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Posts Tagged ‘John Harrington’

All Rights Or No? The Content Creator’s Debate

contract signing

What rights should you sell when you give a company something to publish? Experts and content creators agree: as few as possible.

But it’s not always that simple.

Photographer John Harrington made that clear on his blog earlier this week when he sparked off a debate about how photographers should treat their work.

“Some photographers argue that these kinds of discussions [about rights] aren’t worth the hassle. Just sell your services for as much as you can up front, they say, and don’t worry about saving rights to monetize later.

“This point of view usually comes from photographers who don’t want to deal with negotiations, contracts, accounting and spreadsheets. They just want to take pictures — all the way up until their business closes its doors.”

He went on to explain that he once turned down an assignment to photograph 60 attorneys at $1000 a pop, because the client was going to resell the photos back to the attorneys for $3000 each.

“I decided that the magazine should pay more, considering all the planned uses of my work. But they wouldn’t budge. So I declined the job. Would they be able to find a photographer for this assignment? Yes, of course. But it wouldn’t be me,” he wrote.

However, as the comments point out, it’s a rare photog who can afford to turn down a $60,000 assignment.

And in these situations, negotiation is often out of the question–rather, it’s take it or leave it.

So would you hold out for more? Or do the shoot for half the price in exchange for retaining more rights? Or would you do it, take the money, and run?

photo: WordRidden

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Is Getty Splitting Sales Of ‘Editorial’ Images With Celeb Subjects?

A blogger at Photo Business Forum noticed something strange about some Getty Images photo credits on pictures featuring Kim Kardashian.

These are not portraits, but paparazzi-style “look, I captured this famous celebrity on her way to the mall/gas station/dinner” or whatever.

Instead of saying “Frazer Harrison/WireImage” the credit reads “Frazer Harrison/KA/WireImage,” which blogger John Harrington thought was odd.

Until you realize that “KA” could easily stand for the first two letters in Kim’s last name.

Photos of Kim’s sister Kourtney that have surfaced on Getty have a different two-letter code, KK, which appears, interestingly enough, in both unposed shots of Kourtney and a portrait session of her—taken by the same photographer on the same day.

A photo editor friend of ours assures us that if the initials were just meant to tag the photo with the celeb’s name, they wouldn’t have put them in the photo credit, because Getty has other means to tag names. He also tells us that Getty typically lists all parties getting a cut in the credit line (hence the “Frazer Harrison/WireImage” line to begin with, because both the wire and the photog would get a percentage of the image’s sale).

So is Getty sneakily splitting photo revenue with celebs and passing the shots off as editorial?

(On the other hand, most of the photos of Kourtney shopping are so obviously posed we’re not sure they’d fool anyone.)


When a photographer starts a fire, and then, oh, just happens to be first on the scene to make great photos, that’s called a crime. However, when a celebrity says something like ‘I’ll tell you where I will be so you can photograph me but you have to share all the money you get from the photos with me’, and then does not disclose this arrangement in the course of their “reporting”, that’s bad ethics.

Is this phenomenon new? No. Do other celebrity photo organizations do it, sadly, yes. The key is to disclose these things and be up front about them. You might suggest that this isn’t “photojournalism” so who cares? Well, when the subject is a politician (like the many Congressmen) or a businessman (like Maddoff) who is marched in and out of courtrooms and photographed on the streets, we call that photojournalism, but then when a celebrity is photographed on the street, it’s not the same?

We’re sure that Getty’s just trying to stay afloat in this economy, just like everyone else, but how do you feel about this?