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06-23-2007, 09:43 AM   #1
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Advice Columnist Advice on Photography - do you agree?

I read this column the other day and I was wondering how others would respond.
Dear Amy:

I am an avid amateur photographer with a particular interest in landscape and scenic photography, and I love to travel.

When traveling, I often take hundreds of photos because my digital cameras allow me to.

I put a lot of effort into my photography, and I am generally proud of the results. Being single, when I plan a trip I often try to find a friend to travel with for companionship. I am careful when traveling with others to be sure that my photographic activities don't interfere with their ability to enjoy the trip.

Recently I have been increasingly annoyed by the tendency of my traveling companions to demand that I give them CDs of my pictures after the trip. One of my companions even said that, having been along on the trip, she had a "right" to the photos. I wouldn't claim to be an artist, but I I'd like to maintain some control over my photographs.

I am not totally against sharing my work, and I am happy to give them copies of pictures in which they appear. However, I balk at giving them every photo I took, especially in electronic form, which is so easily copied, altered, e-mailed, posted on the Web, etc.

How should I handle this?


Curmudgeon Photographer

This phenomenon has become much more common with the advent of digital photography. Strangers standing nearby will offer their e-mail address, along with the expectation of an e-mailed photo if they suspect that you got off a good shot.

No one should be demanding anything from you after a trip, much less the fruit of your creative endeavors.

It is generous of you to offer to provide companions with photos in which they appear. Keep it at that.

Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

Copyright 2007 by the Chicago Tribune Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.

I travel alone a lot and end up meeting up with other travelers and doing things with them along the way. I also hike and go out with friends while at home. In both situations, I'm always grateful to those I'm with who show patience with my photography - slowing down their pace to let me catch up, not getting embarrassed or complaining about the number of pictures I'm taking, pointing out interesting things that I might not have seen. I've never felt like I shouldn't share pictures of what we've jointly experienced, and I've shared CDs of pics, hundreds of prints (asking that they pay in that situation), posted pics at a resolution that can be printed up for a photo album, etc. That's not to say I'd be willing to share all my pictures with a complete stranger, but I think only being willing to share the photos that the person is actually in is particularly ungenerous. And, if a complete stranger were to ask me to take their picture in a special spot and e-mail it, or if they were to ask me to share a picture of something you both were seeing at the same time when they didn't have a camera, I would send them the shot (and have).

What do you all think? What advice would you give to "Curmudgeon Photographer"?

06-23-2007, 10:05 AM   #2
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I hike and travel a lot and I take lots of photos. I am in the same situation as you, generally and I absolutely don't mind sharing my photos with my friends. I also took photos for our high school sports teams and gave the prints to the parents free of charge. In our community, I take my camera to local events and share the photos, again free of charge. We live in a small community and this is just one of the ways we help out.

I will not give out digital images larger than about 1000 pixels on the long side in digital form. This is good enough to view on screen and get a 4x6 printed. I put in copyright EXIF data, just in case. If someone wants a large printed photo, I'll take their money (at my cost) and have it printed. I don't want to seem ungenerous, but I've been burned a couple of times in the last three years and I am a little less trusting than I used to be. I do reserve the right to keep some of the really nice shots to myself to use in competitions and such.
06-23-2007, 12:15 PM   #3
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betsypdx-
not to be critical , but you may need to find different traveling companions.
I can not imagine why someone would even think of demanding copyies of your work, just because the were traveling with you. It would be nice to give them a few copies of photos that maybe they were in, just as gift--that not being enough I would find another person to travel with--preferabley another photographer so they could take their own vacation photos---just my okie opinion
06-23-2007, 01:09 PM   #4
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I would say that the Curmudgeon doesn't really have friends, and he/she is using people as a traveling crutch. For that he/she should not only give them CDs of all the images, but probably pay for airfare as well.

Any of my friends can have any of my photos, of any size and resolution, no matter if they were with me or not.

Strangers and neighbors? No way. But friends - sure.

Signed,
The Happy Photographer

06-23-2007, 01:53 PM   #5
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by ericc Quote
I hike and travel a lot and I take lots of photos. I am in the same situation as you, generally and I absolutely don't mind sharing my photos with my friends. I also took photos for our high school sports teams and gave the prints to the parents free of charge. In our community, I take my camera to local events and share the photos, again free of charge. We live in a small community and this is just one of the ways we help out.

I will not give out digital images larger than about 1000 pixels on the long side in digital form. This is good enough to view on screen and get a 4x6 printed. I put in copyright EXIF data, just in case. If someone wants a large printed photo, I'll take their money (at my cost) and have it printed. I don't want to seem ungenerous, but I've been burned a couple of times in the last three years and I am a little less trusting than I used to be. I do reserve the right to keep some of the really nice shots to myself to use in competitions and such.
That's about the same as me - though for the sports I'll upload to a photo site so they can print them off themselves, in whatever sizes they want. I took a bunch the other day at my nephew's little league game (semifinals for the league - they lost), and posted the pics on my pbase account for the team. What a kick it was to hear that one of his teammates asked my nephew whether I was a professional photographer! HA!
QuoteOriginally posted by kent vinyard Quote
betsypdx-
not to be critical , but you may need to find different traveling companions.
I can not imagine why someone would even think of demanding copyies of your work, just because the were traveling with you. It would be nice to give them a few copies of photos that maybe they were in, just as gift--that not being enough I would find another person to travel with--preferabley another photographer so they could take their own vacation photos---just my okie opinion
Hmm - I'm not the curmudgeonly photographer - that's someone else. My friends and people I meet up with generally ask nicely and don't *demand* anything and I'm happy to share. Plus, they often are doing something else for me - like carrying my water on an 8 mile hike - since I have the weight of my camera (and don't want to risk getting it wet). I probably wouldn't be travelling with anyone that demanded anything - and, frankly, I doubt that Curmudgeon's "friends", if they are truly friends, are doing anything other than asking.
QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
I would say that the Curmudgeon doesn't really have friends, and he/she is using people as a traveling crutch. For that he/she should not only give them CDs of all the images, but probably pay for airfare as well.

Any of my friends can have any of my photos, of any size and resolution, no matter if they were with me or not.

Strangers and neighbors? No way. But friends - sure.

Signed,
The Happy Photographer
You've got a point about "Curmudgeon". RE: strangers and neighbors - sometimes they both can become friends, but probably won't if they're unfriendly or demanding.
06-23-2007, 06:27 PM   #6
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I'm the same as carpents, although most of my work can be used for free by approved charities or educators
(Photoshopped and pic's where you can identify the people are exempt from)
06-24-2007, 04:19 AM   #7
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Everyone has good points here. I think Curmudgeon needs to lighten up. Or maybe they think they are more of a photographer then they are. I know from a professional photographers standpoint they get paid for what they shoot. but in this case (and my own view point) sharing the photos from a trip with the people that were there would create a bond in the friendship, and that is what seems to be missing in this persons post. I'm always glad to share the photos I've taken with any one who wants a copy. At times and depending on who it was I would ask them to supply the CD or the Paper and I would be happy to give them a copy of any prints they would want.

I'm glad I have some great company that have gone along on some photo shoots where you can enjoy the trip and great company along with getting some really good shots of places I've visited, and being able to share memories with those who were along.
06-24-2007, 04:36 AM   #8
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This is a little outside the box of the original topic, but curious how many of you end up never *in* a shot because you are the perceived photographer?? And I'm just a darn hobbyist (but I can actually see improvement over time). I would not have been in any shots of my own 50th birthday party at work had I not asked my boss to please take a few. It's been a given for a long time among my family an co-workers that I'm going to take all the holiday and special event photographs and I just make copies of the prints and give them to them before the question is ever asked. I haven't been in a Christmas shot at work for the past five years - LOL. We have several office albums. When I eventually retire, it'll be as though I never worked there.

06-24-2007, 09:54 AM   #9
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That's the beauty of the tripod Izzy, although a been bag or even just a table work just as good

I also have a wireless remote, however I've never been able to use it while taking group photo's. They have such a limited range (15' on a good day) So I end up using a 12 second delay and running

If Pentax ever came out with a decent range remote I'd be the first in line for 1. Say a 100' range.
I might make my own up using a couple of 2 way radios
06-24-2007, 12:45 PM   #10
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While I have not had a traveling companion "demand" images I have sent images to people that I have taken images of. I have chimped with a few people too - but they have not "demanded" images.

I would just say no to the person who "demanded" a CD. Or I would "demand" payment for the CD (before giving it to them). In addition I would have them sign a contract regulating what they can do with the images (before the CD is sent - convert the document to PDF and put it in the root of the CD as a big README_or_get_a_lawyer.PDF document -- a better file name could be conjured up) The cost of the CD - just might pay for the trip - if you get what I mean. The images would all have my copyright on them and in the EXIF. The document would state explicitly that any prints bigger than 4x6 would require written consent from the photographer.

If they wanted a web site - I would give them my web site (I have yet to set it up though) that would redirect them to a pro site (shutterfly and smugmug have them) where they could pick the images they wanted to be printed (no copying allowed) and I would get paid for it. They would only be able to get prints - nothing electronic.

PDL
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