Sunday, 30 November 2014

Photography copyright issues

I have been pursuing serious photography for over several years now. The use of my images without permissions has been an ongoing problem for me, and others I know. 
There are thousands of photographers out there so it is confusing for all sides. Many aspiring photographers give their images away to promote their work, so there's that too. One way of dealing with things is to allow the web use of low resolution images as long as they have copyright along with them and charge for the use of hi res for printing or promotional purposes. Media people should well know about copyright issues.

Being a professional photographer is not an easy or simple path - its' comparable to wanting to be an artist, writer or musician. All these paths are highly competitive and as well as technical and artistic talents and loads of hard work and time, require networking and business knowledge and skills. The most successful ones have many strings to their bow - they also teach or have other means of earning a living.

I've had problems over the years with my photos being used without my knowledge or permissions and I have had to gradually learn the best ways of dealing with these problems. 
If you post photos on a blog or website, it is good to post that the photos are copyrighted - say 'Please respect my copyright and contact me for use of an image.' I always add copyright to my web images. 

Once an image becomes 'available' online it is hard to get back control of it! A few years ago I had one of my photos used by the Arts Council of England no less! - and then found via that link the image was being used all over the place to promote an author. I've also had images used on flyers, brochures, theatre programs and more without asking my permissions or offering me a payment of any kind. 

It can be difficult to deal with when you might consider that all the venues, printers and promoters are being paid for their work - and when a quality and artistic image certainly is key to any successful promotions, but appears to be viewed by ignorant people of little if any value - what on earth does this say? I guess it means you have to push to have your images valued! If you say no you run the risk they will go use another image anyway. I guess its about being valued as an artist. 

If your image is used by a major business, without asking permissions for the License to Use, simply send them your invoice and request a payment. It also depends on how big the business is and is this a one off use or usage for unlimited use of the image. Good luck, no easy business for photographers or other creative people these days, that's for sure!