”
Excellent question, Marty. In short, there are certain considerations you should take into account when incorporating other creative works into your photographs.
Given the plethora of available self-help books on sales, it should come as no surprise that becoming successful in sales starts from within.
As a photographer who consistently enforces my copyrights and encourages others to do the same, colleagues are often surprised to learn that I do not support the CASE Act in its current form. At first glance, it sounds amazing: a low-cost, fast, informal way to resolve infringement claims, presumably without even the need for an attorney. A more thorough review of the Act’s provisions, however, reveals numerous caveats that, in my opinion, will be very easy for a resourceful infringer to exploit.
Remember that time on Sex and the City when Carrie went to boot up her laptop and got Sad Mac? If you’ve never blown on a Nintendo cartridge or used a pencil to wind a tape cassette, you’re probably too young to remember Sad Mac (actually, you might also be too young to remember Sex and the City, in which case, thanks for making me feel ancient).
The topic of usage fees remains at the top of the list of questions I observe among architectural photographers. Many of us concur that a “standard” license for a commercial client would typically include rights for the client to use the images on their own website, social media, local advertising, and for other purposes of self-promotion (some refer to this as a “publicity and collateral” license). However, where exactly to draw the line varies dramatically across the industry.
Most of us love being photographers, but let’s face it: we don’t do this for fun. Don’t get me wrong—I’m grateful to have the opportunity to express myself creatively and earn a living doing something I enjoy. But that second part, the “earn a living” part, comes at the expense of my own sanity if the compensation for the work is not equitable.
Sky replacements have long been standard practice in architectural photography. However, the existing tools to do so remain, in my opinion, somewhat haphazard. Some skies are an easy slam-dunk, capable of being replaced in a few clicks using something as simple as the Tragic Wand or Quick Selection tool.
A question that we receive at APA regularly goes something like this: I shoot predominantly real estate with a basic contract and would love to hear more about how established architecture and interior photographers went about creating and modifying their contracts.
How many times have you received an inquiry from a potential client that, in the first message, includes something along the lines of, “What are your prices?” or, “Can you please send your rate sheet?” When this happens, do you typically reply with a PDF that outlines your entire pricing structure, or perhaps refer them to a page on your website?
Architectural photographers routinely work in environments with multiple competing (and sometimes unusual) light sources. We are then expected to produce final images that accurately and artistically depict the captured spaces. From there, we carefully export files that need to show well on a variety of electronic devices, as well as print destinations ranging from wide-gamut gicleé prints to magazines printed with an offset press. Our clients generally don’t understand much about what goes on behind the scenes during this complicated process—they just want everything to work.
In Part One of this series, we discussed some of the basics of insurance, why we need it, and where to begin your search for a business policy. Armed with this foundational knowledge, we are ready to delve into much more specific topics to assist in your search for a policy or review of your existing coverage.
As businesses cautiously but optimistically resume operations, many are posting notices or asking customers to sign a COVID-19 waiver. Given the proactive stance many businesses are taking to shield themselves from liability, how do the potential legal implications of COVID-19 affect us as photographers? Do you need a coronavirus waiver to protect your business? Would such a document even stand up in court?
Business Insurance: Part One
As I write this, locales throughout the world are in varying degrees of “stay-at-home” orders to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of us are able to continue working, at least in a limited capacity, while others have found ourselves with time to catch up on housekeeping items like bookkeeping and copyright registrations.
There are two categories of photographers in the world—those whose work has been infringed, and those whose work will be infringed. Sooner or later, it’s almost certain that it will happen to you. You’ll be casually scrolling through your social media feeds, or maybe researching a potential client’s website, when suddenly, you pause in disbelief as the reality sets in: your work has been used without your prior knowledge or permission.
Although we’re required to wear many hats as photographers, we tend to think of ourselves as artists first, treating other roles as secondary, with sales often regarded as only an afterthought. The truth is that we are, first and foremost, salespeople.