Some Ground Rules

So this something of a follow up on my previous note about watermarking. In some ways I’ve adhered to it, and in some ways not and I need to get back on track. These rules update that note regarding my business practices:

1) I don’t mind that people use my pics for their myspace or facebook pages It’s actually pretty cool and is great for promoting me. I DO appreciate people leaving my watermark in the photos, or at least noting in the caption my website address. (See below for watermarking policy as it pertains to this.)

2) If I get paid to shoot an event, I put my watermark in the lower right corner when I post it to smugmug or facebook That still enables me to put my own personal stamp to the pic without being too obnoxious.

3) If I don’t get paid to shoot an event but still want to shoot for fun, I use the larger version of the watermark over the center of the pic I know, it’s annoying, but I’ve got to put a value on my work, especially in respect to the bands/people who DO hire me and pay me. Note that the watermark DOES NOT appear on any prints that are ordered from my site; it’s just a web thing.

4) For every print that’s ordered from my site, the buyer gets an 800×500 web-res version of that pic with no watermark For your facebook, myspace, emailing, etc. This is a new policy and hopefully motivates people to order prints.

5) PRINTS ARE HANDLED BY SMUGMUG, NOT ME I don’t make the prints myself, and I never see any credit card information from your order. I’ve gotten this question before, at least the part about whether I make the prints myself. That’s all handled by smugmug; they process the order from one of their printers and mail them directly to you. I just get notified when a print order is made.

6) Copyright info Just like a musician retains copyright ownership of their songs even when someone buys their CDs or downloads mp3s from iTunes, so I retain copyright ownership of my photos. When you order a print or hire me (or any other photographer) to shoot for you, you’re basically paying for usage. Hence I can continue to field orders for prints or use those photos in my portfolio.

  • 6b) Typically usage rights for the buyer includes a CD of high-res jpgs to make as many prints as you want for personal use (framing to hang up on the wall of your home, scrapbooking, giving as a gift) and as promotional material if you’re a band (posters, flyers, press kit, myspace and facebook pages, website, etc). Other uses must be vetted through me.

7) Typically I charge by the hour, but am considering alternative methods for being paid based off what I provide at a given rate On the face of it being paid by the hour is simplest, but I typically find I end up shooting longer anyway (because it’s fun, usually). One alternative I’m considering is that I would provide a limited number of high-res, printable pics depending on our agreed rate. As in, five photos for $50, 20 photos for $100, 40 photos for $150, 80 photos for $200, and all of the photos, unaltered and altered, for $250. You’ll notice it’s a scaled system, where you’d get more for your money at the higher rates. Contact me if you are interested or have other questions about it. THIS IS A BAND/EVENT RULE; portrait shoots and weddings are priced differently.

That’s it for now. I’m sure that leaves out a lot of details and other relevant issues, so in that sense it’s still a system that’s a work in progress. Any questions with these rules please ask me for clarification.

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