Photographer's Opinon on Photography Contract?

Started Dec 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Photographer's Opinon on Photography Contract?
Dec 20, 2012

As an attorney for an advertising firm, I am very sensitive to copyright, photographer's rights, and contracts, but recently I received a notice from a photographer that we work with that has irked me. Before saying anything to her, I thought you guys might help me see this from a photographer's standpoint.

The notice from her stated that she was going to use the images that she took for me in promotional materials and that she "will always have the rights to copy, reproduce and use in any fashion."

I, of course, immediately pull out her contract that I signed, because that was not what I had in mind when I hired her. The contract is extremely brief, only stating the price that I was to pay her in advance, the number of prints to be provided, and that she retained the copyright.

So I paid her in full, she came to my location, shot pictures of my model, and six months later (who knew! but that's another story) delivered the prints.

Just for more information, the prints are wonderful, exactly what I was looking for, and I do plan on purchasing additional copies from her. However, due to the amount of time it took to for her to complete the work, I am not interested in promoting her business, although I may use her in the future provided that I draw up the contract this time with some specificity.

As an attorney, to me, retaining copyright is a very different thing than having the right to use in any fashion. She seems to think this is one and the same. She also does not have a model release, nor a copy of mine. The release was between the model and myself, stating that I had permission to use the images for advertising purposes.

So what do you guys think? What is the industry norm?

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