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Client editing digital copies and sharing online

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Tricky01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Client editing digital copies and sharing online
    Posted: 26 July 2018 at 22:50
I've had a very interesting 24 hours of reflection. On Saturday I did a family photoshoot at the home of an old friend. I'd agreed to provide all images on disk so they had them to share on social media, and to print now or in the future. Historically, providing the digital files is something I've always done because a) it's a part time hobby alongside my main income and b) personally I'd always want the back-up-able and future reproducible version of such a moment. So the shoot went well on Saturday and I had uploaded the images to the website and made them available to download by the friend on Monday evening. by Wednesday evening, my friend had posted a handful of images on his facebook page and credited me in the comment that accompanied the images (as I had requested).

The odd thing was, several of them he had edited. He had applied some serpia black and white effect. My immediate reaction was just surprise. This hadn't happened before, nor had I even considered it might. But then the reflection that it set people's expectations on what kind of photography I offered - either people choosing to book me for a processing style I don't like or employ, or people avoiding me for same reasons. I had done nothing to prepare for this circumstance and therefore had no legal right to challenge them (except perhaps to remove the credit).

Fortunately since the guy is a friend I messaged him about it and have now resolved. I will also be adding specific wording on editing of images into my contract template. But I wondered if anyone else had encountered this? How have you handled it? Or have you not considered it and not prepared for it like me?
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AutumnRose View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AutumnRose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2018 at 05:49
I don't do photos for hire myself, but I work in a print shop. We require a copyright release to print professional photos and several releases have included terms such as no editing of photos without approval of the photographer, or just plain no editing at all or to contact them for any editing. One can only guess that they have run across the same thing or had the foresight to imagine it happening. I can see how that could tarnish a person's reputation.
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beautiophile View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote beautiophile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2018 at 10:32
I once encountered the same situation as you did. A couple uploaded wedding photos I had shot with instagram-fillers on their facebook and cited me. Luckily, I did it as a freelancing job and I do something else for living. I have no ads, portfolios and photography business. That's why I didn't take it seriously.
However, IMO, they have right to freely use the photos you gave them but using your identity is another thing. I think they have falsely advertised your business by accident in this case because they just wanted to admire your work.


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ricardovaste View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ricardovaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2018 at 11:59
Hey Simon, I think you reacted well given that it was an unexpected situation. Seeing as itís a friend I think just sending them a message and asking nicely is a good solution.

Itís not something Iíve encountered personally as I think Iím friends on social media with perhaps 5 of my past clients, and long after they were actually married. With friends Iíve sometimes taken a photo theyíve shared and they often crop it etc but I honestly donít mind (a crop is less important than a garish filter, mind you), as I just see it as them being happy, liking the image of themselves and wanting to share it. With friends though, these are just random snaps, not a paid or remotely work related situation.

I think there is a very easy temptation these days to edit or put any sort of filter on things Ė if you think the way most of these apps work these days, there is usually an array of filters and editing choices you can apply yourself (even if you donít have a dedicated editing app). So to some extent it is quite likely and difficult to control.

I guess you could put something in your terms about editing Ė provide social media ready images and specify that theyíre not to be editing if posted, and to tag you in the photo if posted. I doubt anyone would have an issue with that but unless theyíre given really clear instructions (in a nice way) they might not think at the time. If you get a lot of referrals through these channels then I think it makes sense to try and control this a bit more in the future.

In terms of expectations, I wouldnít worry too much. People will see your work through your site (or your channels), they might speak to a friend, read about you somewhere, this will inform part of their expectations before they contact you. If there is one sepia photo amongst 100 others itís impact is pretty small and is easy to cast aside should the question come up.

Something you could look at is offering something that the client canít do themselves. You and them can always share stuff on social media, there is no real skill involved there, but if you make something that theyíre unable to do themselves youíre delivering something more unique (and have more control over it).
I photograph the moments in people's lives that mean the most to them: Richard Harris Photography
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AutumnRose View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AutumnRose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2018 at 15:29
I think an easy solution would be to add to your terms on giving you credit, that if they edit the photos in any way it must be stated and provide a link to your portfolio.
Kathi
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