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  1. #21
    MattKing's Avatar
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    The practice of wedding photographers keeping the negatives also reflects two other realities.

    One of them, which has been touched upon here before, is that the photographer's best advertisement is often prints from his/her negatives. Accordingly, ownership of the negatives allows control of who does the photofinishing, as well as cropping, etc.

    The other reality is that traditionally a lot of wedding work was priced so that the photography and initial proofs and (possibly) basic album were at a somewhat lower (and usually fixed) price, while more profit was built into the price for extra reprints or enlargements.

    Both of these realities may no longer be realistic in the general market, allthough they may still be applicable in the very small subset of the market that still appreciates quality. :rolleyes:

    In my case, I still have stored almost all my negatives (stretching back almost 30 years). If some of my earliest wedding customers asked for them now, I'd probably just give them to them.
    Last edited by MattKing; 08-09-2006 at 12:55 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: add a further point

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by don sigl
    The limits of copyright are controlled by contractual agreement between the photographer and the client. I'm not sure where you have done your commercial work, but I worked with fortune 500 companies for years and the contracts I signed with them gave them quite a bit of control over the use of the images I made for them. I don't have many of those original chromes in my files, but I doubt I would have been doing any work commercially if I went into negotiations dictating complete ownership of the images.
    .
    a good few Fortune 500 hundred companies (mainly mining - diamond, zinc, nickel, gold - as well as plenty that aren't fortune 500) as well as Fortune itself and plenty of other publications from Forbes to the NY Times to the Sunday Times and a number of architectural firms.

    I still have most of those transparencies (and negs and hi-res scans) right here in my filing cabinets. The only ones I don't have are where the client bought out the rights completely - and those were very worth my while.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by tim atherton
    a good few Fortune 500 hundred companies (mainly mining - diamond, zinc, nickel, gold - as well as plenty that aren't fortune 500) as well as Fortune itself and plenty of other publications from Forbes to the NY Times to the Sunday Times and a number of architectural firms.

    I still have most of those transparencies (and negs and hi-res scans) right here in my filing cabinets. The only ones I don't have are where the client bought out the rights completely - and those were very worth my while.
    Congratulations on your success. Although I, as a customer (and many of the people I have worked with over the years) would avoid using your services.
    And rightly so, I might add
    Don Sigl
    www.drs-fineartphoto.com

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing
    The practice of wedding photographers keeping the negatives also reflects two other realities.

    The other reality is that traditionally a lot of wedding work was priced so that the photography and initial proofs and (possibly) basic album were at a somewhat lower (and usually fixed) price, while more profit was built into the price for extra reprints or enlargements.

    Both of these realities may no longer be realistic in the general market, allthough they may still be applicable in the very small subset of the market that still appreciates quality. :rolleyes:

    In my case, I still have stored almost all my negatives (stretching back almost 30 years). If some of my earliest wedding customers asked for them now, I'd probably just give them to them.
    I would agree on two points here:

    1. The original model is no longer realistic in the general market.
    2. There is probably only a small subset (of customers) that can appreciate quality.

    Nice to here that you would consider giving the negatives back to customers. Too bad you're probably not the guy who shot my parents wedding (1955). I'd love to have those negatives.
    Don Sigl
    www.drs-fineartphoto.com

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Parker
    How many sets of negs do you have stored? I am just wondering, some of us that do this for a living, have a tendancy to accumilate a massive amount of negatives, my last dump of negatives was over 500 sets of 36 exposure negs, quite a pile to say the least...
    Quite a pile but not one that you couldn't store on some shelf?
    If you're not taking your camera...there's no reason to travel. --APUG member bgilwee

  6. #26
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by don sigl
    The limits of copyright are controlled by contractual agreement between the photographer and the client. I'm not sure where you have done your commercial work, but I worked with fortune 500 companies for years and the contracts I signed with them gave them quite a bit of control over the use of the images I made for them. I don't have many of those original chromes in my files, but I doubt I would have been doing any work commercially if I went into negotiations dictating complete ownership of the images.

    There is no question that a photographer should have rights and compensation. But in my opinion, if you are getting paid to document an event for a retail customer, you should be compensated (which I'm sure you are) and negotiate rights for image use. Holding the images for no other purpose than to elicit additional revenue from retail customers and then destroying the images when you can't get any, in my opinion, exceeds the bounds of ethiucal behavior.
    In theory, the use of the images are limited if there are no model releases. I as a consumer I would not agree to such a contract where the photographer retains all rights to the images that contain my likeness without being significantly compensated. The idea that I would actually pay someone to give him such carte blanc is beyond my comprehension. In reality, the only worth (not including limited promotional purposes) the images have to the photographer are additional print purchases by the cunstomer. This is very limited worth for such a restrictive contract.
    Don,

    I think you are misunderstanding, I don't have any of those commercial chromes in my files either, we are talking about two different aspects of the business, if you find the ethics of those who work in the wedding business to be wrong, then that is fine, different aspects of the business have different circumstances, as far as my use of my images that I take, I use them for advertising purposes. And my clients and I discuss all aspects before hand, if they don't want them used, then it is spelled out in my contracts..I don't judge the way you do business and I am surprised you are judging the way others have successfully done business for many decades now. For the most part, I don't care how others do business, a question was asked, I posted what I do, it is up to the person seeking the information to pick and choose what might or might not apply to his situation, different locals and aspect of the photography business require and do have different ways they are done.

    Have a great day.

    Dave

  7. #27
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petzi
    Quite a pile but not one that you couldn't store on some shelf?
    Petzi,

    After over 25 years of being an active working photographer, I don't feel the need to store the negatives once the contractual obligation is over, my commercial and wedding work is just that a job, plain and simple the customer contracted with me to do a job and deliver a product, once that is done, then it is over, now my personal stuff for my own use, I still have much of that, but I also peridically go through those chromes and get rid of stuff..photography for most of my work is just a job....most of what I take, I have no emotional attachment. I am sorry if that rubs some the wrong way,.

    I do however find it disturbing that another photographer would question the ethics of those who have models that work for them, as I said, I don't care what others do, they ask a question, I post my information, if it is applicable and it helps them, great, if it don't fit their definition of what they want to do, that is fine as well..

    I mean really, if the client is happy and the jobs keep comming in, I don't see a problem, and the question that orginally started this, was a job that was not even paid for to begin with, the person who shot it, has no obligation if he was never paid...


    Dave

  8. #28
    Petzi's Avatar
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    You can do what you want. I normally hand negatives made at weddings over to my clients when the job is done. You could do so if you think it burdens you to store negatives. I think it is a pity to dump them. They are the most authentic representation of a historic event.

    I wouldn't hire you if you didn't give me the negatives, only to dump them later.
    If you're not taking your camera...there's no reason to travel. --APUG member bgilwee

  9. #29
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petzi
    You can do what you want. I normally hand negatives made at weddings over to my clients when the job is done. You could do so if you think it burdens you to store negatives. I think it is a pity to dump them. They are the most authentic representation of a historic event.
    Petzi,

    That is fine, I don't have a problem with what you do, and I hope you don't care what I do, what works and has worked for me for a number of years, may not be what works for you, the client either purchases the negatives when the job is over or I hold them for a year and if they don't want them, I git rid of them, they always get corespondance from me before they are got rid of, my clients are happy and that is what matters to me..for the most part, what I do, don't affect you or any other photographer at all, just me and my clients. I have been doing it the same way, in which was taught to me many years ago, at the school and workshops I attended, my model works for me, thats all there really is to it..

    Dave

  10. #30

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    The negs/image rights are the photographers, period. What they do with them is up to the photog, but for a fellow photographer to argue it's ethically wrong to retain absolute control over negs and incorporate them into their business models, troubles me DEEPLY. This goes for commercial, wedding, whatever, doesn't matter.

    It's your work. Prints can be the wedding parties "family archive" not the negatives, and in the case of commercial clients the usage rights they purchase are the usage rights they get until the renegotiate terms. There are no terms for an ethical arguement here. It's just business. You create something and you sell it.

    This is a very un-APUG like conversation, and most people are stubborn as mules when it comes to this stuff, but it's good to talk about anyway. Ultimately each persons biz model is different, and it's never smart to tell another person what to do with their business or their love life, so all of the above is imho.

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