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2nd Shooter signing agreement with photo studio/ photographer

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by shanguli, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. shanguli

    shanguli Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Sep 16, 2014
    canada
    I've started second shooting for a photographer for wedding, parties... I just wanted to ask you quick question... Recently he said, that I'd have to sign some paperwork/agreement , where I agree not to post any of my images online or other places. He said, he'll get sued by his clients if that happens, and want to pass the liability to me if I post the images I shot....
    I am just wondering if this (me signing a waiver/agreement or whatever it is called ) with the photographer/photography studio is a normal thing?

    -Iff this is the norm to do so in the industry (where I, as the 2nd shooter have to sign some form of agreement/contract with the main photographer/studio):

    1-To what extent is what he's asking is legit...
    2-Then what do I have to request in return? What are my rights?

    If you've been in similar situations or know about this, would really appreciate you sharing your thoughts/advise...Thanks a million !!!
     
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  2. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 Veteran

    391
    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    I can tell you that it was in the contract for the photographer that shot my wedding, that none of the photos she took would be posted anywhere or released to anyone without my wife & I's consent. I'm told my mother found this very annoying!:cool:
     
  3. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Well, there is a little flavor of mistrust in your questions. If this is a person you don't trust, then just get out of the relationship. Something will go bad eventually. Maybe something really bad.

    If that's not an issue, I'd ask to see the contract that he signs with clients. What he's asking you to sign should be almost verbatim what is in that contract.

    Re "rights" there are few rights in a business contract. Consumer contracts are governed by many laws because the consumer is seen as being in a weaker position than his counterparty. In business, the counterparties are assumed to be competent and are assumed to have sought professional advice where they have concerns or questions. So there are few or no laws that provide "rights" in business contracts. You are being asked to enter into a business contract.

    Re asking for something in return: Any time there is a negotiation you can ask for things. In this case, though, he's asking you to do something that doesn't cost you anything and posting those pictures is probably something you shouldn't/wouldn't do from an ethical point of view anyway. So, bottom line, if he is asking you to agree to what he is agreeing to I'd just sign.
     
  4. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    If you are working for "the Photographer" then your work is a form of "work for hire". "The Photographer" owns any and all rights until and unless he specifically transfers them to another party, generally the client. As his "employee", whether true employee or contract laborer, and you are bound by his agreement with the client. He is just asking you to sign off that you are aware of what restrictions exist on the images you take.
     
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  5. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Is t this a Prime and Subcontractor type of relationship? I'm not a pro photographer, bug I deal with contracts all the time.

    Seems to me that if you are working for another photographer on his gig tha. He has the right to set the terms. If he wants to own rights to the photos you or anyone else working for him takes that would seem common. If he dies t want you posting images of his clients event without permission that seems reasonable too.

    If you're just a second photog hired by the client the other Photogr should have no right to contractual terms with you.

    What's the relationship?
     
  6. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    If you're working for a studio/photographer as a second shooter ( or any other capacity ) the studio owns your work. You don't have any right to use the photos in any way. A contract that spells this out protects the studio from you.

    Fred
     
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  7. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    764
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Exactly right. There is nothing fishy about this arrangement. Basically his is the copyright holder of all photos he takes and all photos you take for him as a "work for hire" and he is simply making sure all the eyes are dotted and the Ts are crossed on the paperwork stating that any photos you take while working for him are HIS photos and you have no rights to any of them including reposting on social media. It doesn't even matter what the client wants in this situation. He is just being nice pretending it is the clients he is concerned about rather than HIM making sure you don't steal HIS shots (even if you took them).
     
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  8. sethrus

    sethrus Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 19, 2016
    Just read it carefully and make sure it's not a copyright grab too. Or a covenant not to compete for x months.
    Those are worth a lot more.

    Sent from my STH100-1 using Tapatalk
     
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  9. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    764
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    As a couple of us already pointed out, it is a Copyright grab in the sense that he will be doing "work for hire" and so wouldn't own the Copyrights on the photos he takes anyway. The main photographer hiring him is probably clearly spelling this out in a contract so there is no misunderstanding about who owns what.
     
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  10. sethrus

    sethrus Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 19, 2016
    That's my point. Contract. Read it. It doesn't HAVE to be a copyright transfer, but most likely is. Copyright law doesn't care about work for hire.

    Sent from my STH100-1 using Tapatalk
     
  11. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    OK....lots of conjecture here.

    if you really want to know what is going on, take the contract to an attorney and have them explain it to you if it is that important to you.
     
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  12. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    764
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    The US Copyright laws would beg to differ. Title 17 of the United States code specifically addresses this as...
    So Copyright law DOES care about works for hire.

    U.S. Copyright Office - Copyright Law: Chapter 2
     
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  13. sethrus

    sethrus Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 19, 2016
    And EXACTLY what I was saying. It is a contractual issue! The OP was talking a contract.
    BTW, a contract valued under $500 does not have to be in writing.

    Correct. If you don't know what you're reading, take it to a lawyer.

    Sent from my STH100-1 using Tapatalk
     
  14. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    764
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I think you are confusing things. It isn't a contractual issue. Copyright law by default gives all copyright ownership to the guy doing the hiring of a 2nd shooter. No contract required. That the hiring guy is putting something in writing for the 2nd shooter is probably more along the lines of simply re-enforcing what is already US law so that there is no confusion. A smart move, but under law not at all required.

    And we don't know if he was talking about a contract in the first place. The original poster wasn't sure himself other than saying he had to sign some paper work which could be nothing more than the hiring photographer explaining how things work and the 2nd shooter being required to sign an acknowledgement stating he understands what the job entails (it might even say "you are performing works for hire"). Or it could be a full blown contract. But either way, NOT required under Copyright law.
     
  15. sethrus

    sethrus Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 19, 2016
    No problem. I went to law school for nothing.
    When you sign a contract copr code becomes presumptive, in this case moot.


    Sent from my STH100-1 using Tapatalk
     
  16. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Print this thread and use it to get your money back. I don't know if you studied Copyright Law (there are way to many areas for a person to know everything, so people specialize just like doctors) but at the minimum you should have learned how to look up a law.
     
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  17. sethrus

    sethrus Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 19, 2016
    OP just read the thing and dk it if it's fair to you. Take your money and run. Weddings don't have much residuals these days. If it's based on HIS take, skip it. You will never know the original amount.

    Sent from my STH100-1 using Tapatalk
     
  18. sethrus

    sethrus Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Aug 19, 2016
    Read what YOU wrote! You quoted statute that says unless otherwise agreed to by contract. Then you reply that contract doesn't matter.
    FYI: people that work for hire for (the largest news gathering agency in the world) can STILL put it on their own website. why? Because it's in the agreement!
    When I shot ONE picture for The Boston Globe for $350, a book company came to me 3 years later to negotiate use. Why? Because it's in the agreement!

    Read your own contradictory postings.
    Brahahahahaha.

    Sent from my STH100-1 using Tapatalk
     
  19. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    I don't know if he'd get sued - but the agreement if properly done should protect him as well as you. It should also explicitly state what you can do with the photos that you take. If you don't feel the agreement does that, then don't sign. See if he is willing to change it, and if need seek proper legal guidance.

    These agreements are a formal and legal means of communicating expectations, in an effort to subvert any misunderstandings. It is not about a level of mistrust.
     
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  20. esnift

    esnift Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Mar 17, 2013
    Boston, MA
    Dan
    If I were second shooting for someone, I would expect to be their employee and all work that I did would belong to them. Much like most corporations will have an intellectual property clause where anything created with company property or on company time belongs to the company. However, you do have the ability to cross out terms and write new ones on a contract before signing. If you are there for experience and portfolio building and would like to use the photos you take in a portfolio, you could have a dialogue with the CEO (I'm assuming the photographer owns his own business in this case and should really be thought of as a business owner, not just a dude with a camera) to see if the terms can be changed depending on your hopes and desires. If your previous work is really great, or if they really need the help, they may be willing to accommodate you. However, his interest is in protecting and promoting his brand and it is risky to have images that he does not have creative control over floating around from a wedding with which he has associated his brand.

    I personally would see second shooting as practical experience plus a paycheck and wouldn't really worry about using the photos later. Knowing where, how, and when to reliably get great images in a fast paced wedding environment is far more valuable than a single image.
     
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