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Author Topic: Question About Professional Photographers- Am I Being Taken?  (Read 499 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: May 07, 2011, 12:41:46 AM »

Hey Y'all,

Christ is Risen!

 So we've found a photographer for our wedding.  We both like her and her work.  For x amount, she'll give us x amount of pics of various sizes.  So far, so good. But here's the thing that's new to me; for a hefty fee, we can take possession of the copyrighted CD of our pictures.  I've never heard of that before.  I figured once we paid the photographer, we could just make copies at Walgreen's if we wanted/needed to.  Apparently that ain't the case.  This doesn't make a lick of sense! Am I being taken? 

Gabriel
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2011, 12:59:32 AM »

Please don't treat this as legal advice, but for what it's worth ...

It's true that (subject to the terms of your contract with her) the photographer's photos, even though they are photos of you and were commissioned by you, are her original artistic works and that, therefore, copyright in the photos vests in her. Owning a the physical photograph does not necessarily legally give you the right to copy it, much like owning a music CD doesn't give you the right to stand on a street corner handing out free copies.

I presume that if you purchase the "copyrighted CD" (this is a confused way of phrasing things, as the copyright doesn't actually subsist in the CD but is a personal right that attaches to the author of the copyrighted work), the copyright will vest in you and you will be able to do basically whatever you want with the photos, subject to whatever limitations exist in American law.

All of this is pure legal theory, anyway. I've never seen a photographer go after a married couple for copying wedding photographs for purely private purposes.

I know there is also a "fair use" exception to copyright in American law (there isn't in Australia) which might provide you protection from infringement for certain types of copying, but I'm not qualified to comment.
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2011, 01:36:35 AM »

Christ is risen!
Hey Y'all,

Christ is Risen!

 So we've found a photographer for our wedding.  We both like her and her work.  For x amount, she'll give us x amount of pics of various sizes.  So far, so good. But here's the thing that's new to me; for a hefty fee, we can take possession of the copyrighted CD of our pictures.  I've never heard of that before.  I figured once we paid the photographer, we could just make copies at Walgreen's if we wanted/needed to.  Apparently that ain't the case.  This doesn't make a lick of sense! Am I being taken? 

Gabriel
Sort of, but it's legal and from what I've seen, standard. Technically, you don't own the photographs, the photographer does.  I'd love to see a wedding guest sue over permission to being photographed someday, but I'm sure you have better plans than being dragged into a case of first impression.

Btw, if she showed you her work, that's how she can without getting the permission of prior couples: she owns the photos, and the negatives (which is why you never get negatives (did they even have cameras anymore with negatives?) with wedding pictures or graduation pictures).
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2011, 01:39:57 AM »

I think the above probably covers it, but if you want me to, I can ask my stepfather about this, since he has worked for years as a photographer (mostly weddings) as a second job.
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2011, 11:24:29 AM »

Christ is Risen!

Thanks everyone!  I feel better about the situation now.  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2011, 12:22:25 PM »

FWIW, our wedding photographer gave us a free DVD of the pictures.
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2011, 02:54:44 PM »


...at my sister's wedding, the official photographer came up to me and told me to stop taking photos....since he was the photographer and not I.

Smiley

I smiled sweetly at him and kept taking photos.  This was my sister getting married!  Who does he think he is forbidding me to take photos in my church, of my family. 

It's not like mine would be better than his, and she wouldn't purchase from him.  They already signed the contract with him....so, they were obligated to pay him, any way.

...however, I was much younger than....and he actually scared me a bit.  I was worried he would take my camera or something.
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2011, 07:10:08 PM »


...at my sister's wedding, the official photographer came up to me and told me to stop taking photos....since he was the photographer and not I.

Smiley

I smiled sweetly at him and kept taking photos.  This was my sister getting married!  Who does he think he is forbidding me to take photos in my church, of my family. 

It's not like mine would be better than his, and she wouldn't purchase from him.  They already signed the contract with him....so, they were obligated to pay him, any way.

...however, I was much younger than....and he actually scared me a bit.  I was worried he would take my camera or something.


Ha.  He sounds insecure.  I have seen wedding photographers ask people to not take pictures while they are taking group pictures because it is a distraction to those in the picture and people are all looking in different directions trying to figure out who is taking the shot.  Having flashes going off can also screw up their work and make things take much longer than they should.  But telling someone that they can't take pictures because they are the hired pro is just silly.
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2011, 07:19:49 PM »

...however, I was much younger than....and he actually scared me a bit.  I was worried he would take my camera or something.

Angry, narcissistic, brash, annoying people get away with so much because they know sweet, shy, naive, non-confrontational people won't/can't stand up for their rights.

This is one of the ugliest aspects of our culture: the loudest wins.
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