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Thread: What to do ??

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    What to do ??

    OK firstly Im not stressing over this ..... much ...... yet ......... but am curious as to how others might handle it.

    I have a photographer friend in Sydney who runs a reputable business offering all things photographic. One of his things is he runs courses and workshops for beginners right through to advanced photographers, including basic DSLR workshops, Wedding Courses, Studio/portrait courses etc ...

    Now quite often I help him out on some of these, and am paid for my time, particularly when he has large groups and multiple workshops running at once. I often do the studio/portrait/flash workshops with him. There is no pre arranged agreement that I will provide any images I take on the day to anyone, despite being paid to assist.

    Now to the point. I did one of these very courses with him the other day, and we shot a whole bunch of models that came to specifically to pose for the students on the course. These are effectively a TF arrangement where my mate supplies any images he takes from the days shooting to the models for ports, books, galleries whatever, in exchange for their time.

    I do the same. I always, at the end of the day, give the girls a business card and get them to get in touch and I will supply them with a few retouched images for their time. I dont mind as I use the images for my book, and so do they.

    Today, I was perusing a modelling agency site, and discovered that three of my images have been used on the official agency contact card for one of the models that I shot on the day. So far Im OK with this, as I still consider this the model using the images for self promotion, which is typical of the spirit of TF arrangements.

    This is the bit that is bugging me just a little bit. I went onto read on the site that the agency is charging the models a fee to have their contact cards produced. Now Im not sure about this. If the agency is making money from that card that I saw on their site for this particular model, which clearly consists of three of my retouched images ... It hardly seems right that they should be prospering from my work, when I have supplied the images to the model only under the terms of TF. I have no arrangement with the agency at all.

    Now, before it is bought up, there was no contract or anything put in writing. This was a fun, casual day at a workshop.

    After seeing my images being used in a way that may be financially advantageous to the agency, and me effectively not getting my piece of the pie, it just got me thinking is all ........ mmmmmmmm.
    Last edited by bigdazzler; 23-07-2010 at 7:06pm.
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    Darren, is the fee a production cost of the comp card or something additional?

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    Possibly mate, its not very clear. Im trying to find more info now.

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    When you say "contact card" are we talking like a business card ?

    If so the model has to get them printed somewhere, so therefore someone is going to profit from printing the cards, be that the modelling agency or be that print house down the road.

    I don't think you have any claim to a "cut" from that.
    If the model gets prints done at XZY Labs, do you want a cut of their profit as well ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkChap View Post
    If the model gets prints done at XZY Labs, do you want a cut of their profit as well ??

    Just My Humble opinion
    No I dont. But I gave the images to the model for her use, not the agencies.

    The composite card is on the agencies site. Im ok with it, as long as the images only appear promoting the girl, and not as a general advertisement for the agency. Ill keep an eye on it.

    It is a composite card. A card containing four images of the model, three of which are mine, and the models details. Height, weight, bust, hips, shoe, hair, eyes, etc ...
    Last edited by bigdazzler; 23-07-2010 at 8:16pm.

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    Ok. but why are they being printed ?? That's sort of where I was going. Just trying to get my head around the card. Never really come across it before.

    Are they actually printed on request from the model, to have a 'stock' of them (like a business card) or do photographers find the model on the site, then request a card, which is then printed by the agency and the model charged (with no option of printing anywhere else), in which case I would think that it leans towards them profiting from your work.

    I hope I have worded this better this time

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    I`d talk to the model and get her to casually explain to the agency that you should benefit from the photos. See where that goes first.
    Graeme
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    im not sure mate ... I tend to think (and Im only assuming of course) its something like John said above, a fee to cover the cost of producing the card.

    Again if this is the case, Im OK with it. If my images show up elsewhere on the site, in any other context apart from directly promoting the model, thats a different story.

    To their credit, they have a facebook page, and I am credited as the photographer on the images, with a link to my web site.

    The only info I can see is in the FAQs of the site.

    "Is there a joining fee?"

    "No. Any reputable modelling agency should not ask you for a joining fee. However, you will be charged for your comp card."


    mmmm .. Might speak to the girl and see if I can find out more about this comp card arrangement.
    Last edited by bigdazzler; 23-07-2010 at 8:19pm.

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    For those who haven't been involved in model photography here is an explanation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comp_card

    Darren I wouldn't stress too much, if the model was happy enough to have 3 out of 4 of your images on her comp card you should take that as a compliment.

    Agencies have to cover their expenses relating to management of a model and I'm sure most would build a modest margin into producing the card.

    Now if they use the models image to promote the agency that could be a different consideration however the difficulty may be the lack of a contract with the model as to what constitutes fair use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fantasyphoto View Post
    For those who haven't been involved in model photography here is an explanation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comp_card

    Darren I wouldn't stress too much, if the model was happy enough to have 3 out of 4 of your images on her comp card you should take that as a compliment.

    Agencies have to cover their expenses relating to management of a model and I'm sure most would build a modest margin into producing the card.

    Now if they use the models image to promote the agency that could be a different consideration however the difficulty may be the lack of a contract with the model as to what constitutes fair use.
    Yea absolutely John ... i dont think there is any underhanded intention in the midst here. I guess I was jusat a little shocked to see the pictures pop up on the site. I didnt even know she was represented.

    And youre right about the compliment, even more so considering Ive now learnt that the talent manager at the agency chose the photos.

    As I say, Im not upset by it .. I just supplied the photos for a specific purpose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdazzler View Post
    This is the bit that is bugging me just a little bit. I went onto read on the site that the agency is charging the models a fee to have their contact cards produced. Now Im not sure about this. If the agency is making money from that card that I saw on their site for this particular model, which clearly consists of three of my retouched images ... It hardly seems right that they should be prospering from my work, when I have supplied the images to the model only under the terms of TF. I have no arrangement with the agency at all.
    I'd defer to Fantasyphoto and his experience in this BD, except to say that in business nothing is for nothing. If the model has accepted to pay for the composite card as part of the process of being promoted by the agency, and there is no real reason why she shouldn't, that would seem to me a fair thing to cover the costs of production involved. Many real estate agents charge for photos to promote your house for sale, too! Of course it all depends on how much is being charged, doesn't it. The agency clearly understands whose IP the photos are; otherwise why credit you with creating them?

    Bottom line: the agency is in business to make money and shouldn't be expected to "bankroll" the model's marketing on the prospect of a commission down the track. With the number of would-be models vs. the number who actually get a decent chunk of paying work, the agency would go broke pretty quickly otherwise. I agree, though, that if they then take and use the images for any other purpose, you should have a legitimate claim to fair recompense.

    I don't want to hijack your thread with a tale from the other side of the coin (pun intended), so I'll put up a thread later describing a case of what I believe is downright robbery. But that's another story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoDo View Post
    I agree, though, that if they then take and use the images for any other purpose, you should have a legitimate claim to fair recompense.
    I guess thats the only potential point of contention down the track ....

    Its ok for now .... all good.

    On the upside, the same girl was so happy with my retouching that she has now contacted me and asked me to work on some images from another shoot, which was supplied to her by the photographer unedited. So it looks like Ill make a few more bucks yet, on a per image basis, out of this. As they say, every cloud .....

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    Just engaged in this little bit of dialogue with the model ....

    Yea thats fine .... its a compliment to have three of the four images on there. As long as you are happy with them being on there, its all good

    However, I supply those images to you on a TFP/CD Basis. In case you're not familiar with the term, it means "Time For Print/CD"

    This is a standard agreement between photographer and model when each volunteer their time to create images for their respective portfolios. The usage is restricted to use of self promotion by both parties, such as web sites, portfolios, etc.

    It is totally fine for xxxxx to use them on the xxxxx site provided that they are used solely to promote you, as per our standard TF agreement. Any other use on the site, ie. to promote xxxxx itself, constitutes commercial use and could result in copyright infringement. If xxxxx wants to use the photos elsewhere on the site in any way not directly related to the promotion of you specifically we will need to come to some kind of licensing agreement, and payment for the images.

    I dont like going on about all of this stuff, but I didnt realise that the pictures would be for agency use, so it needs to be clearly outlined what is considered fair usage under the terms of TF.

    Now .....all of that sillyness is out of the way ....



    I think that should ensure were all on the same page. I dont forsee any dramas arising

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdazzler View Post
    I think that should ensure were all on the same page. I dont forsee any dramas arising
    A little open and honest communication solves a lot of problems before they're born, eh? Well done, BD.

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    Now just wait until you work with a foreign model who doesn't speak English, it becomes a whole new adventure

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    I did shoot an 18yo blond Russian one time ... Dont think one shot was in focus, never mind hearing what she had to say

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    I had this problem once, and it involved one of my, well she used to be a close friend. Anyhow, she's with a modelling agency here in Hobart, and she supplied numerous images that I'd take to said company, and now the company is using my images. They even had massive watermarks on them, which someone has gone to the trouble to clone them out.

    I contacted the agency and they said that as soon as an image is given to them by a model, it becomes their property, and any payment should have been worked out between me and the model. Never mind the fact that it was actually for a GRADE ELEVEN photography assignment that I took the photos for. And my friend's mum had signed a release saying that the photos were mine, and they wouldn't be used for financial gain by them.

    Anyhow, spoke to my dad's friend who is a lawyer, specialising in copyright and got told there is pretty much nothing I can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyK View Post
    I contacted the agency and they said that as soon as an image is given to them by a model, it becomes their property, and any payment should have been worked out between me and the model. .
    Eh ??? The photograph remains your IP under the most basic rules of copyright, unless you have relinquished your copyright in a written agreement with the model in the first instance, or you were commissioned (paid) by client (model) to create the images.

    At least, thats my understanding. Could be wrong, but dont think so.

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    Yeah I don't think what they've told me is correct either.

    But after talking to a lawyer, there wasn't really anything that I could do about it.

    I did kind of get a bit of recompense from it though. Same friend wanted another photo shoot, so I charged her more than I normally would.

    None of that is probably all that professional, but I wasn't really all that impressed, and my friend's mother [who pays for all her daughter's shoots] was happy to pay me that much, no questions asked.

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