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OT: I'm ticked off - newspaper credit missing
Old 03-13-2006   #1
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OT: I'm ticked off - newspaper credit missing

OK, so this weekend, I shot a banquet for the city of Wilson, they had an awards ceremony. The deal was, I shoot the grip-n-grin and background attendees from a shot list and whatever else I can figure out, the city gets the photos to use to promote the event however they wish - no charge. They set up a booth for me to shoot souvenir photos and I could charge whatever I wanted for those - and keep the profit.

To do the thing right, I had to contract with another photog, (one whom I owed a favor anyway) and of course my wife helped to. We busted our butts, it was a lot of hard work.

Afterwards, I was approached by a reporter from the local paper - their photog had not shown up, could she have copies of my photos? I told her to check with the city, since I had contracted with them. The city said fine, give her whatever she wants. I burned a couple of CD's on Sunday, and the reporter came over and got them. I made sure she understood - wrote it down - that all the files beginning with "DSC" were taken by my co-photog, all the files beginning with the letters "IMG" were taken by me.

She called me up this morning - she did not understand how to read a CD-ROM and was reading me the file sizes, asking what they were photos of. Yikes. She also asked if I had happened to take notes and did I have the award recipients' names. My wife told her that we take photos - reporters take names. Duh.

I emailed her a complete list of the winner's photo file names and again stressed who took which photos so that my co-photog would get credit if her photo was used in the paper.

Paper came out this afternoon. They used my co-photog's photo. No credit. Ah, come on!

I've been doing this for about a year now. I've had about a dozen photos of my own in the paper. Some have been credited, some not. I've never been paid for any of them, but then, I never solicited payment, either. In a couple of cases, I've been approached by the paper and asked if I have photos of the event they can use, and I've always said yes.

Now, I'm embarrassed. My co-photographer has one of her photos in the paper (and hers were better than mine, no doubt about it), and no credit at all. Well, we split the take from the souvenir photos, but this was a seperate deal with the city's blessing. That sucks.

Well that's it. Just had to vent. Any advice from those who have sold photos to newspapers?

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

My co-photographer's photo:

http://www.mattocksphotography.com/w...1.jpg.jpg.html

As it appeared in the paper today:

http://www.wilsondaily.com/Wil_regio...7775918794.php
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Old 03-13-2006   #2
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That blows Bill. I've no advice, just best wishes. I hope this gets resolved well...
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Old 03-13-2006   #3
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Bill, IMO Frank is correct; you should have some sort of written agreement with the paper. They approach it as a business and so should you.

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Old 03-13-2006   #4
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You could contact the paper and inform them of this oversight. They can always run the picture with credit given as a correction. I've seen this done before.

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Old 03-13-2006   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Granovski
You should have signed an agreement.
I agree that would be ideal, but what sort of agreement? I doubt the reporter is an 'agent' of the paper - she would have no authority to bind the newspaper. I could be wrong. And what would an agreement like this say?

You're probably right - I just don't have any real idea how to go about it.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
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Old 03-13-2006   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r-brian
You could contact the paper and inform them of this oversight. They can always run the picture with credit given as a correction. I've seen this done before.

Brian
I probably will drop the reporter a note. She seems a little ditzy, to be honest. But even if they run a correction, it's not the same.

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Bill Mattocks
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Old 03-13-2006   #7
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Well, you said the pictures belonged to the city and to get permission from them. The paper did and you handed over the photos. I think you are out of luck on that one. But your friend has bragging rights the paper used her picture.
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credit for the photos
Old 03-13-2006   #8
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credit for the photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
OK, so this weekend, I shot a banquet for the city of Wilson, they had an awards ceremony. The deal was, I shoot the grip-n-grin and background attendees from a shot list and whatever else I can figure out, the city gets the photos to use to promote the event however they wish - no charge. They set up a booth for me to shoot souvenir photos and I could charge whatever I wanted for those - and keep the profit.

To do the thing right, I had to contract with another photog, (one whom I owed a favor anyway) and of course my wife helped to. We busted our butts, it was a lot of hard work.

Afterwards, I was approached by a reporter from the local paper - their photog had not shown up, could she have copies of my photos? I told her to check with the city, since I had contracted with them. The city said fine, give her whatever she wants. I burned a couple of CD's on Sunday, and the reporter came over and got them. I made sure she understood - wrote it down - that all the files beginning with "DSC" were taken by my co-photog, all the files beginning with the letters "IMG" were taken by me.




______________________________

She called me up this morning - she did not understand how to read a CD-ROM and was reading me the file sizes, asking what they were photos of. Yikes. She also asked if I had happened to take notes and did I have the award recipients' names. My wife told her that we take photos - reporters take names. Duh.

I emailed her a complete list of the winner's photo file names and again stressed who took which photos so that my co-photog would get credit if her photo was used in the paper.

Paper came out this afternoon. They used my co-photog's photo. No credit. Ah, come on!

I've been doing this for about a year now. I've had about a dozen photos of my own in the paper. Some have been credited, some not. I've never been paid for any of them, but then, I never solicited payment, either. In a couple of cases, I've been approached by the paper and asked if I have photos of the event they can use, and I've always said yes.

Now, I'm embarrassed. My co-photographer has one of her photos in the paper (and hers were better than mine, no doubt about it), and no credit at all. Well, we split the take from the souvenir photos, but this was a seperate deal with the city's blessing. That sucks.

Well that's it. Just had to vent. Any advice from those who have sold photos to newspapers?

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

My co-photographer's photo:

http://www.mattocksphotography.com/w...1.jpg.jpg.html

As it appeared in the paper today:

http://www.wilsondaily.com/Wil_regio...7775918794.php
__________________________________________________ ____________

bill, as everyone said here, the photographer deserves a credit line and the best you can get now --and most papers are very fair about it -- is a correction...However, photographers like you must recognize -- despite your remark that you're just the photographer -- that editors prefer to identify everybody in pictures and you should remember next time to get the names of those you photograph and always double-check the names...Mary could be Mari or Marye and Alex could be Alix etc. and remember to identify them left to right... for example, Joseph G. Brown [with dark glasses], Alice Jones (left, rear], etc. Remember, you won't be there when the caption writer is writing the caption for publication...And, too, he [or she] is only human and will be much more likely to remember to credit the photographer -- if the photographer helped with the details...As a reporter for one of the best newspapers in the country I have been on assignment with dozens of photographers and every single one got the details him (and) herself...Remember also, need I say, to be brief and be nice about your credit line...
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Old 03-13-2006   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finder
Well, you said the pictures belonged to the city and to get permission from them. The paper did and you handed over the photos. I think you are out of luck on that one. But your friend has bragging rights the paper used her picture.
The photos were not mine to give away - the city had indeed contracted with me to be there. But I (and my partner) did indeed take them - and deserve the photo credit.

However, I see your point.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
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Old 03-13-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob cole
__________________________________________________ ____________

bill, as everyone said here, the photographer deserves a credit line and the best you can get now --and most papers are very fair about it -- is a correction...However, photographers like you must recognize -- despite your remark that you're just the photographer -- that editors prefer to identify everybody in pictures and you should remember next time to get the names of those you photograph and always double-check the names...Mary could be Mari or Marye and Alex could be Alix etc. and remember to identify them left to right... for example, Joseph G. Brown [with dark glasses], Alice Jones (left, rear], etc. Remember, you won't be there when the caption writer is writing the caption for publication...And, too, he [or she] is only human and will be much more likely to remember to credit the photographer -- if the photographer helped with the details...As a reporter for one of the best newspapers in the country I have been on assignment with dozens of photographers and every single one got the details him (and) herself...Remember also, need I say, to be brief and be nice about your credit line...
Thanks for the information - I am amazed that the photogs you worked with were able to get the names of each of their subjects. We (the two of us) shot 380 frames in one two-hour banquet. And while we could have made notes on the shots we took prior to the event starting, I seriously doubt we could have gotten even a brief word with each of the award recipients while the event was going on. As soon as it ended, everybody headed for the door at full velocity - I was busy shooting the souvenir shots and could not assist. I don't doubt what you say is true - I'm just in awe and not sure how we could have done that. Any thoughts?

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
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Old 03-13-2006   #11
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Seems to be a lot more common than most people think.....one would think they'd be careful about this kind of thing. My brother was freelancing for a large newspaper up here in Canada. Despite being paid a pittance for both photos and articles, on one occasion his editor actually took credit for a story and pics of his, then she refused to answer his emails. Finally, after a few threats he quietly got his money, no corrections or apologies. Rude and unprofessional to say the least.
Unless you're in the Guild (north of the 49th, anyways) it seems you're just a pee-on. Anyone from Ontario who'd like the name of the paper and the editor can PM me....
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More on crediting pix
Old 03-13-2006   #12
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Wink More on crediting pix

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
Thanks for the information - I am amazed that the photogs you worked with were able to get the names of each of their subjects. We (the two of us) shot 380 frames in one two-hour banquet. And while we could have made notes on the shots we took prior to the event starting, I seriously doubt we could have gotten even a brief word with each of the award recipients while the event was going on. As soon as it ended, everybody headed for the door at full velocity - I was busy shooting the souvenir shots and could not assist. I don't doubt what you say is true - I'm just in awe and not sure how we could have done that. Any thoughts?

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

Bill, if you took 380 pix, you obviously didn't have time for much else than snapping pix...in the old days, Associated Press, United Press and others took one or, maybe, two 4x5 plates and ran to get them developed and on their way to around the world... My photographer took, perhaps, four or five 35mm pix, so it was easy...You have to try not to get yourself into such a bind...I also forgot to mention that your job--besides identifying every subject -- is to also say...at the 4th of July Barbecue in Fort Henry Park or In front of McDonalds at 12th Avenue and Christopher Boulevard, Pittsburgh, Pa. credit: Oscar Glucks, Acme Farm Bureau ....regards, bob {and paste it to the back of each and every pix} I may be a bit dated on saying that you paste to the back of each pix but you have to figure out a way to caption each pix, #1, #2, #3, etc. so that the writer has all the details and won't be swearing out loud that the photographer ought to be tarred and feathered for screwing up...

Last edited by bob cole : 03-13-2006 at 15:07.
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Old 03-13-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob cole
Bill, if you took 380 pix, you obviously didn't have time for much else than snapping pix...in the old days, Associated Press, United Press and others took one or, maybe, two 4x5 plates and ran to get them developed and on their way to around the world... My photographer took, perhaps, four or five 35mm pix, so it was easy...You have to try not to get yourself into such a bind...I also forgot to mention that your job--besides identifying every subject -- is to also say...at the 4th of July Barbecue in Fort Henry Park or In front of McDonalds at 12th Avenue and Christopher Boulevard, Pittsburgh, Pa. credit: Oscar Glucks, Acme Farm Bureau ....regards, bob {and paste it to the back of each and every pix}
Well, we're new at this, so bound to make mistakes. All photos taken were done with DSLRs. I didn't deliver prints to the newspaper, I gave them CD's. Each image had a EXIF watermark with our copyright and 'author' id embedded in them, and of course my hand-written note and followup email further stated the same thing. And of course, we did get the event name, etc. Remember, the reporter was there also - she was taking notes. I guess that's why we were amazed that she didn't know the names of the award recipients. Well, I have a lot to learn, obviously.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
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Old 03-13-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
Well, we're new at this, so bound to make mistakes. All photos taken were done with DSLRs. I didn't deliver prints to the newspaper, I gave them CD's. Each image had a EXIF watermark with our copyright and 'author' id embedded in them, and of course my hand-written note and followup email further stated the same thing. And of course, we did get the event name, etc. Remember, the reporter was there also - she was taking notes. I guess that's why we were amazed that she didn't know the names of the award recipients. Well, I have a lot to learn, obviously.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

bill, as I remember your original note, you two fotogs took 380 pix for a client and you later got permission to give copies to a reporter who had not been with you for the pix...The better way would have been for you and the reporter--next time -- to stay together so that she could take notes and you could give her [or him] say six pix...I don't believe anyone on a newpaper --on deadline -- has the time to go over 380 pix...As a sidelight, many years ago Margaret Bourke-White, one of the first fotogs for Life Maqgazine came back from an assignment with hundreds of pictures and threw Life's darkroom into turmoil for a very long time...I still don't know how they managed to do more than print the photographs and get as much as they could from her for the few pix they ultimately published...I don't see how anyone could take so many pix and also record what was being taken...When I was in college a long time ago, I worked along the sidelines of football games writing down the plays a UP photographer snapped...After five or six plates, he was gone...He would send them by carrier pigeon from Austin, Tex., to his office in San Antonio [and, for safety, also send them from the Austin bureau by some photo process[...regards, bob

Last edited by bob cole : 03-13-2006 at 15:35.
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Old 03-13-2006   #15
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Bob, gotcha. Thanks for the advice! I do want to say that the reporter approached me after the event was over to ask for the photos, since her staff photog had pulled a no-show. So although I knew she was there at the event, I didn't know who she was with or that she'd be asking me for photos. All very last-minute. Anyway, I'm better now. I just wanted to grumble about my photo partner not getting the credit for her photo while she was there at my behest.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
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Old 03-13-2006   #16
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Bill, always charge always make them sign a contract stating what the uses will be and always make sure you get the credit. As many of you know I am a pro wedding photographer but this incident happened when i wa there as a guest. I had my Leica M4-2 and the 50 f2 Summicron at dfriends wedding. i was shooting a roll of Fuji press 800 as no flash was allowed. The "pros" camera went haywire and when she got back to edit there were no shots. She paniced and called me to see if she could use my photos but wanted to do them under her name so the client would not know she had screwed up. Can you believe her nerve. I told her I would give her the photos for the price I charge for one wedding and my studio got credit for the work. She got her photos but I got her money and two referrels. Always have a standard form made up for the uses of your photos.
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Old 03-13-2006   #17
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>>My wife told her that we take photos - reporters take names<<

I worked in newpapers for 20 years. As mentioned above, it's common professional practice -- essential really -- that a photojournalist identifies everyone in his/her photographs for publication in an editorial product such as a newspaper. It's a good discipline process. With digital, it's also not as hard as it used to be. And it gives you a lot more control over your work. An editor would HATE receiving 380 images on a CD identified only by the camera's image tag number. An editor would LOVE receiving 5-to-10 well-chosen images by email, clearly marked as jpegs with file names that make sense and accompanying caption information for each image that ends with "Photo by Bill Mattock". In the above example, once you got the okay from the city, the credit line should have read something like "City of Wilson photo by XXXX" or "photo by XXXXX, courtesy of the city of Wilson."

Still, it's very reasonable to politely contact the newspaper editor and ask for a correction. Say you'd like the correction so that it can accompany your tear sheet and let them know you'd be interested in further work, as they apparently had to deal with an unreliable photographer who didn't show up for that particular assignment.
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Old 03-13-2006   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byuphoto
Bill, always charge always make them sign a contract stating what the uses will be and always make sure you get the credit.
I appreciate the advice. And, I am not a lawyer. But I do know that in order for there to be a contract, both parties must have 'agency' - that is, they must have the legal right to bind their respective employers by signing a contract. I obviously have agency - I am a sole proprietor. I could be wrong - but I very much doubt that a reporter has agency for a newspaper - hence, she could not have signed if she had wanted to. In fact, she most likely would refused to have signed, referring the matter to her boss - and that would have been the end of it. I'm not sure that waving around a contract while I was standing hip-deep in clients waiting for their souvenir shot would have worked.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
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Old 03-13-2006   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceC
>>My wife told her that we take photos - reporters take names<<

I worked in newpapers for 20 years. As mentioned above, it's common professional practice -- essential really -- that a photojournalist identifies everyone in his/her photographs for publication in an editorial product such as a newspaper.
I believe you, really I do. But I was not there as a PJ, I was there as an event photographer. We were hired by the city to take 'lots' of people shots, work off a shot list, and get photos of each of the award winners as they did the grip-n-grin. I wasn't planning to do a write up - the city obviously knew to whom they gave the awards - they just wanted the photos.

The thing with the newspaper was purely accidental, and tacked onto the end of the event, as I mentioned.

Quote:
It's a good discipline process. With digital, it's also not as hard as it used to be. And it gives you a lot more control over your work. An editor would HATE receiving 380 images on a CD identified only by the camera's image tag number.
You make a very good point. However, I asked the reporter what she wanted. She said "just give me what you have." So I did.

Quote:
An editor would LOVE receiving 5-to-10 well-chosen images by email, clearly marked as jpegs with file names that make sense and accompanying caption information for each image that ends with "Photo by Bill Mattock". In the above example, once you got the okay from the city, the credit line should have read something like "City of Wilson photo by XXXX" or "photo by XXXXX, courtesy of the city of Wilson."
Excellent advice again. I will work on that - in the future, I will give them only what I think they would like to get, and make sure the names are included. Of course, if I don't know the names (because I was taking the photos), then the newspaper gets nada.

Quote:
Still, it's very reasonable to politely contact the newspaper editor and ask for a correction. Say you'd like the correction so that it can accompany your tear sheet and let them know you'd be interested in further work, as they apparently had to deal with an unreliable photographer who didn't show up for that particular assignment.
I'm not looking for a job with the paper, but I'd love to build a relationship with them as a free-lancer - and SELL a photo or two. I know enough that if I get some shots of an accident or a bank robbery or sumpfing, I get the details and pass them along with the photos.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
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Old 03-13-2006   #20
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Bill,
Thanks for the notes. I fully understand where you're coming from as the event photographer.

Newspaper folk, like the rest of us, are overworked and underpaid and, to top it off, all their mistakes and omissions are out there for all the world to see. As you found out, most reporters know squat about photography (and it's their loss, because everyone looks at the photos, but who REALLY reads those stories word-for-word?) so it's usually best to ask the reporter for his/her editor's point of contact, usually email will suffice. Of course, with a smaller paper, oftentimes everyone on staff does a little bit of everything.
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Old 03-13-2006   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceC
Bill,
Thanks for the notes. I fully understand where you're coming from as the event photographer.

Newspaper folk, like the rest of us, are overworked and underpaid and, to top it off, all their mistakes and omissions are out there for all the world to see. As you found out, most reporters know squat about photography (and it's their loss, because everyone looks at the photos, but who REALLY reads those stories word-for-word?) so it's usually best to ask the reporter for his/her editor's point of contact, usually email will suffice. Of course, with a smaller paper, oftentimes everyone on staff does a little bit of everything.
I think that thanks to you, I know a tiny little bit more now than I did - and I appreciate it! I never would have tweaked that the editor would not like 380 digital photos - geez, here I was thinking the more the merrier. I will work on the 'patience' bit.

Thanks, I really mean it. Thanks to all who responded!

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
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Old 03-13-2006   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
I appreciate the advice. And, I am not a lawyer. But I do know that in order for there to be a contract, both parties must have 'agency' - that is, they must have the legal right to bind their respective employers by signing a contract. I obviously have agency - I am a sole proprietor. I could be wrong - but I very much doubt that a reporter has agency for a newspaper - hence, she could not have signed if she had wanted to. In fact, she most likely would refused to have signed, referring the matter to her boss - and that would have been the end of it. I'm not sure that waving around a contract while I was standing hip-deep in clients waiting for their souvenir shot would have worked.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
But, you could have told her you would get right back to her and contacted the paper afterwards. In this day and age it pays to be over cautious
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Old 03-13-2006   #23
bmattock
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Quote:
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But, you could have told her you would get right back to her and contacted the paper afterwards. In this day and age it pays to be over cautious
That's a very good point. Have to admit, didn't think of it. Thanks!

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Postscript on picture credit
Old 03-14-2006   #24
bob cole
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Postscript on picture credit

bill, I forgot to mention that when you're assigned by a newspaper or other client to take pictures, they tell you exactly what they want and you probably do not have to identify your photos too much...On the other hand, if you bring pictures to them on spec, they need to know what you're showing them....regards, bob
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Old 03-14-2006   #25
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All good advice here

On events I have no problem to come back with 200+ pics without taking notes, if names are needed I have an assitant taking notes, i.e. frame number and names.

We often do teamwork with one photographer taking the celebrity shots on the stage and another with assitant snapping in the crowd. We have a list of whom to shoot and if we don't know them we get them pointed out either on location or with pictures befor.

The client gets a CD with images named after the people in the image for limited use and we retain the copyright.

If a paper publishes our pictures there are two possibilities, and prices, the first is limited use for the paper with credit to the photographer and the second is sell of full copyright without limitations and no credit to the PG. The last is very expensive
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Old 03-14-2006   #26
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Here in Brazil, as I understand it, the photog has an inalienable right to credit for authorship/intellectual property, even if he/she has signed over every other right there is. I think there's one exception when photog is employed and directed by another. Here you almost never see a photo without credit to either an agency or an individual photog - often both.
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Why free?
Old 05-10-2016   #27
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Why free?

Lets see now, a newspaper likes to use pictures because it adds value to their product. So the first point is why give them your work for free?
Second point is a credit is worthless. In over 35 years of photography for a living I have never earned a penny from a credit, neither has anyone else I know. You can not go shopping with a credit either.
A credit is not worth getting excited about, what you need is paying with money not a credit.
I'm always getting asked by publications (because we like your work so much) "can we use one of your pictures", "sure you can, tell me the size, position and number of copies and I'l give you a price" . Chances are they say we don't have a budget for photography we will give you a credit.
Put the phone down and don't waste anymore time with them.
It's money you want not a credit, it's a business not an ego trip.
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Old 05-10-2016   #28
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Was this the oldest post you could find?

I hope Bill waits 10 years to answer.
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Old 05-14-2016   #29
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I hope Bill waits 10 years to answer.
Reading about CD-ROM made me check the date. Perhaps Bill can send his answer on one.
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Old 05-14-2016   #30
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You essentially handed all rights over to the city. When you forgot rights or shoot for another party the credit often reads that the photos are courtesy of Xyz. The photographer often doesn't get credit.

I've been in it full time for fifty years. When you give work away you're not taken seriously as a charging professional would be. I never give work away except to close friends and family.
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Old 05-14-2016   #31
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We try to always credit the photography in our newspapers; but, when these things go through a lot of hands, sometimes it happens that no credit is given.

The reporter is not the person who ultimately placed the photo on the page. Unless the reporter indicated to the editor (and/or person doing the page layout) a credit line, the person doing the layout assumed the photographer wasn't known. That happens a lot these days, with all the crowd sourcing that goes on.

Stuff happens. Especially on tight deadlines.
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Old 05-14-2016   #32
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Old 05-14-2016   #33
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Ask the newspaper to run a note in their corrections section. That will help some. It's a bad idea to give a reporter a disk with many pix on them. Next time pick 4 or 5 and put them on a memory stuck along with an note showing your credit or e-mail them to an editor.
BTW: The links don't work.
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Old 05-14-2016   #34
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Ask the newspaper to run a note in their corrections section. That will help some. It's a bad idea to give a reporter a disk with many pix on them. Next time pick 4 or 5 and put them on a memory stuck along with an note showing your credit or e-mail them to an editor.
BTW: The links don't work.
After ten years it's not really surprising is it?
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Sorry
Old 05-15-2016   #35
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Sorry

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After ten years it's not really surprising is it?
Hehehe. Thanks. I didn't check the date of the post. ) He probably shot it on glass plates. )
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Old 05-15-2016   #36
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Is everyone still alive? I hope so!
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Really - resurrecting a 10 year old post >>
Old 05-21-2016   #37
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Really - resurrecting a 10 year old post >>

Looked at the date and wondered why?

DON
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Old 05-21-2016   #38
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any resolution yet? I mean this has been going for 10 years, either sue the ba#%&*@! or let it go folks
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