Photography position + contract for retaining copyright of images

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by jessika_dabrowski, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. I was hired by a salon to do photography on a part time basis. They asked about who owns the rights to the images and they agreed to let me retain copyright as long as they have full use of the images for social media, ads, ect. The only stipulation is that if it ever goes to a national or multinational scale, we have to have to discuss further compensation.

    They asked me to send over a release/contract outlining the agreement but I'm having a hard time finding something that works since this will be an ongoing agreement. Can anyone make any recommendations or suggestions?

    Thanks so much for your help, I really appreciate it.
     
  2. Call your local Bar association. I am sure the have a referral list of lawyers who specialize in contract or small business matters. You will probably find a young lawyer just starting out who is competent in these matters and will charge a reasonable rate. The on line "do it yourself" forms you see advertised are too generic and probably will not specifically cover your situation.
     
  3. Hiring an attorney to write a contract from scratch will cost more than you're likely to be paid. There are plenty of standard photography contracts that can cover this. Look online for ASMP forms. But everything depends on the details of what you're talking about here.

    By "I was hired by a salon to do photography on a part time basis" do you mean you are an employee but part time? Or do you mean they want to contract with you as an independent photographer to shoot jobs for them from time to time?

    If you are an employee and your job is to shoot pictures, then the images you create (at least in the US) could fall under "work for hire" where you have no rights to the images unless you have a contract saying that you do. If you are working as an independent photographer, then you own the images in the absence of a contract saying otherwise. The two situations are 180 degrees opposites.

    "The only stipulation is that if it ever goes to a national or multinational scale, we have to have to discuss further compensation."

    No, that's not the way it works. You have to have that spelled out at the beginning or you can easily end up arguing over it later.

    What do you mean by salon? Hair salon? Nail salon? Arts salon, which can mean art/photography gallery? There are lots of "salons" with different meanings.
     
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    In which Country (& State) are you working?
    WW
     
  5. Craig, I agree and don't want to go through a lawyer. I should have been more specific.
    I am working part time as an employee at a hair salon doing photography + social media. The photos will fall under "work for hire" but we want to have a contract that states that I retain ownership but they can use them as they please.
    I agree it needs to be spelled out but I'm not exactly how we would do that without having the situation right in front of us. I'm not even sure it will ever get to that level, I was just saying it to cover my butt and include it the contract. It's a boutique salon.
    William, it's in Florida, US.
     
  6. "The photos will fall under "work for hire" but we want to have a contract that states that I retain ownership"
    That is an oxi Moron. LOL You need to write your own contract stating exactly what both of you are agreeing to. You don't need a lawyer for this. Just use plain and simple english spelling out what both of you are agreeing to.
     
  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    “I am working part time as an employee at a hair salon doing photography + social media. The photos will fall under "work for hire" but we want to have a contract that states that I retain ownership but they can use them as they please.”​
    I don’t work in the USA, but from what I do know in general terms, I agree with Michael Mowery - you don't need what you are asking for.
    However, if you really want to have a contract as you have outlined, then - If I retain ownership’ means: “I have copyright” - this situation seems to be similar to an ‘employee’ working as a photographer for my company in which case and simply put, such content would needs to have two basic parts:
    > The first is the assignment of Copyright from your Employer to you. When the Photographer does not have copyright of the images in the first instance, the Photographer cannot “retain” it – it needs to be assigned (transferred) to the Photographer.
    > The second part of the contract needs to state the retention of universal and unlimited usage rights by the employer.
    ***
    My additional comment is this all seems back to front to me. That's one reason why I agree with Michael's comments.
    If you are ‘employed’ by this Hair Salon as their resident “Photographer and Social Media Person”, then you should not need to be producing any contracts for this upcoming work. You have a contract of employment (maybe not written) and that outlines your roles and tasks. If your job is ‘photography’ and as a result the business has all the usage rights (pending model releases) and the copyright too of those images, then if, for example, you want access to the images for your portfolio, the employer (or you) can draw up a simple agreement making allowance for that. That’s what I do when my company employs Photographers.
    As Michael mentions, that is quite a simple document stating the exact ways you may use the images.
    This document is not about you ‘owing’ the images it is about how you can use them.
    *
    BTW - it is very possible that the Hair Salon owners might not be versed in the US/Florida Laws pertaining to Image Usage Rights (i.e. “Releases”) – it would be a shame if you make a set of wonderful images of lovely hair styles and the Salon was forced to withdraw from using the images for their advertising because they did not secure the appropriate releases from the models, or (perhaps?) from any trademarked item in the shot.
    Again I don’t know those laws but they are similar to where I work – and where I work it would usually be the responsibility of the Employer to have those releases sorted.
    This might be an opportunity for you to shine if you research these matters thoroughly and come up with a neat solution for your bosses.
    Good luck.
    WW
     
  8. "They asked about who owns the rights to the images and they agreed to let me retain copyright as long as they have full use of the images for social media, ads, ect."

    If you are in fact an "employee," you can't "retain" something you never had. You are in a "work for hire" situation, and they own your photography work from its creation.

    The scenario as stated as backwards. Its not YOU that will allow them to do what they want, it is THEY who need to transfer copyright and ownership to you (since your employee situation makes them the original owners) if that's what you guys want to do? I dont see how that is beneficial to them. I wouldn't.

    Frankly, I think you both have it backwards. If there "campaign" went national, they own the photos and can do with as they please, but they seem to want to cut you in. Doesn't sound like they know about "work for hire."


    Owner of the Copyright in a Work Made for Hire

    If a work is made for hire, the employer or other person
    for whom the work was prepared is the initial owner of the
    copyright unless both parties involved have signed a written
    agreement to the contrary.

    http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ09.pdf
     
  9. I am not convinced by this. It sounds like just another
    way of them gaining copyright try to get a reasonable
    lawyer I think it will be worth it in the long run
     
  10. I am not convinced by this. It sounds like just another way of them gaining copyright try to get a reasonable lawyer I think it will be worth it in the long run​
    It's settled law that the employer in a work-for-hire situation owns the copyright. It has been for many years. There's no sense in wasting money on an attorney trying to dispute that issue.
    What an attorney can be useful for is to write a license agreement for the employer granting the photographer broad rights to use the photos within the framework of the employer's copyright ownership.
     

Share This Page