Commercial Photography while employee

Started Jul 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
Michael Thomas Mitchell
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,996
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Treat it as separate work
In reply to brianbattenfeld, Jul 30, 2012

This is a potentially difficult situation to get into if you do not treat it carefully. If done properly, there should be no problems, but done incorrectly the matter is fraught with potential disasters.

Professional photography -- as with any professional service -- is all about EXPECTATIONS. If you get involved doing photography for this business, you'll be under the expectation of providing a professional photographic service that is separate from your existing job. Sound simple? Guess again. If integrated into your normal job, you'll be essentially doing two jobs but for a single salary. And what about equipment? Suddenly, the USE your own personal gear is now essentially OWNED by the company. What if something breaks? Do YOU pay for it to be repaired or replaced? What if you don't WANT to do this any more?

Your photography needs to be completely SEPARATE, probably on a contract basis. You can give them a good deal if you want, but every aspect needs to be treated as a wholly separate service. Do this, and ALL other issues, such as copyright, equipment, etc, will basically fall into place.

brianbattenfeld wrote:

So I usually shoot weddings, but do a bit of commercial work here and there. I however am a full time employee as a designer for a web company here in Buffalo. They want to start pushing my photography to clients in need of commercial photography. Mostly head shots/portraits, but probably a bit of architectural and product stuff too(which is not my forte, but I feel comfortable taking it on). My question I guess, is has anyone found themselves in this kind of situation and what sort of agreement they came to on copyright and compensation. I'd prefer to do the photography on the side as an IC, and just throw referral fees to them, but it seems like they're leaning a bit more towards me shooting during business hours and negotiating some sort of additional rate on top of my salary. Any feedback or opinion is cool. Just looking to start some good dialogue on the topic. Thanks in advance.

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