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Something important for all photographers to realize when printing photos at a third party company....

Roscue2

Active member
I work for a company that does a sizable amount of business printing photos,posters, canvases, coffee mugs, ect. For your everyday weekend warriors, amateurs and even some who are pros. The customer is able to enter the store and use our computer kiosk to place their order, or do it online. You can have them done instantly, in an hour, or a day for some products.

As you can imagine, the last few days have been very busy for the photo printing part of the store due to Xmas.

This story has to do with the legal rights of the photographer and their images. As some of us may realize, if you have professional photos taken of you, your family, dog, ect. you need to have the original photographers permission to print them if you are not the original photographer.The reason for this is because when professional photographer do a photo shoot they make most of the money off of the photos they print for you.Many of us also realize that photographers when asked to send the client photos of the shoot only send small pixel sizes so that they can not be printed without them being paid.Inorder for the client to have the privilege of being able to print the photos that were taken on the shoot through a third party they need to have the photographer sign off on it.

As you can imagine in the photo business many everyday Joes do not care to pay for the photos that the original photographer is willing to print them. So how did they get around that you ask? Quite simply they lie. They say that they took the photos themselves and that even though these photos look professional they are taken by them. As you can imagine this costs the professional photographers a lot of money because they lose sales to dishonest clients.

Now many of you may think that this issue only comes up very rarely but let me tell you everytime I go to the photo booth they are having to call someone because the photos that are being printed appear to have been taken by a professional.I have a seen people that are not intelligent attempt to use a photo that they had sent to them by the pro photographer that is only probably half a megapixel and trying to blow it up to be a 20 inch by 20-inch canvas shot. It's so obvious that it's stolen from the photographer that we have to call them and kindly ask them if they have the copyright release paperwork for the photo and in many cases the person will say that they do not. They will then ask why its such a big deal and that they own the photos because they paid for the photoshoot which is not true.

Many of you are probably asking what caused me to write about this today.Well the reason I'm discussing this today is because today we had a customer come in who tookk instant print photos which means we were not able to review them before she got to the checkout line. In these situations we end up having to open up a package at the checkout line and review them to make sure that they do not look professional.Company policy says that we have to review every photo canvas or any type of photo that goes through the photo department to make sure that they are not professional. If we deem that the photos are professional we will kindly ask the customer if they have a photo release for that particular photo or photos. in today's incident the lady had photos that looked like the photos you would get from your everyday middle school photo day. because of our suspicions that they were professional photos that she was trying to reproduce without a copyright release we asked her kindly if these are photos and if so we need to see the camera or SD card that they originally came off of or we need to see a copyright release form for the photo.Most customers when we explain to them why we are asking for this immediately say I don't let me go get that for you. This customer on the other hand decided that she was too good to need a copyright release or anything near that capacity and then started arguing with the shift leader at my store about the fact that they were her photos all she wanted to do was buy them and that we had to sell them to her. As you can imagine my shift leader and the assistant store manager stood there ground and told her that if she did not have the paperwork she could not buy them. This set her off then she started cussing and telling me they're doing a terrible job and that she didn't need to have a release form to them. Eventually however she decided to leave the store after making a scene.

The point of the story that I am trying to get across to everyone is that there are certain laws and rules that companies follow that do not allow them to make photos that they deem to be professional. the reason for this is because if a company produces a photo and it later turns out that the photo did not belong to the person who produced it and the person did not have permission to produce it the company can be sued for the damages caused to the copyright holder of the image.

Hh and gl everyone.
 

Nancy-IL

Active member
I'm really surprised that people don't know this. I'm sure they know it but don't want to pay for them. Sad that people think that way.
 
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