January 18, 2018, 07:02:26 AM

Author Topic: The Bride chose my images instead of the photographer, how much should I charge?  (Read 68026 times)

Sporgon

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I think as the thread goes on and there is further analyses and explanations from the Op so the whole thing becomes less believable.

The pro was there to cover the wedding on a (presumably) professional supplier / customer basis and had kindly (strangely) allowed the OP to tag along, bringing his own camera.

When the bride was presented with the portfolio of shots it seems strange that she knew or assumed that this 'second' photographer who turned up with the hired pro, and 'ergo' was part of that 'togs team, did not have his pictures already included in that portfolio presented to her for perusal by the hired photographer. How was she made aware of the fact there was a completely different set of pictures that had not been included ?

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ams2d

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Once you've got a few years' IP law under your belt, you might see things differently.  I'd argue that the OP took the images as an agent of the pro photographer (as he would have been under the supervision and guidance of the pro and his attendance at the event would have been under the pro's direction), and consequently the pro owns the copyright (subject to the contract with the bride and groom....as they are the client, depending on the wording of the contract, you might find that they already own the copyright - take a look at s35(5) of the Copyright Act.)

Given the circumstances, I have a hard time seeing how the OP could own the copyright.  I suspect he'd argue that as the person pressing the shutter button, he was the creator and therefore the owner.  But given that this would have been a private event, with the OP attending under the direction of the pro photographer, if this ever became a serious issue, I'd suggest the pro (or the bride and groom) would have the winning argument. (Law degree and 20+ years experience.)

Back to the OP, I'm happy that you discussed it with the pro (even if it wasn't 100% your desired outcome).  We'd have 2 or 3 people come and do work experience with us from high schools and universities each year.  And while we're not in a photography related industry, everyone that works with us always acts on their best behaviour and we're delighted to have them, even though a certain percentage will ultimately become direct competitors.  But we like doing it.  Not only do we identify potential employees, but it is always useful having contacts in other firms or different specialities.  Hopefully, you've kept the relationship with the pro on a good footing as you never know when your paths might cross again.

Question: Based upon what you mentioned above.  In those instances if the OP wanted to include the photos they took in a portfolio or as an example of their work they would have to gain some form of written permission of the pro, or maybe even have to pay the pro, to be able to display the photos they took?   
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cpsico

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The person starting this thread came here with a question, he is new and learning so i think its good that he is finding out what to do. I dont think he knew or thought he was doing something wrong by selling his images. It was his first wedding.

With that being said Weddings are tough hard long work, and their are some clients you should take a pass on. This was clearly one of them. If their only concern is money not the work let them find a family friend to do it for free and get what they deserve. She should have already seen his work when she hired him and knows what she is getting. A working pro should above all things be consistent. You most likely choose this individual to learn from because you liked their work. This bride is clearly playing a game to save money and renegotiate price.

Run like hell from this situation and this bride. You are lucky in that you had an opportunity to learn another aspect of the business. Always have a contract to protect yourself and always get paid up front!! Everyone else does so should you. You have a lot to learn still dont just jump in head first until you understand some of the business aspects.

jeffabbyben

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The person starting this thread came here with a question, he is new and learning so i think its good that he is finding out what to do. I dont think he knew or thought he was doing something wrong by selling his images. It was his first wedding.

With that being said Weddings are tough hard long work, and their are some clients you should take a pass on. This was clearly one of them. If their only concern is money not the work let them find a family friend to do it for free and get what they deserve. She should have already seen his work when she hired him and knows what she is getting. A working pro should above all things be consistent. You most likely choose this individual to learn from because you liked their work. This bride is clearly playing a game to save money and renegotiate price.

Run like hell from this situation and this bride. You are lucky in that you had an opportunity to learn another aspect of the business. Always have a contract to protect yourself and always get paid up front!! Everyone else does so should you. You have a lot to learn still dont just jump in head first until you understand some of the business aspects.

Nailed it!

Hillsilly

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Question: Based upon what you mentioned above.  In those instances if the OP wanted to include the photos they took in a portfolio or as an example of their work they would have to gain some form of written permission of the pro, or maybe even have to pay the pro, to be able to display the photos they took?

The OP would need to determine who the copyright owner was and get their permission.  Unless the agreement between the bride and groom and the pro specifies otherwise (and you'd need to review the contract to find out), under Australian copyright law, the bride and groom would own the copyright and as such the OP would need their permission.   Given that the Bride and Groom like the photos, the logical step would be to get their ok.  If he was to get the approval from the pro, too, there would never be any risk of problems.

And then there is a grey area.  Just because the Bride or the Pro might own the copyright, it doesn't mean that they own the OP's photo files.  I'd have to think about this more, but if the Bride and Groom own the copyright, that just means that they have the right to reproduce or use the images taken by the pro and the ability to prevent others from copying or publishing the photos.  But it doesn't necessarily give them ownership of the files produced by the pro.  They are the pro's property.  Similarly, in the absence of an agreement between the OP and the pro, the photos made by the OP are the OP's property (even if he might not own the copyright).  If the OP simply displays the files on his computer for prospective clients, he's not reproducing them and there might not even be a copyright issue.  We also allow people to convert things they own to different formats for personal use without copyright issues.  Arguably, the OP could also print the images and have them displayed in his home for his own personal enjoyment, and if potential clients inadvertently see them, well...
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I personally hate weddings.  I had a bad experience once at one... and yada yada yada... the bride still lives in my house and nags at me on a daily basis.

The next time you are in bed with your wife, ask her if you should hire a "second shooter".

(rimshot)  ;D

If you do, make sure you have a contract which spells out what your wife will do with the second shooter's "shots"

(RRRRRrrrrimshot!!)

Thank you, this has been a great thread!!
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Chuck Alaimo

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A few things here that should be pointed out.

I basically agree with what's been said here, the OP should be asking the main photog about this.

As to the ethics though - there is no hard and fast rule for this.  I've second shot for a lot of people and each primary shooter has his/her own set of rules.  Some give you memory cards to shoot on, you hand them over at the end of the night and never see them again.  Other's allow usage - the second can use images for their own portfolio but no contact is to be made between the second and the client.  Other's allow for the second to share their work wit the client, but only after the primary shooter has shared the the full gallery.

A key thing to point out here too --- I've second shot for close to 20 photographers and have only been asked to sign a contract 3 times - so the question of ethics here IS very important because most of this is based on the honor system.  As many have said, this could be a quick buck for you now, but, good luck breaking into the industry when no primary shooters will take you on - and - one wedding is not enough to get you out there on your own without working with others. 

So I'd really rethink this and err on the side of caution, talk to the main photographer.   

another reason why - you don't know whats going on between the primary and the client.  You may be thinking wow, $500, but the client may be trying to get out of spending $3000 on an album by buying images from you...  You may be undermining the main photog!

Most established primary shooter though  have a certain mindset with this that YOU have to keep in mind.  You are brought in by them to work for them.  Your work benefits them.  Promoting your own business is not allowed.  I mean hell, I did not hire you to come in to promote yourself.  Not everyone is that strict but many are
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 02:21:39 PM by Chuck Alaimo »
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thepancakeman

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Wrong. Why would I post on a photography forum to show off?

"The Bride chose my images instead of the photographer, how much should I charge?"

Not, "What should I charge a bride for pics I shot at a wedding?"  No...you wanted everyone to know the bride preferred your images to the person paid to shoot the wedding. 

I have no idea why you'd come here to show off, but it seems clear that you did. 

Sorry, going to have to disagree with you on this one Neuro.  IMHO, the original statement is describing very relevant context, not braggadocio.  The option that you offer does not provide the necessary information that he was not the hired photographer, and that indeed there was one.

Quote from: Orangutan
I would offer a variant of Hanlon's Razor:  Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by human imperfection.
That's a new one to me, but I like it and indeed think it applies here.

Chuck Alaimo

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Surely the contract is with the original pro photographer, his price would have included the shoot as well as providing a specific number of images with any additional photographs charged for separately. I would find it hard to believe there are no images that the bride would not find acceptable.
The bride should pay the original photographer for the contracted work, providing of course they are not sub standard.  There would be no obligation for the bride to buy any additional images from the pro photographer leaving the guest photographer to supply photos to the bride at whatever cost is agreed.
Remember you asked for a favour and got invited to assist the pro at the wedding, he thought he was helping you. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

I mostly agree. However, if the guest photographer's images had been presented along with the main shooting pro's images, the bride might have chosen some of each shooters images and been satisfied with the amount of images included in the package (in the scenario described above). In that case, perhaps she wouldn't need to spend more money.

I'm not a wedding photographer. I shoot live theater and headshots. When I shoot a show for a theater, occasionally someone from the production's creative team will be shooting behind me...usually the set designer. Would it hurt me if the theater chose some of the set designer's images? Not particularly, because he's part of the team. He just needs to stay out of my way. I'm hired to make sure they get the specific images they need that are then published in the newspapers and websites that review these shows. These images are given to the press when the shows are reviewed. However, I can't imagine a scenario when I would invite someone that I don't really know to shoot along side without having some advanced agreement regarding the other shooters images.

I've been asked a few times by friends and family to shoot their weddings. They've seen my work and think I'm a great photographer. But I've never accepted. I wouldn't want to let them down. Wedding photography, to me, requires specific experience and anticipation for the event that I don't have. I couldn't expect to do a great job without getting experience first. Similarly, it wouldn't be easy shooting live theater for the first time. Shooting a musical is like shooting basketball but with constantly changing lighting.

I guess I'm saying that the OP should be grateful for the experience that the pro allowed him to receive. I don't know what was communicated between them before the wedding, but you'd think they would've had to discuss a plan just to stay out each other's way.

Another thought that came to mind...according to the OP the bride liked his images better. Does a wedding photographer show the bride all of the images prior to post processing then only process the images chosen? If so, could this be a reason the bride likes the 2nd shooter's images better? Maybe his were already processed. I can shoot 2000 images during a musical. Most theaters get jpegs right out of my camera that night. They'll make their choices for press the next morning and I'll PP the images they choose, but I'm not going to process 2000 images knowing that they will only choose 30.

If the OP is as good as he indicates, then he should be able to book some paid gigs in the not too distant future. He now has images for a portfolio that will enable him to market his work. The revenue for one job will far surpass the couple hundred bucks he might get for the 30 images this bride likes. If he takes the money and snubs the photographer that gave him the opportunity to learn, his reputation might prevent him from getting that job. Will it have been worth it?


The dangerous part of this is the play on ego ---- "liked' may not be as honest as you think.  The bride may not actually like your shots better, she may just like your price better.  it's the play on ego that raises the eyebrow...oh, they liked my work, wow, I'm better than the primary.... I deserve to be paid.  All the while, the bride is using you as a bargaining chip against the primary photog to get him to lower his prices on something. So you may be riding a high of thinking wow  - I'm awesome as the bride is just trying to save a buck and dragging your name through the mud to get it...it's a harsh way to look at it and may not be the case, but it could be...again...make the mistake of caution, talk to the main shooter.
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Boyer U. Klum-Cey

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Talk to the primary shooter, and tell him/her that you are going to quote: $10,000(to be split 50/50).  My guess, is that the problem goes away.  The lesson: You now understand the theory of weaseling, and will move forth with that intell in mind, next time you negotiate.
All theories are wrong, but some are useful, eh?

Chuck Alaimo

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First of all I'm a portrait photographer and I've got experience, I know what's composition and all the sweet things that we care about. Second I didn't sign any contract with him and he told me that I could post the photos on my website. I went there to understand how weddings work and I wasn't hired as an assistant (but he told me you are coming as an assistant).
During the wedding the bride was a bit annoyed about the posing shots that he was trying to create and she was asking for more candid shots. I'm not saying I'm better than the pro and I will never say that, I don't even want to undermine him. I sent him about 40 photos the day after the wedding and he called me up telling me that he was impressed for my first wedding experience. At the end of this I just would like to be rewarded for this little success because I'm not making a living out of it.
By the way I don't like the way the pros use their assistants, people who make a living out of it should pay for their help. It is just fair. Sometimes when I have to do paid jobs I ask a friend to come along and I give him/her some money even if it's a $200 job.

ok, I'll bite on this one too.  Ok, you were not hired and did not sign a contract - fine, but, as you stated - he saw you as his assistant.  He did not have to allow you on the site, and given the situation, it doesn't sound like the client added the second shooter either so there was zero compensation for you.  The main shooter was being nice, letting you come along to learn and build a portfolio - not to undermine sales.

The Primary shooter is at fault here too because he should have been more clear ( though it does sound like he tried to be, "Second I didn't sign any contract with him and he told me that I could post the photos on my website." 

That's your compensation right there.  It's the good old adage, give a man a fish and he eats well that night - teach that man to fish and he eats well for a lifetime.  You seem to be blinded by the sentiments of this bride, and want that one nice meal at the expense of the future.  These images should be like a downpayment - the first for your portfolio. 

Mind you ---- Brides are finicky beasts!!!!!  So this one loves your work, what about the next, and the next, and the next?  If you have a next!  One wedding is not enough to book a season, especially one where you were a second shooter.  this bride liked candids - good - that's fine and yeah, that's one of the reasons why you were there, to handle that side of shooting so the main shooter can focus on posing and managing the clock!  Some Brides don't give a rats ass about candids though.  some don't even care about the images at all.  so, keep that in mind, and --- if you at all believe in karma, well then I hope you remember this day when you have an assistant taking your sales! 

As to "By the way I don't like the way the pros use their assistants, people who make a living out of it should pay for their help. It is just fair. Sometimes when I have to do paid jobs I ask a friend to come along and I give him/her some money even if it's a $200 job."  If he did things you don't like, well that's the way the cookie crumbles.  Learn from that and don't treat your seconds and assistants in the same way.  But also, the going rate here for second shooting is closer to $100-500 depending on all the factors.  Which, isn't bad at all when you think about it.  I generally pay out $250 - which for 8 hours or so is like $31 an hour.  that's not bad at all.  If your allowed to use the images on your portfolio, yeah you may spend time on them but that's your time, your investment.  $31 an hour to be there for 8 hours and snap 1000 or so photos...LOL...I like second shooting now because I have no intention of outdoing the main shooter.  Or rather, not on that shoot!  I will do my part, but, I will save the outdoing for my own weddings!....

Either way man, let your ego go.  Call the primary guy and talk to him.

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Chuck Alaimo

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Here is a slight twist on the question. Many of you have weighed in on what the OP should do in response to his question.

If you are a pro, and someone who tagged along with you on a shot to learn from you actually approached you afterwards with the OPs dilemma, but in this case, he deferred to your decision. What would you do or tell your apprentice?

Just curious.

I would have downloaded all his files initially, before we parted the day of the wedding, most of the time seconds use my cards to negate issues like this.

However, if he came to me in this situation as it is, I'd give him credit for it, if the bride hated my images and liked his, I'd sell her his (as part of my contract to her) and pay him enough to make him happy (for saving my butt), but also make quite clear that what he did was wrong and why it was wrong, but I'd also encourage him to second again, I have had the best luck with second shooters that take different types of images to me and the two obviously covered the bases.

exactly!  That is part of this too...is the OP's conversation with the bride sidelining the primary shooter at this point? 

Here's one for ya too...how did the bride find him?  I mean, did the OP post a shot to facebook and tag the bride?  Or did he talk to the groom and hand out his personal card?  did he talk to guests? 

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Chuck Alaimo

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uggg...maybe i should not reply to things when i haven't read all 11 pages...uggg...11 pages....I want to sue all of you now!.....
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jdramirez

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In the instances where I am a 2nd shooter at a wedding... my main goal is to get nude photos of the brides at the end of the night... so if I someone get a photo of the bride... sure... but she's off the market...
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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jdramirez

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uggg...maybe i should not reply to things when i haven't read all 11 pages...uggg...11 pages....I want to sue all of you now!.....

I'll give you synopsis.  Op is in the wrong... bride is cheap and probably is looking to get images at a discount... and the law is stupid.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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