Have you ever seen your photo on a website, or photographer's website and you didn't like it? Have you ever felt ripped off by how a photographer treated your photos, or have you ever been confused over who has the rights to the photos you took with the photographer this post is for you.
The Photographer and You - who owns the photo?
My advice so you don't run into a photo issue with the photographer you have chosen to work with is basically four words: Get It In Writing.
A professional photographer will give you all the images and even touch up a couple for you and you should leave the day or your shoot or very close to after, with a CD or images in one format or another in your hand. It should not be a struggle to get your work period!
You want to own the photos or at least own them "enough" to where you get to use them and you don't have to fight to get what you shot.
I have had some bad experiences in the past and the photographer's will not be named, but I have worked with some photographer who have NOT given me what was assumed, and I wish I had it in writing.
What if you paid the photographer and you have not gotten what you paid for?
Before you pay, set up a shoot, or even meet the photographer, ask questions. Over the phone or in emails, THAT is number one.
Ask: Do I get rights to all the photos?
Ask: Do I have to also pay for touch up, if so how much?
An aspiring model told me that she did a shoot with a photographer, paid him, and he only gave her a selection of the photos, and if she wants more, she has to pay to have them touched up because he doesn't want his image out there without being touched up. What! Yes, this is true. Sounds pretty shaddy huh? Well it happens all the time. And it is terrible.
With respect to photography a photographer has the right to want to clean up the images, but the model shouldn't have to go through such a struggle to update her portfolio and she should be able to get ALL the images taken. She is paying for each shot of the camera, and this is also why FILM, is actually better when it comes to photographer, because you get a certain amount of shots, and those are yours, and when the film is done, the shoot is done, and you know what you should be getting, two rolls of film, vs. whatever-shots-the photographer-wants to give you from the photo disk.
I would talk about your shoot ahead of time, talk about the shots you are expecting and even say a number, "I would like to shoot 100 shots and see what we get and pick my favorite 20 to use for my portfolio and compcard."
Photographers can be your friend, sure, thats fine, but still if you have never worked with the photographer before GET IT IN Writing!
Even if you think the photographer is your friend and can be trusted, photography is a business, and many photographer are not jerks but they do sell their images and they do have the rights to the photos and models can sometimes be left in the dark with 5 images and a big debt and unable to get the images they need.
You want to make sure when you are shooting headshots, or any portfolio images that you have an agreement, in writing, that the images, whether film or digital, are in your right. To use them, print them, and perhaps even submit them to magazines, and use them for your own promotion.
You are paying for them right. So treat your photos like a business too and make sure they are yours. Keep track of names, numbers, dates, and agreements in writing. Write your own agreement don't just sign the photographer's, have them sign your's.
I love photography, and I work with great photographers, but I also think a lot of models get ripped off so becareful.