Save image as problem...

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by jackville, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. Hi guys,
    I have a question concerning a client's website who doesn't protect images!

    I have a client who own a talent agency. The talents pays a fee to the agency and it includes a quick photoshoot, but the talent doesn't have any images for his own. If they wants images from the shoot they have to buy it from me (the photographer).
    I charge my client(the owner) per hour and it includes 3 images(600x900px) per talent.
    She use those 3 images to send to casting directors. She bought the images and the photoshoot...i'm ok with that. The problem is.. Since a few years, almost no one buying extras images from the shoot because i found out that some of the talents right click on the images and do a SAVE IMAGE AS.. and get the images for free!! Her site doesn't protect the images, so her talents steal my images!!
    I met my client last week and explained the problem because we were supposed to do another photoshoot soon. She refused to pay a script to block the images. When they do a save image as they have the exact 600x900px.
    From my point of view, it's a negligence from her side.
    Is there anything that i can do with that with the law?
    I probably lost a few thousand bucks because of that!
    Any input will be welcome!

    Thank you, and sorry english is not my first language!

  2. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Even if the Client enables a script to restrict "save image as" there are work arounds to get to the image.

    I know of no image which is posted on the world wide web, which cannot be accessed and/or copied.


    You've asked for business advice, so let's look at this from a best business practice point of view.

    Firstly the wrong-doing is not by your Client - it is by those who are stealing the images: it would be a poor business choice to assess the responsibility to fix this issue rests with your Client. It is you responsibility to protect your business, not your Client's responsibility.

    I am not a lawyer, but I am a business person and if a Vendor (you) came to me and stated that I was 'negligent' as you have outlined, that would irritate me. If I were irritated enough by your insistence for me to spend money to address an impossible situation, I would eventually tell you to 'take a hike'.

    An elegant solution might be you provide two sets of IMAGE FILES to your Client. One set is heavily watermarked and these are the one she posts on the web. The other set has no watermark and these are the images your Client provides to Casting Directors and Talent Agents.

    Another solution would be (under your local laws - and such do exist in Canada) to proceed with prosecution for damages against the those who are sealing your images.

    If I understand your script correctly, this would mean be proceeding against the Models whom you have photographed - whilst it is likely that you have that as a legal option, I think it is a very poor business choice to make and I do not advise it.

    A better business solution for YOU - could be to employ the watermark solution as outlined above - AND - to rethink the contract for the original photo shoot. I'd think along the lines of the Model having the option to make a one off payment to you directly and at the time of the shoot for supply and use of High Res images from the shoot.

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
  3. Thank you William!
    i can't have 2 sets of images. i can't put a watermark on those images. If you show a talent's headshot to a Casting director and his eyes goes directly to the watermark!! lol...that's not good! Each talent sign a release before the shoot to protect him and me, but it doesn,t say don't steal my images! lolllll
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2020
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I assume that this means the PUBLIC website of the Talent Agency which shows only low res images is the ONE and the ONLY method that the Talent Agent uses to supply images to Casting Directors?

    I am used to a different method of delivery where the Talent Agent supplies a more direct and more individual service to the Casting Director.

    Maybe your arrangement with the Talent Agent then should stay as it is, if it is bringing in a profit: and in the meantime don't spend your effort attempting to build this relationship as a more profitable venture, but work on attaining more profitable (and perhaps in the long term) alternative Clients.

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
  5. I am used to a different method of delivery where the Talent Agent supplies a more direct and more individual service to the Casting Director.
    The agent send specific propostions (talent images) directly to casting directors but sometimes they browse her website directly to find specific people!
    My client is the kind of people that think that photographers just need to press the button!! i told her...good luck! o_O
  6. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Well maybe still supply two sets of images, both without water marks: one low resolution for the Agent's Website and second for the Agent to send to Casting Directors.

    In any case, it seems that you do not have a close business relationship with this Client, so in the long term it is probably best to look for other work.

  7. I agree with @William Michael's that it's difficult to prevent people saving copies of images. And that there are complications using different versions with and without watermarks. Essentially your 'problem' - that "talents" don't want to pay you extra money for better quality image files - is yours and not you client's. If "talents" are made aware that they can order good quality copies from you directly, that's the best you can hope for.

    To put things into perspective (one of my daughters works through agencies):
    - "talents" may well use multiple agencies
    - they probably have (ongoing) multiple photoshoots, so your photos are unlikely to be the only ones they have or use
    - if they save a copy from the website, it doesn't mean that they use it for other commercial purposes
    - their saved copy is "web-sized" (900 x 600 px); if they tried to print a copy at the standard 300dpi, the maximum size would be 3" x 2"
    - even on social media, the "recommended photo sizes" are larger than these images: FB 1200 x 630, Instagram 1350 x 1080, LinkedIn 1200 x 1200

    So if "talents" save their photos from the website, they're getting relatively low quality photos.

    My suggestion is that you look for ways to offer more value for money in selling copies. Not just offering a "web-sized" copy for additional payment (since you've already been paid for the photos). But offering high quality digital files (at least 3500 x 2500 px) that "talents" can use to print and use high quality A4 photos. And 'social media' format files that "talents" can directly post to their own social media accounts.

    Since you do the photoshoots, why not ask the "talents" directly what might motivate them to order good quality photos from you and at what price? I assume you give all "talents" you business card.
  8. Mike Morrell - you have to stop being reasonable, and optimistically looking for the opportunity...where's the fun in that?? Good advice though.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  9. Ha ha - thank you, David!

    I've been using Twitter (as @mmorrell) a lot more recently. Mostly reading, 'liking', sharing, occasionally commenting. Unlike PN, some Twitter comment threads - especially those that touch on the US nov elections - are a whole lot less "reasonable"!

    David_Cavan likes this.

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