Ethical Dilema, takeing and selling photographs

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  • Ethical Dilema, takeing and selling photographs
  • Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    What's unethical about it? It's taken someone time and effort to take the photo.

    Premier Icon Jon Taylor
    Subscriber

    then advertise said picture for sale,instead of just chargeing a nominal fee

    what do you propose instead? is charging a fee for goods or services somehow different from a sale?

    or do you just think it is a bit rich of someone to sell me a photo of myself?

    We worried about this at the Big Bike Bash. The result was we had photographers who would take the picture, get it developed at the event and donate all money to charity.

    Come along and see how it works.

    don simon
    Member

    I don't see what's unethical either. But the cost side is surely just basic marketing. if the product is good and the price is good then you'll pay for it if you want it. If the product is crap and/or the price is too high, you don't buy. Not difficult really!

    Just out of interest, what do you do for a living? 😉

    It's not clear if you're talking about pros, semi pros or passers by!

    WorldClassAccident – Member

    We worried about this at the Big Bike Bash. The result was we had photographers who would take the picture, get it developed at the event and donate all money to charity.

    Come along and see how it works.

    And everyone else is donating their profits to charity too? caterers? printers? hire shops? and any other outside service you are going to use at the Big Bike Bash!!

    Very unethical if there's an official event photographer booked to be there, or may have paid to be there.
    I know I'd be incredibly annoyed if at an event I was photographing, there was someone else taking photo's & trying to make some extra cash out of it, most likely uninsured & not relying on jobs such as that to pay the mortgage.
    Might seem a bit strong, but very true!

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Depends on the event though, if it's a public affair (say a bike race) then there's nothing that can be done about "unofficial" photographers being there. You could say it's a good thing since it prevents one person churning out a rubbish product and charging through the nose for it since there's some competition out there.

    Obviously for a private event such as a wedding that you'd been booked for then yes, you'd have every right to be upset if someone else came along looking to sell their pics (although obviously family/friends can still take snaps unhindered).

    In answer to the OP no, I don't think there's anything unethical at all about it. I've bought lots of good race shots from various photographers, it's part of the event.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    i take photos at some events, mainly for practice and fun, for the 400 odd i took at Mountain Mayhem i put a message on the flickr set with the pics saying if anyone thought the pic was good enough they could add something to my paypal account to help pay for costs*, all pics where download enabled though so if you wanted you could just get the original image for free

    i think the official photogs such as Rob Crayton should be able to sell their pics though ( and i did ask Rob if i was in his way at one point on the circuit as i thought it was only fair he should have best choice as it's his living)

    * no one adding anything to my paypal account btw 🙂

    project
    Member

    Is it now seen as ethical to take somebodies picture at a cycling event then post it up on a web site, with a watermark or some sort of print acrosss it,then advertise said picture for sale,instead of just chargeing a nominal fee,or donateing the difference to the events choosen charity.

    Discuss.

    DaveGr
    Member

    When looking at race photos I've wondered how much they're "worth". From £12, £6 to the free ones you can get they do vary in quality. I paid £12 for a Jules one as, for once, I wasn't gurning in it and I think it's a good, well framed photo but also £6 at another event not cos I thought it was a good photo as such – it was a basic shot tbh – but I wanted a momento of being there.

    As for people taking shots of me and charging. No problem with that BUT if they then started to make a lot of money from it, say as a poster, then I'd expect a cut for being the "model".

    Interesting if someone has paid to be the event photographer. Just what have they paid for? Exclusive access to the event? Only they advertise on the events web site? Interested to know what's in the contract they signed with the events organiser.

    Ti29er
    Member

    Why would this be in any way unethical?

    Market forces prevail. Personally I both race & take pictures which I then sell onwards – if they’re any good and people want them.

    As long as you're not trespassing, breaking the law, infringing any copyright or contractual agreements (the FA for example at football matches) you are free to take pictures of said event.

    Why should someone possibly spend most of their working life mastering the art of photography (or anything else for that matter), possibly be educated in said subject to degree level or beyond (in my case) and then give up a weekend, take his skills and knowledge, produce creative images & then assume not to benefit in a fiscal manner when it’s their profession (in my case)? The exception in my case is for Clic24’s event.

    Would you do that in your trade? Work for nothing?
    In my case I'm VAT registered, which I have to be due my companies turn over – I'm the company director and it's a Ltd company with Public Liability and Private Indemnity Insurance.

    But I’m maybe an exception and not the rule.

    Tim Fisher
    Company Director.
    t/a Tim Fisher Photography
    tfp (photography) Ltd
    Registered Company 4090676
    VAT (749 8896 42)

    dunxs
    Member

    No Dilemma at all really.
    If they are professional and I trying to make a living, then that's fine .
    If they are an Amateur and give their prints away then that's fine also .
    The events have to be public , otherwise they need to seek permission from the event organises ( just in case they have an exclusive photographer selling prints afterwards.)
    All the Photos I sell of people riding at events are for their use only.
    Any other sales ie. advertising etc , a model release has to be signed and some sort of payment made to the rider if the photographer is making a profit from them.

    Speaking as a professional ( and I do photograph some public MBK events ) I have no problems with my position.
    It puts food on the table and pays the mortgage.
    Ask yourselves if you would be happy to do your job for nothing ?
    People will only buy photos from me if they like them , so it's up to them really. 😀

    DaveGr
    Member

    Ti29er – so are you taking photos at the Kielder 100 ?

    If so can you take one of me early on as I doubt I'll make the cut off times * 🙁

    * if I enter that is

    Ti29er
    Member

    Dave.
    You think I'm going to be in any fit state to take any pictures? Nor me!
    I'm still mulling over the ability to complete 100 miles (& therefore enter) and Joolzes is taking our / your pictures – early on I hope as I'll look pretty ragged later-on!

    dunxs
    Member

    Good points Mr Fisher !!
    5 years at Colleges Studying Art then Photography……
    !0's of Thousands of pounds of investment in cameras and computers..

    and then ' Give them away " !!??

    DaveGr
    Member

    I'm still mulling over the ability to complete 100 miles (& therefore enter)

    So am I. As I sit here I think "no". Then I'm off out on the bike and think to myself "go on, what's the worst that can happen?"

    and while we're on the subject of photos. What do people look for in a race photo? As I said above, the Joolze photo stood out as she seems to get the background to stand out and the shot to be a bit different. A lot of other shots I see are the standard "this is a shot of a person on a bike". Everything technically correct, nothing wrong per se but every shot looks the same and it doesn't "say" anything.

    richpips
    Member

    Unethical LOL.

    As to being the official event photographer it doesn't matter really having been one and not been one at events. The bottom line is if someone likes your picture they'll buy it if they want to. Competition in any marketplace is good. In photography it makes photographers take better pictures, so should you want to buy one, you'll hopefully get a good one.

    If people want to give their pics away or donate sale proceeds to charity, that's cool too. Me I have a wife and two children to support, it's what I do for a living.

    Maybe I should retrain as an arms dealer or crack heroin seller.

    Ti29er
    Member

    Dave.
    I could tell you, but then I'd have to run you over with my big wheels! 😆
    I am not really doing too well, took the day off. Awoke with eyeballs that felt like racing greyhound's testicles and a mouth so furred up I struggled to talk – I couldn't even whistle for my supper.
    Full blood count up at Watford General.

    Ewan
    Member

    Not unethical at all, as many others have said, it's a job to some people. If you want what they've made, you need to pay for it. If the event is in a public place then anyone can take photos and flog them – all that means is that there are market forces operating on any professionals present.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I have no issue with photographers taking my photo in competition and trying to sell it to me for profit. However, rocking up uninvited to an event of your choice, even on public land, and taking photos for money without making a contribution from your profits to the running costs of the event(or at least offring or getting the official nod from the organiser that it is a "service" they wish have present even if no money changes hands) seems a bit parasitical. Events cost money to stage and the smaller ones are on very tight margins and without the event there would be nothing to photograph. I guess lots of other people make money off the back of events (ice cream van parked up in near by car park; localB&B is full)without making a direct contribution but that does not seem so (literally) in your face.

    Ti29er
    Member

    Let me get this straight: You park your car, eat your ice cream, buy a drink, have some food, buy the T-shirt and somehow you think a professional photographer up in a woods, plying their trade, creating images that you may never view is somehow "more in your face" than those who have just bare-faced taken money off you?

    You rock up to a public event, in the full knowledge that people will be taking your picture "and trying to sell it to me for profit" and somehow now we're (photographers) parasites because you assume, in your shocking ignorance, said photographers are neither sanctioned nor welcomed nor embraced by the organisers and that they haven't at any stage approached the organisers "or at least offering or getting the official nod".

    Who the Hell are you to make such sweeping criticisms & statements? I attend many of these events and so do other photographers. This is a service we provide free gratis to the event, and don't you forget it. I know at each event there are photographers providing images for the various web forums, the mountain bike magazines, for some of the exhibitors and also the sponsors themselves. I know they’re looking for anecdotes and images for a book about Bonty right now.

    What do you possibly know of the contractual agreements that are / might be in place? Do you appreciate the relationships that are at play here between the organisers, the photographers and the end users, because the above post seems singularly ill informed and bizarrely, self-defeating?

    What are you actually worried by? Because you say someone taking your picture is “in your face” seems somehow to be more of an offense than any other point you have made, or tried to make. The event receives far more exposure by having images taken than adopting your cap-in-hand approach. Am I correct in thinking you work for a 3rd party and don’t own your own business?

    There is always at least one official photographer taking pictures for sale to the public. Two photographers that I know of at SITS, about a dozen that I could ascertain at BikeRadar Live. Odd then that you somehow question that “the organiser that it is a "service" they wish have present even if no money changes hands” when it’s advertised as such at each event; this isn’t rocket science.

    The best bit though: “and taking photos for money without making a contribution from your profits to the running costs of the event”
    God preserve us from such moronic sentiments about events held in public! You make sure you tell us all on here of your race numbers in the future and we will make every possible effort never to photograph you at any event in the future. Hope this at least in part goes some way to meeting your bizarre sensibilities.

    dooge
    Member

    As people have said if you are skilled in a trade and you sell the product of your services then its no different to being a plumber or a builder. Ive paid for a degree in Photography, worked my ass off for over 3 years to get to a point where I am only just starting to produce photos of a quality that I actually am happy with taken on kit that has also cost me loads. If I take a photo of someone why shouldnt I charge them? Ive put the effort to be there, take the shot, then most probably put it through an editing program to get it spot on.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Well said Tim!

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Ok, ethics level 2: What about if I'm doing a race but I've got a bit of the Paula Radcliffe and I've stopped mid-ride for a poo in the bushes, and someone takes my picture mid-cable and sells it for huge sums of cash to a 'specialist' website? I mean, it's a real risk – I've got a great arse. What then? What would you say to that, Mr Photografter Man? Hm? You dirty, filthy pervert.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    On face value you could argue that photographers at events are being provided with an opportunity to ply their trade and should perhaps pay for that opportunity by paying a fee to the organiser, in much the same way on-site ice cream vans and t-shirts sellers do.

    But, of course it not quite that simple for a number of reasons:
    1) It would be very difficult to stop folk who turn up as spectators taking and selling photos;
    2) Their photos in cyberspace help promote future events and so do potentially contribute to viability/profitability of events; and
    3) As richpips has said, competition is good and if the product is good, people will buy it.

    I do find it quite interesting though when individuals, who's business is, in part, dependent on the readership of the forum buying their product, have a rant.

    don simon
    Member

    Bez – Member

    Ok, ethics level 2: What about if I'm doing a race but I've got a bit of the Paula Radcliffe and I've stopped mid-ride for a poo in the bushes, and someone takes my picture mid-cable and sells it for huge sums of cash to a 'specialist' website? I mean, it's a real risk – I've got a great arse. What then? What would you say to that, Mr Photografter Man? Hm? You dirty, filthy pervert.

    That in my opinion would be unethical. I took a picture of a rider in a ciclocross race, who had led the race from start to final curve. On the final curve the front washed out and off he fell. Very emotional for the rider, high level of public embarassment and a picture which was very relevant to the story of the day. Out of respect for the rider, I asked him if it was ok to use the image on certain websites. He said it was fine, and the image was published. If he had refused, I would not have used it. Simple!

    Common sense I think it's called.

    Also Ti29er, +1.

    IanMunro
    Member

    It's ok Bez, your picture's free now on bit torrent now.

    corroded
    Member

    So, what is the typical arrangement an 'official' photographer has with the event organisers? Is there ever a financial relationship (either a one-off fee or a cut of the proceeds)?

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    You are ever such a little bit touchy aren't you!!!! You seem to think I'm worried – weird – just passing comment as the OP requested. My opinion may well be different as I'm not a professional photographer, just a racer and someone who has helped with organising low key racing. If my opinion is wildly different to what you feel is the case a blatant rant is only going to make you look like a plonker, not inform and educate.

    As I said, I have not a single worry about anyone taking a photo of me in any way shape or form. I've bought some in the past and I've got a shed load in a draw I've got as freebies because they have been used in promos or brochures. As racer and participant is concerned, rock on – the more photographers out there, the more chance there is of catching me not gurning!

    My comments come I guess as someone who has helped organise triathlons in the past and recently helped a lad out who organises low key local road races. He has a serial amateur photographer stalker who pitches up to events, flyers racers cars and sells on his shots (£12 a pop I think- more than the race entry fee!). I know for a fact that Rob has never been approached once about this to check this was OK with him. He would probably have said no worries because he's a nice guy and knows the some of the guys that race like a chance to see themselves racing. It is however ironic that Rob is trying to run the series on a shoe string to try and enhance the local scene and often is out of pocket by the end of the series – yet the chap with the lens has earned his winter's beer money. He could at least buy him a pint for giving him the opportunity!

    This is of course all amateur stuff and as you say I have no idea about what goes on with professional events and pro photographers (although I have to say I had assumed that all photographers there, were there with the organiser's blessing – maybe I'm wrong) – but I don't think the OP was strictly delineating one from the other. If as you say I have no idea about the contractual agreement between organiser and photographer at bigger events, I can only conclude that you must always be in contact at least with the event organiser before you ply your trade, so my comments are not applicable to your particular circumstance which makes me wonder why you are getting so worked up!

    As an aside, as you seem so knowledgeable, are there "photographer ethics" about weddings? I ask as I went to a small wedding where the couple had chosen not to have a photographer and came out of the church to be snapped by some bloke, again handing out flyers. The Church warden said he turns up to most weddings there on the off chance, booked photographer present or not.

    Ti29er
    Member

    You called me a parasite, so if you take a pot-shot at me across my bows, expect a salvo in return. You seemed surprised by my turning your own text upon you?

    You make assumption after assumption, ignoring the underlying messages I was giving you.

    I'm off to get myself an ice lolly and hope he pays the council some extra % revenue for parking his van at the bottom of our road. Do you think he has communication with them about today’s outing?

    MrNutt
    Member

    any idiot can press a button but it takes skill, dedication & timing to capture a great picture. thats what you pay for, if you don't like having your picture taken wear a "no photos" jersey, stay indoors or if its on a website then ask for it to be removed.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Ti29er – your are just a little bit full of yourself aren't you! Sadly, no "surprise" at "turning your text upon you" (what ever that is meant to mean). What you did was refute my comments and disagree – thats what adults do in discussions. Nowt special – get over yourself!

    No – I didn't call you a parasite. I have no idea who you are, how you work, or your modus operandi. And to be honest, I couldn't care less.

    Would you be happy to operate like the photographer I described with Rob's race series, or would you be happy to photograph a charity bike ride or one of those Run for Life events for profit without getting the Ok from the organiser or making a contribution? If so, I'd call that parasitic behaviour. You might not – thats what's called a difference of opinion; and adults with social skills are allowed to have those without getting bitchy!

    bent_udder
    Member

    I don't see the problem, frankly. I raced sailing boats a *lot* up to a couple of years ago, and it was pretty normal to see three or four RIBs with photographers on board following the fleet around the course of a Saturday or Sunday. Occasionally the odd helicopter with cameras too. I think I bought one pic over the years, but never begrudged the snappers for doing their job.
    I find it weird that people don't like it – in the sailing world, the likes of Beken, Kos, PWP and Tomlinson are pretty much celebrities. When you see one of them pointing their lenses at you, you smarten up and try to look nonchalant whilst sailing as best you can.

    Unless, of course, you''re busy doing this:

    Explanation here.

    richpips
    Member

    I recently took some shots at an event organised by the local mountain rescue which I would have gone to watch anyway. Any proceeds from their sales will go to them. I guess if I was going to shoot a charity event for work, I'd be happy to donate a proportion of my profit to said charity.

    If I was an event organiser like Convert's mate Rob, I'd find a good local photographer to come along and cover the event. People like photos of themselves competing, or participating in events plus good photos of an event give publicity to said event. So Rob though he may not receive a pint out of it would hopefully get more entrants in future.

    coffeeking
    Member

    If the resident photogs are being paid to be there, then its up to the event manager to decide if anyone else can. If the official photog has paid to be there, its up to him to get his knickers in a twist, if his photographs are professional enough there should be no problem with competition. If we are just moaning about people selling pics of other people in an event, MTFU – nothing unethical at all about it.

    DrJ
    Member

    Is it actually legal, to take a photo of a single identifiable person, and then publish it? I think in a few countries (France, NL) it is not. What is the situation in the UK ?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    s it actually legal, to take a photo of a single identifiable person, and then publish it?

    Yes it is thank god we don't live in one of those countries. There are a few exceptions but very few.

    richpips
    Member

    then its up to the event manager to decide if anyone else can

    If the event is on public land anyone can take pictures.

    samuri
    Member

    What an odd question. If someone takes a picture of me and then sells it, why should the money not go to the photographer? They've bought a load of expensive camera kit, then learned how to take pictures, then made a picture of me look good enough that someone would spend money on it, why shouldn't they take the full payment for it?

    Neither me nor a charity is entitled to any of the money, only the photographer with the skill and the equipment to take a picture that looks good. And good luck to them. You'll need it if you fancy taking a picture of me that you can sell.

    Ti29er
    Member

    If it's any consolation, the iced lolly was good n'cold, the guy looked me in the eyes and took my money. I smiled for him. He smiled back; I guess you had to be there.

    I clean forgot to ask if he was intending to add to the council's coffers with a % of the £0.80 I had just given him.
    Maybe next time, eh?

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